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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

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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, self-study, and delivery of a project

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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 On-site

The Need for Skilled Crisis Leaders:

The Need for Skilled Crisis Leaders Acute threats; natural and human-caused A crisis causes dramatic systems change There are differences between management and leadership A crisis will affect multiple systems; there is a need to manage conflicting goals, values, and responsibilities

Overview (continued):

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 can’t rely on title or position alone

Establishing Crisis Competencies:

Establishing Crisis Competencies Comprehensive set of over 27 leadership competencies 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:

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

Leadership is Complex:

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:

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

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9/11/01 The day that changed everything

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SARS and Pandemic Flu

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Dammeron Fire Complex, Southern Utah, July, 2005, photo by K. Sharkey

Organizational Crisis Scenarios:

Organizational Crisis Scenarios Hostile take-over (change in political group in power) Financial catastrophe (budget reductions; loss of grants) 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:

Comparing ICS with Crisis Leadership Incident Command System Command Control Coordination Highly structured; clear roles and responsibilities Training and exercises are conducted regularly Crisis Leadership Leadership isn’t just about title or position Leadership skills can be learned/honed Communication Clarifying vision and values Caring

Leadership’s Role in a Crisis:

Leadership’s Role in a Crisis Leaders set the tone by their example and conduct Leaders must pay attention to the components of influence 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:

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

It’s like a war zone out there!:

It’s like a war zone out there! The military’s single peacetime focus is preparing for combat, the ultimate crisis situation because it involves life and death. A major element of the military’s 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 battlefield. 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)


Communication 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 it From The Times-Picayune, Sept. 2, 2005 (edited):

Editorial: Yes, we're worth it From 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 displaced.

Risk Communication:

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

Clarity of Vision and Values:

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 rights

Editorial: Where is the cavalry? From The Times-Picayune, Sept. 1, 2005 (edited) :

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 survive.


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

Emotional Intelligence:

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


Competence 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 (2003)


Decisiveness 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 isn’t available; accepting that there are risks involved; getting recommendations from others; listening to gut feelings; making the decisions that need to be made


Courage 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 :

Preparing for Crisis It’s 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 assessment

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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 intelligence? What do you have to do to demonstrate more of these traits?

Recovery and Rebuilding:

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 “C’s” still provide the model Involve everyone in “lessons learned” events

To recap:

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 times—not just during a crisis Leaders need to take time to hone their skills and reflect on their effectiveness

Contact Information:

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:

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