May 02 2010

LEADERSHIP JOB ONE: RESPONSIVENESS

J & J Leadership

                            

Lessons

                                         

 Go Far Beyond

                                

BandAids!

                                                                 

     We are witnessing now one of the world’s worst oil leak disasters. It could have been drastically minimized with immediate action. 

     Instead of responsiveness, however, we had eight days of Presidential foot-dragging in order to be preoccupied with more important issues, like trying to push Goldman Sachs over the edge of the political cliff without toppling in over them, and hosting a reception for the New York Yankees, among other such critical demands.

     Ah, but after eight days, when the White House finally did decide to step up, determined to save a token pelican or two, some key federal-titled muckity-mucks were actually “dispatched” with orders to report back in 30 days.

     Right, 30 days! How long would it take anyone you know who lives on a coastline to tell you that on top of 8 days of hundreds of thousands of gallons a day worth of leaked oil, we are destined to inevitably see that oil along the Eastern Shore? How about 30 minutes?

     WOO HOO . . . a little too little too late! Imagine taking this approach to respond to a business problem. You’d be out of business. Or, you’d be big-time up to the tops of your hipboots in debt with expensive apolgetic and advertising media expenses. Ask Toyota.

     Either way, the problem multiplies exponentially when responsiveness is not present. Without a sense of urgency built into your leadership position, your business is only as strong as the last time you took swift positive remedial action.

     The classic textbook example was, of course. when Johnson & Johnson handled “The Tylenol Scare” of 1982. They acted poste haste and authoritatively.

     J&J management breeds leadership. It doesn’t matter that you might have a mom and pop grocery store (are there any of those left?) or a 3-person home-based business, there is much to be learned about crisis management from the way J&J dealt with this potential disaster:

  • Apologize immediately and completely.
  • Act immediately.
  • Tell ALL.
  • Follow up.
  • Stay invested in the solution and be transparent.

     Bottom line: RESPONSIVENESS.

     When you tackle a major problem head-on and immediately, the biggest risk you run is being accused of being over-zealous. What’s that compared to lost lives, lost environment, lost trust, lost credibility? The important distinction to remember here is the difference between reSPONDING and reACTING.

     When you reACT, you run the immediate risk of OVER-reacting, and that puts you out of control. When you reSPOND, you are acting with control, and you are ensuring increased odds of success. Seeking a practical control tool? Take some deep breaths!

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Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! God Bless America, and God Bless our troops because “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day! 

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