If you’ve been in the workplace for any period of time, you’ve probably encountered someone who fits the description of a Productive Narcissist. In fact, you might have even hired the person yourself, unaware that certain personality traits would turn your star performer into a costly management “black hole.”
Electronics giant Samsung has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone overheats and catches fire, creating a safety hazard for owners.
After more than a month of product malfunctions, failed replacement phones, and furious customer complaints, the U.S. Consumer Safety Board effectively forced Samsung’s hand. The Korean-based company announced a total product recall this week and is killing production of the Note 7 altogether. Its strong smartphone brand is badly tarnished. Samsung has also slashed its third quarter profit estimate.
Cases like this remind us that leaders may need to react to any number of crises – man-made or natural – that deal with stakeholder or public safety and well-being.
I addressed common reactions and behaviors to crisis that leaders need to avoid in a previous post, Crisis Leadership: Five Deadly Leader Behaviors.
If you find yourself in a major crisis situation, here’s what you need to do.
“It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”
– Will Rogers
Certainty is appealing and comforting. It makes us feel confident and powerful, especially in uncertain times. But it also has a dark side that I call “Toxic Certainty.”
Toxic Certainty occurs when a person (or group) develops an unshakeable conviction in his/her interpretation of the facts and decision-making, and is immune to contradictory information.
We see the negative effects of Toxic Certainty in political gridlock. We recognize it in religious extremism. But often Toxic Certainty goes unnoticed when it occurs at headquarters or in the boardroom. Unnoticed, that is, until disaster looms as a result of misguided thinking and actions.
“Mastering the New Normal” – A Continuing Series
“A company’s ability to respond to an unplanned event, good or bad, is a prime indicator of its ability to compete.”
– Bill Gates
Our New Normal world involves a global business environment, dynamic markets and evolving strategic, technological and operational risks. Though different organizations have different priorities and issues, what are the key risks keeping leaders awake at night in 2014? A survey of almost 400 C-level executives recently published in Directorship* identified these key concerns: