Crisis Leadership and Communication, Book Review Example

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Book Review

It does not matter how terrific things turn out to be in an organization, a leader should always be prepared for any crisis that may arise. Just like a disease, or sickness in the human body, a company is prone to a crisis. A leader should be prepared for a crisis that could arise anywhere, at any time, and to anyone within the organization. A crisis comes in any form, maybe an emergency as a lawsuit, a management takeover, a financial crisis, a strike, or even a natural disaster. Communication marks the greatest key in preparing for a crisis. A leader ought to communicate, and build strong relations with employees to enable them report issues before they go too far. He / she should take time to listen and act towards a problem without ignorance however small it may seem. It is pertinent to note that, failure to handle the crisis professionally leads to failure of an esteemed organization, hence embarrassment.

A principled leader ought to know how to react to a crisis correctly. First approach is analyzing the impact of the crisis to the organization, and to the staff’s emotions, behavior, and to the customers. A leader should be influential, with the ability to convince the public during a crisis. He/ she should have excellent communication skills that in one way, or another will positively influence the public, or rather staff to feel safe, and have a reason to fight in favor of the organization. A leader should know how to communicate, who to communicate to, and when to communicate in the event of a crisis.

The CEO in the Tylenol case represents a successful crisis manager. At first, three people died out of cyanide poisoning of the tampered capsules. Four more people died out of the tampered Tylenol, which are products of Johnson and Johnsons. At first, the leaders flicked, as they did not know if the seven deaths that had already occurred were just but a beginning of more deaths to follow. At that time, the Tylenol was the leading pain reliever over the counters, at it contributed to almost 15% of the company’s profits. First, the CEO prepared for the biggest loss to expect of approximately $1.24 billion. They then ordered a recall of all Tylenol containers and their contents, as they were unwilling to risk peoples’ lives. They leaders decided not to put the medication back until the company had developed tamper proof production of the medication and its bottles. In five months, the company recovered 70% of the market shares.

Conversely, the CEO of the BP oil spill is an example of shoddy crisis leadership. The BP oil explosion caused significant environmental crisis four months after the BP oil explosion. The explosion occurred since overworked workers overfilled a tower unnoticeably with liquid hydrocarbon. The CEO insisted that the company’s safety and performance of workers had been improved, which was not effected but only said. Rather, the safety measure employed was concerned workers’ injury and their day offs, which were irrelevant metrics to prevent future explosions. The CEO being selfish enough created metrics to make him appear good. He went on constructing yet another Gulf Oil rig to impress shareholders. Due to the high speed in construction, and a badly constructed rig, a hurricane nearly sank before the completion of the Gulf oilrig. The CEO is selfish, ignorant, unserious, unwilling to admit mistakes, and not ready to find ways to further prevent similar occurrences.

In conclusion, a leader ought to be a man /woman of the people. If at all an issue needs apologies, then the leader ought to place pride behind and apologize to the affected. In this regard, the leader should explain the incidence, while conveying the positive way of handling the situation in the future. The recovery process then comes in after the crisis has calmed down. The leader needs to rebuild the relationship while implementing the agreed changes, while at the same time assuring the affected that those cases will not occur again. A leader should not be selfish and individualistic as in the case of the CEO of BP.

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