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Cuomo’s Resignation Provides 4 Crisis Management Lessons For Business Leaders

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at August 10, 2021

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement today that he will resign from the office he has held for the past 10 years provides business leaders with several lessons about responding to a crisis that they may have caused, made worse or refused to deal with promptly.

As reported by the Associated Press, “In a televised address, the 63-year-old Democrat emphatically denied intentionally showing any disrespect toward women but said that fighting back against what he called the ‘politically motivated’ attack on him would subject the state to months of turmoil, and ‘I cannot be the cause of that.’

“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government,” Cuomo said.

The Four Lessons

His resignation provides the following crisis management lessons for business leaders:

  • When you are wrong, say so; don’t blame others for the crisis you caused.
  • The sooner you admit your mistakes, the better.
  • Explain the reasons for your decision clearly and succinctly.
  • Don’t do or say anything that will make the crisis worse or prolong it.

Not The First

Cuomo is certainly not the first high-profile individual to resign because of a scandal or other crisis.

According to the Associated Press, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 because of a call-girl scandal. Eric Schneiderman, that state’s attorney general, stepped down in 2018 after four women accused him of abuse.

In 2018, USA Today reported that, “After a day in which he admitted he used a racial slur, John Schnatter resigned from the company he built. Papa John’s International announced late Wednesday that Schnatter had resigned as chairman. The company will appoint a new chairman “in the coming weeks.”

“The resignation ends a day which began with a story from Forbes in which Schnatter was said to have used the N-word on a call with a public relations firm that was designed to help the company avoid more public relations issues.”


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