Every week we see amazing examples of human endurance. Whether it’s in sport, science or just for the sheer fun of it people really do some remarkable things. It’s human nature to want to push the boundaries, to go further, to go faster, to go one better than our predecessors. It’s how we have improved and developed over the years.

Running a marathon is a great example of human endurance – incidentally I’m not going to write about the tragic events recently in Boston but of course our thoughts remain with the victims and all those people affected by the events of that day.

On the positive side, more and more people seem to be running marathons. Every week my local paper includes pictures of regular folk who are setting off to compete in their first marathon in aid of a good cause.

Ahead of them will be the serious athletes, an increasing number of people who can turn in competitive times which even a few years ago would have been the achievement of all but the elite competitors.

Beyond marathons we have longer events, we have triathlons and Iron Man challenges all adding something more for which athletes seeking greater challenges can strive for. There’s always another level to move up to.

An oft used term is superhuman, usually accompanied by the word effort when an individual has performed way beyond that thought possible. Commendable indeed, and in the right circumstances, heroic. These people do remarkable things or demonstrate amazing stamina or resolve in order to complete the specific challenge they face.

Wouldn’t it be great to have such superheroes in your Crisis Management Team? You may well feel that you already have. The challenge is, however that some crisis events can last a long, long time. The recent Cyprus Banking Crisis is an example and do you remember the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010 when, during his handling of the crisis Tony Hayward stated ‘I’d like my life back.’ The crisis had been running for over a month at the time of his statement.

There will be people who want to be superheroes but the reality is that we need to be better prepared – superheroes are the exception rather than the norm.

This is one of the reasons why every Crisis Management Team needs deputies for each role. If a crisis event becomes protracted even your superheroes cannot keep going for ever. They will need to be replaced and allow others to take a shift and share the load. One of the challenges you may face is that some people like to be superheroes, to save the day and to see the thing through so they may take a bit of convincing that it’s OK to take a break and handover the baton to someone else for a while.

When we train our Crisis teams we must make sure we train the deputies in case they are needed. A football team will train the guys on the subs bench and make sure they are match fit in case they are needed. The principle is no different.

An injection of fresh energy, fresh insight at the right time will ensure your team continues to perform at it’s optimum level – especially if you don’t have access to enough superheroes!

May 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm
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Category: Crisis Management, Training & Exercising