Are you a team leader? Are you finding it difficult to lead your people? Do you know how to respond to crisis as a business leader? If your answer to the last question is no, then read on as i share with you some powerful business crisis management tips.
One fact every entrepreneur knows is that sh*t happens in business and it happens unexpectedly. Things can go wrong, and hell can be unleashed all within a few minutes. So how should a good business leader respond to crisis arising within the organization? How do you keep your people focused when problems or challenges arise? You will find your answers below.
“A real leader faces the music even when he doesn’t like the tune.” – Arnold H. Glasgow
Types of Crisis that can erupt within a Business Organization
- Confrontation crisis
- Technological crisis
- Crisis of organizational misdeed
- Crisis of malevolence
- Bankruptcy or cash crisis
- Nature disasters
“Calamity is the test of integrity.” – Samuel Richardson
Crisis Management Strategies: Six Ways a Good Business Leader Should Respond to Crisis
First figure out what is going on
“Face reality as it is; not as it was or as you wish it were.” – Jack Welch
Once there is crisis within your team, as a good business team leader, you should pulse for a moment and first assess the situation. Do not act until you have thoroughly understood the situation on ground. Once you have gotten a grasp of what is happening; you can then brainstorm for a possible solution, delegate responsibilities and then call for a subsequent meeting at a later time. This will help you to maintain order in any chaotic situation.
Act Fast but don’t act rashly
“You have to act and act now.” – Larry Ellison
As a good leader, you should provide direction and respond to matters in a timely fashion. But acting immediately will only make your people nervous. You need to act with carefulness as well as speed. Or as advised by john wooden, a legendary coach: “Be quick but don’t hurry.’’
“Willingness to change is a strength; even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.” – Jack Welch
“If you see a snake, just kill it. Don’t appoint a committee on snakes.” – Henry Ross Perot
Immediately trouble arises, people would want it to be over right now, but not often is this kind of fast resolution possible. It will fall to the leader in charge to deal with the size and scope of the crisis. You do not want to get people alarmed, yet you must be afraid or scared to speak in such circumstance.
“Control your destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch
When things are happening or taking place quickly, no one may have absolute control. But a good leader is considered to assume control. Now you cannot control disaster, whether man-made (artificial) or natural disaster but you should try as much as possible to control the response. A leader is meant to put himself into the action or situation and bring together the best people or resources to deal with such situation.
Keep an open mind
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill
This does not only apply to personal demeanor in leadership, it is applicable in every facet of life. A good leader cannot afford to lose composure in the face of challenges. A good leader must have the ability to adapt very fast with calmness and a sense of direction. A distinctive feature of a crisis is its ability to change very fast; your first response should not be your final response. In such circumstances, you as a leader must not be confined to only one strategy or solution. You must keep an open mind, seek external advice and opinions from frontline experts and continue to absorb new information.
“Before making an important decision, get as much as you can of the best information available and review it carefully, analyze it and draw up worst case scenarios. Add up the plus or minus factors, discuss it with your team and do what your guts tell you to do.” – The Mafia Manager
“To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tsu
It is the duty of you as a leader to provide perspective or a direction to your people in times of crisis. A leader must know when to stand back and assess the situation and his followers from afar. This strategy will enable see the bigger picture that other won’t see. A leader’s ability is tested during conflicts/crisis. But if you can engage the challenge directly, while still maintaining a sense of perspective, you and your organization will triumph in the end.
In conclusion, I believe the above points will go a long way in helping you the leader to lead your people very well. Before I draw the curtain close, I want you to always remember that you are a leader, a marksman; so therefore, you should always take responsibilities of situations and the corresponding results. Never you push your responsibilities to a subordinate because you may unconsciously hand over your mandate to such an individual and your team will begin to see such person as the leader they need.
“There will be times when you will have to be abrasive, even brutal to members of your staff. Don’t worry that your people will say bad things about you because of this. They already have. But in general, try to be pleasant and accommodating. Try to please the greatest number who work for you that you can; antagonize the fewest. Blow smoke.” – The Mafia Manager