Looking out at Lake Superior from the North Shore of Minnesota this past weekend, we consistently saw one thing throughout the day — fog. At some points, as we journeyed up the coast, we could see just a dozen or so yards in front of us, necessitating headlights, taking corners with more care, and staying vigilant and completely present to our surroundings. At Split Rock Lighthouse, we saw how this beacon and its foghorns helped captains navigate their vessels out of harm’s way. Without the lighthouse keepers, who kept things in working order, countless lives and property would have been lost.

Companies experience their own fog including market uncertainty, shifts in customer attitudes, competitive pressures, changes in buyer needs, and unanticipated problems. Managers, being the keepers of the corporate lighthouse, must diligently keep all of the navigational equipment in good working order.

A focus on acquiring the right business with good customers is achieved only if the light beam of corporate identity is constantly shined in the proper direction. Thorough communication to people throughout the company only happens if foghorn devices, like dialogues, documentation, meetings, and emails, are used in effective and efficient ways. Adequate fuel to power the business and its lighthouse, in the form of the right employees doing quality work, requires that managers are always looking ahead, hiring ahead, and staying ahead. All of this depends on equipment, like phones and computers, being in good working order since, without that, the company could suddenly find itself in the dark, unable to navigate its way past the dangers and challenges ahead.

This is why maintaining Radical Accountability, an unwavering responsibility for getting done what matters most, is the most important function of a leader.

Fog happens, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day or worse, sink your ship. Leaders who keep shining the light of Radical Accountability ensure that their company and its people circumnavigate through every opportunity and obstacle.

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