Let's get this out of the way: I'm not a Donald Trump fan. I won't vote for him. Nor does the following have anything to do with whether you should.

But that doesn't matter.

On Saturday a disturbance broke out behind the speakers platform at a rally near Dayton, Ohio. Secret Service agents jumped onto the stage to form a wall around Trump.

A campaign spokeswoman said that a man "attempted to breach the secure buffer and was removed rapidly and professionally."

Check out the video. At first Trump looks startled, understandably so. He ducks his head and grips the podium. He turns to see what's happening. He seems concerned, maybe even scared.  

The crowd stirs up. Bodies shift. Shouts and a few screams can be heard. Things could get ugly.

Yet within seconds Trump shakes off the Secret Service men protecting him. He turns and shrugs as if to say, "No big deal." 

The crowd start to cheer. What was a tense moment -- a moment that could gone from concern to fear to panic -- has turned into a reason to cheer the candidate. 

And of course Trump turns the moment to his advantage; his ability to think quickly on his feet is one of his strengths. "Thank you for the warning,"  Trump tells the crowd. "I was ready for him, but it's much easier if the cops do it." And they cheer.

Trump's coolness in what could have been a crisis is impressive, but he also shows the impact a leader has in a crisis... and in almost every other situation.

Trump could have stayed behind the protective Secret Service shield longer. He could have decided that safe was better than sorry and hurried away. He could have chosen any number of safety-first options -- or let his security team choose them for him. Any of those options would have been justified, because you never know.

And any of those options might have created greater concern among the crowd, and possibly even a panic. Not to overstate the point, but again, you never know.

Instead Trump almost immediately defuses the situation by acting as if it was no big deal. His body language virtually shouts his lack of concern.  

Theatrical? Sure. Calculated? Probably.  Effective? Absolutely.

The crowd cheers. Potential crisis averted.

The same applies to you, because how you act in a crisis affects your team. If you melt down, your team will melt down. If you compose yourself and calmly say, "Okay. Let's figure this out," your team will rally behind you. What you do in a  crisis sets the tone for everyone around you.

What you do in good times sets the tone for them, too. 

If you present an employee award, turn the occasion into a moment the recipient can share with others. Presenting the award is a given, so find ways to increase the impact.

If your company achieves a milestone, celebrate the achievement publicly. When you hire a new employee, do more than simply turn her over to a mentor or trainer. Find a way to make her feel a part of the company family right away.

Leaders set the tone. Leaders make large and small events noteworthy. Stories and "moments" build a company culture much more effectively than posters, banners, and mission statements.



Employees will almost never talk about mission statements. They will always talk about people.

Just keep in mind you don't have to be like Trump. He works hard on his personal brand. You don't need to go that far.

And, again, the point is not that Trump is a good candidate for President, or a poor candidate... all that is beside the point. What does matter is that leaders are onstage most of the time -- their employees pay close attention not just to their words but also their actions. Leaders lead, both in positive and negative ways. 

So never forget that what you do, especially in a crisis, sets the tone for everyone around you. Make sure you set the right tone.