For any who live in or around Houston, TX and the south Texas region, you will be aware that #HoustonStrong became the hashtag that dominated social media in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It came to represent the strength and resilience of folks of the greater Houston metropolitan area.
Texans are made of the same stuff that legends are made of. And Houstonians often feel that they are the caretakers of those legends. And there were some new legends that were created throughout the days of rain and the many days of rescue and recovery that followed.
For a few weeks that started in mid-August of this past year and lasted until the National Weather Service downgraded the hurricane on September 3, 2017, I had a front row seat for some inspiring leadership. Not that I was only an observer. Not at all. But, I watched some folks step up and lead in ways that you may not otherwise see without such a huge humanitarian crisis or catastrophic weather event that unleashes trillions and trillions of gallons of water on your city.
To put this storm in perspective you need to consider just a few numbers. In just a four-day period, many areas in and around Houston received more than 40 inches of rain as the storm system slowly meandered over our city and over southeastern Texas, causing catastrophic flooding. The highest recorded accumulation of 60.58 inches was not far from where my son, his wife, and their young son live. Hurricane Harvey was the wettest tropical storm on record in the United States. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.
It is against that backdrop that leadership took center stage. #HoustonStrong gave us #LeadershipStrong. And leadership talent was on display for all to see if you were looking for it. I was looking for it and I was not disappointed.
A Collection of Leadership Observations
One person that I saw exhibiting great leadership ability is a man that I really only know peripherally. I wish I could tell you more about him. I reached out to him for a more in-depth discussion with him. He declined politely. He told me that he was just not interested in the attention. So, I am honoring his request. But, hear me when I say this. This guy is everything that you want in a leader. I hope, that as you see some stories about him in the next few pages, you will learn some things about how a leader acts in the midst of a true crisis situation.
I have put these observations into a collection and I have made them available for free via my author website at NoiseTrade.com. It is like a music sharing service, except it it is for writers instead of musicians. I hope that you will check it out. The collection is available for free. The site offers you a chance to leave a “tip.” I cannot disable that feature because there are starving artists out there who count on this kind of revenue. It is not necessary for me and you can change the default “$1.00” to “$0.00” and feel good about it. I just want to make these leadership observations available to any who share my passion for leadership.
The stories are short. But, they will give you some incredible insights into the behaviors that are natural and almost instinctive for real leaders.