Two Feet of Snow?

Feb 08, 2013 Written by FIRST Staff

"snOMG" by thisisbossi (CC BY-SA)

(Photo by thisisbossi copyright (c) 2010; made available under a Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license)

I don’t know how many of you have ever seen a winter storm deliver two feet of snow, but in the Northeast, it looks like that’s what we’re in for over the next few days.  Right now, predicted snow totals for Boston are 24 to 30 inches.  If you‘ve never experienced a big snowstorm, they can be a little fun, at least if you are safe at home.  You get a day off from school, everything turns white, it gets strangely quiet outside, and the world seems to be put on ‘pause’ – at least for a short time.

One thing big snow storms are not good for is helping FRC Teams stick to their build schedules.  I expect teams in the affected area will be missing build time over the weekend, possibly even in to next week depending on the size of the storm and power availability at build sites.  Every time there is a storm affecting a significant number of teams, we get asked the question - can we have an extension to our build time?  The answer to this question is – no.

Every team faces crises.  A mentor may become ill.  An important sponsor may suddenly decide to stop funding the team.  You may even be kicked out of your build site mid-season.  This is just like what adults face in the real world.   You may be working on an important project at your company when, unexpectedly, the team leader resigns, the delivery date for your project gets bumped up, or a key component goes out of stock.

The real issue is how you, and your team, respond to adversity.  Do you focus your energy on the person you think caused the trouble?  Shake your fist at the weather?  Curse your fate?  Or do you sit down, roll up your sleeves, assess where you are, and come up with a plan to keep moving toward the goal despite the setback?

When we get a big snowstorm up here in New Hampshire, we buckle down for the blizzard and wait it out. We make sure our friends and families are safe, and offer support to those who aren’t.  And when the snow stops, we take out our shovels and get to work.  Whether it’s two inches or two feet of snow, it’s amazing how quickly a few friends working together can clear a big path.

Every team, at some point, is going to face their ‘Two Feet of Snow’. How are you planning to respond when it happens to you?

I’ll blog again soon.


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