Crisis Leadership

Flying high in the face of disaster

September 23, 2011
As the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupted and spewed ash across the North Atlantic, all of Europe’s air space was forced to close, grounding hundreds of flights. Heathrow Airport was a mass of confusion and anger, but British Airways swung quickly into action.

Hackers give CEO a quick lesson in security

August 30, 2011
CEOs don’t often busy themselves with IT considerations, until a crisis threatens. So it was for Ted Chung, CEO of South Korea’s largest consumer-finance company, who was told by hackers that if he didn’t pay them $500,000, they’d release confidential information. The experience taught him several key lessons:

3 signs you’re facing a tough call

August 12, 2011
About 95% of the decisions a CEO makes could be made by an intelligent high school graduate, says speaker and author John C. Maxwell. It’s the remaining 5% that they get paid for. Those are the tough calls, and the way a leader handles them is what separates him from everyone else.

3 behaviors it takes to lead in a crisis

July 21, 2011

These days, crisis is the new normal. “The people who are going to thrive in the future are those who can use this pressure to excel, as oxygen. People who have translated very difficult circumstances into opportunity,” says Justin Menkes, author of Better Under Pressure. What characteristics do such leaders share?

Leadership Tips: Vol. 511

April 29, 2011
Lay yourself off? That’s what the owner of Accurate Background Check in Florida did when business slowed down. She took another job and retained her nine longtime employees.

Crisis leadership? Google it

April 19, 2011

In the aftermath of Japan’s tsunami and earthquake, many companies scrambled to help. And no company did a better job in the midst of the crisis than Google. Why?

Nix the ‘rah-rah’ and tell it like it is

March 29, 2011

When your company is in dire straits, what should you say to employees? Some leaders respond by laying out their company’s strengths and weaknesses, then confidently assuring employees that their company will overcome its obstacles and rise again. Nokia’s new CEO Stephane Elop has taken a different approach. Call it “shock treatment.”

Leading the transformation

February 21, 2011
In 2008, Imperial Sugar Company experienced an explosion at its refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga., that killed 14 workers and injured dozens of others. Three years later, the company has transformed itself, largely due to the leadership of CEO John Sheptor. “A crisis is not a time to lead from the front office,” he says.

Clairol’s golden period of growth

February 2, 2011
A fear-driven corporate culture is what Steve Sadove encountered when he took over as president of Clairol in 1991. “Part of my role as the leader was to create an environment that was going to allow innovation and creativity and make it OK to fail,” recalls Sadove. Thus began a golden period of growth for Clairol.

Are you ‘clutch’ or ‘choke’?

January 4, 2011

Two business books explore how good you are when the heat is on or why you may crack under pressure. Clutch, by Paul Sullivan, examines what makes a leader perform well under stress. Choke, by University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock, takes a look at the losers.