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It was mid-afternoon on Friday, March 11, 2011 when the ground in Tōhoku began to shake.

To the operators at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, it seemed like the shaking would never stop. When it finally did, six minutes later, the operators fell automatically into the post-earthquake routine they had drilled on so many times. The reactors had automatically shut down, backup power had come online, and they were well on their way to having everything under control at the plant’s six reactors. And then the tsunami struck.

The operators at Fukushima Daiichi suddenly found themselves managing a situation well beyond any worst-case scenario they had imagined. The media's breathless coverage of the subsequent meltdowns and explosions at the plant make it easy to assume they failed, but the actual story is far more intriguing. The way their team operated during that fateful week has a lot to teach us about helping our own teams be at their best, both in crisis and out.

AI and tech leadership
AI and tech leadership
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