I’m not a historian, but I’ve always been fascinated by the high stakes of war. Wrong decisions equate to death. Sometimes right decisions equate to death, if you’re a hero. The cost of poor planning, the ensuing chaos and the palpable drama of life and death decision making is truly captivating.
I suspect great “leaders” in war take the front line, battle elbow to elbow in the trenches, exercise everything within their power to keep their men alive while fighting for the common objective. After all, if the endeavor fails, there’s no Chapter 11.
You don’t see this in business. I’m not referring to the hands-on Executive rolling up the sleeves for manual work. I’m talking about going down with the ship.
When a trucking company gets into trouble what happens? A padlock gets slapped on the front gate and the leaders vanish. OMG! Could you imagine Patton doing this?! Abandoning his troops across the French countryside while cowering off to save his own ass?
I know first hand what it feels like to go down with the ship. Today, despite being a strong advocate for entrepreneurs and owner operators, if I had known the cost my family would endure from the failure of my second business, I would have never started it. But even as I was sinking, I understood the difference between right and wrong.
I managed to keep that ship afloat, at the cost of sealing my own fate as a failure. The team I built continued on and made it a successful company. I’m not a hero, I just think it’s common decency not to take others down for your mistakes.
Trucking companies are wrong to cut and run. It needs to stop.