Recently, I read a study on highway safety and crashes.
The report revealed accidents occur the majority of the time because of one simple factor. It wasn’t because of age or race or experience or physical ability/health. The largest factor in vehicle crashes was the driver was distracted in the last three seconds before impact.
These distractions included reaching for something in the passenger seat, taking a bite of a sandwich, adjusting the volume on the radio or texting/receiving a phone call. I found it surprising that it did not relate to age, ability or experience.
In addition to reflecting on my own distractions while I drive, this study made me reflect on leadership and leadership “crashes” – catastrophic events that occur in organizations, schools, businesses and churches. There are numerous distractions that exist in the lives of leaders. Without focus, leaders (and those they serve) go astray.
Of course, crashes will always occur (on the road and in leadership). We are fallible and we do make mistakes. They cannot be eliminated entirely, but many can be eliminated by wise thinking and focus.