Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, May 25th, 2018

Crisis Leadership

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Crisis Leadership

Afghanistan is experiencing one of its most critical periods; insecurity, economic, social injustice and corruption are among the top social issues that challenge the government leadership and management capabilities. The way the Afghan government deals with these issues will determine the fate of the future of Afghanistan: overcoming the challenges and becoming a prosperous nation or going to a new round of civil wars. The social crises we witness today are due to inability of society to regulating and maintaining social order and lack an internal power to address these issues. In other words, the social structure of our society is crisis enabler and the social issues are such diverse that threatens the foundations of the social order in our country.
Social crises is, by definition, a situation that the quality of the public life is interrupted, and most of the accepted social values are in danger and requires urgent measure to address them.
When a crisis arise, the first thing people often look for is a leader: the person who knows how to solve the problem and will take the necessary steps to do so. Of course, here the Afghans look for their president and other high ranking officials to find a way out of crisis and lead them to a better life conditions. It also shall be mentioned that very few individuals are experts in handling crisis situations. Inexperienced leaders can make rash decisions, react too quickly to the situation, or worse, not react at all in hopes that the situation will work itself out.
Using strategic mindset and detail orientation to see a problem clearly
The leadership of AUG shall look at the big picture, and understand how all the moving parts work together. This may be done by taking a step back from the problem, the underlying causes can become clear. This allows them to strategically and efficiently assess the problem to develop a detailed knowledge of the issue. One of the main barriers to do so by the AUG is that they look at the social issues from the ethnic lens, this approach not only prevent them to have a clear picture of the social issues but causes them to make unrealistic and ethnic based decisions in terms of addressing such crisis. And it is one of the main factors that most of the social issues change to social crises in Afghanistan.
Collaboration and decisiveness
The AUG leadership shall consider the collaboration as any leaders’ greatest strength. Listening to the civil society advice and using their inputs can help the government manage the social crises effectively.
Building trust by remaining calm in the face of chaos
The AUG in a crisis situation needs to feel a sense of urgency but remain level hood. The AUG leaders shall guide and provide all the necessary means to the relevant organizations to handle a social crisis peacefully. However, the people in a fragmented society like Afghanistan are pessimist about each other and it applies to our leaders as well. Therefore, they misunderstand the demands of the people. For example, if there is a peaceful demonstration to demand better security for the citizens, the AUG leadership may interpret it an act of challenging it, ignited by the outsiders. The AUG needs to reconsider its approach to social issues in the country and shall build on trust building in order to see the social issues from the public perspectives too. The same goes with the political conflicts as well.
Take a moment to determine the nuances of a situation so to convey a sense of confidence
When faced with a chaotic situation, there will often be more input than one person could ever possibly handle. The ability to act in a purposefully in times of chaos is what makes a leader effective. The AUG requires to collect a solid understanding of situation, gathering everyone and everything together, then delegating tasks in a deliberate manner, the AUG shall convey confidence to those looking to him or her for a solution. Thus, the AUG has fallen short to do so far.
Demonstrate control
While in a crisis situation you cannot always control the “fire’. However, by assuming and conveying sense of control over the situation. By keeping calm and focused, a leader is more effective in solving a problem than one who allows panic to ensure.
In sum, the AUG requires to change its approach to social issues and social crises. It needs to involve the civil society and look at the social issues and social crises from the lens of the people. It also need to act cautiously and with reliable data and information in terms of the mentioned topics. 

Mohammad Sakhi Rezaieis the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at sakhi2007@gmail.com

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