CRISiS AT HAND – Lessons from handling one
Most of any one who takes responsibility for something will at some time feel or find themselves in a crisis of some kind. it comes with the responsibility of decisions, and the changes that are required. First we really need to recognise the circumstances and moment we find ourselves in, a great old metaphor is, and some times this happens for us all, it is the putting a frog in hot water, the frog won’t notice the water is heating up until is too late. Todays changes and shifts are happening so quickly the heating up is intense. The questions is what can the frog do?
We may have patterns of old, or handed down pathways, or ‘confidence’ keys, those keys used reliably in the past, at hand however we discover they don’t work or they just don’t fit, as every situation is unique. Most shifts and changes are unpredictable, catching every one one us off guard.
We step back and take an over all view of all that is going on, if our emotion lets us, we ask what is actually going on and what does this mean to our lives, family and community? what will be the long term impact? how threatening is this? Life was so simple before this!
How ever the answers don’t have to be complicated. Try these
Contain the moment and don’t get into panic mode: to make decisions it does not help when we are under stress, be carful you don’t get into survival mode, beginning to get defensive is an indicator. Deflecting responsibility tells you you are in crisis.
In leadership as a comment Rudy Giuliani (Mayor at the time of the twin towers) said “it is in times of crisis that good leaders emerge”, the true leader, here is willing to take responsibility, people who take pressure. those who can rally people.
Avoid rushing into plan quickly: when a change happens unfortunately it does not have a start point or an end point, so creating a plan on many moving parts will not help. once you allow time you can see mentally what is going on and the a course of action can be plotted.
Inspire and gather: Know who is in this with you and for you. There is time to find out and ask for more from them. People by being reasonably distant can see the forest for the trees. People around you, trusted people can see the risks better than you, they can pinpoint events that you will miss.
Create a Story: When influencing a community create a change story that is credible, relevant and emotional. try telling the story in a paragraph or less with a tone that is meaningful, in order for people to grasp.
Find a simple message that people can attach themselves to . A community that has a crisis will be willing to try radical moves that normally would not be considered and the bold steps change trajectory normally.
In Community Build a new team and take on new energy: you need two types of people on the new team, one that can see beyond the moment and crisis, who understand people and can think ahead of every curve. They will create value by aligning with the future if allowed to? The other is some one with knowledge of all the ins and outs of the surrounding environment, of the people around. These are the people that can put into gear the turn around but they don’t lead it.
An American General of recent years said “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through the arguments, debate and doubt to offer a solution every one can understand”.
Whether you are leading your self or a community, when crisis comes simplify or seek people around you who can if you can’t.