Handling Crisis

k7741545I wrote recently about the fact that “Crisis Builds a Team“.  This got me thinking as to how can we prepare ourselves to handle stress better.

Success Magazine published an article on “5 Smart Ways to Handle Crisis” and they suggested a “personal protection” approach that included these 5 responses:

1)  Don’t become a part of the problem.  Focus on answers and solutions.

2) Remain committed to creating a new life for yourself.  Commit to stay the course and do what it takes.

3) Allow the experience to open you up to what you need to learn.  Every situation is an education.

4)  Engage in acts of selflessness.  Be a giver.  When crisis comes, others will serve you back.

5)  Aim at responsibility, honesty and integrity at all times.  Live above the line of character.

This is really good advice when you look at how crisis affects you.

Here are some practical steps that you need to walk through when crisis comes.  By the way, when you’re the leader, CRISIS ALWAYS COMES!  This is just the way organizations work.

• Get a FULL view of the crisis.  Don’t just listen to one version.  Ask questions.  Open your eyes.  Find perspective.  Sometimes we think we’re in crisis and we’re really not.  Look and learn first.

• Bring your team in CLOSE.  Pull other leaders in to help.  Don’t try to do it all on your own.  This is when a team is critical, whether it’s a team of 6 or 1 other person.  You need good counsel.

• Don’t PANIC.  Breath deep, don’t rush to decisions.  Seek God’s guidance.  Don’t let the negative ramifications push you to spiral into desperation or depression.

• Create OPTIONS.  There are always multiple options in crisis.  Write them down, and work the list to come up with the best solution.

• Do the WORK.  Crisis is hard work.  Sometimes you need to put your head down and do the work you need to do in order get through it.  Be willing, ready and able to do this.

• Don’t QUIT.  Some crisis is handled quickly, other crisis lingers.  Stay the course.  Finish the race.

• Be willing to COMPROMISE if it helps you solve the problem.  Don’t be stubborn if you can make some adjustments and get through it, unless it’s a mountain you’re willing to die on.

EVALUATE as you get through it.  What can you learn? What can your team learn?  How can you avoid this in the future?  Make adjustments so it doesn’t happen again…. and crisis will come again!

Your team and organization will look to you, THE LEADER, to help navigate through crisis.  You have been equipped to manage this!   This is when you really become a LEADER.

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 29 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. Write directly to Russ at: rcline@extremeresponse.org www.extremeresponse.org www.leadermundial.org twitter: leadonesource, leadermundial

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