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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Excellence always sells. - Earl Nightingale

You manage things; you lead people. - Grace M Hopper

When you're riding lead, don't spit. - Unknown

Confidence is silent; insecurities are loud. - Unknown

Happiness is not the end of life; character is. - Henry Ward Beecher

Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown. - Charles de Gaulle

Habits form character, and character forms destiny. - James Allen

Appropriate rules cultivate a disciplined character. - Bill Welker

Sometimes the wrong choices lead us to the right places. - Unknown

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. - John Ruskin

Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level. - Peter F Drucker

A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader. - Fred Wilson

Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. - Roy T Bennett

Dogs are getting bigger, according to a leading dog manufacturer. - Leo Rosten

The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis. - Brian Tracy

Reality: The leading cause of stress among those in touch with it. - Lily Tomlin

I never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes. - Leo Durocher

Unto ourselves our own life is necessary, unto others our character. - St. Augustine

If you want to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd. - Max Lucado

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. - Ralph Nader

The best training a top manager can be engaged in is management by example. - Carlos Ghosn

Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly. - Shaquille O'Neal

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. - Vince Lombardi

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

A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character. - Tesio

It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered. - Aeschylus

Integrity is making sure that the things you say and the things you do are in alignment. - Katrina Mayer

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. - Helen Keller

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. - Doug Larson

The lead car is absolutely, truly unique, except for the one behind it which is exactly identical. - Murray Walker

Character is, in the long run, the decisive factor in the life of individuals and of nations alike. - Theodore Roosevelt

The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men. - Dwight D Eisenhower

The best rule of thumb for character is to remember that if you can't be big, don't belittle. - Unknown

Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we have made through life. - John C. Geikie

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. - Pearl S Buck

When lying and omission become part of your character, you lose integrity and the trust you once had from others. - Theodore W Fedorchak

I wouldn't describe myself as lacking in confidence, but I would say that the ghosts you chase you never catch. - John Malkovich

Silence is interesting. It can show confusion, indifference and sadness. But it can also show determination, confidence and caring. - Maxime Lagace

Unless a man has considerable skill and reliance in his weapon, he will not remain cool in the presence of dangerous game close by. - Townsend Whelen

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right path, the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. - Anne Frank


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01-Oct-2020