Fallston Group

Building Strengthening & Defending reputations

What’s the “Why” Behind a Crisis?

Many crises are sustained campaigns, not situational media events. In my view, reputation leads to trust and trust leads to valuation. You see, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is all about the restoration of trust and restoring that reputational piggy bank balance which succumbed to overdraft status.

We know crises can be natural, like an earthquake, or human-induced, like an egregious crime or gross mismanagement. Crises can be sudden or smoldering, high-impact or low-impact. Sometimes organizations recover. Many times, they do not.

Crises can take on many forms: data breach, social media attack, negative press, natural disaster, bankruptcy, crime, litigation, investigation, compliance issues, employee relations complications, job loss, labor unrest, audit sanction, poorly managed mergers, workplace violence, terrorism, war, riots, accidents, health issues, product recall, hostile takeovers, abuse, ineffective leadership transition, and discrimination—to name some of the prominent.

Life is a complex struggle at times, with a seemingly high level of unpredictability. But one thing is certain: crisis will strike. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.

In recent years alone, many high profile leaders have faced serious reputational issues that have cost them tremendous amounts of time, money, customers and, ultimately, their careers – generally in that order. And, in the worst case of scenarios, lives.

In my decades of managing crisis—the overwhelming number which are human induced—I’ve found premeditated crises are deeply rooted in the issues of power, control, money, sex and revenge. Yes, these are the core motivating factors of why people do bad things. Some are driven by a singular vice, others are firing on many motivating cylinders.

As wonderful as the human spirit is, there is often another side to some of us, a side in which these dark, addictive triggers become more important than life itself. And sadly, it’s generally those who orbit the lives of those in crisis—and depend on the afflicted people or organizations emotionally, financially or spiritually—who suffer the most when crisis unravels.

Life lesson for today – closely evaluate who you have in your ecosystem, personally and professionally. Are the people you inherently trust with your business or reputation motivated by any of the core factors outlined above? Are they really making the right decisions for you, your business, your brand?

Take a hard look at “why” these people make the decisions, or act, the way they do. You just may find that YOU need to make some tough eliminating choices as you work your way toward a more brilliant and prosperous future. To learn more about building, strengthening and defending your company’s reputation, please contact us directly at Fallston Group, or call 410-420-2001.

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