The Sky is Not Falling: Fear Begets Fear

If we holler loudly enough that the sky is falling, it just might.

In his blog, Rich Karlgaard, publisher at Forbes said this week “I still say there is a disconnect between the facts and the fear.” No reasonable person would deny that we have serious issues to deal with in capital markets, but leaders have an obligation to balance the doom and gloom with a grounded view and a clear strategy for navigating tough times.

Most of the commentary I have read, even from CEO’s, is more like analysis. For example, here is what Mike Critelli, Chairman at Pitney Bowes has to say about the financial meltdown. I appreciate the balanced viewpoint; but, Jonathan Schwartz at Sun gets better leadership marks. Schwartz put a copy of an internal memo he published to all hands at Sun Microsystems on his blog with clear thoughts and priorities for how Sun will respond.

When everyone is running around crying “The sky is falling!” effective leaders are the ones who do not get hijacked into the panic. They recognize that a major storm requires an adjustment to strategy and clear communication to the organizations they lead.