Lightening SrikeSometimes when things go wrong, the change seems like a bolt of lightening. Unexpected and dangerous.

One day, when my son was about 9, a gaggle of kids were just heading out to my pool for a summer swim when CRACK! Lightening struck my property. It blew out the phones, the TVs and the left garage door automatic opener. And, four kids and two mothers jumped and screeched. Then we laughed, the kids ran to the basement (more screeching), and we had a snack. The other mother and I wiped the sweat off our brows, grateful that the kids were not actually in the pool. My electrician was called, and the  swim was postponed for quite awhile.

This week, my husband and I were on vacation in Montauk, NY and had his son, our daughter-in-law, and new granddaughter visiting. While we babysat, they went to hit a few tennis balls and CRACK! She had a freaky accident and fell and broke her wrist. A nursing mother, we all went into action. The nearest hospital was not near, the baby was hungry, and we knew it was not a pretty break. We got all the information and supplies needed for an emergency room visit. Her parents were close enough to get on the road to meet us. And a plan for surgery and baby care has been made.

These are personal accounts, but I immediately thought of some of my clients and their reality of:

  • Unexpected, undecipherable re-organization with new bosses, unclear accountabilities,  and even further complicated decision processes.
  • A shocking resignation by an executive who is well-respected and well-liked.
  • A dramatic turn in the marketplace for which senior management and the sales force will need to make a similar “turn.”

It doesn’t have to be a massive strike, small strikes can shake your ground. Lamenting the strike is normal, worrying about the implications is also human. However, staying in that energy will cloud the positive opportunities that exist.

The big question is to what degree that strike could:

  • Stimulate new ways of operating with each other or a new use of talent.
  • Spark a creative approach to meeting or beating goals.
  • Pull the team or organization closer, with new personal understanding and shared commitment.
  • Strengthen your and the team’s core ability.

When was the last time you felt that you were hit by lightening at work? How did you create opportunity from that strike?