There Was No Book

Dealing with a crisis is easier if you have practiced and if you include others to help you through it.

The one really big learning we had when I worked at Disney was that you cannot rely on a book of instructions when you are in the middle of dealing with a crisis.  We learned to put a bunch of smart experts in a room and out on the front lines, and let them use their expertise, common sense, and judgment . . . and they will figure out as a team the right solution quickly every single time.  No book can hold the answers to issues that are happening on a moment’s notice. Even if the answers were in a book, I am sure that the book would be so thick you could not quickly find the answer. 

During Hurricane Charley, my boss asked me:  how do you run this Emergency Operations Command Center?  I told him that what you do is listen to the experts—and for the most part—you listen to them and do what they tell you.  When you are not sure, you get the whole group around the table and quickly bounce the issue off of them.  The answers comes quickly, and many different points of view are surfaced that no one individual could ever come up with.  When you have all of the different points of view in front of you, making a good decision is a whole lot easier.

Pick competent people, trust their judgment and common sense, and then you will get a score of between 9.5 and 10.0, which is usually high enough to win a gold medal . . . and you never win a gold medal by looking up the answers in a book.  You win because you have experience . . . because you have trained, and trained, and trained . . . because you have the common sense and judgment to know what is right and what is wrong . . . and because There Is Instruction Book when you are in the middle of the race!   . . . Lee

1 Comment
  1. Francis….That is correct in my opinion…Take care…Lee

    so…. “there is NO instruction book” when we are in the middle of the race, right?

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