What Doesn’t Matter In A Crisis

There are so many things we think matter that don’t. We discover what truly matters in a crisis.

I hope you’re discovering what matters and what doesn’t matter throughout this crisis. I have.

iPhone on a red background

Photo by Brian McGowan

You may be shocked at what I’m about to share. These may seem like things that should matter. In the end, they really don’t.

These are vanity metrics. Things we want to matter. Things we think should matter. But they don’t.

What Doesn’t Matter In A Crisis

We can’t get caught up in things that don’t matter. Especially during a crisis. Yet it’s a common pitfall for leaders.

We find ourselves staring at or propping up all sorts of vanity. All sorts of things that don’t matter.

Things like:

Titles –

We love our titles. I’ve seen titles ranging from Vice President Of Sales And Operational Excellence to Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence.

Titles are nice. They can tell us, hopefully, what a person does. Often times, the title becomes inflated or no longer important.

During a crisis, titles are even less important. Titles don’t matter. What matters is who can get the job done and who can help the people in your organization sleep peacefully at night.

These are the people you want on your team. You don’t need bloated titles. You need good, strong people.

Shiny objects –

Shiny objects are those things that catch your eye and distract you. It may be the latest leadership book or a new Apple computer.

They’re nice things. They may help you become more productive. But not during a crisis.

We need to be focused on the issues at hand. We need to be dealing with the crisis we’re staring down. What don’t we need to be concerned with? Learning a new piece of computer equipment or leadership principle.

Stick with what works… At least until the crisis has passed.

Feelings –

More specifically, your feelings. Your feelings are fickle. They can change on a dime.

Your feelings may tell you to run screaming while pulling out your hair. It may tell you there’s no way you can survive.

You’ve got to silence your feelings. Especially the ones that want to tell you to give up.

Instead, realize your feelings can lie to you. Are lying to you.

Wade through your feelings. Discover why you’re feeling the way you do. Then figure out what you should be feeling.

The way things were done before –

We get caught up in the old way of doing things. We often hear “But that’s never been done” or “We didn’t do this for someone else.”

This is the old way trying to talk to us. It’s also a way to prevent us from moving forward.

You can’t get caught up by what you did in the past. The past is the past and you’re fighting for the future.

Stop saying you’ve never done this or that before. Instead, ask “What do I need to do differently to get through today?”

Answering this question will help you lead through crisis.

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