Leading through crisis
Regardless of who you are there will be crisis in your life. If you are a leader of any kind you have a big responsibility to lead others in accomplishing a purpose. In a crisis, leaders need to make some commitments, first to themselves and then to their position as a leader. There are five commitments that will enable you to effectively lead your team or group through the crisis.
Take the high road. When a crisis arises it will affect everyone but not all will agree on the way that it affects them and cause arguments. As a leader, even though you too are affected, you must protect the well-being and the rights of all who are involved. Stand firm on grounded principles and do not allow one to overcome the other, remembering that each side has a right. Staying neutral will help protect each member from feeling discounted or threatened.
Find a higher purpose. Crisis can be severe and can quickly get out of hand. First find the higher purpose for the crisis, a positive way to turn around the negative. Deciding to serve everyone and showing them that there is good that can arise from the seemly incurable crisis can actually inspire others to follow creating unity instead of division.
Protect and include others. Crisis can cause vulnerability and insecurity that will lead to division and discord. Include everyone in unifying to find and execute the solutions
Honor the individuals. Even when opinions seem to be without warrant, treat the individual like a friend who deserves to be understood. Honoring their opinion will allow an openness for conversation which will open doors to finding the solution
Build bridges. Learning these skills will take some practice but when you can stay calm, not over react and focus on the things that each side has in common instead of focusing on the reason for the crisis, they will begin to work together to find the solution instead of emphasizing the reason for disagreement.
If you will commit yourself to these five strengths you will find that no crisis will get out of hand but you will stay in control and be able to lead them through it instead of into it.
I recently heard a story about a General who entered a meeting with a panel of members who had been studying and discussing a tactic to resolve a particular problem. This meeting was expected to last for days because of all the data that had been compiled and because there were two very distinct oppositions on what should be done to resolve the problem. Everyone entered the meeting and both sides presented their summary of the study they had done and at the end of about an hour the General stood up and commanded that they proceed with plan A and dismissed the meeting. Later his aid asked for permission to speak freely and the General granted his request. The aid asked him how he determined the resolution to the problem without ever hearing all of the data from both sides. The General’s response was, “When in command, take charge and when you don’t know what to do, do what is right.”
“Decisions not conditions shape your outcome.” Tony Robbins