December 28, 2008

Leaders Must Be Visible During Crisis

Posted by Bizaholic | 10:14 AM | with 0 comments »

In times of crisis, a leader must lead from the front and ensure that he is constantly visible to the whole organization. For employees, crisis often turn out to be a crisis of confidence. In such times, it is the responsibility of the leader to personally get into the picture to restore confidence, calm nerves, and guide the organization to navigate out of the crisis.

Some CEOs try to manage crisis by chalking strategies while sitting in their corner offices and interacting primarily with their top lieutenants. This is wrong approach to crisis management. Crisis demands that a CEO roll up his sleeves and jump into action on the ground. Crisis demands that a CEO interacts not only with his generals but also his troops. Crisis demands that a CEO must make his presence felt to the entire organization and reassure that situation is within his control.

Communication plays a vital role in crisis management and CEOs have a role to play in ensuring that communication lines from top-to-bottom as well as bottom-to-top are open all the times. The leader must engage in communication at personal level with his people, not only to restore confidence and charge people to rise to the occasion but also to get ideas from grassroots to tackle the crisis. With modern communication tools like email, video conferencing, SMS, and corporate blogs, the task is not tough for a CEO to start conversation with all his people and try to make the whole process of crisis management inclusive and lively.

It all boils down to the simple fact that in times of crisis, the leader must become the most visible light to energize and inspire his people so that they confidently follow the leader, collectively contribute with their ideas, and toil hard to emerge out of a crisis stronger than before.