I received a postive comment today from a posting I made in August 2007 on this subject so I have decided to re-post something similar.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned through managing in crisis situations.
*Always have a plan B even if you are confident plan A is going to work
*Ask the employees most directly affected what they think
*Employees are usually 'ahead' of the Board
*Don’t listen to gossip – talk to people direct
*Be aware there are political games going on at every level
*Try to ensure there are no ‘camps’ even though there will be
*Be open and up front about bad news
*Tell people quickly and tell everyone affected at the same time
*Walk away for a few hours and leave it – you need refreshing
*Don’t make assumptions and if you do … change them every hour
*Be ready to be surprised with reactions
*Admit you were wrong when you make a mistake – as you inevitably will
*Just when you thought things were getting better they get worse and you have to keep going
*Never give up
*Have an understanding wife/husband/partner/family
*Remember you have a life too.
You will make mistakes along the way and if you think you have finally ‘cracked it’ you will be wrong. If you think you can write a policy to deal with this sort of thing and then simply pull it out of a filing cabinet and implement it in a cold clinical way then forget it – the world just doesn't operate that way. We are talking about people.
Wake up and smell the coffee if you think this practical leadership stuff can be taught in a business school classroom.