It was a slow news day at my old station a few years ago, and the 5 p.m. newscast was about 15 minutes from starting. The producer went into the control booth, but came out as if he had seen a ghost.
“What happened?” I asked.
“The console isn’t working,” he answered in disbelief.
“What do you mean it’s not working?” I responded.
A bit panicked, he said, “The director says that no videos will play and no graphics will show up, and I have about 10 minutes until my newscasts starts!”
He then took a deep breath, walked back into the control booth, informed the on-air talent about the issue, and said, “I know this isn’t ideal, but we still have to broadcast a great show.”
I watched the show on one of the TV monitors. For a newscast that had absolutely no added visual elements, it went pretty well.
Months later, the console went down again. (Technology is great, isn’t it?) This time, a different producer was affected. He started cursing, yelling, and complaining about the station’s faulty equipment. The thought of a show that had no visuals repulsed him. His show didn’t go so well. In fact, the channel stayed on black for a good two minutes, and the whole crew left the studio completely frazzled.
It’s amazing what having a calm attitude can do in the midst of a crisis.
You’re able to breathe and think about the next actions to take, you can communicate better, and you can maintain a professional demeanor.
Besides, have you ever tried working for a supervisor who loses it at the first sign of trouble? It’s hard to have confidence in a person like that.
The true makeup of a leader comes to light in difficult times. So, no matter how chaotic you feel on the inside, pull yourself together and put up a strong front for your team. Your strength will empower the rest of your team to pull through.
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. – Willa Cather
I agree with Willa 100%. But I would tweak the quote a bit and say:
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. But even when you’re in the storm, keep calm.
You can quote me on that one…