Sunday, October 27, 2013

5 Lessons from The Titanic

Everybody knows about the Titanic - the unsinkable ship, that sank. But, I bet there are some things you didn't know about it. I was listening to a talk radio station and this man was filling us in on some little known facts about the ship and how things happened.

Here are the bad business decisions that led to such a huge historical disaster:

  • The captain of the Titanic was planning to retire after this voyage and he was hell-bent on setting a record, so he required that the vessel travel "full speed ahead" and he went to bed that night, although there were warnings about ice in the water.
    • Lesson 1: It's important to slow down when danger is ahead of you.
    • Lesson 2: Don't sleep when you should be leading.
    • Lesson 3: Putting your selfish desires over the good of the people you serve can spell DISASTER.
  • The men that were on lookout up in the perch at night had requested binoculars, but the "powers that be" didn't see them as a necessity.
    • Lesson 4: As the Boy Scouts say, "Always be prepared." What may have been avoided if they had the tools necessary to do their job?
  • There were more lifeboats prepared for the ship than were actually on the ship because "the powers that be" felt that the lifeboats hanging from the side of the ship wouldn't look attractive in the photos, so they didn't put them on the vessel.
    • Lesson 5: Vanity costs more than it's worth, in business and in life. In the end, it's not worth it.
I hope these lessons are helpful and if you have heard anything else about the Titanic that you think we can learn from, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.