This incident will test your true leadership ability to remain calm, rational, and to demonstrate your ability to take charge under pressure. You could start the “blame game” by immediately finding fault with your security software or your IT team. You could hurriedly create a “damage control plan” to minimize the problem. You could simply pull out the bottle of whiskey you have in your bottom drawer and take a few shots.
As the details are ascertained, the team should determine their course of action, keeping the impact to their customers as their prime focus. They will need to make a timely announcement to their customers identifying what happened, what the impact is to the individual customers, what will be done to correct the situation and by creating a communication channel to field customer questions and concerns. A customer-focused approach will go a long way toward maintaining the integrity of the company, which will now be subject to intense scrutiny.
The distrust of the general populace of community, business, and political leaders stems from a steady stream of talking points, spinning narratives, and denials that have replaced accountability, truthfulness and transparency. People simply don’t trust many of our traditional leaders. Even the most eager leader will struggle in this negative environment.
After the damage has been fixed, the leader must learn from the mistakes made. This will prevent similar mistakes in the future. This learning process is the difference between average and great leaders. Great leaders spend time in meaningful reflection before taking on the next challenge.
Excellent leaders rise to every occasion replacing chaos with a sense of calm resolve.