Haiti…a lesson in preparedness

January 24, 2010 at 9:14 pm 1 comment

I was struck the other night be a comment from a relief agency representative in Haiti.  The spokesman stated that they were hindered in doing their job due to a lack of office space and telephone service.  She also seemed to lament at the need for living in tents and having to meet “under a tree”.  I can not imagine the hardships there and I am not trying to cast any doubt as to the dedication and resolve of the brave men and women working against all odds to relieve the sufferings of countless people.  My heart and prayers go out to all of them. 

I do have one observation that can help us all in such disasters….be prepared for everything  in mind and body.  Some of the greatest military campaigns in the history of mankind were planned by people living in tents and meeting under trees.  Major Letterman evacuated and fed tens of thousands seriously sick and wounded in a day when offices were not provided and telephones were decades away.  If you can operate in such primitive conditions (as the relief workers in Haiti are doing right now!) then how much more effective can you be with your technology in place?

Do not become too reliant on technology.  It can and will fail.  Become more reliant on the human mind, spirit and body.  They are the most resilient machines known to the world.  Imagination can overcome the loss of a machine, BUT, no machine can replace imagination. 

Use the past as a guide to understand what is possible and then prepare for the day when you find yourself in Haiti or when your home becomes a Haiti.  Do not forget the lessons of Katrina, the recent tsunami, Haiti or Antietam.  If you learn the lessons well you can benefit your fellow-man by being part of the solution….if not you will drain your fellow-men by being part of the problem.  The choice is yours.

What would a true leader do?

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Why Servant Leadership? The love of Learning!

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