Consider how your leaders would perform if they had to go through just one week of military leadership training. Would they fall at the first hurdle, or would they thrive?
Choosing the right leaders to represent your crisis leadership team
We’re each built differently, and some of us actually perform better under duress. However, can we take leaders and expose them to conditions that help them feel more comfortable in those uncomfortable situations? As a young soldier, I was exposed to many environments and situations that made me think, act, and perform at various levels. When I underperformed, I had to learn from my mistakes. When I performed well, I was given a few words of encouragement which built my confidence.
Organizations can expose their leaders to simulated crises that will engage them in decision-making and communication situations that allow them to learn and grow. Crisis simulation tabletop exercises and other more advanced exercises are good tools to help leaders become more comfortable in stressful and time-sensitive environments.
Defending your shoreline is everyone’s responsibility
Organizations that push crisis preparedness throughout the whole organization, as well as external stakeholders, are usually better prepared. If we can identify and address a crisis in its simmering status, why wouldn’t we? On the other hand, some crises can start without warning at a full boil and move at a rapid pace. Can we slow these fast-moving crises down and prevent them from becoming major catastrophes? Well, if all our employees and critical partners were “crisis-ready” then we would certainly have a better chance. At least we would be in a better position to respond in a coordinated manner which could make all the difference in the ultimate outcome.
All modern-day militaries practice and validate their plans, and so should you
We often get hired to validate crisis, emergency and business continuity plans. Many plans are in various states but have rarely been validated through well-designed exercises. Militaries will often try to rehearse their plans prior to operations. Through rehearsal, they get to look at various options in terms of what might go wrong and how they would adjust if those situations were to unfold. Organizations that are exposed to various risks should drill to those common risks and validate their plans. More importantly, they should expose their leaders to situations that require calmness, clear vision, and decisive action so leaders can develop those crucial skills.
What’s next for your leadership teams?
As is done in the military, create simulated situations that your leaders can utilize to become more comfortable when reality strikes and the pressure is turned way up. Learn from previous situations and take advantage of the experiences of other organizations that have made mistakes.