In the Chinese language the word for crisis is the same word for opportunity. Hopefully you see the proverb that is buried in the heart of that fact. We can either react to crisis or we can be proactive and strategic with our response and allow it to be a growing experience.
Leaders must first see the opportunity for growth in crisis if they are to be effective. Larry Osborne writes in his book, Sticky Teams (One of my favorites), “Crisis and opportunity never text you that they’re on the way.” Larry is ringing the bell for leaders to be prepared and have a mindset that’s ready for a crisis when it shows up. Here are a five ways you can be prepared for your next crisis opportunity:
1. Spiritually: We serve a loving God that is patient and loving and he desires for us to run to him in our time of need. However, if we’re walking with him on a daily basis we don’t need to all of sudden scramble spiritually in prayer when crisis takes place. Walking with Jesus on a regular basis in prayer and study of His word automatically puts us in great position to respond in wisdom to any crisis.
2. Physically: As we spoke of earlier, no one knows when a crises is going to hit. We do know crisis will come. That’s life. So we need to put together wise disciplines in our life that set us up for success when an opportunity does arrive. Physically that means: getting enough rest as well as exercising and eating right. For many years I neglected this part of my life and I paid the price. If you haven’t invested into this well in your life physically, you have nothing to draw from when you need it most.
3. Financially: Whether it’s leading an organization or you’re own life personally,it’s always wise to have a small reserve to deal with the unexpected crisis. You might not be able to float the entire issue, but having a cushion allows you to handle a financial bump in the road with a bit more ease. This means planning before the storm hits. Do this!
4. Support Network: Have you established relationships with people you can call on if you are in need? Have you invested in these relationships outside the context of a crisis? Doing so allows them to have a deeper connection with you relationally as well as already understand the context in which you lead. Invest in these relationships now!
5. Learning: We will all face issues and circumstances that we’ve never faced before. No one expects a leader to have dealt with every problem under the sun. Yet, as a leader you should invest in gaining as much knowledge in your area of leadership as you can so as to be somewhat familiar with your options when it all hits the fan. This might mean reading, learning through mentors, attending conferences, etc. The point is to be agressive in your growth. No one can grow you for you.
Bottom line: Leading Through Preparation
The people that you lead are not only counting on you to lead them through crisis, they’re counting on you to prepare for that crisis to the extent that you can. Doing so allows the crisis to become an opportunity for growth instead of just a panicked reaction.
Now it’s your turn. What are some ways you think leaders can prepare for crisis that I didn’t hit on? Share below!