Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media

Disaster defines what’s important to us

Tornado One minute, we were hanging out on a Friday night -- doing dishes, watching TV, checking e-mail. Just living life, really.

The next, we were hearing tornado sirens, flipping to The Weather Channel, listening to damage reports ... and wondering if we were next.

We were fine, as it turns out. Others weren't. Missouri's Good Friday tornado ripped through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, blowing out windows, showering travelers with glass, terrifying passengers who had already boarded their flights and had to wait helplessly while the twister shoved their planes around the tarmac.

They were the lucky ones. Just minutes earlier, the tornado had leveled entire neighborhoods, destroying homes and changing lives in an instant.

And that's the point. Life can change just like that. All of our grand plans and dreams for the future don't mean much when a tornado makes a beeline for your home.

"So what's your point?" you ask.

Just this: Get your priorities straight.

I'm not talking about risk management or succession planning -- although, from a business perspective, those are important, too.

I'm talking about the really important stuff -- family, friends, the things we're really passionate about but put on hold so we can make a buck.

Coincidentally, just hours before the tornado tore a hole through Missouri, I watched this TED talk from Ric Elias, a passenger on Flight 1549, the plane that hit some birds and executed an emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York City in January 2009. His message is too important to ignore -- and at 5 minutes long, the time is right, too. 

What are your priorities? In retrospect, are they the right priorities?


Bill Sheridan