Crisis and Krisis – Chapter One
……In a candid moment, sort of at the end of my rope, I told my superiors how responsible I felt for our bad performance as a division. Opening up like that,
and exposing my vulnerability as a professional, felt a bit dangerous from a career perspective. Fortunately, I had two great bosses who understood what I was going through and knew exactly the right things to say. They told me that they didn’t hold me responsible for the steep decline in the profitability of our business because the financial, political and social turmoil was obviously not my fault. Instead, they’d measure my performance and growth as a leader by how I dealt with the crisis.
In other words, the crisis wasn’t personal, and it was not necessary or even helpful for me to feel responsible for events that were clearly beyond my control. But it was my responsibility to manage it as best as possible for the sake of my team and the company. While that might seem self-evident to someone outside the chaos, I think it’s a lesson that every young leader must learn and absorb.
That advice really helped me to focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t, and what my team needed from me to weather the storm. We didn’t create a miracle turnaround, but we survived. Many other businesses didn’t make it, and the Greek economy is still struggling almost ten years later. I don’t think that Greek society has recovered its sense of purpose and vision for a better future even today.
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