Showing Leadership When It Counts Most
How we show leadership during a crisis drives how our team responds. As I write this, Hurricane Irma is heading towards the Caribbean with a strong likelihood of then turning to Florida. If it follows predictions (which can change at any moment right now) it will travel up through the “spine” of the state, which includes hitting us here in the Orlando area.
I was born and raised in Florida and have lived through MANY a hurricane. I know what to do, when to do it, and whether or not to worry (never).
Panic is Born without Leadership
What I saw Monday concerned me. I was at the grocery store. I went early because I figured no one would be there being Labor Day and all.
It was packed! People were scrambling to buy durable foods and bottled water. I saw one person actually pick up 10 flats of bottled water! That’s 240 bottles! And this was before we even had a serious threat from the storm. I mean, c’mon, this is NOT the apocalypse!
Who is Leading?
I can’t blame them too much. Many people have moved her from other states and have not experienced a lot of hurricanes. They just saw the effects of Hurricane Harvey. In addition, they have people of Facebook, television, and elsewhere churning the waters with descriptions of devastation that Irma will cause.
It IS a time to take precautions. It is a good time to get ready to secure your property as best as you can, make sure you have food, water, batteries, and board games.
Time to Shine
It is also a prime time for leadership to shine.
Panic should not be the order of the day. When leaders are calm, it has a cascading effect on those around them. It is critical, then, that leaders stay even keeled and constant both before, in the midst of, and after the storm.
- Leaders show concern without the hype. Know what to do, direct others to get things done. Convey a sense of urgency without being frantic.
- Leaders take care of others as well as themselves. Make sure your team has opportunity (and means) to secure their property and family.
- Good leaders reassure. Let everyone know that every step of the way you have their back.
- Effective leaders make sure that things are in place to pick up the pieces after the storm.
- Great leaders spread composure and peace in what they do and what they say in these moments.