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Crisis Leadership: Murder in France

I am certain that everyone reading this Newsletter is well aware of the vicious terrorist attacks on the French People. Better to say, these attacks were on all peace and freedom loving people in the world. This month’s subject is a last minute change. The subject, as you can read in the title is Crisis Leadership.

All nations, organizations, and individuals will face a crisis. When those crisis events occur, and yes, they occur this is not an “IF,” here are three tips to help guide you through–Breath, Gather Your Crisis Action Team, and Take Action.


Emotions run high in a crisis. Leading through a crisis requires emotional and mental strength. The worse decision possible is a decision based on emotion. Get your emotions in check. The best-known method for quickly getting back a sense of calm is to breath. When the adrenaline and other neuro-chemicals are pumping through the brain, it is not possible to make a clear-headed decision. Remember, decision-making is a process and a cycle. Do not circumvent the process and remember the cycle. If you do not have one, read my article “The Quest for the Perfect Decision” and use it.

Gather Your Crisis Action Team (CAT)

During a crisis is the wrong time to become all knowing. Life is not a video game. Things happen that there is no way you or anyone could have anticipated. So do this seven-step process.

  1. Gather your key staff—those that make things happen in your organization e.g. CFO, COO, PR, HR, etc.
    1. The “key staff” should be identified before you are faced with a crisis
  2. Develop the situation—begins with an event having dire implications for the organization and ends with a report of the incident to the Chief Executive
  3. Crisis Assessment—begins with a report of the event, followed by an assessment of the situation
  4. Develop Courses of Action—Courses of Action (Alternatives) come in group of three, do not accept only one
  5. Select a course of action
  6. Execution planning—begins when a course of action is selected and ends when the decision is made to put the plan into ACTION!
  7. Execution—Take Action

Take Action

Putting the plan into action does not end the crisis. Observe the action for the results produced. What changes are necessary? Now the decision-making cycle begins.


I know all of us are keeping faith with the French People. Take to heart the need to have a crisis action planning methodology.

Pray for peace.