In a place defined by water in so many cases, a ready analogy for leadership strategy lies in nautical references. For example, as the economy overall continues to send a series of confoundingly mixed signals it's important for the business community to prepare for a wide range of scenarios.

In thinking about preparing our businesses, the nautical analogy is rough weather. Rough weather, of course, is subjective. It's also time based. It's also transitory. All those things apply to our businesses as well. The first rule of rough weather is to simply know your boat--know what it does well, know where it might need some help, and know how to guide it through the waves one at the time.

That's good business advice too--plan ahead, of course, but plan for rough weather. If we do that well, the chances of moving through the breakers to calmer seas gets much more enjoyable.

Clark Twiddy, President of Twiddy & Company, is the author of our Leadership Corner, published on our blog the third Tuesday of each month. He can be reached at