Don’t Point Fingers

That’s what I was taught growing up. It made identifying objects high on shelves difficult but nonetheless it was the rule. It’s also a good rule to bring into the work place, especially during a crisis.

Over the past few weeks my current project had a few bumps in the road. By sitting back and observing how different leadership positions react, I’ve learned a lot. One of the biggest lessons is not to place blame when the house is burning down around you – which is the natural reaction to any crisis. We’re human. It’s in our nature to pass the buck. What instead we should do is figure out how to resolve the issue.

Firefighters don’t show up to a fire and look for someone to blame it on before they pull out their hoses. They show up with hoses out, ready to tackle the flames head on. Once the flames have smoldered then an investigation takes place for the cause and how it can be avoided next time.

That’s what great leaders do. They show up to a crisis with the sole intent to resolve it. After the urgency has faded, and only after, do they start some post-crisis analysis. The last thing you want to do to your people is put them down or kill their motivation when you need them most.

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