The Lead: Your Two Ages, Waymo, 7.0 Earthquake in Alaska

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Health Predictor and Your Two Ages

Everyone has two ages: a chronological one and a biological one. The chronological one is determined by the calendar and is what most people are familiar with, but the biological age is more reflective of a person’s current health status and health risks. Medical doctors and scientists are working on developing a better algorithm to determine a person’s biological age in order to better predict long-term health outcomes and advocate for the appropriate lifestyle, diet, exercise, and sleep habits to improve their biological age.

Our View: The abstract notion to live a healthier life becomes more concrete when something like a biological age initiates a call to action. Metrics that yield valuable, actionable insights are excellent tools to spur changes in behavior. Apply the old adage “what gets measured gets done” to your leadership development programs. Assigning numerical and even monetary value to leadership shines a spotlight on its importance and rallies people to take action. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum service: Leadership Development Impact Workshop

Waymo Hires Former National Transportation Safety Board Chair

The Alphabet subsidiary Waymo recently hired Deborah Hersman to oversee the company’s fleet of robotaxis. Herman is a former chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board and has been CEO of the National Safety Council for the last four years. Hersman says “I’ve dedicated my career to promoting safety in our communities, and I’m joining Waymo because of the potential to make an even greater impact on reducing road injuries and fatalities.” Waymo is just weeks away from launching the U.S.’s first autonomous ride-share service in Phoenix, Arizona.

Our View: A strong safety culture spreads throughout all levels of an organization and the right processes need to be established for all employees, including new hires and temporary employees. Leaders have the unique responsibility to create the best team to enact the right policies and processes that follow best practices for a strong safety culture. Hiring the correct people is no longer enough, and excellent training and incident management protocols must be put in place to integrate new hires into the safety culture. Further Reading

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7.0 Earthquake Strikes Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska was hit with a 7.0 earthquake last Friday morning, and according to seismologists, the quake was the most significant in Anchorage since the 1964 Good Friday earthquake. Roads, highways, homes, and buildings were damaged, and several injuries were reported.

Our View: Leaders must step up during disasters, and the best leaders have already prepared for worst case scenarios. When disaster strikes, they appoint an operational leader as the designated crisis manager, and they appoint another team member as a spokesperson to field questions from the media. Disasters often counterintuitively lend themselves toward an opportunity to clarify your company message. Make your messages simple, empathetic, and action-oriented. Further Reading

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Marriott Data Breach

The private information of up to 500 million Marriott International guests may have been accessed through a breach of the Starwood guest reservation database. Marriott has set up a website for customers that may have been part of the breach and will also provide guests with one year of the digital security service WebWatcher.

Our View: Leaders continually make avoidable mistakes after a data breach. Avoid the dangerous déjà vu by responding swiftly with transparency about the attack. The importance of good customer service following a data breach cannot be highlighted enough, even when it is expensive to implement. Further Reading

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The Smart Sock

There is a $300 “smart sock” for babies that uses pulse oximetry to monitor oxygen levels, heart rate, and temperature. The technology is adapted from gadgets like the Apple Watch and Fitbit and has an accompanying app, so mothers can track their baby’s vitals from their phone.

Our View: The internet of things is impacting everything, including the field of leadership. Data-based decisions can be made quicker, and a top-down structure makes less sense when employees closer to the data can address it in real-time. “Empowering the people who are closest to the data to make the decision is increasingly important and is changing the way we need to lead,” said Michael Small, President and CEO of in-flight internet company Gogo. Further Reading

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