Leading In the Crisis - Ron Hurst

I mentioned in a prior post that I would be inviting some leadership thinkers to be guest bloggers on the topic of leading in the crisis. Several have agreed already, including Don Blohowiak and Kelley Eskridge.

To start us off, here is Ron Hurst. Based on the West Coast, Ron is a working manager as well as a passionate blogger whose Developing Leaders blog is a great source of inspiration for developing leadership potential.

In this piece, Ron addresses the importance of preserving one's values during crisis.

Do Not Abandon Your Leadership Values by Ron Hurst

For the past several weeks, as our economy has slipped into an ever worsening recession, I have found myself wracking my brain with critical questions.

- Am I leading effectively?

- Is there more I can do?

- Can I avoid some of the tough choices that lie in front of me?

All the while we see the media outlets scrambling to publish articles on how to survive the recession, how to lead in difficult times.

Honestly, I am beginning to think that parts of our economy are run by a sophisticated pack of lemmings headed toward a very large cliff.

How do we put the brakes on and change the context such that our leadership efforts have the desired impact?

Noble question, but who knows the answer?!

The more I reflected, the more I realized that there are many right answers; leadership is so context driven. Yet there is one area I want to highlight.

Abundance versus Scarcity

As the economy shrinks, and customers get harder to come by (orders even tougher), it is hard to resist the notion that the pie is shrinking. (That may be, because in the short term, it is!)

Yet we must resist this survival instinct.

If we truly believe that scarcity will rule and abundance is gone at least for now, this will drive us to make different decisions. Unfortunately our decisions become even more selfish than they are in good times.

As leaders we cannot abandon the common goal we strive for just for the false security of meeting a selfish need. We must resist the temptation to in-fight with others in our organization for scarce resources. We must resist the win at all costs mentality that panic can send us into. We must resist abandoning our long held values to make a decision of convenience.

One day, this recession will end and we will all bear witness to the fruit of our labors and decisions. If you leave a wake of bodies in your path as a result of your selfish desire of self preservation, how exactly do you think you will function and succeed? No, this is a time when true character is revealed, not built as the pollyannas would suggest. It is time a to lead with integrity, not survive with infamy.

So lead well.

[Copyright 2009 by Ron Hurst. All Rights Reserved]

Posted by Terrence Seamon, February 13, 2009


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