Two weeks ago, Cindy Chazan and I had the pleasure of visiting Baltimore for Wexner Heritage interviews right in the middle of not one but two snowstorms of the century. Who knew it was possible to have 2 snowstorms of the century in one week? So much mazel in three days. Six feet of snow in 25 minutes does have a way of making travel for interviews impossible, even for the Wexner Heritage Program. Cindy and I were trapped in a small suburban hotel in a city fully and completely shut down by weather. We were giddy about the possibility of venturing across the street to Target but it too failed to open. Talk about serious situations. Nothing except the hotel restaurant was open. The only thing on television was continuous breaking news reports about the weather. As if we didn’t know. We traded periodicals. How many times can you read the same People Magazine? We memorized the coffee shop menu. We made small talk with the snowplow drivers who had all been kicked off the streets owing to the severity of the blizzard. They didn’t really appreciate our humor. We offered to help the kitchen staff make a new soup. They turned us down. We set up a job fair in the lobby. No takers. We even begged the front desk staff to open the hotel workout facility, also shut down due to weather. What, the indoor tread mills can’t get anywhere in the show? Desperate for meaningful activity we wrote and choreographed a musical version of our day together and threw together a fine lookin’ number complete with costumes made from the drapes in the lobby. Who knew Cindy could tap dance? The plow drivers gave us five stars.
From this experience Cindy and I learned a very important leadership lesson.Get stuck in an historic snowstorm with a good colleague who is a good friend…while still bored silly, nobody gets hurt.