Where is Your Plimsoll Line?

Business Insider recently reported that “nearly half a million shipping containers are stuck off the coast of Southern California as the ports operate below capacity.” Although many in the industry have seen problems mounting over the years, the COVID-19 global pandemic has increased product demand and caused “shortages of workers, equipment, and a lack of coordination across the transportation industry.”

Shipping consultant Steve Ferreira has coined the term, “Containergeddon” and experts contend that it is stressing retailers, logisticians, and customer service representatives.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. More stress is headed your way. The traditional stressful holiday season is going to be exacerbated by ongoing COVID worries and restrictions, increased prices, and the inability to get your hands on the hottest holiday gifts.

If you are going to lead yourself and others through the last quarter of the calendar year, and enter 2022 with your sanity intact, you need to start thinking about how you will handle the stress you are about to experience.

Ironically, we can look to the freight shipping industry for help.

In 1880, Samuel Plimsoll set out to fix the problem of too many freight ships sinking at sea. He recommended a bill to the UK Parliament requiring that a line be drawn around a ship’s hull. As the cargo was loaded onto a ship, the increased weight would cause the ship to become further submerged in the water. When the line on the ship hit the water level, it was time to stop loading freight. That line has come to be known as the Plimsoll line and it is standard in the shipping industry.

In a way, we all have Plimsoll lines. No, they aren’t visibly painted around our bodies, but they are there. We can all handle stress to a certain point, but once we experience too much, our Plimsoll lines submerge, and we go from dealing with the stress to unraveling under it.

This week’s tool and video are designed to get you to think about your Plimsoll line.

– How close it is to the water’s surface right now

– How much further might descend in the days and weeks ahead

– What you can do today, tomorrow, and beyond to offload a bit of freight

Watch this week’s video. Put this week’s tool to work for you. Doing these things can help you to keep stress under control. I also encourage you to share this information with others so they too can better manage the stress in their lives.

If COVID has taught us nothing, it’s taught us that we are all in this together.

Speaking of being in this together. This week’s Leadership Lab podcast expands on my article from last week’s newsletter and encourages you to Think, Create, Share, Connect, and Impact others.

Make it a great day!