Lesson 29º









Throughout prosperous moments, the leader should worry about giving the company the necessary means (human, technological, financial, etc) to be able to successfully face delicate situations that could come up at any moment.

The success of an organization in moments of crisis will mainly depend on a close, competent and prepared team - a team that is able to face the situation.

One of the main obligations of the leader is to be surrounded by a top quality team that knows how to react in difficult moments.

In these delicate moments the leader can not allow the smallest division within the company. In situations of crisis the team has to act together.

On the other hand, the leader needs to permanently look ahead. This vision allows him to quickly detect any sign of difficulties.

The quicker you face a problem, the more chances you have to overcome it successfully.

The leader is the helmsman of the organization and if his role is important in normal times, it will be even more important in moments of crisis.

It is in moments of crisis when the leader needs to give his best.

In moment of crisis the leader can not waste time looking for excuses, justification or guilty parties: the leader has to look for solutions. There will be time later to analyse what happened.

In these uncertain and worrying situations, the employees have to perceive the leader at the front.

The leader should make himself visible, he should show staff that he is at the front and that everything is under control (it is fundamental to show his face and not hide away.

The leader should remain calm and protect an image of serenity which in turn will help the organization remain calm. Acting in this way will prove that the leader can act efficiently.

The leader will begin by evaluating the situation: he has to know precisely what is going on, however hard it might be.

It is essential to have all the information at hand, if necessary ask the different hierarchical levels and contact the base of the organization.

It is important to speak with all levels of the company, gather all the possible information.

In moments of crisis, the leader has to know how to prioritize, know hot to differentiate where to act first, he has to prioritize.

Time is crucial and the leader must tackle the most urgent matters first.

The leader has to be prepared to make decisions quickly.

These decisions should be carried out immediately. The leader should establish a system to follow and a system that evaluates the results.

In these moments he can be playing with the future of the company, which will sometimes make the leader face decisions that can demand great sacrifices from the employees (reducing staff, lowering salaries, selling part of the business, etc).

The leader has to be capable of making these decisions, however painful they may be. In fact, if the leader is at the head of the company he has to defend his interests.

It is better to make a decision which negatively affects half of the staff, than not make a decision which could affect everyone.

Although the leader is not competing in a popularity competition, he should know that if he makes difficult but understandable and reasonable decision, in a just and objective way, without discriminating anyone, in the end he will gain more respect from people.

In these moments you have to be transparent, not only on the inside but also on the outside. Staff need to know what is going on, what the situation is, what the dangers are and the measures that need to be taken.

Hiding information only starts rumours, distrust, exaggerations and fear. It is difficult to ask staff to get involved to ensure the company succeeds when they aren’t aware of the real situation.

If the management hide information and later this information is brought to light, the management team will loose all credibility immediately (which is very difficult to recover).

It is important to inform staff of any small advances that are achieved as this will increase the morale of the organization.

Once the company is over the crisis, the leader should carry out a critical analysis to know exactly what has happened: the origin of the crisis, if it was due to an internal mistake, if it could have been seen or avoided, if the organization was prepared, if they reacted well, what the result have been, etc.

The objective of this analysis is to make conclusions (learn) and bear things in mind for the future.

If a member of the team has not been on top of the circumstances, the leader should demand responsibilities.

It is also a moment to thank staff for their effort, to inform them of their effort, to inform them of the crisis they have overcome and explain that the future of the company is looking positive.