Crisis Management Mindset

mindset in leadership

The Dow plunges 2,000 points. Coronavirus is coming to your hometown. What do you do?

Do you rush into action or stand still and assess the evidence? Do you ruminate in your mind about what has happened? Do you stressfully talk about what could happen? Or do you steadily move forward with workable actions to stem the fallout while alert for any opportunities for growth?

Crisis management is the process of managing any disruptive situations that affect your business, employees and customers. Your mindset is the quality of your beliefs and attitudes, along with their emotional ties. In a crisis, what you do, how you think and what you feel are a result of your mindset. The best leaders understand this and so can we.

During a crisis, we look to our leaders for direction. Exceptional leaders briefly pause to reflect and consider all the evidence known to date. They act with a blend of facts and concern for the mental and emotional impact on others. They understand that what they do is just as important as how they do it.

Exemplary leaders choose to move forward holistically, with short term actions that consider long term goals. They rely on their wisdom gleaned from the past and are agile enough to risk new ideas for different outcomes. They simplify their thinking, get back to basics and focus on the critical priorities. They accept the nature of chaos and are patient enough to work through it.

What about our self-leadership? How can we ensure that we are leading ourselves and those within our circle of influence in the same outstanding manner? How can we be accountable for our attitudes and resulting behaviors, moment by moment?

Each one of us can strengthen our self-leadership to weather any professional and personal storms more successfully. We can cultivate a Crisis Management Mindset (CMM). How we act and react individually as well as collectively makes a big difference in our workplaces, our homes and communities.

When you develop a CMM, you become more courageous as life becomes more manageable. You strengthen your reputation and influence the wellbeing and stability of those around you. As a role model, you help others be their most positive, proactive and productive best before, during and after a crisis.

You create a CMM long before a crisis occurs. You learn to handle challenges in an intentional way that keeps you stable and grounded. A CMM is not an alarmist mindset that looks for threats around every corner. It’s a proactive process that tethers you to your personal best regardless of the gloom and doom that surrounds you.

How to Create a CMM:

  1. Pre-crisis, know your core values. Practice them daily in all you do so that during a crisis, you will naturally default to them. Core values are qualities of being or character traits that drive your decisions and actions. When you firmly establish them long before a crisis occurs, they are less biased or reactionary.
  2. During a crisis, check your thoughts, choices and behaviors. Are they based on your core values? If not, reconsider them through the lens of what you know to be necessary for a positive forward movement.
  3. Post-crises, reflect on the quality and effectiveness of your actions. Success in crisis management is a result of hard evidence plus the amount of emotional and mental toll on yourself and others. Redefine the meaning, scope and impact of your core values based on what you have learned.

Self-leadership is the active management of your life. When a crisis looms, our self-leadership comes under scrutiny just as we scrutinize our leaders. Ensuring we are ready to weather any number of possible emergencies allows us to manage the adverse effects of stress and maintain a positive and professional reputation.

It’s not too late to strengthen your CMM. You can begin by assessing your core values. Here’s an exercise to help you do this. Begin cultivating a CMM today and you prepare yourself to work and live more confidently tomorrow… no matter what the stock market or the coronavirus does.

Jo-Aynne von Born, CPC

Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Workshops, Keynote Speaker


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