Crisis management leadership is critical in all organizations. It determines whether a particular organization will be able to overcome a particular crisis that may affect it. During crisis, all leaders are supposed to establish control of their organization. This will enable the leader to respond appropriately after a crisis affects their operations. Leaders should also not act in a hurry in order to avert a crisis. This is because they may end up making bad decisions thus, affecting the profitability of their organization.
One of the real world crisis management scenarios that resulted to success of the organization facing with the crisis involved Burger King. Burger King faced a crisis when images of their employee standing on top of lettuce started circulating in the Internet. Consumers started posting comments on how unhealthy the burgers from Burger King were. In addition, people who enjoyed eating in Burger King Restaurants were disgusted with the images that they saw. Burger King knew that this incident would destroy their corporation. Consumers would lose trust in it ,and this would lead to a significant reduction in its overall sales. Burger King responded quickly in order to prevent the images posted on the Internet from affecting its sales significantly. Since they had formulated a good response plan, they used the Internet to locate the store where the employee from the image worked (Marketing Cloud, 2012). After they had located the store, they used the shoes in the picture to identify the specific employee involved in this incident. The employee was immediately fired after he had been identified. Consumers regained their trust on the effectiveness of Burger King since this crisis was resolved within 24 hours. Burger King used social media to assure consumers that such crisis would not happen again. They released a statement that assured the public that the top priority of Burger King was food safety. Moreover, they stated that their management did not tolerate any violations of their policies.
United Airlines had a poor crisis management plan that caused this company to face harsh criticism from the public. After the Olympics, a 10-year-old girl was booked on one of its flights. The destination for this girl was a summer camp. The airline assured the parents of the 10-year-old girl that they would ensure that she reached her destination safely and on time. However, this girl missed her connection in Chicago. The airline employee given the task of helping this girl catch her connection in Chicago did not show up. The girl tried to seek help from other employees of United Airlines, but they did not give her any attention since they said that they were too busy. The summer camp where the girl was supposed to attend called her parents and informed them that their daughter was late. When the parents of this girl called the United Airlines, they were put on hold for forty minutes. The phone operator informed these parents that the issue was not a big deal. The lost girl was later found after her parents reported this incident to a local television station. After this incident, people started voicing their rage concerning how this airline treated the girl. In addition, they were disappointed that the company had failed to resolve the crisis of losing the girl. Consumers started sharing their incidents on how they received poor treatment from this company. They posted angry comments on the Facebook wall of this company. Regardless of this, it took more than 24 hours for this company to release official policy statement.
Leading successful crisis management situations requires several key leadership traits. Examples of such traits include risk taking, being calm and positive, decisiveness, collaboration and listening to unpopular advice. A good crisis management leader should be able to face any risk that may affect him/her during a particular crisis. During crisis, leaders face difficult and challenging situations. Such situations require the leader to adopt risky solutions in order to solve the problems that may be affecting their organization. In addition, the leaders are required to adopt risky strategies that they may not be familiar with their outcomes. Crisis managers may also be required to take the risk of relying on the advice of external consultants offering solutions to a particular crisis. It shows that crisis managers should be risk takers. Crisis managers should also be calm and positive. When an organization is faced with any crisis, most of its operations are stopped. Managers are put under a lot of pressure by the shareholders so that they can solve the crisis that may be hampering production operations. Consumers may also demand fulfillment of their orders. This may make the crisis managers become stressed up. A good crisis leader should remain calm. This is because the success of the organization depends on the strategies that the leader formulates. In addition, he should be confident that his organization will be able to overcome the crisis that may be affecting their organization.
Crisis leaders should also be decisive. After investing all the circumstances contributing to a particular crisis, the leaders should be ready to make a decision that will solve the crisis. Such leaders should also use relevant facts while making a decision for solving a crisis. They should also encourage collaboration during crisis management. All stakeholders should be included while formulating the crisis management plan. It will help the crisis manager to receive diverse opinions regarding the solution of a particular crisis. This will strengthen the crisis management plan. Crisis leaders should also listen to unpopular advice. This will help in ensuring that the leaders diversify their thinking. It will enable them reach quality decisions regarding a particular crisis.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator can be used to assess the leadership style of a particular leader during crisis. It provides information about the way a person prefers to behave. It has four different scales. These scales include extraversion and introversion, sensing and intuition, thinking and feeling, judging and perceiving. Leaders who score strongly on extraversion prefer to direct their energy to the external world. In contrast, leaders who score high in introversion like to draw their energy from the internal world. Leaders who score highly on thinking scale like to structure and organize information through rational and logical thinking. In contrast, leaders who score highly on feeling prefer to make decisions regarding a particular crisis based on the impact that it will have on people. Leaders who score highly on the judging scale like to manage the external environment by considering structure, order and schedules. Crisis leaders who score highly on perceiving scale prefer to keep the environment as unstructured and open as possible.
Overall, crisis management leadership is critical in every organization. Burger King was able to succeed after it had used good crisis management plan to avert a crisis that threatened to destroy its brand. They acted within 24 hours, and this restored public confidence regarding the safety of their burgers. In contrast, United Airlines lost its public confidence since it was unable to solve the crisis of the loss of a 10 year old daughter. Crisis leaders should be risk takers, calm and positive, decisive, collaborate and ready to listen to unpopular advice.