Harnessing the Power of a Crisis

Big Red Car here.  We’ve been having a bit of rain here in the ATX.  And that, Old Sport, is a very good thang as we are needing some more water in the lakes just now.

Look here and see this short video of the torrent of water flowing through Barton Springs.  If you don’t know Barton Springs, then you don’t know Austin.

Entrepreneurial panic

Some time ago, we discussed entrepreneurial panic — read about it here.  If you are an entrepreneur, a founder, a CEO — sooner or later it will come to you.  It will elevate your heartbeat, it will make you sweat, it will deliver your demons.

It is all normal and, in the end, you will laugh about it.  At the time, it will scare the crap out of you.

Everybody who has ever run a company will deal with it.  Convert it into fuel and use it to propel you and the company to higher ground.


When a bit of entrepreneurial panic splashes against your freshly pressed khakis, it may come in company with a real or imagined crisis.  Also a very normal happenstance.

Panic is a handmaiden of crisis.  They travel together.  They are pricks.  No real surprise there, right.

Again, use the moment of panic and the happenstance of the crisis as fuel to confront your panic and to turn that crisis into an inflection point.

The Texas Longhorns

Here in the ATX, we love the Texas Longhorns.  Well, when they’re winning and vying for National Championships because we are “whine and cheese” fans.  We expect them to be in the hunt always.  That is a pretty damn high — unrealistically high, perhaps — expectation.

The Coach, Mack Brown, was under the gun a bit with the “boo birds” calling for his scalp on the eve of the Red River Shootout.  It was — “Mack can’t beat that mean old Bob Stoops up there in Oklahoma.  The Horns are soft.  We need a new coach like Nick Saban.”

The Horns had played on Thursday the prior week and had a few extra days to plan for the Sooners and what happened?

The Horns — two touchdown underdogs — went out there and put a very convincing whipping on those Sooners.  Not quite a West Texas barbed wire enema but a very convincing thrashing nonetheless.

ESPN was reporting that the Sooners’ cheerleaders went home with the Horns on the team bus.  Who knows?  Perhaps, they were looking for some real men.

Oh, yeah, the first string QB was on the bench.  Did I forget that?

So Mack Brown in his moment of entrepreneurial crisis — who wants to lose a job that pays $5.5MM a year? — harnessed his panic and developed a game plan that was almost perfect.  The Horns whipped the Sooners convincingly.

Why?  Planning, planning, planning, planning.

That is how an entrepreneur harnesses the realities of entrepreneurial panic and crisis and fashions an inflection point that leads him and his organization to the Promised Land.  In times of entrepreneurial upheaval, this is what you must and can do.

All is good in Longhorn land as the Horns have smote the Sooners.  And that is how God intended things to be.

On Earth as it is in Texas.

CEO coaching

This is exactly what The Boss does when working with his brilliant CEOs — helps them to see the opportunity within the crises they face as a routine part of changing the world.

Having been a CEO for over 33 years, The Boss recognizes the moment of panic, understands the nature of crisis and, most importantly, understands the opportunity to harness that fuel to fashion a better outcome.

If you need some help, call him.  He’s be delighted to help.

But, hey, what do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.