Leading in Crisis

Posted by Aaron Juckett, CPA, CPC, QPA, QKA on Sun, Jan 24, 2010
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Last week I attended a Minnesota/Dakotas ESOP Association state chapter event. Ken Ritterspach, the President and CEO of Stylmark, Inc., discussed some of the significant ups and downs his company has experienced over the past three years. He organized his presentation around Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis by Bill George:

  • Lesson #1: "Leaders must face reality."
  • Lesson #2: "No matter how bad things are, they will get worse."
  • Lesson #3: "Build a mountain of cash, and get to the highest hill."
  • Lesson #4: "Get the world off your shoulders."
  • Lesson #5: "Before asking others to sacrifice, first volunteer yourself."
  • Lesson #6: "Never waste a good crisis."
  • Lesson #7: "Be aggressive in the marketplace."

7 Lessons for Navigating the Storm discusses the book and shares some key concepts :

  • In a crisis, remember your internal compass of values: When one strikes leaders often look for an "at-any-cost" quick fix in attempting to save face, says George.

  • To ensure that economic recovery is long-lasting and that future business is sustainable, leaders must practice a clear set of principles.

  • It's OK, even necessary, for leaders to be open with others, admit mistakes, and look to trusted friends and associates for advice and support.

  • Use a crisis as an opportunity to reshape the market.

Topics: Communications and Culture

Aaron Juckett, CPA, CPC, QPA, QKA
Written by Aaron Juckett, CPA, CPC, QPA, QKA

Aaron is President and founder of ESOP Partners and provides implementation, administration, and consulting services to hundreds of companies. He is a member of The ESOP Association (TEA) and the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).

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