Business leadership: Crisis management

    June 9, 2006

Daily frustration is something all business people must learn to live with as part of the price of entrepreneurship.

Problems arise everywhere in a company’s day to day operations despite the best efforts of everyone to prevent them. From items not delivered on time to banking errors to staff personal emergencies, small fires appear that require a prompt extinguishing.

Some business people have great difficulty working through these minor daily setbacks. Many times, they become frustrated and angry in response to the problems. All too often, the result is lashing out at customers, clients, and staff. Instead of solving the difficulty, anger escalates the situation even more. A small snag can quickly morph into a major catastrophe.

Keeping one’s head in time of crisis is a sign of good company leadership. A person who can control those dangerous emotions of anger, jealousy, and frustration is a powerful asset to any business. Instead of responding with shouts, screams, and throwing objects through windows, the responsible person sets a calming example. Rather than yelling and raving at everyone and everything, a level tone of voice seeking a solution, will work wonders. The staff will understand that the minor difficulty can be overcome with a little thought, creativity, and a bit of work.

Instead of escalation of the problem into a full blown disaster, creative problem solving can provide several positive results.

1. The immediate problem is solved and no immediate damage results.

2. By not letting the situation get out of control, long term consequences are avoided.

3. Solutions can be devised that can prevent the same thing taking place in the future.

4. Everyone in the organization learns to work together, and to become a stronger and more cohesive unit, as they face and overcome potential disaster together.

Next time your business finds itself faced with an unexpected difficult hurdle to jump, don’t lose your head. Instead of yelling at everyone, remain calm and work the problem. By keeping the matter contained, and your emotions in check, you will become an even more respected member of your business team.

It’s better to be seen as a problem solver, in times of crisis, than a ranter and raver. True leadership begins inside with your own self control. Your calm will rub off on everyone else involved in the crisis management team. As a result, the small concern is removed, and the business can return to normal.

Staying calm, and keeping a steady hand on the helm, helps your company to sail smoothly through troubled waters.

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