“In crisis, leadership is not waiting, downplaying, deflecting, or justifying past actions. It’s acting swiftly, communicating openly, taking responsibility for past mistakes, and making adjustments to improve future decisions.” – Adam Grant
2008 was a crisis year for our company. The financial system was in collapse. Our revenues were dropping. Things were tough.
Jerry Reavis was a founder of our company. He was an investor, a leader, and a board member. He was my friend and I valued his advice. As we were considering the situation we faced, I said this to him: “I am resigned to the fact this is bad.” I went on to suggest that there wasn’t much to do but suffer.
A day or so passed and I got a phone call from Jerry. He was quick to the point: “I’ve been thinking about what you said. I wanted to call and let you know that I don’t like my CEO to be resigned to anything.” The call ended pretty quickly after that. Jerry’s call was a turning point in my life.
It jolted me into action. It opened my eyes to my role as a leader. My job was not to lick my wounds or wring my hands. My job was to assess things, accept what is real, and do something to make things better. Every day and from here on out. I’ve tried to do that ever since. It works. There is always a way to make it better. And, you can build on the progress made today when tomorrow comes.
However daunting the circumstances, don’t be resigned. Lead where you stand. Make things better at work and in life. It will make a difference.