New Manager’s Crisis Envelopes

How to prepare for the next crisis


A new manager spends a week at his new office with the manager he is replacing. On the last day the departing manager tells him, “I have left three numbered envelopes in the desk drawer. Open an envelope if you encounter a crisis you can’t solve.”


Three months down the road there is a major drama, everything goes wrong - the usual stuff - and the manager feels very threatened by it all. He remembers the parting words of his predecessor and opens the first envelope. The message inside says, “Blame your predecessor!” He does and gets off the hook.

About half a year later, the company is experiencing a dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. The manager quickly opens the second envelope. The message read, “Reorganize!” This he does, and the company quickly rebounds.

Three months later, at his next crisis, he opens the third envelope. The message inside says, “Prepare three envelopes.”


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Humor comes from self-confidence. - Rita Mae Brown

Confidence comes from being prepared. - John Wooden

Character is what you think in the dark. - Dwight L. Moody

Wiping out is an underappreciated skill. - Laird Hamilton

As is our confidence, so is our capacity. - William Hazlitt

Behind leadership there is always a person. - Unknown

Guitar players never listen to lead singers. - Steven Tyler

Too much freedom can lead to the soul's decay. - Prince

Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics. - Fletcher Knebel

Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident. - Dale Carnegie

Mediocrity is excellence in the eyes of the mediocre. - Joseph Joubert

If you don't have enemies, you don't have character. - Paul Newman

There is no greater index of character so sure as the voice. - Benjamin Disraeli

The important things are children, honesty, integrity and faith. - Andy Williams

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. - English Proverb

Tough decisions... if you can't make them, you can't lead. - John C Maxwell

The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example. - Unknown

Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. - John Wooden

Character builds slowly but it can be torn down with incredible swiftness. - Faith Baldwin

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse. - Adlai Stevenson

You can only go as high on the leadership ladder as your character will allow you. - John C Maxwell

An Englishman teaching an American about food is like the blind leading the one-eyed. - A.J. Liebling

A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's. - Jean Paul Richter

The common traits among all successful people are desire, determination and confidence. - Joe Segal

A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. - James Allen

Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it. - Burmese Saying

One who understands much displays a greater simplicity of character than one who understands little. - Alexander Chase

What we value shapes our character and will ultimately define how we lead, or whether we can lead at all. - Unknown

Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions. - Earl Gray Stevens

I want to try doing sportier things, kite surfing and paddle surfing - I think it would give me that extra confidence. - Vanessa Hudgens

Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without. - Ymber Delecto

Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self-respect springs. - Joan Didion

Though my friends envied me because I always seemed so cheerful and confident, I was secretly terrified of practically everything. - Erica Jong

Leadership is all about caring, daring and sharing. Caring for people, Daring to Act fearlessly, and Sharing the success with all. - Sujit Lalwani

From a shy, timid girl I had become a woman of resolute character, who could no longer be frightened by the struggle with troubles. - Anna Dostoevsky

The quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor. - Vince Lombardi Jr.

Never design your character like a garden where anyone can walk. Design your character like the sky where everyone's desire is to reach. - Unknown

In a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power - including strong and principled diplomacy. - Barack Obama

A man who cannot work without his hypodermic needle is a poor doctor. The amount of narcotic you use is inversely proportional to your skill. - Martin H. Fischer

Do not train boys to learning by force and harshness, but lead them by what amuses them, so that they may better discover the bent of their minds. - Plato


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24-Nov-2017