While the exact circumstances surrounding the resignation of MTN CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa, have not been publically disclosed, Nonkululeko Gobodo, CEO of Nkululeko Leadership Consulting, says the resignation of leaders at a time of crisis appears to be an increasingly worrying trend impacting organisations across the globe.
Put people first
Gobodo believes that instead of adopting a knee-jerk response to organisational problems or issues, leadership within an organisation should be rallying together and putting the interests of the organisation and its people first.
“Panicked responses to organisational crises often end up exacerbating the problem instead of working towards resolving it. And while organisations should focus on resolving the underlying organisational issue, it instead escalates into a finger-pointing blame game scenario, that only serves to further damage the organisation from both an economic and reputational perspective,” she comments.
Harness collective wisdom
For Gobodo, stabilising the organisation through harnessing the collective wisdom of its leaders should be the primary focus during a time of crisis.
“Leaders should be working together to instil calm and confidence that they have the problem under control. The reality is that any failure in leadership not only has an impact at an organisational level but has a spin-off effect at an economic and social level impacting the entire industry sector, as well as the communities in which it operates and the people it employs,” she stresses.
Gobodo believes a change in leadership at a time of crisis could potentially prove detrimental to an organisation.
“Preserving the organisation and its culture should be the primary focus during a crisis and this can ultimately only be achieved by a leader who has helped shape and live the culture, and one that has intimate knowledge of the business or sector landscape and its unique challenges.
“Bringing in someone new with an unfamiliar leadership style could effectively serve to further destabilise the situation. It’s high time we as leaders re-visit how we solve problems at a time of crisis instead of opting for the all too common ‘find a fall-guy approach’,” she concludes.