I live in Central Indiana where for many years we didn’t conform with most of the U.S. when it came to Daylight Saving Time. This is the third year that most residents of Indiana will “spring forward” (and then “fall back” later in the year).
I’ve thought a lot about this over the past few days and think there are leadership lessons we can gain from this annual event. Consider these situations and answering these questions as one of your leadership activities this week.
DST was implemented (and continues to be touted) as an energy saving measure. While the study data is mixed on whether it actually is or not, the fact is that when DST first gained popularity a big portion of residential energy consumption was lighting. If you put an hour of more daylight into our waking hours you can see how we would use less electricity. Now lighting represents 3.5% of residential electrical usage.
How many tasks, approaches and methods do we do “because we’ve always done them that way”?
When was the last time you challenged an accepted practice or assumption?
Whose job is it to challenge and ask those questions? (if it isn’t yours, whose is it?)
Many people suggest the change to and from DST as times to do certain important but forgotten tasks, like changing the batteries in your smoke alarms.
Do you have triggers to key important but often over looked tasks in your organization?
How do you make sure as a leader that these “mundane” but important processes are taken care of?
Are you holding yourself and others accountable?
I realize that these questions in the end have little to do with Daylight Saving Time. But that have a tremendous impact our success as a leader. These questions beg answers that typify good leadership skills. Use these questions as you personal (or organizational) leadership assessment this week.
Then, based on your answers it is time to use your leadership influence to take the actions you identify.