Showing Leadership in a Crisis


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April 24, 2012. Webinar sponsored by the Silicon Valley & San Francisco Chapters of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

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Showing Leadership in a Crisis

  1. 1. Showing Leadership in a Crisis:Blood on the Floor orName Adored? Webinar by Jane Jordan-Meier 24 April 2012
  2. 2. Jane Jordan-Meier2• President of Jane Jordan & Associates, boutique consultancy specializing in high-stakes communication – coached 0000’s of senior execs• Author of “The Four Highly Effective Stages of Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in a Crisis” (May, 2011) – to rave reviews• Pioneered four-stage methodology for crisis management adopted in Australia, New Zealand and North America• Pioneered mentoring program for SF IABC Chapter• 20 years plus experience in issues and crisis management incl. Sydney Olympic Games
  3. 3. Agenda3 Part 1: Presentation Setting the Scene - What is a Crisis? What makes an effective leader during a crisis? - Characteristics, Case studies Role of Corporate Communicators in a crisis Part 2: Q & A
  4. 4. What is a Crisis?4 • A show-stopping, people-stopping, product- stopping, country-stopping event • Media spotlight is firmly on you, your brand, your response – Significant business interruption – Single moment in time ALL crises have TRIGGERING events
  5. 5. Why Crisis Management has Changed Forever5
  6. 6. Crises are Defining Moments6
  7. 7. Question7 What are the essential characteristics of crisis leaders?
  8. 8. Crisis Leadership: Core Competencies8 Leaders fall into Team three types: Leadership Communication 1. Strategic Thinkers Situational Awareness Connectivity 2. Tactical Planners Crisis 3. Operational Leadership Doers Integrative Competency Courage and Thinking Model Perseverance Emotional Credibility Effectiveness Decisiveness Source: CDC 2009
  9. 9. Essential Characteristics9 • Truly authentic – unwavering honesty • Credibility is CRITICAL (nanosecond) • High level of Integrity – comes from “inside” • Sensitivity – demonstrates compassion, yet impassive to drama & excitement • Steadiness – rock hard concentration, decisiveness • Stamina – must accommodate fatigue & retain responsive edge • Superior Communication Skills • Strategic and detailed • Vision and Courage
  10. 10. Why some Leaders10 Shine and Others Fail • Unconditional honesty • Obfuscation from start "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean," he was quoted as saying by Daily “The number of casualties,” he Mail. "The volume of oil and said, “will be more than any of us dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water can bear ultimately.” volume.“ • Excellent • Blame game communication skills "This was not our accident … This was • Appropriate mix of shared not our drilling rig ... This was loss and consuming anger, Transoceans rig. Their systems. Their Churchillian-like people. Their equipment."
  11. 11. Understand & “fall in love” with We11 “… our best efforts failed and we are deeply sorry. This is the toughest situation we have faced in 100 years as a company. We know this has shaken your confidence in us; I commit to you that our actions are guided by putting your interests first”(Maple Leaf Foods, 2008).
  12. 12. “We” takes us into hearts of audience12 “We are Queenslanders, she said. We’re the people they breed tough of the border. We’re the ones that they knockdown and we get up again. It might be breaking our hearts, but it will not break our will.” Anna Bligh, Premier, Queensland, Australia, 2010
  13. 13. Impressions Matter: Your Values on Display13 “most humble day of my life” Rupert Murdoch, July 19, 2011
  14. 14. Values are on Display: Does leader14 support them? • "Tragically, our products have "We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s been linked to illness and loss of caused their lives. There’s no one who life. To those people who are ill, wants this over more than I do. I would and to the families who have lost like my life back." Tony Hayward, BP loved ones, I offer my deepest and sincerest sympathies.“ Michael McCain, CEO
  15. 15. What can Corp. Comms do?15 • Know the end game • Be courageous • Pick the panic to stay one step ahead • Build dollars in trust bank • Train, test and validate key spokespeople • Encourage training of front-line leaders • Advocate one voice, many people
  16. 16. Crisis Management Ten Commandments161. You shall always have a crisis plan and keep it handy.2. You shall tell it all, tell it fast and tell it honestly.3. You shall stare the devil down and be brave.4. You shall love the media, new and old and embrace them.5. You shall communicate widely, consistently and be action-based.6. You shall have a crisis management team.7. You shall practice and train and you shall like it.8. You shall have trained spokespersons, including the front-line, and use them consistently. One voice, many people.9. You shall refuse temptation to blame, speculate and muddy the waters.10. You shall demonstrate compassion. Adapted from Evan Bloom, MD of Crisis Communications Consultancy
  17. 17. Final Thoughts17 “What happens in Vegas stays on Google” Scott Monty, social media guru, Ford Motor Co “Internet is written in ink not pencil” Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend in movie “The Social Network”
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  19. 19. Jane Jordan-Meier19 @janejordanmeier (Twitter) “The Four Highly Effective Stages of Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Thank You! Digital Age” published by CRC Press, May 2011 Do connect. USA: +1-707-386-9864 Australia: + 614-14 645 507