What Makes a Strong Crisis Manager

The qualities of personalities who can see the big picture and act calmly.

Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton wanted to be the first person to cross Antarctica, but this project did not quite turn out as planned. In 1915, the “Endurance” expedition ship was trapped in walls of pack ice several meters high, and finally sank in the frigid water. Shackleton and his team first camped on ice floes, and then, with the onset of warmer weather, managed to row to land—and survive. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Problems keep piling up and the situation is spiraling out of control. Even individuals with strong nerves can lose their bearings and begin to panic. The clock is ticking relentlessly, and time is running out to avert a yet greater disaster. It is a crisis—which is going from bad to worse. Whether in the form of an oil spill, earthquake, famine, war, stock market crash, or pandemic, a disaster or crisis can hit companies, individuals, or entire societies, bringing suffering and death. It is not for nothing that the literature on how to manage crises fills any number of shelves.

The Covid-19 pandemic has once again revealed the need for leaders who can rapidly grasp the big picture. Who can keep their cool and improvise under pressure. Who surround themselves with capable personnel and make far-reaching decisions in very short periods of time. Now is the hour for those who are willing to push the limits, and who are skilled at handling crises. We present five examples of extraordinary individuals who faced economic, social, or political crises—and had the qualities and abilities needed to deal with them.

Read the full article in Porsche Consulting Magazine