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Have YOU Prepared Everyone For A Crisis?…Especially Yourself!

Friday, July 9, 2010
posted by Lee Cockerell 7:50 PM

Crisis comes when you least expect it in your business and personal life.

*The authors stress the need for developing leadership guidelines in order to leverage learning and to assist leaders with the complicated people and relationship dimensions of the business. You can use these 12 guidelines as a basis for coaching conversations:

  1. Understand that we will never get back to normal: While it is comfortable to want to seek the status quo, “normal” in times of a crisis is constantly changing. Leaders need to move on to seek better ways of doing things, letting these new ways become the new normal.
  2. Take care of one another: Listening reduces anxiety. Provide regular updates on what is happening across the organization and expand inclusivity.
  3. React…pause…respond: The right response will be made once information gathering, integrity, an open heart, and seeking to understand have been considered.
  4. Talk—even when you don’t believe there is much to say: Overcommunication is essential during turbulent times. Consistent and continuous messaging prevents rumors from spreading and demonstrates the leaders’ approachability and transparency.
  5. Be visible—now is not the time to play hide-and-seek: People become fearful when the leader goes into hiding. As a leader, be present, inform comfort, and provide strength for others.
  6. Maintain integrity and high value morals: Current circumstances should not influence or distort your definition of integrity and other core values.
  7. Optimize costs, with retention in mind: Make cost optimization decisions keeping employee retention in mind. This allows leaders to assess risk and make more informed decisions.
  8. Be a brand ambassador: The organization needs people who are brand ambassadors. As brand ambassadors, you are responsible for representing the organization both internally and externally in a positive manner. This means you must refrain from making statements that might cause further turbulence.
  9. Assess and rebuild trust: Rebuilding an injured organization requires making difficult decisions that not everyone will understand. For this reason, you and other leaders must continuously asses and rebuild trust.
  10. Remember, leaders are human, too: Though there will be difficult times during a crisis, as leader, it is important to remain composed.
  11. Think like a child: Try to live “in the moment,” not allowing business to consume every moment. Work/life balance can exist, even in a crisis.
  12. Take care of your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being: Don’t put any aspect of your well-being on hold. While change and uncertainty at work are draining, you cannot allow them to take over your life.

The authors say that 87% of businesses fail to recover from devastation such as this because they have “not correctly aligned their priorities for recovery, and more importantly re-growth. Too often the immediate focus is put on salvaging customer relationships and brand identity. The relationship with employees does not receive the same priority. Leaders do not communicate as much as needed leaving them wondering what the future holds for them and their colleagues. This dichotomy results in major turnover, far more than companies in crisis can withstand, and ultimately contribute to their failure.”

*Exerpt from: Leadernow.com



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