Class 2, week 12, Peer Response 1

Class 2, week 12, Peer Response 1


Institutional Affiliation

As the author details, strategic leaders are a significant part of any organization. Without them, then it is impossible for the organization to thrive. With the example of BP trying to balance its profits and safety for the people and environment, failed strategic leadership is seen, especially in light of the essential skills that they ought to possess. These essential skills are anticipating, challenging, interpreting, deciding, aligning, and aligning (Schoemaker, Krupp, & Howland, 2013). In the case of anticipation, for instance, strategic leaders are expected to start from within the organization growing outward. However, in the case of BP, the company began outward as a means of blinding people from the real issues. The failure to appreciate and analyze the impending risk during maintenance, as well as ineffectiveness in timeliness and communication ailed the company, so much so that the company leadership brushed off the need for continued maintenance (Pranesh et al., 2017). There were already hazardous conditions in play way before the explosion happened, and they happened due to mismanagement and lack of concern from the leaders, as the author identifies in detail.

Leadership ineffectiveness is clear in the anticipation phase, and in the same fashion, absent in the challenging phase. As the author identifies, the leadership in this case is said to have made poor decisions that led to the explosion. The Transocean leadership had a hand in this regarding the oil well’s materials coming up and resulting in the explosion. The decisions and considerations made in the process by the leaders were not challenged by other leaders or questioned for that matter, with little consideration made for the extent of impact the well would cause if it exploded (Corkindale, 2011 & US BBC, 2011). The results would have otherwise been successful. In interpreting, as the author mentions, the leaders would have been expected to have been honest with themselves and the public regarding the state of the oil well before and after the explosion. However, they either downplayed the actual state of the explosion or hid information from the public, thus losing the trust of the people. The BP leadership failed to take action at the pre-crisis stage and acute crisis stage (Heller, 2012). This would explain why the company failed to manage the situation with timeliness, which the author details on.

On deciding, BP took the approach of trying to engage in activities to help save the environment but while still making decisions that would keep the real state of the oil well hidden from the media and public. The company failed to engage in clean-up, resulting in the government and agencies taking charge. They made the wrong decision to keep the public out of the loop. On alignment, just like the author shares, the leadership was motivated to bring back the company’s glory while hiding the truth from the people (Heller, 2012). Their denial in minimization and mitigation of environmental and safety problems hang them out to dry since their priorities and actions were not in line with their words, through which the public saw through. They had also shifted the blame to other players which led to their intentions’ questioning. Lastly, on matters learning, following BP’s approach of little consideration for the environment and the people’s safety, the leaders finally agreed to taking a wrong approach. With the company receiving criticism for its unethical and dishonest approach, it learned a lot from importance of anticipation actions to being honest with the stakeholders.


BBC, U. (2011). oil spill:’Bad management’led to BP disaster.

Corkindale, G. (2011). Five leadership lessons from the BP oil spill. Harvard Business Review.

Heller, N. A. (2012). Leadership in crisis: An exploration of the British Petroleum Case. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(18).

Pranesh, V., Palanichamy, K., Saidat, O., & Peter, N. (2017). Lack of dynamic leadership skills and human failure contribution analysis to manage risk in deep water horizon oil platform. Safety science, 92, 85-93.

Schoemaker, P. J., Krupp, S., & Howland, S. (2013). Strategic leadership: The essential skills. Harvard business review, 91(1), 131-134.