For this blog, I offer a simple insight that arises from the tragic story of the RMS Titanic. The reader may remember that I published another blog about the Titanic that was more focused on strategic situational awareness and decision making. This insight is strictly focused on leading your team and a subtle thing that many can miss. Which deck do you put your people in?
Let me start by sharing the simple & basic insight. Although the RMS Titanic was really registered as a British ship, it was owned by the American tycoon, John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, whose company was the controlling trust and retained ownership of the White Star Line!
The reader may realize that people were cornered into certain levels of society. In all the decks where you had a room or activity was largely dependent on your Societal level. Only the richer people were allowed lodging in the upper decks and where the rich and exclusive parties were. As the reader may realize, living towards the top also made it easier to be rescued in case something bad happened because you were much closer to an escape option.
The lower societal levels were put typically deeper in the ship at lower decks and there were certain social events to which they were not allowed. Also, if something happened, they had to find elevators that might be inoperative or stairs that may be blocked off with water if something critical happened. Also, the doors to passageways may not be opened against water pressure or other restrictions.
The central insight is very key. It is that after the RMS Titanic sank, the White Star Line was mandated by authorities to put together a list of those who survived and those who did not:
Those Who Survived | Those Who Did Not Survive
The simple insight is simply this; prior to the tragedy, everyone was treated separate based on factors that made them “They are not part of us”. In one key sense, there was an aspect that simply said, “You don’t make what I make so you are not me and you are not worthy to be with me”.
HOWEVER, after the tragedy, there were only 2 Lists. In one sense, everyone was part of the cruise or “Part of the team”. Everyone was on one of only 2 lists.
Afterwards, it did not matter how much money you made, what clothes you wore or what parties you attended. The only relevance was:
“Did you Survive or Did You Not?”
Realize the King that I serve connected with and treated people of different societal levels in the similar and positive ways, even those people that society rejected and cast aside.
With that as an insight, let me ask you as you look at individuals on your team.
What deck are you forcing them into when you look at your team?
In what insidious ways are you causing your team members to experience a real lack of synergy and appreciation or to feel like they are deep down in the ship?
What do you need to do differently to have your team believe and have faith in what the team is doing and how?
- Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC