Things aren’t always going to be good as a leader.  As a leader we must learn to lead in the good times and in the bad.  Leading through a crisis is just a fact that will come along with being a technical leader.  I recently was able to both witness a good leader lead through a crisis and be the leader in a different crisis.  I want to share a few things that I took away from it.

  • Stay Calm. The best way to lead in a crisis is to stay calm. I try to tell my team that no one’s going to die here (we’re in IT not the military).
  • Understand that you’ll get through this and probably have a good story or lesson from it.
  • Don’t worry so much about the cause and never point fingers. Focus on the solution and moving forward.
  • Sweat the small stuff. During a crisis, celebrate the small wins in order to motivate and keep things moving forward.
  • Be overly transparent. Hide nothing about what’s going on.  Let your team know that you’re a human with feelings and emotions too and you’ve chosen to control them and not let them get the best of you.
  • Over communicate. This is a time when its okay to over communicate.  We talk about letting people be creative, but let’s make sure they are fully aware of all the details in in crisis mode.
  • Don’t be afraid to be a dictator. During a crisis is the only time I can currently think of where its okay to be a dictator.  When a decision has to be made and it must be made now, don’t worry about autonomy for motivation’s sake, focus on the task and issues at hand, and be a dictator if needed.
  • Be prepared to pivot. During a crisis, things don’t always go as planned and they usually won’t follow an easy path. Be prepared and expecting to pivot and deviate from you game plan.  Prepare your team for it as well.  Some personality types don’t handle rapid change and deviations too well, prepare them that its going to happen and to plan for the pivots.
  • Document, document, document. Keep track of what’s going on and when.  When you get out of the crisis, and realize you will, nothing is worse than to have no idea what you did to resolve it.
  • Never waste a good crisis. They don’t come around too often, so when they do come around, find what you can learn from it and make sure you and your team learn your lesson. Learning is the most important thing that can come from a crisis.  Celebrate your overcoming of it and communicate what you learned.

 

Now its your turn. What are other ways you can learn from a crisis or get through a crisis?  Tell a story where you wet through a similar situation.

 

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November 4, 2015

AGL 013: Leading through a crisis – 10 takeaways

Things aren’t always going to be good as a leader.  As a leader we must learn to lead in the good times and in the bad.  Leading through a crisis is just a fact that will come along with being a technical leader.  I recently was able to both witness a good leader lead through a crisis and be the leader in a different crisis.  I want to share a few things that I took away from it. Stay Calm. The best way to lead in a crisis is to stay calm. I try to tell my team that no […]
October 30, 2015

AGL 012: Being Successful in College, 14 tips for Students

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October 28, 2015

AGL 011: The Art of Negotiation, get a better deal, better salary and more.

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October 22, 2015

AGL 010: Book Review: Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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October 19, 2015

AGL 009: Creative Rhythm – Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli, Hours

In Todd Henry’s book “The Accidental Creative” he talks about five elements of Creative Rhythm.  As an IT Leader you’re called to make creative decisions and come up with brilliant solutions at a moment’s notice.  In a future episode I’ll do a full book review of “The Accidental Creative,” but I feel the 5 elements of creative rhythm is worthy of a show by it self. Creative Rhythms are important because as leaders we must understand that we can’t go all-in 100% of the time and expect to maintain our productivity, mind, and joy for our work. Consistency is important, […]
October 15, 2015

AGL 008: The Leadership Process, Leadership Training

If you do want to be a leader, you have to train. You have to work hard at it. It’s not just something that you can just try to do without work. Have you ever run a marathon? It’s not something that you can just go out and try. You have to put in a lot of time and effort to train for marathons. Becoming a leader is the same thing. You have to train hard. There is a difference between reading leadership books and training. Reading books is education, not training. Let me ask you this: Do you want […]