Curing Leadership Lip Dislocation During a Crisis

It is called lip dislocation. Even the most talented leaders suffer from this problem, especially when the situation is emergent, urgent and victims are being created. The interesting thing about this personal problem is that when you examine the lip dislocation of a variety of important people, a pattern emerges that is preventable. Here’s a sample problem: Massey Energy chairman and CEO Don Blankenship said in The Wall Street Journal, “I’ve been here for 28 years and we know we have the best of safety programs and the best of safety procedures.” Then Blankenship (in whose Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia 29 miners perished on April 5, 2010) moved into the pattern so frequently seen when important people are in the heat and glare of public exposure: Their lip dislocation begins, caused by the failure to engage the brain before speaking.

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