Three “Must Dos” for a Leader during Corporate Crisis
Mr. Ed Cohen is Chief Learning Officer at the company I work for. I met him a couple of times during some of my corporate training sessions. He is a very passionate individual with abundant knowledge and experience helping organisations grow leaders with in. He is the author of a book titled “Leadership Without Borders“. He has posted a question, “What are three “must do’s” for a leader during a corporate crisis?” in Linked In. I happen to read and respond to this question. I also came across some interesting responses from professionals across various organisations with in his network. The people who responded range from Management Trainees to CEOs.
Here’s my response:
1. Communication: This is the most important thing, I think, all the leaders in the organization that is faced with a crisis should do. Over communication will be better than under communication in such a situation. I am sure there would be rumors (specifically in cases like Satyam). The only way to keep these under check is to communicate to your employees, investors and customers. Conduct frequent meetings; send out emails / newsletters on a frequent basis.
2. Transparency: Maintain as much transparency as you can. I am sure there will be decisions that would / should be made at the highest level that you may not want everyone in the organization to know. But, ensure that the things that fall out of this category are communicated. Make sure that there are as little surprises as possible to your employees and investors. If your employees and investors are getting the news first from a third party, before he gets it from you, he/she will lose trust in you and your leadership.
3. Care for your Employees: Your employees are your strength. Be it IT Services sector or any other industry, success almost always boils down to having good people on the team. You know your team has delivered during the good times. Count on them during the crisis as well. Make sure how much you appreciate their work then and their work now. Remember, what goes around comes around. The more you care for your employees, the more they care and strive to get the organization out of the crisis. If the employees are working in a ‘Business As Usual’ mode, your customers will not feel the heat and would stand by you and even help you out.
Your feedback is welcome. I recommend you read through the responses from various individuals for the question. I am sure you might find some of those very useful and interesting too.