Dr John Kotter said the following, “Always think of crises as potential opportunities, and not only dreadful problems that automatically must be delegated to the damage control specialist. A crisis can be your friend.”
What does this have to do with leadership? Everything!
Anyone can be a great leader when times are good, when everyone is behaving and doing their jobs, where money is been made and business targets are been reached. What happens when things aren’t going well? What is the leadership style like in your business during times of strive and crisis?
This is where the leaders true colours come out.
Think about a recent situation where you have faced adversity in your business, where the paw-paw has hit the fan. How did you manage your behaviour? If you approached the situation like a total hero and swooped in and saved the day, then kudos to you! If you didn’t, then think about implementing the following strategies the next time you are hit with a curve ball.
- Stop. Think, breath, gather information and then react. Instantly responding to a situation can make things worse. Get into the habit of stepping back and gathering information before reacting. Giving yourself a small window of time to process the situation from all angles, allows for a more objective reaction.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl
2. Be a curious leader, not a blame-shifting leading. Curiosity is objective. It shows your team that you are genuinely interested in discovering the reasons for the undesired outcomes. This automatically puts people at ease and they too start thinking objectively. It becomes a fact-finding discovery and solution focused session, not a witch hunt.
“Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos.” – Douglas Coupland
3. Always think about what’s best for the business. The solution is not about what’s best for you, but what’s best for the company as a whole.
“Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation.” – Simon Sinek
4. Don’t delegate from the sidelines, be part of the solution. Involve your team to build a solution and then take action with them.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
5. As a leader you should be thinking about the future and how to make the business vision a reality, but you should also be in the rhythm of constantly reviewing and checking what’s happened in the past and what the reality of your current situation is. This allows you and your team to be agile and ready to implement change at the earliest possible opportunity.
“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency. “- Arnold H. Glasow
As leaders we are always learning, developing and growing in our craft. The only way we can become better is by actively choosing to change how we tackle certain situations. What are your true colours?