Don’t Bombard the C-Suite: Shoulder the Worry and Keep Volatile Leaders Calm

female leader in business meeting

Editor’s Note: The idea for this month’s Crisis Dialogue springs from something we hear often from crisis pros: ‘That person/company is difficult.’ So, we talked with Chanel Cathey, founder/CEO, CJC Insights, LLC, and Daniel Roberts, a corporate crisis specialist, about handling uncooperative executives during a crisis. The conversation was edited for space and clarity. 

Crisis Insider: Please give us examples of  common traits of difficult executives during a crisis.

Daniel Roberts: [A difficult executive in a PR crisis will] sets unrealistic expectations, is not fully honest and speaks down to [crisis] advisors like us. There are so many things that cascade from there.

Chanel Cathey: I agree. There could be a personality clash or they struggle taking guidance, directions and cues from us.

But Daniel’s point about unrealistic expectations is huge. It’s similar to media relations, where everyone comes to you and says, ‘I want to be in the New York Times or on “Good Morning America.’”

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