The Gulf Coast oil spill has become one of the greatest environmental disasters this country has ever faced, and many are already blaming our federal government and its leaders for a failed response.
It’s appropriate to question our leaders — even in a crisis — but we should consider both facts and context before rushing to judgment. First, let’s consider the context. The federal government did not directly cause this disaster, though some are understandably examining whether regulation was too lax. Regardless, the federal government is the only entity who can bring the resources to bear to address this emergency.
Crucial leadership is even more important in times of uncertainty because it helps organizations and people rise to the challenges they face. Communication is especially important during crisis times because knowledge and information is necessary to make informed decisions. I will also add agility, decisiveness, and inspiration to your list. Business agility is about strategic alignment — changing the way your organization behaves more quickly than ever before. There is a need to be able to respond to competitive pressures, regulations, legal rulings, market trends, economic movements, and more. When a project or a business enters crisis and crisis management is called in, it’s decisiveness that makes all the difference – and often the decisions made are those that could already have been made, which would have prevented the crisis in the first place. Inspiration is about giving people the ability and desire to exceed expectations.