Crisis Management for Authentic Leaders Series: Step 3
Posted on July 22nd, 2013 | Categories: Authentic Leadership
We’re on week three of our Crisis Management for Authentic Leaders Series. We began with reviewing the importance of eliminating the fear of employee retaliation. Last week we demonstrated why transparency is critical in a crisis. Today we are discussing why using the old-school “protect and defend” approach is ineffective.
It’s one thing to be accused of a wrongdoing and know fully well that you or your team did not commit the wrongdoing. Also, mitigating circumstances may well have occurred as a negative event took place, vindicating you or your team. But be careful! It’s one thing to have imminent proof you or your team did nothing wrong. It’s another to help the inevitable finger point in your direction as a result of posturing and defending to avoid the truth from surfacing.
Take a careful look at the current rash of scandals in Washington. Those in position to tell the truth only look worse when they spend incredible amounts of time and effort defending themselves when it is painfully obvious they do not have – or refuse to produce – the hard evidence necessary to dissolve the scandal.
When the chips are clearly down and you simply do not have the goods on hand to immediately refute responsibility, stop right there. Announce that fact. Say, “This is not something I intended to happen. I am not proud or happy about it. I do not have anything at my immediate disposal that will convince others my team and I were not responsible for this. I take full responsibility. As I get close to finding out what went wrong, and why, I will report back to you. I expect that to take _____ weeks. In the meantime, I can be reached at_______.”
Did you miss Steps 1 or 2? Catch up now!
Step 1: Incentivize the truth internally, without fear of retaliation
Step 2: Come clean fast, in public