Leading during crisis

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For the most part, there are two kinds of CFOs: those who have managed through a crisis, and those who will. And whether a finance leader can successfully overcome a crisis may dictate the future of his or her company or career.

This is according to an article on cfo.com, referring to the keynote address by director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, Tom Kolditz, held at the annual MIT Sloan CFO Summit last week outside Boston.

He offered some advice for leadership in crisis that was at once counter intuitive and thought-provoking.

Loditz said when people feel really threatened, they will set aside all kinds of compliance requirements and managerial policy.

“The lower you go in the organization, the more people are focused, in crisis, on personal outcomes”

He said when you slow down in a crisis, people have a tendency to turn inward and start thinking about how they feel about the crisis. “And how they feel is going to be fear or anger. You can’t give them a break, can’t give them time off. You need to pour on the gas, and that’s when they’re going to find the breakthrough solutions.”

Read the full article here.