Category Archives: Dealing With Crises

Six Leadership Survival Techniques When Change Hits

The merger took hold and all the departments across four offices became one unit. Leaders of all ranks folded together to create a brand new firm. Disbelief and shock began to trickle down as the employees digested what had just happened to them. The mood was one of uncertainty and confusion, as teams imagined what their place would be in the new entity. They knew it was happening yet the reality of the change had not set in completely.

I began working with one of the teams to sort out how they were coping with the merger. To get a better read on how each of these leaders was feeling I asked them about their “take” on all the recent changes.

“I am so upset about the merger. I loved my old company.”

“I am scared what the future holds.”

“I’m not happy that we have a new organization name.”

“I guess I will ride with it. Who knows.”

It became clear that the merger had made a great impact on each person’s work world. Change is very personal and affects people differently. Even if the change is a positive one, it can bring chaos to the best leaders out there. The critical part of change is that it is constant and the better we get at dealing with it when it arrives, the more resilient we will become.

Six leadership survival techniques when change hits:


Leaders need to take time to validate their feelings about a merger. Acknowledge what will be changing and what will no longer be. This first step is essential to embracing any change or merger. It’s perfectly normal to be angry if we are asked to say good-bye to a great situation in which we felt comfortable.


Getting all the facts about how a change is going to impact our work world is pivotal.

  • Learn why the change or merger is taking place
  • Ask how the change will affect your department
  • See how the change fits into the vision and mission of your organization
  • Be clear on the big picture


When leaders are in a state of flux or uncertainty it can be very helpful to reach out to a trusted person. Just sharing our concerns about the impact on our work lives can be comforting. Additionally our support system can help us brainstorm steps to take to deal with the change so that we are feeling more in control.


During a change it is critical to block-out any negative chatter coming into our heads. Leaders need to find positive mantras that can help them overcome any anxiety or fear. Here are a few that may help:

  • “Change is part of life.”
  • “I have been through worse experiences than this one.”
  • “This is a great opportunity.”
  • “Just do it!”
  • “This too shall pass.”


To ensure your success after a change or merger leaders must be clear on their new roles and responsibilities. Don’t assume that your projects and goals will be the same. Leaders need to advocate what they want to focus on and be aware of who will be helping them.


Each leader embraces change at different speeds so if you are ready to move forward and a team member needs re-assurance be there for them. Be sensitive to other’s concerns.

  • Take the person out to lunch or coffee
  • Ask how they are doing
  • Offer to help them deal with a concern
  • Tell them you are there to be a support

What leadership survival techniques do you use during times of change?

If you need some guidance in dealing with a change or a merger please reach out.

(Image credit: Pixabay)

Five Clues That Your Team Needs A Leadership Rehab

I enjoy watching house makeovers on TV. They always start with a major structural disaster and analyze which remodeling strategies will turn the house into a beautiful home. To make that transformation there is usually a great deal of dreaming, planning, hard work and finally elation. It’s a process that not only takes time but also depends on the expertise and knowledge of the designers and builders.

In a similar way, our teams and organizations sometimes need a makeover. The culprit of the dysfunctional team or institution is often the leadership at all levels. Team members and leaders don’t always recognize the signs of a collapsing leadership strategy. When we are in the… Continue reading | 8 Comments

Five Game Plans To Crush A Leadership Crisis

You probably recognize this workplace scenario. The team you’re on is moving along at a clip, accomplishing great outcomes and meeting challenging deadlines. Each team member seems to be working hard and knows what is expected of them. Then one day you notice that projects, files, phone calls or emails are piling up. Co-workers are less inclined to help each other out and start to vent about their workload. Gossip about how certain individuals on the team are not pulling their fair share begins to circulate. The once smoothly run team is derailing with no one in charge to realign it. What’s happening to your previously high performing team?

A leadership crisis is setting in

Hit Your Creativity Button To Delight Customers

During a recent short out- of- town adventure, my leadership antennae went into high gear. Going into any new local, I am usually very excited and pumped to learn and recharge my batteries. It is a great opportunity to take time to just think and dream and plan. This particular trip involved heavy rains, flooding and thunderstorms. They were relentless and I was at a “beachy” resort. To add to the frustration, nobody at the resort seemed particularly caring or concerned with the needs of their visitors. Except for one amazing maintenance man. A true leader.

 When we initially arrived the conversation with an employee at the front desk sounded like this:

“Welcome… Continue reading | 6 Comments

Six Leadership Hacks To Manage Your Workload

In one of my leadership programs this past week, I met a very devoted leader who was overwhelmed with her workload. As she shared her story and challenges with us her face and entire body grew tense and rigid. She was visibly upset, shaking her head as she rolled out her struggles with us.

“I can’t seem to get a hold of all the work that keeps coming my way. Not only is the amount of work beyond doable, but also the people delegating it to me, don’t have a clue about what else I have been asked to complete. As a result I am continually missing deadlines and everyone seems to be… Continue reading | 2 Comments