A Good Hero Needs a Good Crisis

You can’t save the day without a crisis! Be a great leader and jump in the moment a fire flares up. Even better — always have one handy, especially for those times when you need to maintain your pristine image.

Your value as the leader is to rise up at the last moment to triumph over the current crisis. Thus, you restore your importance in the company and demand the respect of those pesky underlings.

When the Crisis is Ready, The Hero Will Appear

How can a fireman save people’s lives until he sees the smoke? What good is an exterminator until there’s an infestation of roaches? Then and only then can you successfully play the part of the hero.

Why do you need your entire IT team if there aren’t any huge technical problems at the moment? If nothing’s going wrong, why not let a few of them go? Since there aren’t any technical problems, they are obviously just dead weight. If the entire network goes down, though, you will gladly call in a team of professionals to save the day.

Remember: Even when you’re not actually the person solving the crisis, you’re still the hero that had the wisdom to oversee the solution. That’s still enough to deserve all of the credit as far as I am concerned. Win / win / win.

Without crisis, there can be no hero.

You may be tempted to prevent any fires from starting up in order to get rid of stress and panic within the company. This is a rookie mistake! What about the times when your people lose respect for you? What about when you need a way to prove how awesome you are? If you are wise, you’ll always keep some red hot embers nearby…

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand…
Spend your time and effort preventing fires so you don’t have to fight them. The best hero is the one who has the insight to avoid a crisis altogether.

Is it tempting to let fires flare up so you can be the hero and put it out? Why?

  • Sumguy

    one of the main characters in a book I recently listened too was described as “the laziest mechanic [the ship owner] will ever miss” His approach was simple, don’t patch something that can be permanently fixed. In the first few weeks of the voyage he worked long and hard and carefully. For the rest of the months on the ship he basically could do nothing, because he’d taken care of all the problems to begin with.

    • Great comment! This topic needs its own post.

      I’m constantly seeing the need to do this same concept. When I discover a small problem, it usually hints at a much bigger issue. I can either patch the problem with a bandaid, or I can roll up my sleeves and really solve the root issue behind the problem.

      It all comes down to short term vs long term solutions.

  • Rusty Shacklefurt

    Read the book A Tale of Three Kings, that book is the basis for my reply – What did King David do?

    • Hmmm… Sounds interesting. I’ll add it to my list of books to read. Thank you for the recommendation.