Crisis leadership is primarily associated with short-term focus in order to get through a challenging time. How do we address the long term during times of significant change?

How can you actively bring a long-term perspective while you’re addressing immediate issues?

  1. Link executive compensation to long-term goals, rather than short-term wins. This is self-explanatory. We do what we are incentivized to do. We need to stop rewarding only short-term thinking, and start rewarding longer-term performance.
  2. Put your time towards the creation of a robust succession plan. When you focus on developing the talent under you that investment of time pays off over the long term. Hiring externally is expensive, and dismisses the value of institutional knowledge brought by those talented executives who have risen up in the ranks. 
  3. Ask yourself hard questions. Remember to focus on the “why” rather than the “how”.
  4. Advocate for long-term investment. At a lecture at Nazareth College in 2009, Ron Zarella, former Chairman of Bausch and Lomb, suggested that the U.S. government impose a 75% tax on those who hold a stock for less than six months, 20% for one to three years, and 10% for more than three years. This discourages short-termism and shifts our thinking to creative, long-term solutions.