Ken Lear here.
A crisis can happen at any time, anywhere. Whether it’s in the larger world or in the workplace, a crisis is a sensitive situation that must be handled with care. Many leaders have crumbled under pressure, yet others rise like shining stars to the top.
So, what is the difference between a leader that properly responds to a crisis and one that doesn’t? Here are a few actions some of the best leaders take during a crisis:
Great leaders will wade through the chaos of a crisis and impose a sense of order. Yes, there might be a huge power outage, major service disruptions, or a PR disaster—but panicking will not solve anything. A leader that can gain a full understanding of the situation and help everyone feel calmer is one that will perform the best during a crisis.
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Making prompt decisions is not the same as being rash. Great leaders respond to situations promptly but logically, providing direction in a confident and calm manner.
Addressing the Magnitude of a Problem
Withholding too many details in a crisis situation can be a dangerous game to play—as can sharing too much information without providing a solution. The best leaders understand that it is their responsibility to speak to the magnitude of a crisis in a way that also provides a response to the situation, helping people feel more at ease and less like panicking.
While a crisis itself might not be controllable, how we react to it is. Great leaders do not balk from jumping into the fray, taking control, and figuring out what actions are necessary to resolve the situation.
Adapting to Change
In a crisis more than ever, the situation is bound to change quickly and unexpectedly. Leaders that are able to adapt their response and strategy based on the current situation will be able to provide the best solution.
A leader’s primary role during a crisis is to provide direction and focus in the midst of chaos. Rather than trying to do everything themselves, they are able to take care of the big picture, delegating tasks as necessary.
Can you think of any examples of leaders that have responded perfectly when faced with a crisis?