On one recent trip to the head (bathroom) I saw a Yahoo Finance article on the floor entitled, How To Lead In A Crisis. My first thought upon reading the title of the article was that it is usually a crisis where you find out who your leaders are. I think in calm situations, people can fake leadership. They can read the right things and pretend but when crisis comes they are often confused on what to do. It is the true leaders that shine under pressure. Can a person develop leadership skills? It is my opinion that leadership can’t be learned. It can be improved upon, enhanced, and sharpened, but leadership comes to certain people naturally. True leaders don’t crack under pressure and can think clearly in a crisis. Leaders are the people who can put emotions aside and make the necessary decisions required of a leader.
I remember a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps that crumbled under the pressure of having to actually lead in a crisis situation. Here was a Naval Academy graduate that had gone through all of the motions, said all the right things, passed all of the right tests to convince the Marine Corp to make him a leader, but when the pressure came and he was called to lead – he crumbled under the pressure.
Are you a leader? The article is geared toward a business crisis but you can use the bullet points in any situation:
- Project a Sense of Calm
- Take Early and Decisive Action
- Ensure That the Information You Receive is Accurate
- Manage Yourself First
For everyone else – would you follow someone who was reading an article on how to lead in a crisis while sitting on the toilet?
Love to hear your comments.