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Coping with code red

Dr. Arky Ciancutti takes urgency in stride

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

In his eight years as an emergency room (ER) physician, Arky Ciancutti, M.D., managed crises with aplomb. Today he runs the Learning Center, a management consulting firm in San Anselmo, Calif. He’s also co-author of Built on Trust (Contemporary, 2000).

WS: How did your ER experience help you as a manager?

Ciancutti: The No. 1 principle in the ER is, “Whose emergency is this?” If a patient comes in confused and out of control and sees doctors panicking, the patient will get worse. As the doctor, you cannot be in an emergency yourself. As a manager, you cannot take on the problems of your employee. Your job is to supply resources to solve a problem.

WS: But in true emergencies, how can you not panic a little?

Ciancutti: You need to have rules to follow before the crisis hits. If you’ve prioritized first, you’ll be ready.

In the ER, we have the “breathing-bleeding rule” to help doctors decide whom to treat first when two patien...(register to read more)

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