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Key Principles for Effective Crisis Leadership


Key Principles for Effective Crisis Leadership Joyce Gaufin, Executive Director Great Basin Public Health Leadership Institute April 5, 2006 Salt Lake City, Utah – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Key Principles for Effective Crisis Leadership

Key Principles for Effective Crisis Leadership
  • Joyce Gaufin, Executive Director
  • Great Basin Public Health
  • Leadership Institute
  • April 5, 2006
  • Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Year-long program in advanced leadership skills
  • 75 Graduates 39 new scholars
  • Member of the National Public Health Leadership
    Development Network
  • Faculty of national and local experts
  • Incorporates on-site training, distance learning,
  • and delivery of a project

3/01/06 to 5/20/06 5/21/06 to 5/24/06 5/25/06 to 10/7/06 10/8/06 to 10/11/06 10/12/06 to 3/24/07 3/25/07 to 3/28/07
Selection and Pre-course work Daniels Summit, UT First On-Site Interview With A Leader (presentation at Lake Tahoe) Lake Tahoe, NV Second On-Site Interim Projects and Conference Calls (CC) Springdale, UT Zion National Park Third On-Site
Notice of Acceptance Orientation to Program Project Work and Coaching Agreements Emotional Intelligence and Crisis Leadership Ethics in Public Health (on-line course) The Future of Public Health Leadership in the New Era
Return signed agreements LPI Feedback Learning About Self (360 surveys) Measuring Improving Organizational Values (CC) The Collaborative Leader Building Successful Partnerships Project Work and Coaching Calls Communicating Public Health, including risk communication
Orientation Conference Call Getting Ready to Learn Individual Coaching and Personal Action Planning Follow up on Systems Thinking and Change Management (CC) Performance Management Systems for Public Health Finish Reading Leadership Without Easy Answers Creativity and Risk Taking
Distribution of Leadership Practices 360º surveys Team Exercises/ Challenges Short Reading Assignments Advanced Negotiation Skills Ethics in Public Health (CC) Effective Use of the Political Process
Text The Leadership Challenge Systems Thinking and Change Management Leadership Without Easy Answers (book distributed) Peer Project Coaching Leadership Without Easy Answers (CC) Coaching and Mentoring Skills for PH Leaders
Inspirational Leadership Conflict Resolution Short Reading Assignments Final Project Presentations
Introduction to Projects Work/Life Balance for Success Graduation Ceremony
Introduction to Leader Interviews Interview With a Leader Reports
The Need for Skilled Crisis Leaders
  • Acute threats natural and human-caused
  • A crisis causes dramatic systems change
  • There are differences between management and
  • A crisis will affect multiple systems there is a
    need to manage conflicting goals, values, and

Overview (continued)
  • In addition to the impact on the population
    affected, there are workforce changes
  • What is the impact on people?
  • Need to have multiple and flexible plans
  • Crisis leaders must be able to influence others
    in a positive way they cant rely on title or
    position alone

Establishing Crisis Competencies
  • Comprehensive set of over 27 leadership
  • EMS already has a well-defined plan for operating
    during emergencies ICS
  • Leaders from all groups should become familiar
    with their local Incident Command System
  • Crisis Leadership Cycle Before, during, and
    after an event

Essential Leadership Skill Set
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Systems thinking
  • Creativity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Risk communication
  • Influence and negotiation
  • Conflict management

Leadership is Complex
  • No one is given a set of directions or a plan
  • Failure is not an option
  • Leaders take into account the totality of systems
  • Leaders are held accountable for outcomes
  • People are both predictable and unpredictable
  • Leadership skills must be honed and sharpened
  • Leadership exists at all levels of an organization

Defining/Measuring Crises
  • A crisis can happen any time, any where, to any
    organization or community
  • Some are predictable others come unannounced
  • Characterized by a high degree of instability
  • Carry potential for extremely negative results
  • Brings about dramatic change

9/11/01 The day that changed everything
(No Transcript)
SARS and Pandemic Flu
Dammeron Fire Complex, Southern Utah, July, 2005,
photo by K. Sharkey
Organizational Crisis Scenarios
  • Hostile take-over (change in political group in
  • Financial catastrophe (budget reductions loss of
  • Loss of facilities/resources
  • Employee sabotage/ violence
  • Executive scandal/defection
  • Strike/boycott
  • Act of war
  • Natural disaster
  • Industrial accident
  • Terrorism

Comparing ICS with Crisis Leadership
  • Incident Command System
  • Command
  • Control
  • Coordination
  • Highly structured clear roles and
  • Training and exercises are conducted regularly
  • Crisis Leadership
  • Leadership isnt just about title or position
  • Leadership skills can be learned/honed
  • Communication
  • Clarifying vision and values
  • Caring

Leaderships Role in a Crisis
  • Leaders set the tone by their example and conduct
  • Leaders must pay attention to the components of
  • Leaders can have a significant positive impact on
    the very human, emotionally charged climate
  • Leaders cannot rely only on authoritarian or fear
    tactics to get results during a crisis

Reference Book
  • Crisis Leadership Using Military Lessons,
    Organizational Experiences, and the Power of
    Influence to Lessen the Impact of Chaos on the
    People You Lead
  • Gene Klann, Ph.D., Center for Creative
    Leadership, 2003
  • Use of key influencing skills/tactics to help
    people before, during and after crisis

Its like a war zone out there!
  • The militarys single peacetime focus is
    preparing for combat, the ultimate crisis
    situation because it involves life and death. A
    major element of the militarys training teaches
    soldiers how to deal with the range of emotions
    they will experience before, during, and after
    combat. These emotions generally include horror,
    apprehension, grief, rage, revenge, loneliness,
    sadness, repulsion, vigilance, anguish, and
    guilt. Military leaders know these emotions will
    be experienced and must be controlled or the
    soldiers will not be able to function on the
  • Combat leaders must learn to deal with their
    own emotions as well as with the emotions of the
    soldiers under their charge. This is the same
    challenge civilian leaders face during a crisis,
    and they can expect the same kinds of emotional
    chaos to flow over the people in their
    organization and themselves.
  • Crisis Leadership, by Gene Klann,
  • The Center for Creative Leadership (2003)

(No Transcript)
  • Well-honed communication strategy
  • Clear, articulate verbal expression
  • Careful listening
  • Body language
  • Clear, concise and straightforward writing style
  • Example Sir Winston Churchill during WW II

Editorial Yes, we're worth itFrom The
Times-Picayune, Sept. 2, 2005 (edited)
  • Even as people from New Orleans desperately
    search for their family members and rescue
    workers patrol the region in boats, hack through
    roofs and try to pluck survivors out, some people
    in other parts of the country have begun to blame
    us, the victims. Our crime? Choosing to live in
    New Orleans.Especially heartless were U.S.
    House Speaker Dennis Hastert and the writers of
    an editorial that appeared Wednesday in the
    Republican-American, a newspaper in Waterbury,
    Conn. Mr. Hastert was quoted by the Daily Herald
    of Arlington Heights, Ill., saying it makes no
    sense to rebuild New Orleans where it is. "It
    looks like a lot of that place could be
    bulldozed," he said.
  • After Mr. Hastert made his insensitive comments,
    his press secretary tried to spin them. The
    speaker didn't mean that there shouldn't be a New
    Orleans, the spokesperson said. He was just
    suggesting that as they rebuild, officials give
    serious thought to how future destruction could
    be prevented. That goes without saying. We're
    much more sophisticated now than we were when the
    city was founded in the 18th century. Of course
    our officials are going to rebuild in such a way
    that reduces the threat of future
    devastation.At least President Bush realizes
    how valuable we are. He flew over the
    storm-ravaged areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and
    Alabama on Wednesday afternoon and seems
    sincerely sorrowful for all the people whose
    lives have been irreversibly changed by this
    storm. His promise to send aid, and lots of it,
    was encouraging. It's going to take a huge amount
    of money to rebuild New Orleans and a similarly
    large amount of assistance to sustain the
    hundreds of thousands of people who have been

Risk Communication
  • 1 N 3 P
  • (One negative statement is equal to three
  • positive statements)
  • Vince Covello, PhD, Speaker
  • National Public Health Leadership Development
  • April, 2003

Clarity of Vision and Values
  • Personal and/or organizational
  • People need to understand it feel ownership
    endorse it
  • During a crisis, leaders can leverage and use as
    a rallying point
  • Example Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil

Editorial Where is the cavalry?From The
Times-Picayune, Sept. 1, 2005 (edited)
  • The lack of a law enforcement presence is
    stunning. It is apparent that no one -- neither
    New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass nor state
    and federal officials -- were prepared for what
    would come after Katrina had passed through.Not
    only did they not have basic communication plans
    in place locally, there seems to have been no
    strategy to get the hundreds of military and law
    enforcement officers on the ground who were
    needed to establish order immediately.The city
    police officers who are on the streets don't know
    what the overarching strategy is and have had
    little or no communication with top brass.Of
    course, this sort of horrific event is far beyond
    the ability of any single law enforcement agency.
    But that should have been obvious from the time
    Katrina entered the Gulf. Virtually everyone
    involved in public safety has failed the people
    left in New Orleans who are trying desperately to

  • Sincere interest and genuine concern for others
  • Treat with respect, dignity, approval,
    appreciation, attention, significance, value and
  • Presence leading by example
  • Example Mayor Rudy Guliani during 9/11 response

Emotional Intelligence
  • An ability and capacity to recognize your
    personal feelings and the feelings and emotional
    reactions of others. (Goleman, 1998a)
  • Leaders must also be able to manage their
    emotions and feelings in their relationships with
    others. (Rowitz, 2006)
  • Emotional intelligence requires a balance between
    heart and head


No amount of personality, political skills, or
cracker-barrel wit can disguise or overcome a
deficit in basic technical and managerial
competence. And almost nothing can multiply
employee anxieties and reduce confidence more
during crisis than a leader who is perceived to
be marginally competent. Crisis Leadership, by
Gene Klann, The Center for Creative Leadership
  • Even a wrong decision that promotes action is
    better than doing nothing. Influential decision
    making means gathering information and getting
    input as soon as possible knowing that all the
    information needed to make the decision isnt
    available accepting that there are risks
    involved getting recommendations from others
    listening to gut feelings making the decisions
    that need to be made

  • To tell the truth under difficult circumstances,
    to make hard decisions, to answer tough
    questions, to face the unhappy crowd, and to
    accept responsibility.
  • Start with a clear code of personal values,
    ethics and standards
  • Calculated risk-taking

Preparing for Crisis
  • Its never too early to prepare
  • Leaders should begin with a self-assessment
  • Need to conduct an organizational assessment
  • Focus on human resources and their readiness
  • Do they clearly understand the vision/values?
  • How do you demonstrate that you care?
  • Systems View
  • Community Assessment Intra/Inter-agency

  • Exercise What Makes a Leader?
  • Purpose To understand the traits of a
    successful leader
  • Key Concepts Leadership, emotional intelligence
  • Procedures
  • Write down 10 traits of a successful leader.
  • How many of these 10 traits do you have?
  • How many of these traits relate to emotional
  • What do you have to do to demonstrate more of
    these traits?

Recovery and Rebuilding
  • Remember, you are in a marathon, not a sprint
  • Continuous assessment of progress
  • Focus on mental health
  • Enlist of the support of others
  • 3 Cs still provide the model
  • Involve everyone in lessons learned events

To recap
  • Leaders must be engaged before, during and after
    a crisis
  • Leaders must be familiar with ICS
  • Crisis leaders must be skilled in communication,
    clarifying vision and values, and demonstrate
    caring at all timesnot just during a crisis
  • Leaders need to take time to hone their skills
    and reflect on their effectiveness

Contact Information
  • Joyce R. Gaufin, Executive Director
  • Great Basin Public Health Leadership Institute
  • 348 East 4500 South, 300
  • Salt Lake City, UT 84107
  • Phone 435.632.8256
  • Fax 801.892.0160
  • Email