There’s no escaping it. Disaster and crisis flock to great projects like moths to a flame. The greater the project, the more dramatic.
It’s guaranteed. If you’re stretching yourself and doing great work — there will be a point where everything comes crashing down in front of you.
When it happens, not doing the following will help you escape the debacle with your head on straight:
- Don’t act surprised. It will happen. It happens in every project. And it happens to everyone. You’re not special enough to be the exception. So get over your astonishment quickly and deal with it.
- Don’t be dramatic. It’s usually never as bad as you think it is. Even if it’s really bad. We tend to exaggerate the implications of a crisis to the tune of the emotional significance of the project. If you brain tells you it’s a 10, it’s probably a 7.
- Don’t look for a quick fix. Chances are the crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. It was probably a long time coming — and deep down you knew it was coming. If you’re only worried about cleaning up the immediate mess, how do you know it won’t happen again?
Here’s the thing: for a project, a crisis is like a mild fever. It’s your project telling you that’s something’s not quite right and you need to address it before it gets worse.
If you take heed, you can correct course.
The alternative is failure.