Leaders at all levels experience a crisis at one time or another. Some are world wars, economic crashes, or weather events. Others are more localized and personal but carry the responsibility of leading.
In pondering how leaders behave in a crisis, regardless of the magnitude, I made a list. It is in no particular order.
What would you add to the following list?
- Stay calm and do not panic. Winston Churchill’s words, “Keep calm and carry on,” were seen everywhere during WWII.
- Take care of yourself. A weakened leader cannot help others.
- Ask for help. As a leader, you do not have all the answers or resources.
- Assess the situation accurately and objectively.
- Involve others in helping. Even the smallest acts can make a tremendous difference in the healing and restoration of others--the giver and the receiver.
- Be resolute about finding the path out.
- Give support. Ann Curry of NBC was inspired personally to do 26 acts of kindness randomly to honor the folks in Newtown, Connecticut. #26Acts on Twitter.
- Act decisively but not precipitously.
- Follow your pre-planned course of action to deal with a crisis. Fire drills and hurricane evacuation routes come to mind.
- Use the crisis to make changes that will support you going forward. Stanford economist, Paul Romer, said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”
Avoiding all crises is impossible. When you find yourself dealing with a crisis, lead with confidence. You are stronger than you think.
© 2012 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved
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