“What, Me Worry?”

As a kid, I read and enjoyed the humor of MAD Magazine. Sick, I know but I was a kid.

I never expected in my wildest dreams that I would extract a leadership lesson as a result of this 56 year old classic publication. However, the recent reaction and action by Circuit City leadership serves up a fresh  leadership lesson.

In case you hadn’t heard, in a recent publication Mad Magazine poked a little fun at Circuit City – spoofing them as “Sucker City”. You can see it here.

Circuit City leadership got upset and took the immediate action of pulling all MAD Magazines off of their shelves. After re-thinking their reaction, Circuit City lightened up and retracted their order to put all of the product back on the shelves.

So the leadership lessons from this story …

1. Know the difference between a crisis and an issue – dealing with the crisis should come immediate and natural because you’ve prepared for it. Dealing with the issue involves taking it to “the war room” (or whatever formal way leadership deals with issues) – discuss the impact on your business – your customers – your values – your culture – decide.

Had Circuit City done this prior to reacting as if it was a crisis, they would have concluded what they ultimately concluded and there would be no story.

However, Circuit City leadership did recognize they were wrong – apologized and fixed it quickly – Nice job !

2. Know the different crises that your business may be faced with – be sure they’re reasonable, then prepare and practice in advance to deal with them … leadership should keep these fresh and alive.

If you embrace these two leadership lessons, you will be in a position to adopt the mantra – “What, me Worry?”

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