Leadership and Survival Approaches
Leadership and Survival Approaches
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
sur·viv·al [ser-vahy-vuhl] noun:
1. The act or fact of surviving, especially under adverse or unusual circumstances.
For most people, the word “survival” brings to mind the outdoors, or perhaps the stars of certain unnamed reality survival shows who display skill and daring in their quest to survive and/or gain more ratings. In reality, the word “survival” has a broad application, and can include enduring an unexpected weather event while trapped in an urban environment, surviving being stranded in a remote wilderness environment, or a business surviving a fierce, unexpected economic climate. At the end of the day, the leadership traits that will aid in survival through these types of events are the same for the individual as they are for the business. This is what Rogue strives to reinforce through various training programs it provides.
Even in aspects of wilderness survival, preparedness entails more than just bringing a pocketknife and firestarter along on a hiking trip. Preparedness is a way of thinking and a way of looking at and anticipating possible variables and adverse circumstances that may stand in the way of survival or success.
It is important to note that preparedness is not just a case of “planning for everything”, as it isn’t practical to plan for every single contingency. In some cases, that sort of thinking can cause immobility by devoting too many resources across too broad a spectrum. In terms of outdoor trip planning, it may be that an individual would overload a backpack with too many backup safety objects and not complete their trip due to fatigue. Likewise, a business may overplan by devoting too many of their resources to contingencies that are not likely to happen and not devote enough resources to their primary goal. Appropriate preparedness encompasses an approach that can critically analyze a situation and make determinations about where best to devote preparedness resources.
A very good example of preparedness is provided by the movie “The Edge”. The movie opens with the protagonist, played by Anthony Hopkins, on an airplane reading an old wilderness survival book. Hopkins plays the role of a successful businessman on a trip to a remote Alaskan outpost, traveling in a small twin engine plane. The other characters consider him eccentric for reading something so archaic. His reading choice did not cost him any significant resources, yet it gave him knowledge that could prove useful in the unfamiliar and rugged environment he was heading to. I interpret the filmmaker’s choice of reading material as a symbolic means of showing the audience that this man is a consummate planner. His choice in reading material was also a piece of foreshadowing, as later in the film, the plane crashes in the wild, and Hopkins’ character becomes the de-facto leader of the survivors. Even though he is the oldest and least physically capable of the group, the few skills he learned from the book, as well as his calm approach, make him the only one capable of keeping the group together and coherent.
As a work of fiction, it is entertaining and may or may not have any bearing on how a situation like that would play out in real life. The filmmakers did nail one thing right though:
the screen writer used his simple act of preparation – reading about survival – to inform the audience who Hopkin’s character was in terms of why he was a successful businessman and ultimately the leader of the group.
A good business needs to strike the right balance between preparedness and efficient use of time and material resources. Preparing and assessing potential preparedness needs, whether in the boardroom or wilderness, is a skill that can be honed and developed and is invaluable in any planning process, be it a hiking trip or a large business endeavour. Rogue’s training packages do just that under real world, stressful situations at the micro level, which isolates and emphasizes the fundamentals of preparedness planning for the student. At the same time the training provides numerous other leadership benefits and practical survival and medical skills.
For more information on our Rogue Consulting Group survival programs email or call us!!!