Mississippi Power’s response after Katrina highlighted in management book

Mississippi Power’s response after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 is being highlighted in the 30th anniversary edition of Stephen R. Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

The utility company’s response after the massive hurricane  hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast highlighted its corporate culture, rooted in the lessons in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” As a result, Covey used the response as an example of the book’s principles in action. The 30th anniversary edition of the leadership book that was released last week.

“We are honored that our friends at FranklinCovey have chosen to recognize our culture in this very special edition of 7 Habits,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson. “Our story is now being shared around the world. That should make every one of our employees and every retiree very proud for their role in building and maintaining our company’s culture.”

Sean Covey, son of the book’s late author, uses the preface of the book to tell the company’s story of recovery and restoration amid the devastation after Hurricane Katrina. In December, FranklinCovey released a case study video reviewing what has often been called “the company’s finest hour,” and how employees navigated the crisis.

“The timing of this announcement couldn’t be more appropriate as we enter what is predicted to be an active hurricane season,” Wilson said. “Whether it’s another Katrina, or a tornado that threatens our service area, Mississippi Power employees are ready to respond. Additionally, we’ve invested in our electric infrastructure to reduce the impact of these events on our customers and restore their quality of life sooner.”

Covey concludes his preface with Mississippi Power’s story. He recalls the following email he received from Wilson:

“… In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged our 23-county service territory, knocking out power to all our customers. We had to bring in 12,000 line personnel from around North America, but we didn’t have enough supervisors to lead them.

“We entrusted our employees to take leadership roles in this emergency response. Because they knew how to Begin with the End in Mind and Seek First to Understand, and so forth, they performed brilliantly. We were able to get the power back on in 12 days, a feat described by USA Today at the time as a ‘case study in crisis management.’ We had an empowered culture that was able to step up and lead, make quick decisions, and innovate amid total devastation. The 7 Habits remain woven into the fabric of our high-performing culture. I just wanted to thank you!”

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