By Gerry Murray. 16-05-2021
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"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." ~ Henry Kissinger
Listen to the Podcast
In the latest episode of Leading People, I chat with author and crisis expert, Caroline Sapriel.
The Covid pandemic has given us all a first-hand experience of a crisis unfolding before our very eyes. It's no longer something happening "over there", but in our own daily lives. In times of crisis, we turn to our leaders to steer us through.
But, what if they let us down?
In this informative discussion, Caroline explains how leaders can prepare for crisis events and what qualities they need to have to be able to navigate through them when they do occur. She highlights that a crisis is not just a bad week at the office, that the term "crisis management" is something of a misnomer, and that there's a difference between a crisis and a reputation meltdown.
Using references to pears, accordions, sailing boats and more Caroline explains how to approach a crisis situation, how to organise your people to deal with it and what hard and soft skills leaders (and indeed anyone working with them) need.
And, she explains why women may even have an edge over men when it comes to these skills.
When there's a crisis it seems we all need to step up and do our bit.
She ends by explaining how the Covid pandemic could've been handled so much better...
Now, surely we're all interested in learning about that?
No matter what you think of the celebrities commenting on how we handle the current crisis, you should ALWAYS listen to music producers.
They give sound advice.
The new CEO wanted to teach his management team about productivity
After gathering the managers he spoke about the importance of cutting out the fat, streamlining the company, the financial numbers and projections against the crisis and the need for a more energetic administration. After that, they left for lunch.
While passing through the offices, the new CEO found a young man, dressed in jeans and leaning on the wall, tapping on his phone. Deciding to make an example for his managers who were behind him, he approached the teen.
“Hey, young man, what are you doing?”
“I’m texting my girl, man, what’s up?”
“Well, and how much do you earn per hour?”
“5 dollars, man”
“Well, five dollars per hour, 8 hours, 5 days a week... you earn $ 800 per month. Here I have $ 1.500 in cash, take it and never show your face here again”.
The teen took the money and left the office right away. Smiling, the CEO turned to his managers.
“See? That’s what I’m talking about. Cutting out the fat. Removing the unnecessary. Productivity!”
While his managers applauded him, he turned to one of the desk workers.
“Just for curiosity sake, for how long did the boy work here?”
“He didn’t work here, he was the guy from Uber Eats bringing us lunch, sir”
A new CEO takes his seat at the helm of a large corporation. He finds three envelopes on his desk, numbered 1 to 3, and a note.
On this desk, you find 3 envelopes that will help you in times of a crisis. Open them only in the order they are numbered, and only when you face a crisis that you cannot manage.
Best of luck"
He stores them in his safe and goes to work. But the economy isn't picking up, the corporation isn't doing too well and the board wants an explanation. He decides it's time for the first envelope. He rips it open and reads:
"Blame your predecessor"
And he does. He steps up at the press conference and blames everything on the shortcomings and nearsightedness of his predecessor and how he just needs a bit more time to turn things around. Everyone is pleased and he remains CEO.
But after a while, the displeasure isn't waning and the corporation isn't doing any better. Another press conference is held and he rips open the next envelope
"Call for reorganizations"
And he does. He presents a great reorganization project with no stone remaining unturned, this will surely improve productivity and move the corporation into the future. Everyone's so busy reorganizing that nobody can even notice how the corporation is running worse and worse until there's really no way to cover it up anymore. He reaches for the third and last envelope, hoping for the great reveal that will save him once and for all. He rips it open and reads
"Prepare 3 envelopes and a note"