Noah's Ark & Leadership

Posted on 3/25/2015 12:59:29 PM By Matt Croson

I recently spoke at ASMAC’s Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada.  I was happy to be invited by Sean Gogarty of 3M Canada and the current President of the Canadian Adhesives and Sealants Association.

During the one day event, the 65+ attendees were treated to a great speech by Hazel McCallum, former mayor of Mississauga, Ontario – and a true, one-of-a-kind leader.  At 93 years young, Hazel is still giving speeches, networking with leaders, and curious about how things are the way they are and what we can do about it.  Google her – she’s an interesting person who served as the mayor of 6th largest city in Canada for decades.  She is a beloved figure in Canada and “still has it,” as they say.

Her delivery style was no notes, no PowerPoint and no nonsense.  I’d like to share the highlight of her speech with you—her Noah’s Ark approach to leadership. 

Don’t Miss the Boat – her first word of advice for leaders is to simply not miss the boat.  Whether it’s a mega trend, a customer need or a massive issue facing you, don’t ignore it in such a way that you completely miss the boat.  It’s harder to get back on the boat once it’s bypassed you completely. 

Remember We Are All on the Same Boat – your team is your support system and they need your leadership to get you where you’re going.  Embody the “we’re all in this together mentality.”

Plan Ahead – it wasn’t raining when Noah built the boat.  You need to plan ahead during the good times in order to survive the more difficult times.

Stay Fit – When you are 600 years old, you may be asked to do something big!  Be prepared and ready—physically and mentally—for the leadership that will be required.  (How great is it that a 93 year old is telling everyone to stay fit!)

Don’t Listen To Critics – Just get it done!  They will come around once they see it come together.  Too often, we are allowing criticism or potential criticism to keep us from doing what is clearly the right thing!

Travel in Pairs – Keeps you safe, and you have a helper…plus someone to talk to once you achieve success. 

Float Awhile – when stressed, float awhile.  It’s amazing what you learn about the issue when you just relax, consider the issue quietly, without interference. 

Remember – the ark was built by an amateur; the Titanic was built by professionals.

I loved her message.  Just a few simple concepts to keep in mind whether you’re leading your family, your local non-profit, a division or company.

And if you are going to Canada, visit, and check out what they can do for you, eh?

comments powered by Disqus