Remember What We Learned

Wherever I go and with whoever I’m working, I’m always interested in discovering what leadership lessons are to be learned and how they can be applied to improve our responses in the future.

12 years ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some very important leadership principles were shared with me by my Federal clients. I want to give you a list, because these insights provide a template for action that goes well beyond a singular response to a natural disaster. These leadership practices are applicable in virtually any leadership endeavor. I hope you find a way to apply them in your everyday work.

And I hope you are praying for and supporting the efforts along the Gulf Coast in the midst and wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Leadership Lessons Learned from Katrina

  • It’s more important to focus on helping people than pointing fingers
  • Those with a take charge attitude accomplished the most (made the biggest impact)
  • A clear voice from the top is needed … communicate … communicate … communicate
  • People will respond to a need if given the opportunity
  • We must be aware of how people react (especially to a traumatic incident) to truly help them
  • Pondering decisions, when decisive action is needed, leads to frustration
  • Lots of small groups getting things done is the best way to get a lot done
  • Admit failures, where necessary, and move forward

– Jerry Strom

My thanks to all those who contributed their thoughts, ideas, and insights immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Follow me on Twitter: @JerryRStrom. For more information about our leadership and team development programs, please visit .

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