Building a Team Through Crisis

k6056622I just returned from a fabulous tour of Israel.  My wife and I joined 40 others and spent 8 days all over the Holy Land, and it was an incredible time.  When we went to leave the airport in Tel Aviv, there were mechanical problems that led to a 50 hour return trip to the United States, including 2 nights in hotels, countless hours standing in lines and hauling luggage, and some moments of “crisis” for the tour group.  We had excellent leadership for the group (I was just a participant this time which was wonderful), and they were able to guide us through the maze of changes, adjustments, delays, and new itineraries.  We eventually all made it home and are catching up on sleep before diving back into the routine of life.

One of the tour members made a comment to me about how “crisis” tends to bring people together.

I’ve been thinking about that for the past 24 hours since Charlie mentioned that to me.

In our case, when we began to experience crisis and frustration, some amazing things happened: We began to laugh more, we had lot’s of time to have conversations and to continue to build relationships, we realized that the people leading the tour were doing a great job on our behalf, and we all had a common goal:  GET HOME!

This is true for any of us that work on a team or who have gone through crisis as an organization.

*Crisis causes us to figure out what’s important and what’s not.

*Crisis causes us to push ourselves to some limits.

*Crisis causes us to put faith and trust in leadership.

*Crisis causes us to rally around a common goal.

*Crisis causes us to depend on others and provide support to others.

The reality is that crisis builds character.

For some though, crisis is not a “building” experience, it’s a “destructive” experience.  Crisis brings out the worst in people.  We forget our values.  We lose sight of the goal.  We blame the leadership and even those around us. We become selfish, looking out for ourselves first.  

Sometimes crisis is a trigger that causes us to evaluate if we even want to be a part of this team or organization in the first place.

How do you handle crisis when it hits?  Do you panic and make it a negative thing or do you look for opportunities to use it to build your team and your vision?

I’m so thankful that in this recent experience, crisis brought us together.  It was a “rally cry”, and we did meet our goal.  We’re home.

Don’t lose sight of what’s really going on.

Build your team through crisis!

“Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential.”  Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

More on Building a Team

Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 31 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. To learn more about Russ, visit: Write directly to Russ at: twitter: leadwithruss, leadermundial

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