Updated: Oct 20, 2021
I fly a lot for work and for personal travel. There are lots of things I love about airplanes, like the views and getting to meet some new people. But there are far more things I hate. The cramped leg space, the never quite right temperature, and the inevitable headache I get from being crammed with 200 other people into a tiny space.
Most of all, I hate the safety speech they give at the beginning of the flight. It's the same speech on every plane that has taken off in the last 10 years. Honestly, you'd think they would make it a video you have to watch while you book your tickets, rather than making us sit through a lackluster live performance. But I get it.
You need to know what to do when it all goes sideways.
If something goes wrong, then the people need to know what the expectation is to mitigate damage. So I want to ask: what's your crash strategy?
If your business, church, or team starts a downward spiral, do you have a plan in place? It could mean anything from having a way to stay afloat to how to decide who gets laid off. But the essential principle is that there is a pre-decision already made when life isn't full of chaos, and the expectation has been set while everyone is in a clear headspace.
Leaders are supposed to care for those underneath their leadership. That means that when the place you lead is going to a dangerous place, you are the one who mitigates danger. You are the one who sets the policy that saves money or brand appearance, or even jobs. But that can only be done when you aren't shackled by the weight of the urgent.
There is a plethora of scholarship that supports the idea of pre-decisions. Overwhelmingly the bent is that if you can set a plan and procedure while in a calm and healthy place, you will make the best possible decision when things get complicated.
So make a plan for your team and your organization. Here are some possible things to consider:
Low fiscal quarter
Filling Leadership Gaps
These are just some possible ideas to consider, but the point is that you should take a day to think about how your organization COULD end up taking a nosedive and figure out your airplane spiel. How will you keep breathing before you can help others around you?