Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

This book explores how spirituality can improve an organization’s ability to respond to a crisis. It presents biblical examples of leading during a crisis to show how faith can be relied upon to lead during crisis situations. Further, it presents examples of leaders using their faith during trying times. In recent years, organizations have begun to prepare for crises, but scholarly research has not kept up with their efforts. Exploring topics such as communication, servant leadership, and resilience, this work stakes new ground in leadership theory and will foster future research into the role of spirituality during organizational crisis.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
Everyone who has existed on earth has experienced crisis. We should not forget that both birth and death are very real crises that we must go through. We all have also experienced crisis in the form of birth, death, injury, and pain to the ones we love. Just as everyone is unique, everyone’s response to crisis is different. Some respond to crisis by rushing at the problem and trying to solve any issues present, while others shrink from the challenges due to the overwhelmingness of them. Crisis response is much more than this “fight or flight” response. While we have all experienced crisis very few leaders have worked to better prepare for them. This book is intended to show leaders how their faith and an understanding of crisis leadership principles will help them deal with the inevitable crises that will come.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 2. What Is Crisis Leadership?

Abstract
Crisis leadership is a very important part of leading in today’s world. Every organization goes through some form of crisis on a fairly regular basis. This chapter is intended to define what a crisis is and what its impact may be on the organization. Additionally, a distinction between crisis management and crisis leadership will be made and an overview of crisis leadership research will be provided. The Bible provides us guidance on how we should view the various crises we experience. We are told, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). These words tell us that the Lord already knows the trouble we will have to endure and that we should have faith that we can overcome them. While this is very comforting news, this does not mean that we can sit idly by and hope that things work out. Rather, we are to do as instructed in 1 Peter and in other parts of scripture and serve as leaders and examples for others during tough times.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 3. Importance of Organizational Culture to Crisis Leadership

Abstract
Organizational culture is one of the most important components for leading an organization. While in some respects organizational culture has become a field of its own, its relationship with leadership and importance to the leader is definitive. Leaders who do not understand organizational culture do so at their own peril. It is generally agreed that it was Peter Drucker who stated, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote succinctly sums up the point Edgar Schein (2010) made in his book Organizational Culture and drives home that culture is more important than strategy when it comes to leading today’s organizations. Organizational culture is extremely important to crisis leadership as well. A leader should understand the relationship between culture and the organization’s response to crises in order to ensure their organization is the best prepared it can be.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 4. Personal Crisis and Its Relationship to Organizational Crisis Leadership

Abstract
Most everyone has experienced some form of crisis in their personal lives. While the magnitude of these crises may vary, it cannot be denied that we live with crisis as a fundamental experience in our lives. How we respond to these crises shapes who we are and what we become. The common thread from the Bible verses listed at the beginning of this chapter is that God is with us. No matter how dire the circumstances, God is close to each person and is there to provide comfort and hope. Personal crises that we see come from deaths, disappointment, relationships, and disasters. It is important for a leader to understand how individuals deal with personal crisis so they can better lead during an organizational crisis.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 5. Spiritual Leadership and Crisis

Abstract
The research on both spiritual leadership and crisis leadership is small but has grown steadily over the past 20 years. Overall, the research on spiritual leadership has tended to show that leaders who emphasize spirituality in the workplace typically inspire their employees more. Additionally, research shows that when workplace spirituality is encouraged employees tend to perform better (Williams et al. 2017). This chapter will provide an overview of the literature available and will explain where there is room for additional research to make a large impact on the crisis leadership field. This chapter will also discuss key characteristics for modeling workplace spirituality and will offer suggestions to leaders on how to incorporate spirituality in the workplace and in their leadership style. The role of spirituality in employees dealing with a crisis will be the main focus of this chapter. Several examples will be provided to show how leaders can use their Christian spirituality to help their organizations during a crisis.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 6. Scripture as Guide and Comfort During a Crisis

Abstract
The Bible has many examples of people and leaders dealing with crises. In this chapter I will provide examples of biblical figures dealing with a crisis and will compare their response to the suggested steps from this book. The Bible tells us early on to expect crises when it is written that “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” Jesus tells us that God “cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2). This provides a clear indication that we should expect trials in our lives. Since we know there will be trials and crisis there is no reason why we should not prepare for them and one of the best ways for leaders to prepare to lead during a crisis is to seek examples to follow and guidance in scripture.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 7. Importance of Communication During a Crisis

Abstract
One of the most important parts of leadership is communication (Schein 2010; Kouzes and Posner 2002). Expedient, clear, and transparent communication is even more vital during times of crisis. Leaders need to concentrate not only on the actions they will direct in response to a crisis but also on the tenor and content of their communications regarding the crisis. Leaders must not only communicate to their employees, but they also have a responsibility to communicate to all the stakeholders involved with their organization including customers, suppliers, contractors, competitors, and the community at large. This chapter will discuss the importance of communication during crisis response. Additional examples from the Bible showing where people communicated well during various crises will also be presented.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 8. Steps to Take During a Crisis

Abstract
The Bible does not direct Christians to be meek and simply take the consequences of whatever crisis occurs. Instead, we are told to act in response to a crisis knowing that God is by our side. This chapter will provide a concrete method for dealing with a crisis while also stressing the importance of planning and practicing crisis response procedures. The steps below are loosely based upon on Crisis Action Planning (CAP) procedures used by the military when they plan for and respond to a crisis. The steps are simple and are sequenced to ensure that a leader can step through them at a pace that is both deliberate and that allows for rapid response as needed. Before discussing the specific steps to take when dealing with a crisis this chapter will focus on the importance of having a crisis response plan that is assessed and exercised regularly to ensure the plan is up to date and employees are familiar with it. First, I will present an overview of what crisis management researchers have presented as possible models to use for the life cycle of a crisis.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 9. Growing and Improving from a Crisis

Abstract
While a crisis can challenge the leader and the organization almost to a breaking point it is important to understand that crisis can also be an opportunity for growth. This chapter will discuss the ways leaders can improve their leadership abilities along with the culture of their organization during a crisis. It may seem counterintuitive, but crisis can be used by a leader to improve an organization. This chapter will also discuss how crisis is a part of our working life that we must accept.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 10. Crisis Leadership and Development of Organizational Resilience

Abstract
A leader must work before, during, and after a crisis to ensure their organization has a high level of resiliency. Building this resiliency should be a part of the strategic planning process as the leader works to build organizational culture. This should be fostered at the individual, group, and overall organizational level. By encouraging spirituality and using their faith, leaders can best strengthen this resiliency and assure the organization can make it through any crisis.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 11. Servant Leadership and Crisis Leadership

Abstract
While reading a book on crisis leadership the reader might ask, “Which leadership style is best suited for dealing with a crisis?” There are many different leadership styles and theories that could be evaluated but for this book I have chosen to focus on servant leadership because I believe it is the leadership style that works best with crisis leadership. This chapter will present the theory behind servant leadership and will also show how this style can best be used to lead during a crisis. Other leadership theories can fit with crisis leadership, but I will leave the evaluation and discussion of them to others. I believe servant leadership fits best when considering which leadership style will have the best results in a crisis due to the emphasis on serving those in the organization.
Steve Firestone

Chapter 12. Conclusion

Abstract
Christians are called to lead by God, and they are also called to be the calming influence for their organizations during a crisis. Christians and the Christian faith have been at the forefront of many achievements we have seen on earth since the time of Jesus. Christian leaders were largely responsible for the creation of hospitals and universities as well as many of the scientific discoveries we see today. Christianity also inspired many of the most well-known works of art and literature and it also encouraged the concepts of justice for all and liberty (Schmidt 2004). Christians should understand and appreciate all of the good things that the faith has brought to the world and they should not be afraid to allow their faith to influence their leadership. There are many stories in the Bible to guide Christians on how to lead the people in their organization. In many ways Christians were made to lead and the Bible serves as the leadership textbook for them to follow.
Steve Firestone

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen

Premium Partner

    Bildnachweise