Scroll to top
© Optimize Consulting Inc. | All Rights Reserved

Calm in a Crisis

Optimize Blog - June 25, 2013 - 0 comments

Having offices in Western Canada and specifically one in Calgary, we witnessed firsthand the devastating flooding in Alberta. To see it on the news is one thing but to be there and experience it in person provides a whole different appreciation for the event.
As things get underway to start re-building and to return to some level of normality we thought we would share our thoughts on what we witnessed from Municipal, Provincial and Federal leadership. Overall it is fair to say that most did a really good job with some like Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi emerging from the crisis with increased respect. The mayor’s leadership was a lesson for us all as we confront our own crisis in our professional lives.
Whilst the majority of us do not have to deal with the type of crisis witnessed in Alberta and the evacuation of over 100,000 people from their homes, we nevertheless regularly find ourselves thrust into situations of crisis. Perhaps it is a key individual leaving us or a major client taking their business elsewhere. Perhaps it is a failure to hit a stretching goal or a project going off the rails. So what can we learn from Calgary’s mayor?
Firstly he was visible, leading from the front and communicating effectively. Second he was very clear on his priorities – he did not vacillate between news conferences. Third, he was calm and confident. Despite the enormity of the situation at no point did he come across as uncertain or panicked. Fourth he enabled others to act bringing together different jurisdictions, volunteers and partners to deliver results. Fifth he inspired a shared vision of what was required.
Finally he consistently displayed compassion and empathy for those affected by the disaster. He consistently praised the actions of others and related well to all interested parties and he was eloquent in his expectations and assured with his requirements.
One final piece of praise for the mayor was his tirelessness, remaining accessible day or night, truly committed to leading from the front.
Like Mayor Nenshi your leadership legacy may ultimately be judged by how well you have prepared for and navigated your team through a crisis. Regardless of the initiatives you have introduced to increase earnings, bolster market share, raise stock prices, re-energize your brand, or innovate new products, most often you will be remembered far more for your ability to navigate through a substantial crisis than for dominating a particular market.
When leaders are properly trained and equipped they are prepared to face any crisis with high confidence, competence, and commitment. It therefore essential that any leader take his or her crisis leadership skills to a higher level now before the next major crisis hits.
Tomorrow you may wake up and be forced to face your next crisis. Are you ready?

Related posts

Post a Comment