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A Test of Leadership: Crisis Management

CHARM CITY CRISIS

There’s no doubt that this week has brought out a lot of emotions in many people who live, work, and play in our beautiful Charm City. The series of violent events that occurred over the past week in Baltimore, MD are disappointing, scary and have wreaked havoc on the city and its people; sending many into crisis mode.

As I watched things unfold throughout the day on Monday via Social Media and on TV, I found it very interesting to see how different people manage a crisis situation. 

As an Event Planner, I’m not stranger to crisis management. That is what we do. We deal with issues as they come and are constantly putting out fires to ensure the event is a success and our clients are happy. As a small business owner, mastering this craft has been incredibly helpful. Things go wrong in business everyday. Crisis situations in business and in life are inevitable and unavoidable. 

BE AMONG THE GREAT

However it’s in these moments of crisis that define ourselves as people and most of all, as leaders.  I’ve seen many “leaders” be put in moments of crisis and forced to step up to the challenge of handling and managing the situation in front of them.

Through these situations, I’ve come to the realization that leaders are ultimately defined in their actions, not their titles. Crisis situations are those moments that separate bad, good and great leaders. Here are some ways to make sure you fall amongst the great.

STAY CALM AND DON’T LET THEM SEE YOU SWEAT

When you are in a leadership role, all eyes are on you. Every move you make will be critiqued. So don’t give them a reason to give you a bad critique. Always stay calm in crisis situations. The crisis is problem at hand; the last thing anyone needs is for the leader/manager to freak out.

DON’T MAKE EXCUSES

When a crisis occurs in your business, you need to deal with it head on. Don’t sit there and make excuses and try to convince yourself and everyone around you that “it’s not that bad.” The longer you avoid the situation, the worse it’s going to be.

PROACTIVELY PLAN FOR THE WORST

You should always have an idea of potential threats that your business could face. It’s important to be aware of these threats so you can create action plans ahead of time if a crisis does occur. Being ahead of the game is a good thing.

TAKE ACTION…NOW

As a business owner and leader, there is really no place to hide in a crisis situation. You’re going to be faced with difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, but that’s ok. You’re solving a problem; it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s your job to make sure things get handled quickly and efficiently. Instead of running away from the problem, attack it!