Leadership Mistakes You Must Avoid in Crisis
This week, I
spent 30 minutes taking one of the Free Leadership Lessons being
presented by Harvard Business School Online during our pandemic times. The focus? Sir Ernest Shackleton,
whose trans-Antarctic expedition (1914-1917) in the ship called “Endurance” met
with disaster. Ice floes trapped, closed in on, and eventually sunk the ship.
This left Shackleton to keep morale in tact as he drove critical decisions on
behalf of his crew. Together, they embarked on perilous adventures, Shackleton heroically
leading his people to safety.
such great leaders, particularly those navigating rough waters, are powerful
for us today. In fact, the lessons could even make the difference between
whether your business survives or dies. For 60+ years, MAP Consulting has successfully
coached leaders through crisis. Here are some top crisis-leadership
mistakes…and how to avoid them.
1. Don’t rush
into action without direction.
You may not feel like you have the luxury of time, but spend a few minutes or a
half hour daily to review dashboard data, visit your stability and recovery
plans, and determine what’s vital and how to best execute against those vital
activities. This “mental medicine” will give you greater focus and strength,
leading to more results and success throughout the day.
2. Don’t give
requires grit and courage. It also means modeling other behaviors you want to
see in your people. Learn to set the tone. Do your best to stay calm, showing
empathy, and project positivity whenever you can. Establish and maintain
direction for those who feel adrift and powerless.
3. Don’t ignore
People on your team may doubt you, your intentions and/or abilities. As the
saying goes, “Keep your enemies close,” and don’t allow them to undermine your
leadership competency. Through your own leadership example, teach them the
mindset and activities that will deliver the desired results. If challenges
persist, you may need to terminate them.
You’ve gathered facts, have your stability and recovery plans in-hand, and so it’s time to execute and act
decisively. True, you may need to adjust plans over time but once you act,
don’t look back or dwell on setbacks and regrets. Keep moving forward and
you’ll move your people forward with you.
discount the power of trust.
More so than ever, your people need to know they can trust you. You’re not
perfect, we get it, but through disciplined leadership, the trust of your
people will deepen. To build trust, continue to delegate and hold your people
accountable, particularly during these hard times. Also, keep two-way
communication alive, making sure you’re responding in timely, transparent ways.