Henry Kissinger once said, “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” What exactly is a crisis and what does crisis mean?
John F. Kennedy put it this way. “When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” Depending on who answers there can be many different definitions for this question.
A crisis can have a tendency to dwell on a problem. It can evolve from a small annoyance into a larger problem. A crisis can be something that has produced insecurity about the future. It can be a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in an organization’s life.
Teams often have to deal with a crisis when sudden and unexpected changes take place. So, how does a team deal with a crisis? Below are seven statements in dealing with a crisis that must be understood before a team can address the problem.
1. A Crisis Reduces Life to Its Basic Fundamentals
What this statement means is that the team must remind themselves of the most important purpose(s) and goal(s) of the organization. This applies to every organization from businesses, volunteer groups, charity organizations, and churches. What are the basic principles of the organization? What can we not live without? What can be done away with? What are the basics of this organization?
2. A Crisis Opens Our Eyes to New Possibilities
Often the only way “eyes are opened” in an organization is when their senses are startled by a crisis. A sudden change or shock can be a positive thing! It is a wake-up call!
3. A Crisis Creates Discipline
There are often times when a shock to the system will cause a team to think long and hard about “why are we doing what we are doing?” This attitude will lead members of the team to focus on the true purpose of the organization, the desired goal of the group and the outcome that is hoped for.
4. A Crisis Drives Us To Seek Support From Others
This is a time when the skills and talents of other people will become important to the team. A crisis will show team members how vitally important the skills of other people are for the success of the team. The need for someone to help is sought out, and this will introduce new talent and skills to the organization. This is another reason that crisis in not negative but an extremely positive time for the team. A crisis does not have to be seen as destructive or counter-productive——just the opposite. It can be a time of creativity, expansion and growth.
5. A Crisis Teaches Us How To Be Graceful
This is a time when personal egos and pride are placed aside. A crisis teaches us how to appreciate the skills of others by putting ourselves on the back burner. If we are willing, we can acknowledge the gifts and talents of others and intentionally work on reducing the pride factor in our life. Being “graceful” during a time of crisis teaches us how to be fluid, fluent, natural, neat, agile, supple, nimble, and light-footed.
6. A Crisis Spotlights the Giftedness In Our Lives
There are often times when our true talents will never show themselves until they are forced out. Many people will suppress great talents for their entire life until those talents are forcibly called upon. A crisis can dig deep into the lives of individuals and bring forth skills that have been hidden for years. For some, only a crisis will bring forth hidden skills, gifts, and talents.
7. A Crisis Encourages Us to Become Leaders
Finally, a crisis calls many individuals to step up to the plate. You are the one! It is time to lead! Leadership is not always easy, but it is often demanded. There will be times when many people will crumble under pressure or perceived failure. Crisis can be a time to blossom as a leader. Discomfort and sudden changes will call out the leader! Crisis can be the starting point for a new beginning that leads to great possibilities.
What does crisis mean to you?
How about your organization or church?
How do you deal with a crisis?