Wally Bock Answers Your
Supervisory Leadership Question
What makes great disaster leadership?
Leadership is about setting direction (we're going over that hill), about purpose (here's why we're going over that hill) and maintaining energy and effort (come on, get up, we've got to get over that hill). Turn that into expectations and we want the people who lead us to know where we should go and why and encourage our efforts to get there.
When the shoe polish hits the fan, we turn around and look for our leaders. We expect them to step up, assure us that they know where we should go and encourage us on the journey.
We expect our leaders to be concerned with our welfare. The twin objectives of any leader whether leader of the free world or leader of a Marine fire team, are to accomplish the mission and care for the people.
When crisis strikes we are scared and confused. We want our leaders to act like we think we should act. We want them to be in control and decisive.
So leaders need to act decisively, correctly, and compassionately, but they also need to be perceived as acting decisively, correctly, and compassionately. Leaders communicate that by what they say and what they do.
What they say is important because that's where a leader demonstrates that he or she knows what's up and what to do about it.
What they do is important because symbolic acts by leaders mean a lot. It's not a "merely symbolic" act when the President tours a disaster area. It's a powerful act because it communicates importance and concern.
It comes down to this. In times of crisis we want our leaders to be decisive, knowledgeable and compassionate and to show that by what they say and do.
If this answer was helpful, you may want to check out the following.
You may reprint or repost this article providing that the following
conditions are met:
- The article remains essentially unaltered.
- Wally Bock is shown as the author.
- The notice Copyright 2005 by Wally Bock or similar appears on the article.
- Contact information for Wally is included with the article. You may refer readers to
this Web site as a way to meet this requirement, or use the information on our contact page.
Any other reprinting or reposting requires specific permission which is almost always
granted. Click here to request permission if necessary.
Got a supervisory leadership question for Wally? He'll answer as many questions as his workload permits and put the ones with most universal interest on this site. By asking your question you agree that it may appear here at some future time. Your name and affiliation will not be used on the site in conjunction with your question.
To ask Wally a supervisory leadership question, click here to go to our question form.
© 2005 Wally Bock.
Click for Contact Information.