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Thoughts on Leadership From “Professor X”: Be Relaxed and Ready

When faced with crisis, the healthiest disposition is neither the comfort of complacency nor a constant state of alarm.

What should be the posture of leadership when a company, an industry, or an entire economy is in crisis?

Most would probably agree that “Don’t worry, be happy” is not the way to go. Comfort leads to contentment, which too often leads to complacency and inaction. Comfort is the disposition of the prey just before ambush by a predator. On the other hand, a state of constant alarm leads to stress, panic and exhaustion, resulting in poor decisions driven by impulse and anxiety, and eventually total dysfunction. People and organizations can turn on each other, or be literally paralyzed by fear.

When faced with crisis, the healthiest disposition is neither the comfort of complacency nor a constant state of alarm. To survive a high-stakes, competitive environment, whether in the wild, in sports or in business, the goal is to maintain a state of relaxed readiness—a posture lying somewhere between total relaxation and absolute rigidity.

In a dangerous economic environment, we must be on the alert for challenges and change, but not so stressed and intimidated by them that we can’t respond. We can’t be so focused on the dangers that we fail to see the opportunities within crisis. The most resilient companies and individuals will be those who can achieve and maintain a state of relaxed readiness.

What men call a crisis is merely God clearing the way for opportunity.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the editor-in-chief of BlackEnterprise.com

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Andrew

    This is great! I must read this everyday in 2009.

  • http://www.jonestowers.com Aclient

    The power of this leadership thought is easily and often untapped in a routine manner. A recent positive example would be Barack Obama’s steady handed, even-keeled demeanor. In the face of tremendously important issues, he appeared under control of himself, which created confidence with the voters of America.

  • A Belle

    This is a very motivating and moving piece. It’s spiritual but yet very practical that u can apply it 2 everyday living or your own personal life-style. I appreciate this and I will use it be successful not just 4 2009, but 4 everyday living….

  • http://www.TRE-Group.com Trellis Usher-Mays

    Great blog Alfred. Very true and insightful. Thanks for the reminder!