Friday, October 16, 2009


A man has no more character than he can command in a time of crisis. -Ralph W. Sockman

When I think of leadership in times of crisis two people come to mind, Rudy Giuliani and Chesley "Sully" Sullenberg III. Regardless of whether we share their perspective and view points in other areas of their careers, wouldn't we all want to have such visceral response in a time of crisis?

I am positive experience plays a huge role in these two leader's responses to a time of crisis, but even those of us that at times still feel a bit green have hope. There are many things us, mere mortals, can do to be ready and it all boils down to preparedness, good instincts & a cool head.

Preparation involves lots of planning, training, repetition, educating and even-the often despised-role playing. Only via the conscious use of these tools we'll be able to make it so our reaction becomes nothing but what looks like an instinctual (but well thought of) a karate move. Sharp and decisive. But to achieve this as a team you'll have to become your team's Mr. Miyagi.

Leaders won't always be perfect, they'll make mistakes, and-provided they have decent people skills-most times they will be forgiven for their faux pas. However, in a crisis, if a leader is not a quick-thinker and an even faster-doer, no forgiveness will follow. Too much is at stake when a crisis pays us a visit.

Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own. -Charles de Gaulle

Some questions to ask yourself:

* How prepared are you to face a sudden and unforeseen financial, personnel, or physical crisis?

* How prepared is your team to work as one?

* Who are your natural leaders? Are they training others?

No matter how you choose to prepare yourself and your team for a crisis remember the oriental wisdom of Chinese culture. They have two characters that comprise the word crisis: one represents "danger", the other "opportunity."

No comments:

web analytics tool