As Drucker said great leaders anticipate the storm. They know that leadership is a “foul weather job” and thus are prepared for the crisis when it arrives.

Martin Luther King summed it up perfectly

“the ultimate measure of a man (Leader) is not where he (the leader) stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he (the leader) stands in times of challenge and controversy”.

Welch had a large realism streak in his body.  He would take the necessary action, face the necessary music and move on. Jack Welch handled each crisis on the following assumptions:

  • The crisis will be worst than it first appears
  • The bad news will come out sometime so may as well face the music now
  • The situation will be portrayed in the worst possible light by ‘the press’
  • There will be carnage
  • The organization will survive.

Great leaders always maintain a sense of humour.  Shackleton’s sense of humour was always to the fore. He was in fact the life and soul of the group. He was constantly looking for ways to maintain morale.

As Tom Peters says about bad times, “I can say with conviction and confidence that this is when it gets fun for talented and imaginative leaders.”

Please read “winning” by Jack and Suzy Welch.

You may wish to read an extract from my Winning Leadership Whitepaper, this paper can be purchased from my website.