Anne Taylor, Managing Partner of Deloitte, visited the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business to talk to a group of student leaders about leading in a crisis. Throughout her career she has been faced with many crises that she has had to lead her team through; including the terror attacks on 9-11, Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Katrina. In each of these crises, she had members of her team that were directly affected, and she had to figure out the best way to lead Deloitte through helping her employees and the community deal with these devastating disasters. She explained how when leading in a crisis, she has observed that everything gets highlighted as far as successes and failures go in someone’s career or personal life, highlighting the importance of always bringing your best self to every project.
“Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.” – Colin Powell
She shared with students a valuable list of lessons she has learned while observing leadership during crisis. Her individual lessons included these action-based tips:
Be present and always be striving to do your best.
Realize that no crisis is exactly the same, and you cannot learn by perfectly repeating past processes.
Be Decisive with Imperfect Information
Most times you will not have all of the information you want. Be decisive, prepare, and make a decision.
Look for Opportunities
Most crises create opportunity. Her example of this was stating how during the crisis of Hurricane Harvey, a new Deloitte analyst found an opportunity to showcase his skills by building a dashboard of analytics data on the hurricane using Tableau. He is now a sought-after analyst in the company.
Don’t Work with People you Don’t Respect
Anne stated how students should avoid working with people who don’t hire or promote you. This is valuable piece of advice, and something that sounds like common-knowledge, but many students were not fully aware of this helpful principle until Ann clearly stated this.
Anne Taylor is an incredible leader and power-woman, who is a mother and a highly respected individual. We are grateful to have listened to her powerful messages.