Hey, I’m Len Herstein and I’m the author of the new book, Be vigilant! Strategies to Stop Complacency, Improve Performance, and Safeguard Success.
Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot in the news about this trucking industry problem we have. Specifically, a truck driver shortage and the narrative has been that this is a Covid- created problem. That we changed our buying behavior. We’re buying more online; more stuff being shipped by truck. And now we have this shortage of truck drivers.
And what I’m going to tell you here in the next two minutes is why this is not a covid problem. This is a complacency problem and the two core vigilance principles that the trucking industry broke that got us here.
Okay, so here’s the background. The trucking industry has known for a long time, that it has an aging workforce, that most of the people are 45 and older, most of them close to retirement or at retirement age. Hard time bringing younger people into the industry.
Why? Because it is a crappy lifestyle because people are away from home, they’re sleeping in trucks, showering at truck stops. They’re not able to eat properly and they’re also not paid well for their time. In fact, they’re not paid for their time at all. They’re paid for their mileage. They don’t get paid for the time that they’re, most of them don’t get paid for the time that they’re sitting in their truck in traffic or loading or unloading or anything like that.
Now, for a long time, the trucking industry has known it had these issues and basically, what it told drivers was, hey, this is capitalism. If you don’t like it, you know what you’re getting into. If you don’t like it, go find something else to do. It’s cool.
You know why they could do that? Because they could, because they had enough truckers at the time, because they felt like they held the power.
And you know what? A lot of times all of us are in situations where we do hold the power. How we use that power, how we wield that power will have implications for us for years to come.
Okay, so now what has happened? Two core vigilance principles have been broken. Number one is they got so confident, so overconfident in their success, that they become self, they became self-satisfied. They became smug and they did not put the proper attention to the threats that were out there in terms of their aging workforce and the dissatisfaction there was with this job.
The second thing they did is that they were unable to articulate a why for what they were doing as it related to wages and how they treated their employees other than the fact that they could.
That is a terrible reason. If your only answer as to why you’re doing something is because you can, that will come back to bite you.
Okay, so threat awareness, not allowing overconfidence to make us unaware of potential threats and being able to articulate our why that goes beyond making money or because I said so. Or because I can.
Two core principles I cover in the book Be Vigilant! Two out of 10 that are designed to help us identify and fight complacency with vigilance.
Again, I’m Len Herstein. Be vigilant!