Why Leadership Is Important in Crisis Management
January 28, 2020
When a crisis occurs, it’s easy to let panic set in. It can feel like you have lost control, but it also feels like that for everyone else involved and it’s important that someone steps up to manage the situation. There is no rarer time where strong leadership is required more than during a crisis.
In this post, we share the potential crisis your business could face and the importance of leadership in getting through them. We will also look at what “strong leadership” means in these unfortunate circumstances so you know what may be required of you and your colleagues and staff if the worst should happen.
What Is Crisis Management
Crisis management, as the name suggests, is essentially how you handle a crisis; the systems and behaviours required to successfully correct the situation and mitigate as much damage as possible. Everything from an IT system failure to an office fire is classed as a crisis. If it has the potential to severely damage your business, it is a crisis and requires management should it ever occur.
There are many potential crises which could damage a business, there are different systems required to prepare for each of them but all of them require leadership to give the company the best chance of surviving and limiting the damage done.
Why Leadership Is Important
Has your website gone down? An IT error resulted in you in taking payment without any way to track what was purchased? Perhaps something more life-threatening like a fire occurred and sent everyone into a frenzy? If none of these have happened to you, we’re glad, but that doesn’t mean they never will.
These are just a few examples of the many potential crises and when one occurs someone will need to stand up and take charge making sure the issue is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible to minimise damage to the company.
Having A Plan
When everything seems to be going wrong it can feel you’re constantly on the back foot, being reactive rather than proactive. Whilst for many it may seem like a continuous cycle of dealing with each problem as it arises a strong leader can have a plan even amid a crisis. Knowing your end goal and the steps to move towards it is vital to making progress.
Seeing that someone has a plan instils confidence in all involved and helps pull people together as they drive forward towards a solution. This makes it far easier to have your whole team or company work as one cohesive unit and resolve the issue as swiftly and effectively as possible.
But having the tools and systems in place to deal with a crisis doesn’t happen by accident. Even the most natural-born leaders require crisis management training to give them the skills and processes to accompany their leadership qualities.
When something goes wrong no one wants to take ownership. Taking ownership of a crisis can be a lot of responsibility and pressure but it’s fundamental to managing the problem. Furthermore, some people confuse taking ownership of a problem as accepting blame for it – this isn’t the same thing. But just because something isn’t your fault doesn’t mean it isn’t your responsibility.
Without someone to take ownership of a problem, no one is truly committed to fixing it. And a problem does not get fixed when people put protecting themselves from blame before fixing the problem. This makes leadership essential in any kind of crisis. Taking crisis management training is the first step to taking ownership and accepting responsibility for dealing with present or future crisis.
Whether a PR disaster has left your business under heavy scrutiny or a physical crisis such as a natural disaster affects your company, leaders are required to manage the crisis. These issues will not resolve themselves but to fix them you require leadership qualities like those discussed above and the correct crisis management training.
Explore our website for more information on managing a crisis to protect your business and employees and crisis management training for equipping your workforce with the necessary skills.
Call us on 0208 988 1662 or email us here.