When you are leading in a time-pressured, make-or-break situation, you might wonder if you should take charge and command action or take the time to enable the innovation of others. You can do both.
Here are three things to do in a crisis that are both directive and empowering:
• Set a vision that instills both realism and hope.
Assess the current situation and how it’s likely to evolve. At the same time, articulate the possibility of succeeding against all odds.
• Bring people in.
Set clear boundaries for who is on and off the core team, but invite in helpful collaborators as well. People may have to work in fluid, shifting arrangements, rotating in and out of teams as the demands of the situation evolve.
Dive in and start doing the work. Lead a disciplined, coordinated execution while also encouraging innovation through experimentation and learning along the way.
Adapted from “Leadership Lessons from the Chilean Mine Rescue,” by Faaiza Rashid, Amy C. Edmondson, and Herman B. Leonard.