Even staying just off the Central Florida shore, Hurricane Matthew disrupted plenty: lives, homes, travel schedules, job interviews, football games and career week in the College to name just a few. Some things can be rescheduled. Others cannot. They’re more perishable: schedules don’t match up, priorities change, things are different after the storm. Life passes the moment by…just ask LSU and Florida.
It’s a good lesson in taking advantage of opportunities at the first-available moment. You just never know if something unexpected might cause the opportunity to fade. So, when I got a few emails from students upset that they wouldn’t get credit for activities they hoped to complete during Hurricane Matthew’s visit, I wasn’t very sympathetic. None of these opportunities were required to be done Thursday or Friday. Attendance in The Exchange for example, is never mandatory. It’s just one of many things a student can do throughout the semester to show that they are engaged with their own education.
Sure you didn’t see the disruption coming, but I can tell you from experience that it’s the things you don’t expect that get you, not the ones you do. The same is true in business. In fact, business disruptors hope you don’t see them coming. It’s part of their plan. And, like all disruptors they don’t really care about the damage they inflict on you. Call it bad luck if you’d like, but bad luck is usually just an excuse for a lack of vision or poor execution. The marketplace judges these things very harshly. And no one ever learned from external attribution. It may make you feel better to call it bad luck, but it doesn’t cause you to change behavior and improve performance.
The better strategy is to learn from the failure and develop a recovery plan so that the next time the unforeseen happens it doesn’t cause you to crash and burn. Unfortunately, there will be more Hurricane Matthews. The question is: Are you prepared to deal with that?