On January 15, 2009, US Airways flight 1549 took off from New York's La Guardia Airport. By all accounts, this was a routine takeoff, like many that occur day in and day out. However, on this particular flight, something unexpected occurred that required leadership, quick thinking, and skill. The plane hit a flock of birds, disabling both engines. Captain Chesley Sullenberger III deftly guided the plane for a safe landing in the Hudson. All passengers survived. This miraculous story offers great insight for leaders who want to avoid catastrophes, or what I call Strangling Tangles. A Strangling Tangle is a complex business challenge, further complicated by messy human dynamics that leads to a precipitous drop in revenue or even business failure.