DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
LEADING DURING TIMES OF CRISIS
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2007
Just when life is sailing along and things couldn’t be better, a devastating crisis can befall your company – taking the wind out of your sail and leaving you and your staff filled with high anxiety and stress. Tragic natural disasters or devastating blows to the reputation of your organization can occur and will require all of your energy and focus. You have a crisis management plan in place and are prepared to help your company and staff through the trials and tribulations, but what about you? How do you continue to hold your head high and lead with confidence and authority?
View the Crisis a Day at a Time
Though it’s all very overwhelming, take the crisis day by day. Naturally, leaders are accustomed to thinking ahead and being prepared for the future. And you still will do that, but try to deal with each day’s headaches as they come to you and pat yourself on the back for having survived another one as each day is done. Unfortunately, more troubles wait for you tomorrow. This is to be expected in the face of a crisis. But take it in little chunks and you’ll be surprised at how well you’re able to cope.
Keep Your Focus
This is not a time to get sidetracked by less pressing crises and problems. Let your staff handle those. Keep your focus on the big stuff that only you can manage and that requires your personal time and attention. Yes, you may feel that the other things are important too, but there’s only so much of you to go around and you have to preserve your talents and abilities for the critical issues. You’ve surrounded yourself with the best people, so now rely upon them to act in your stead and to competently and responsibly manage all the tasks you must delegate. Even though not technically “in their job description”, trust your delegates to come through for you and the company. Trust them to keep the organization running while you deal with the thorny challenges that come with all crises and traumas.
Even though you may not feel it, force yourself to think positively and to expect positive outcomes. Negative thoughts, self-doubts, and self-flagellations will guarantee self-sabotaging behaviors and this is no time for that. Yes, it will feel superficial – as if you’re filling your head with self-talk that you really don’t believe, but that’s where you must start. This doesn’t mean you’re in denial and don’t realize what a mess you’ve got on your hands – it’s just that you have confidence in yourself and expect that you and your staff will take care of whatever crops up next.
It can be tough to lead during times of crisis and that’s why you need all of your strength to do so. Treat yourself well. Take care of yourself so that you have the physical and emotional stamina to see your organization through the rough times ahead. Expand your Success Entourage to include experts in crisis management to help you run the gauntlet so that you’re not going it alone in a situation that you don’t normally deal with everyday. Having this additional expertise onboard, even if confidentially and/or at your own expense, will increase the likelihood that you’ll get through this very awful time with the solid track record of success that you’re accustomed to.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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