Crisis Leadership 3 – Task Force

The crisis with its erratic downfalls of logic and calm has struck.  And we begin to decipher, through haze and noise, the effects, the reasons and possibly the course of action.

It is the moment to gather our energy, will and ability to fight in order to regain control.  We need a team – many times called “task force”.  That is a team consisting of specialists and mostly of calm, competent and decisive people.  The respect for each other’s competence is vital as there is no time left for doubts, criticism and failures.

In well-structured organizations that are prone to crises, the task force is already defined as well as its functioning guidelines. It is part of the “crisis plan”.  They know exactly who the necessary people are, their expected qualities and competencies, their reporting, collaborating and decision making rules.

However crises strike not only on the prepared organizations.  In organizations taken by surprise, leaders become the stars.  And I don’t refer strictly to the managers that have the right or the duty to be part of such a team.  Informal leaders appear – people from all hierarchical levels with strong personalities that manage under thunderstorm to calm down, contribute and inspire the “troupes” to act professionally and decisively.

The appearance of these unknown leaders ready to solve problems in spite adversity is perhaps the only benefit of a crisis.  Under clear skies anybody can perform.  But in rough weather only the most prepared, agile, focused and effective will make their contribution and also of the people they inspire.  Moreover crisis leaders are the ones understanding and assuming the risk to be contested – in the aftermath by various non-sporty commentators.

Statistical research has been undertaken to assess the qualities needed from leaders and task force team members.  The results show that leaders must show responsibility and courage, while team members must prove their competence and problem solving capability.  Do you agree?