A New Playing Field

How many of you are actually prepared for crisis management? Whether it’s business or personal related, you can’t sit here and reasonably make the judgment call because you may not be in a position of crisis yet. Despite perceptions and experiences, you truly don’t know whether you have what it takes until that particular moment arrives.

I’ve always preached never make decisions based upon emotions, only on facts. Too often our emotions cloud our judgment and often we make decisions entirely on false pretense. The general perception is that if we don’t make an immediate decision, we are considered weak minded and unqualified. But that’s truly an incorrect notion. Rather than make an immediate decision, walk away, comprehend the crisis itself, draw your own conclusions based upon the facts presented.  After all, if you can’t make decisions based upon facts, then how can you effectively handle the crisis?

People are looking for you to lead. You need to recognize and understand the playing field. What is the crisis, what are the variables, what is the desired end result?

Using a baseball team analogy. You are the starting pitcher, you control the game, you control where you want the ball to go. The catcher is your target. The remaining field members are your support group. Those that you can turn to for continued support, share ideas, or anything else. These are your strong players, individuals you want on the field with you. The individuals in the dugouts are those you can substitute in and out based upon the crisis. The manager is simply your time clock. Everyone else is in the stands making noise. Giving you advice, opinions, or simply just creating noise. It’s up to you to block out the external noise and focus on the playing field itself. Forget about it and keep your focus. Take full control.

You can look at me and you can ponder to yourself what business do I have discussing crisis management, but let me tell you my story…

March 10, 2008, my wife was diagnosed with brain cancer and given a longevity timeline. I had two choices that day. I could sink into a depression and crumble or I could rise above all and take charge. And that is exactly what I did, I took lead. I accepted the responsibility.

From that moment on, I operated on adrenaline. I based my decisions on the facts provided at the time and went with it. I didn’t look back and continued to push ahead full steam. As the doors continued to close, I found ways to reopen them. The one aspect I learned during crisis management is not to panic. As long as there were options, that’s a good thing.  Not everything goes accordingly as planned, and sometimes you have to change the directional flow, but in the end you have to remain calm and in control.

Others may question your decisions, but it’s not for you to justify. You operate as if, and you roll with it. No one said it would be easy, but you have to have the determination to believe in yourself and your abilities.

Not once did I ever ask why. Sure, I’ve been dealt with a horrible set of cards, but that’s not my focus. My focus is continuing to effectively inspire and motivate others today. Make the best of the situation and take action. You’ll never hear me complain because it’s not my nature to do.

Go from being negative to positive within one swift action. Someone asks you how your day is going, tell them it’s going great. Don’t dwell on the negative aspects of your day. As in crisis management, you can’t change what happened earlier, however, you have the ability to make an impact going forward.  Positive perception goes a long way upon dealing with crisis management.

You’ll be amazed on what you can accomplish just by changing the context of a statement. Tell people what you can do, not what you can’t do. Tell people what you will do, not what you won’t do. Just that change alone can alter perceptions on an entire new level of thinking.

Crisis management can be found in both business and personal related aspects. The variables may be different, but the results are the same. You are looking for a solution to the crisis.

In conclusion, we deal with crisis management each day, only much of it is small potatoes.  The time will come one day that we are given the reigns to lead a crisis management situation. What is your first move? How will you respond?  Do you have what it takes to lead? How will you “keep those feet moving?”


10 thoughts on “A New Playing Field

  1. timkc3

    Aj, glad you started this blog. You motivate others through your own personal experiences and you inspire all of us to empathize with those in need.


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