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Considerations for Acting on These Eight Roles

Considerations for Acting on These Eight Roles
In the previous reading you learned about eight leadership roles that a leader may be required to assume during a crisis situation. I believe the author’s findings to be quite useful aspirational benchmarks. The author’s work trying to create the ultimate list of leadership characteristics, just a solid list from the executives they studied. Before you began to read, you were asked to consider two questions. What level of capability do you currently have in each of these areas? And, what level of capability currently exists in the members of your leadership team? These are difficult questions to answer. But I’m going to ask you to try in the activity that follows this video.
Here, however, to help provide a little color on the eight leadership roles. I’d like to share a few thoughts that you might find useful. Maybe not, but let’s see what I can do for you. The first is encourage a proactive crisis culture. Two things come to mind, when I think about a proactive crisis culture. First, I’m reminded of the challenge associated with an organization’s ability to continuously scan the environment for early warning signs of trouble. When leaders throughout the organization have a proactive crisis culture. They’re more likely to spot opportunities for improvement well before they get out of hand.
My second thought is that senior most enterprise leaders must be prepared to fill all of the critical crisis leadership roles during a major disruption. Now, they may not actually play all of those roles. But they should be prepared and willing to do so. The second is establish and enforce standards and processes. I couldn’t agree more, particularly in safety and security critical industries, strict standards, and processes are vitally important. I would also say that crisis management is a safety and security focused pursuit. Although we established some of the challenges associated with gaining sponsorship for the development of standards and processes for crisis management.
The very best organizations are able to find the resources and support necessary to prepare their organizations for the inevitable crisis that they will undoubtedly have to face. Third is prioritize and set an example. As someone who spent much of my professional career trying to create developmental opportunities for working professionals. I have a great deal of experience trying to build programs and environments. Where the senior leader or leadership team was not visibly supportive of the effort. I can say from my years of experience, if the senior leaders aren’t behind an initiative, it’s almost impossible to be successful. The same applies to crisis preparedness, the C-suite must get behind this effort.
If they aren’t, you need to find a way to get them there. If they are, you need to help them ensure adequate participation in crisis training from leaders across the enterprise. Fourth is properly assess the full range of risks. The work you’ve been doing in this course has been focused on helping leaders understand the many sources of organizational risk. One of our most valuable lessons has been that external risks can be most effectively detected and managed through exceptional stakeholder relationships. And crisis that develop internally are best detected by whom, of course our internal stakeholders. Given the right culture and clear expectations, your employees will absolutely without hesitation help you determine sources of potential crisis. I am certain of it.
The fifth role is promote open and upward communication. This is very similar to the last item. But with an internal focus. Your internal stakeholders, your employees have remarkably sensitive threat radars. Make it clear to them that they must serve as your frontline crisis detection unit. And that you’ll do whatever it takes to create mechanisms for the safe. And effective communication of warning signals to the senior leaders who can act on them. The sixth is build relationships before the crisis. I have a one word response to this one. Can you guess what it is? Stake holders. The seventh is be ready to deal with the news media. We’ve discussed in great detail the interest of the media group.
My advice to crisis leaders, be prepared to respond to those interests. The eighth and final role is encourage a learning environment and share experience. The third stage of the resilience process, as we’ve discussed in this program, is that of adaptation. The ability to adapt to and learn from critical situations. Our definition of this resilience stage includes having mechanisms to reflect. And learn from the opportunities presented by crisis and new misses. But also to incorporate these lessons into organizational processes and procedures through formal change initiatives. In all of these endeavors, shared experiences, and insights are incredibly valuable.
I hope that you found the review of these eight leadership roles that a leader may be required to assume during a crisis, both informative and useful. Now as you move to the next couple of activities, you’ll be asked to perform an informal assessment of your capability in these areas. And the capability of your leadership team. This won’t be a precise evaluation. But the process of completing it just might help you identify some key areas of opportunity for future development.
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High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis

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