None of us were prepared for what we came across in the woods. Although we thought we were at the end of our Wilderness and Remote Area First Aid training. Our role-play proved we weren’t as ready as we’d previously thought.
We went in with a plan, but our plan was based on assumptions. Without a leader to step back, assess the facts, and delegate action, we were doomed to fail.
Our small group of mock first responders, soon discovered how quickly things can go wrong without strong leadership.
Hoisting a limited amount of emergency supplies, we crossed a small creek, stepped into a ravine, and rounded the corner to a terrible sight. Even knowing it wasn’t real, didn’t reduce the panic and subsequent adrenalin rush from the human tangle before us.
Three bodies lay at the base of a tree. I quickly identified the one closest to us as a female. Two males were literally entwined around her and each other. Splayed legs, arms, and twisted necks piled in a heap over rocks and broken tree branches. Moans echoed through the ravine. (In Missouri we call these hollers, because you can hear the echo back when you holler).
As a group, we all followed the first rule of checking the area for potential danger. After that, mass chaos erupted amidst the nine of us who were playing the role of first responders.
Each of us bent down, and simultaneously started asking questions and making statements to the victims. There was no method, but there was plenty of madness. Some of us were doing the same work two and three times, while many important steps were missed entirely. Our leader made a huge mistake, one many business leaders make every day at work.
Leading triage requires one person to stand back, evaluate concisely, communicate clearly, and delegate crisply.
But our leader failed to do this. Instead, he jumped into the fray. He knelt beside one of the victims, and like the rest of us, duplicated some of the work, and failed to follow through in other areas. Because no one took charge, our female victim died in the account, and one of our males followed shortly after.
Had this been a real emergency situation, our lack of leadership would have killed people. In real-life business, a lack of strong leadership, practicing triage, kills jobs all the time.
In triage, prioritization of patient treatment in order to maximize the number of survivors saves lives. In business, it saves jobs. Who’s practicing triage where you work?
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
Isaiah 3:6 (NIV)
A man will seize one of his brothers in his father’s house, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!”
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her family.