When issues escalate into crises, these five leadership competencies are essential for project leaders to both weather the immediate storm and confidently move toward the future. It is difficult to recover when both being blamed for the crisis and taking the wrong management steps.
- Build an environment of trust. Given the importance of trust, this should already be in place and continued in a time of crisis.
- Reform the organization's mindset. Organizations need to be willing to watch for impending crises, risks, and issues. Balance any overly positive mindset with reality - bad things happen, but we can overcome them if prepared.
- Identify obvious and obscure vulnerabilities of the organization. Deep, internal reflection promotes self-awareness and aids in the management of weaknesses.
- Make wise and rapid decisions, take courageous action. Follow decision-making processes, consulting basic governance documents, if necessary, to do the right thing.
- Learn from the crisis to effect change. Take the steps necessary to be sure the same or similar crisis does not happen again.
[Tip based on "Leadership as (Un)Usual: How to Display Competence in Times of Crisis", Erika James & Lynn Wooten, Organizational Dynamics, Volume 24, 2005.]
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