Leadership in Crisis Situations

The leader is especially needed by the organisation in times of crisis, when the laid down, time tested drills fail to deliver or become irrelevant. The organisation is groping in the dark for alternative solutions and strategies. All eyes are on the leader. What is it that an organisation wants from its leader in such times of crisis?

Responsibility: the leader has to step-in and own up to complete responsibility . Responsibility for the current problem as well as the potential problems posed by the uncertain future. In times of crisis, decision making becomes a problem.Somebody has to take the call, to decide upon a strategy and own up to the possibility of failure. The leader has to inspire the feel good sentiment, ‘ab yeh aa gaya hai, sabh sambhaal lega’. You have to just do what he says!

Confidence: crisis situations require optimism. Stop the panic. Just about everything, the worst of disasters have a precedent. It has happened before to somebody, and it shall surely happen again. Most often the aftermath is anyway not as bad as one initially fears.

No fault finding, save it for another day if at all. The subordinate who has caused the crisis is often only too painfully aware of his culpability, and shall never forget the boss who gets him out of it
without rubbing it in. A positive solution oriented approach lifts up the morale immediately.

Ask for solutions. You ll be surprised as to how often the crisis ridden subordinates already have the solution but are too afraid to propose the same for fear of failure. They just need someone to cover their risk for them.

Be true to your word, if your attempt at crisis resolution flops don’t back track. Own up to the failure as you had promised. You may have failed today but you will live to fight another day.

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