Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Session Looks at Leadership Issues in Crisis Management

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Session Looks at Leadership Issues in Crisis Management

Article excerpt

Every elected or appointed leader knows what they are ... those moments when the unexpected happens in a way that crystallizes the essence of your leadership for the public, the press and everyone watching. For some officials, these are the defining moments that cement theft legacies into the hearts and minds of their constituents. Although for others, they become the moments that we wish we could have back to do differently.

What are the defining elements of these moments of challenge? What might distinguish the actions of those who seemed to excel from those perceived to have faltered? Most importantly, how can you prepare yourself to hold the greatest prospect for successful leadership in times of turmoil and trouble?

One would be foolish to discount the elements of talent, providence, and blind luck that seem to influence many of life's most visible and poignant challenges. However, it is usually choice, more than chance, that determines how such events unfold.

The best predictor for what shape your community will be in two years after a major disruption is often found in assessing the shape it was in two days before. Leaders who have a firm finger on that pulse are the best poised to make solid decisions that prove essential to resilience and recovery. Similarly, no team wins the World Series that cannot execute a basic double play, day in and day out.

Performance under duress depends on the extent to which teamwork, critical relationships and basic parameters of service and performance have been practiced every day. …

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