5 leadership lessons from the Titanic

There’s more to it than just, ‘Don’t run smack into a big, honking iceberg.’ Essential to your success are policy and training issues.

We recently commemorated the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. There are many businesses and leadership lessons we can learn from that fateful night of April 15, 1912.

The leader is always responsible. The maiden voyage of the Titanic was Capt. E.J. Smith’s retirement trip. His final duty was to pilot the grandest ship ever built into New York Harbor. However, Smith took many safety issues and precautions for granted that trip. He ignored multiple iceberg warnings from his crew and neighboring ships. He ignored safety concerns by pushing the ship to its limits the first time out in the attempt to reach New York two days ahead of schedule.

President Harry S. Truman displayed a sign on his desk reading: The Buck Stops Here. He knew the responsibility assumed in a leadership position. The leader is responsible for everything the organization does, or fails to do. In a disaster, the captain goes down with the ship.

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