The real test of business leadership happens in times of a crisis, not when everything is running smoothly. What sets apart good leaders from poor ones is how they behave and the actions they take during a crisis. That said, there is no magic bullet to dealing with a crisis. The reason is that although you may have specific crisis management procedures, each crisis is different and comes with its unique problems and will need a different strategy from the one employed before.
Due to the unpredictable nature of crises, leaders have no adequate time to plan. What’s more, it is difficult to predict when the crisis will end. It could end after a few days or even a few years. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing business leadership can do in times of a crisis. There are certain steps, behaviors, and mindsets that can help leaders work through a crisis and ensure the survival of the entire organization.
Continuous and daily communication is an effective way to manage anxieties and cool off fears that may be ripping people apart. The goal should be to help the vulnerable to regain their composure and motivate those who are actively involved in helping the situation. The leader’s main goal should be to provide leadership, assemble the required resources, and coordinate with the teams.
The best way to improve the readiness level is to train teams on crisis management when everything is sailing smoothly. Being adequately prepared for a crisis doesn’t mean you want it to occur. Instead, you’re just maintaining a steady state of preparedness and hoping that no crisis will occur. But if it occurs, you’ll be well prepared. Crisis management is among your key responsibilities as a leader, which means during a crisis everyone will be looking up to you.
During a crisis, there are situations where leaders must make swift decisions or tough decisions. Leaders must train themselves on how to make split-second decisions. They should also be ready to make tough decisions, the ones they are certain won’t score them any points. Leaders who act fast, who are decisive, and who are ready to tailor their decisions to meet the needs of a situation will have a higher chance of successfully sailing through a crisis compared to leaders who dilly dally and take no action.
Being cautious is extremely important during a crisis. Don’t use the crisis as an excuse for being careless. Instead, be not only fast but also vigilant. Quickly examine all the facts before you make a well thought out decision on what would be the ideal step to take. Although this might look like an impractical task, it’s a habit that can be learned over time. The sharpness of the mind is a must-have skill for modern leaders because it’s extremely useful in times of a crisis.
The best leaders work in close cooperation with diverse professionals, advisors, and trainers. This is because leaders aren’t expected to be all-knowing. They are expected to consult and source help from the right people. So, during a crisis, you must consult with professionals and advisors. They will help you in analyzing the technical facets of the crisis and making accurate interpretations. They will also coach you on the best way to deliver communications to your people, advising them on the best ways to cope with the situation at hand. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to handle every question that comes from your employees and other stakeholders. Instead, let moderators redirect those questions you are not competent at to other professionals and technical members of the crisis management team.
If the crisis you’re facing revolves around staffing and payroll challenges for your international team, then New Horizons Global Partners would be in a position to offer long-lasting solutions. This global PEO offers unparalleled legal, tax, staffing, and immigration solutions that allow companies to enter international markets and build successful and compliant businesses. They also perform all local administration and HR tasks on behalf of the client, which makes running a foreign company in China a cinch.
Leaders must continuously nurture their capacity to stay calm during a crisis. They must also come up with ways to calm down the vulnerable and instill confidence in people who are directly involved in combating the crisis. On top of demonstrating empathy to others, they must also accept empathy from others. They should be alert to their well-being to help them maintain their effectiveness throughout the entire period of the crisis.
About the author. Sam McRyan is a business analyst providing top-notch analytical and resource management advice to small and midsize companies. With a sharp acumen and a logical mind that easily grasps new business concepts, Sam is known for his ability to complete deliverables ahead of schedule and thoroughly. He got his start in business analysis at a young age, helping with his uncle’s small community store.