Great Stories, Leadership, Partners

Taking a Leak

Sometimes opportunity knocks, sometimes it seeps through the basement walls. When recent rains flooded the basement of Stu Taylor’s home outside Winnipeg he didn’t anticipate it leading to positive news coverage for our partner IDE-Canada. To see how personal frustration was turned into national media coverage watch this clip from the CBC or read the release from IDE’s office. This story is a great win for IDE, but it also points to something else. Stu was able to recognise both that the tools being used internationally had an immediate application in his home, and that this was a way to spread the message of the organization to many who haven’t previously heard of them. Respected leader and author Andy Stanley has said that leaders aren’t successful because they follow great plans but because they are well planned enough to jump on great unexpected opportunities. As critical as effective strategic planning is, responsive action is how most major advances happen. I wasn’t able to speak to Stu yet to find out how the story of his flooded basement reached the attention of the CBC, so I can’t offer specific steps and strategies. (Maybe Stu can add them as a comment below). More importantly, leaders should be asking the question: Are we prepared to recognise and respond quickly to opportunities to advance our mission and reputation? Kudos to Stu, his brilliant wife, and adorable daughters!