That Collingwood Road Behaviour

Aarne

It was raining heavily and I could just see the black car’s white dull headlights behind me as I was travelling at 105 kilometres/hour along the M1 Motorway. He was tailgating me so closely that I easily observed the agitated, and rather nasty looking facial expression of the aggressive, toothless driver in between the fast swishing movement of his windscreen wipers. I tried to move out of his way, but couldn’t, owing to the heavy traffic congestion in the other lanes, so I just tolerated his unpleasantness for the next minute as he followed in my slipstream.

He flashed his lights, honked his horn and gave me a finger gesture that I presumed was not one of friendship. I just waved back at him, but I don’t think it was appreciated in a positive manner as he responded with additional fist waving and a sneer on his face that was well suited to the most passionate Collingwood* football club supporter.

Finally, he saw a tight opening in an adjacent lane and like a magpie swooped into it without any hesitation. Unfortunately for him, it was a tad too snug, particularly as it was bordered by two large trucks which were startled by his sudden movement that caused the front truck driver to slam on his brakes. My impatient “friend’s” car slammed into the back of the truck at full force leading to chaos for all concerned. Mayhem soon prevailed as the carnage was littered all over the road.

Yes, this is fiction, particularly as those you know me, as I would never travel at 105 kilometres/hour in the fast lane! But, let’s think about this driver’s behaviour from a business perspective.

How many employees in your corporate office follow the same methodology, or route of behaviour, in a stayed and undeviating manner every day? It’s just like that impatient “Collingwood driver” that follows so closely the car in front that they can’t see what obstacles are approaching due to their limited vision of the business journey ahead.

A good driver continually looks out for those frequently changing road conditions and adjusts their speed accordingly. If a major roadblock is identified, they could wait for it to be cleared, but instead they quickly and wisely manoeuvre around it to find a more strategic approach.

Why do most businesses tolerate the lemming employee that just blindly follows those in front of them without any question or thought? Why not encourage a variety of driver skills that can cope and excel in numerous business conditions? Some employees will need to be trained to cope with high speeds, others off road terrains, some the more conservative stop-start city driving, but all of them need to know how to recognise potential danger and the process for steering around it.

So next time you see a driver with that “Collingwood appearance” in your rear view mirror, just let them go past unhindered as they have no idea where they are going, and are regrettably only thinking a few metres in front of their nose (assuming they can see it)!

———

* Collingwood Football Club: http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/

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