It was the unsinkable ship.
The Titanic was bigger and stronger and more luxurious than any other ship that had ever sailed the seas.
And yet, we all know the tragic story – it DID sink. It hit an iceberg ,and it sank.
You would think, with it being the maiden voyage, that something was wrong with the ship – that there was some glaring design flaw, something the engineers missed, faulty materials or workmanship. No.
You might think it was the iceberg – that it couldn’t have been avoided. No.
Sadly, the infamous “unsinkable” ship sank mostly due to a series of human errors.
The Captain received iceberg warnings throughout the day. He did change course slightly, but he continued full speed.
Warnings were issued to the Titanic concerning a heavy ice pack and large icebergs. The wireless operator failed to pass the warning on to the bridge.
Around 10:00 pm, two watchmen began their watch – but the crow’s nest binoculars had been lost.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
The nearby Californian radios the Titanic: “Say, old man, we are stopped and surrounded by ice.” An annoyed wireless operator responds: “Shut up! Shut up! I am busy. I am working Cape Race.” (A wireless station located at Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada.) The wireless operator on the Californian turns off his radio.
Shortly thereafter, the iceberg was spotted. The alarm bells were sounded, emergency actions were taken…but it was too late. The Titanic collided with the iceberg.
The rest of the story unfolds as if in slow motion. Passengers tried to escape, only to find there weren’t enough lifeboats. Slowly, tragically, the unsinkable ship heaved and shifted and disappeared into its frozen watery grave.
The saddest part of this story, to me, is this: it didn’t have to happen. Had the captain or the crewmen simply heeded the warnings and carried out their duties with the utmost care, lives would not have been lost that day.
We’ll be talking with Andrea Feinberg on the Leadership Insight Show on Monday about 3 Myths That Will Sink Your Business Faster Than You Can Spell T-I-T-A-N-I-C. What those myths are may surprise you. The fact is, you may be caught off guard just as the crew of the fateful ship that night. You might be too busy to heed the warnings. Or maybe too burned out to care. Or perhaps your business is disorganized and you are missing critical tools.
If you are a business owner or an aspiring business owner, you need to tune in YOUR wireless radio and listen in Monday night. Don’t wait until you see the iceberg to take action.