So I'm watching Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel. It's a show about the perils of being a crab fisherman (one of the most dangerous jobs in the world).
During this particular show, the worse possible situation happens, a deckhand ends up being tossed off the ship!
The water this person is thrown into is freezing. The crew has about 90 seconds to get him back into the boat or the deckhand is dead.
As the crew begins to work, you hear a voice, it is the captain (who is in another room) directing the crew on what to do.
What struck me about the moment has how incredible calm the captain was. There was no yelling, no panicking, just simple, direct, clear instructions.
80 seconds or so later, the deckhand was back on the boat.
It got me to thinking . . . what would have happened if the captain would have lost his cool? The deckhand probably would have died.
As a nonprofit leader, you will never be in a situation as serious or as urgent as that captain, but I think the lesson is the same. In a moment of crisis, the leaders of the organization (whoever they are) must stay calm.
Because your staff (your crew) is following your lead. If you freak out, they freak out. If you stay calm, even the most chaotic of situations can be worked through.