This week has been a wild ride here in Virginia. Much of the ride has been because leaders failed to prepare for a predictable crisis and lead well when it happened. This could have been different. Here are three tips for your consideration + 1. 

1) Prepare. You already know there are some things that can blow up. For example, a staff member will prove to not be so trustworthy. If you run programs for little kids, it’s likely a child will get hurt. Or you did something years ago, you wish you hadn’t. What are the three things that most worry you? Pretend they just blew up and prepare a few procedures. Keep reading.

2) What’s the process? Who speaks to press or others? Who speaks to licensing or law-enforcement? What will you or they say? Play and test ideas now, not when the camera is at the door. What sounds right, what is authentic, what words resonate? Know where the guardrails to stay within are, so your lawyers don’t tell you to say nothing to no one. Good legal strategy but terrible brand strategy.

3) How can you turn this into a positive? Have you learned something worth sharing? Have you made changes to prevent future issues? 

4) AND if at all possible, follow the cover of this book. Tell the truth. Tell it early. Tell it all. Tell it yourself. Control the story or it will control you.