How to Lead – and How Not to Lead - in a Crisis Situation

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg stayed in his office and downplayed the disaster. But Cory Booker, mayor of the neighboring city of Newark, N.J., plunged into the storm to help, shovel in hand.

Leaders’ reactions in crisis make all the difference in the public’s perception about how it was handled, says this article in Harvard Business Review: “We like to see our elected officials in action. The contrast between Bloomberg's reception and Booker's can serve as a lesson for anyone in a position of authority.”

Strong leaders take time to assess the situation, and they act promptly but not hurriedly. It is also important for a leader to take control in a crisis: “When things are happening quickly, no one may have control, but a leader can assume control. That is, you do not control the disaster — be it man-made or natural — but you can control the response,” the article says.

Managing expectations is also crucial: “You don't want to alarm people, yet do not be afraid to speak to the magnitude of the situation,” it says.

To read the full article, click here:
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/01/how_a_good_leader_reacts_to_a.html