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The Four Keys to Leading in a Crisis: #3 Process

October 6, 2020

Without a good process, success is difficult to achieve and nearly impossible to repeat.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve unpacked two keys to leading a crisis: purpose and perspective. Purpose gives us the fuel we need to persevere through the most trying seasons, and perspective helps us see ourselves, one another, our work, and the obstacles we face through a clearer lens. Once you’ve identified your purpose and gained a proper perspective of the crisis in front of you, putting a good process in place keeps you focused on doing the right thing at the right time.

Which brings me back to this statement: Without a good process, success is difficult to achieve and nearly impossible to repeat.

This is a line from my book The Lens. However, my affinity for process is not something that comes naturally to me. Let me be blunt: Systems feel stifling to me—I want as much freedom as possible! For much of my career, I’ve rejected attempts to put processes in place. But through years of experience, I’ve learned that sustained success is impossible without process. In a season of crisis and constant change, processes are even more important.

Because my bias is usually against process, I strategically  surround myself with a few teammates who love routines, schedules, and systems. They help me and the rest of our team see what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done, in order to accomplish our collective purpose. Their processes give us tangible ways to move forward when the obstacles we face feel overwhelming.

These same ADDO team members are uniquely gifted in helping some of our clients put their own processes in place. About two years, we partnered with a local government agency to help them create consistency in customer care across their organization. (Those are two things you probably never expected to see together: Government and Customer Service!)

But the group we were hired by had a visionary leader who knew they had the potential to do more. Our team knew that we could inspire or motivate for short term improvements, but the only way to move the meter over the long haul was to put a process in place. We developed training modules with tangible benchmarks for success. For example, when interacting with a customer, stick to your ABC’s: ask for clarification, be specific, and communicate solutions. It seems simple, but by giving a framework, a process, and real actions to emulate, we were able to help this group create and implement a process for effective customer care.

Think about this year for you. What processes do you need to put in place in your organization, in your church, or in your business? Maybe you need to tweak some existing processes to adapt to a new season. Work to value schedules, routines, and organized action plans.

If you’re more like me and don’t naturally create systems for yourself and others, surround yourself with people who are gifted in this way.

Need some more inspiration? Remember this:

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

–William A. Foster

Effective leadership comes as a result of effective processes. Remember the purpose, maintain the proper perspective, and put processes in place to keep the ship steady even during turbulent times. 


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