Leading in a Crisis

Leading in a Crisis

Leading in a Crisis

From Vanderbloemen.com

1. Start with you

  • Slow down
  • Control yourself – quiet times, eating, sleeping, etc.
    • Time with friends
    • Solitude
    • Routine
    • Health
      • Physical
      • Emotional
      • Spiritual
      • Mental
      • Relational
    • What feeds your soul? What helps you take a deep breath?
  • Remember those around you too

2. Build your team

  • Committed to action
  • Don’t lead alone. Invite others with expertise, etc.
  • You will support and encourage each other through this tough time

3. The problems change. Be ready for change. Respond in the crisis

  • Be ready to pivot
  • What has to get done today? Your team will help you decide.
  • It’s about getting to the finish line, not perfection

4. Book – Fairness Is Overrated: And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace

5. Common mistakes

  • You have the info first. Make sure you communicate to others to bring them along. Sequence the communication: board, staff, key leaders, etc. Don’t be defensive. Be in front of the narrative. Set it.
  • Admit mistakes and own what you can own. It builds trust.
  • Over-communicate, even if it’s the same thing you just said.
  • You don’t have to have all the answers.
  • Don’t underestimate the crisis timeline. It may take longer than you thing. Therefore… overestimate!
    • Establish patterns for the long-run to maximize morale and personal health.
  • Under-promise, over-deliver.
  • Layoffs
    • Create a new org chart with critical positions first, based on the new reality. Cuts are based on the new reality.
      • Senior pastor
      • Streaming director
      • Media director
      • Etc.
    • Prepare yourself before, during and after. It’s going to take a toll on you.
    • Be compassionate.
    • Have two leaders there – one to give the news and one that will care for them afterwards, to follow up in the days and weeks ahead.
    • You can do it via Zoom. It’s actually better than across a table due to closeness.
    • How you handle the news is in your control:
      • Communicate the possibility early.
      • It’s not their fault.
      • Give them as much clear info as possible.
      • Why me? Be ready to talk about it.
      • Provide help. Do it early enough, while you still have funds.
      • Put specifics in writing – they will stop listening early on.
      • Honor and thank them.
      • As soon as they know the facts, focus on caring.
    • Morale for the rest of the team:
      • Have layoffs all happen on the same day.
      • Next day, meet with the rest of the team.
      • Honor and thank those who had to leave.
      • Remind them that we have a lot of work to do. Let’s go together. Leave your ego and your job description at the door.

6. Communicate

  • Form a team, if possible. Have them help with the load. Delegate based on your strengths and theirs.
  • Target the communications – Who needs to hear what?
  • Deescalate for some: slow down your tone, attitude.
  • Escalate for some – they need motivation. Your words make a difference.
  • Do it frequently.
  • Focus on their health and those they love.
  • Set the narrative.

7. Stages of Crisis

  • Assessment – we are past this now.
  • Rebuilding based on the new reality
    • Be adaptable
    • Adjust quickly

8. Doing ministry in a virus crisis

  • Go digital – If we have no building, what do we do with ministry?
  • Go high touch
  • Figure out how to measure engagement
    • Aspirational – Attendance is not a good measurement now, but increasing the number of personal connections is.
    • Assessment is key – Figure out how you measure this question, “How are you doing?”

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