The day after friends, colleagues and family members died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Mark Loehr asked his people to come to the office. Not to work, but to share their thoughts and feelings about what had happened and what they should do about it.
In the ensuing days, the CEO of SoundView Technology encouraged his people to find meaning in the horror by deciding on an action they all could participate in. Instead of making a group donation to victim relief, they decided to contribute one day of the technology brokerage’s profits.
In the past, that figure had reached as high as $1 million, a remarkable contribution. But as word spread about what SoundView employees were doing, enthusiasm grew and the company ended up donating $6 million.
In a crisis, people look to leaders for emotional guidance. Loehr helped his people find meaning even in the face of seemingly meaningless violence and chaos.
—Adapted from Primal, Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review Press.