A leadership crisis can cause an organization to crumble. How people respond to the stress of guiding others can create waves in a team, government, or society that can have a lasting effect. The most important of which may losing faith in not only a leader, but also the institution itself.
Uber's leadership crisis is dominating the news right now:
- USA Today: Uber leadership crisis puts Travis Kalanick in the hot seat
- Wall Street Journal: Uber's leadership crisis intensifies
- Reuters: Uber board to discuss CEO absence, policy changes: source
- The Australian: Uber crisis deepens: CEO Kalanick mulls leave, aide may quit
- New York Times: Uber weighs leave of absence for chief executive
Why does this matter?
Valued at $70B, the company stands to collapse if they can't restore order and demonstrate that they are capable of respecting their customers. With Uber's senior leadership team in shambles, it will be difficult to move forward and grow. This is especially concerning because of Uber's potential to transcend being a mere car service to become the future of urban logistics.
The collapse of a company can come quickly or it may take decades. Without swift, strong action by a leader to restore confidence in the company, investors and customers alike may find other places to spend their money.
The challenge for leaders is understanding that starting up and building a company generally requires a different set of skills than it does to grow and sustain it for the future. If you aren't able to evolve as a leader as your company grows, you may quickly find yourself irrelevant.