Another leadership or supervision scenario. What would you do when presented with a suicide note from an employee on shift and you are the ranking manager on site?


Hello. I'm Jeff Shiver, Managing Principal of People and Processes. We've got another situational leadership scenario for you and I think you'll really enjoy this one. It's somewhat more challenging.

You're the Operations Manager, and you're working on Saturday, and you're trying to get all the great TPM-type things, working with some teams, and autonomous maintenance.

As part of that, you're standing out, working with the groups, and the shift manager who's covering the lines, runs to you and says, "Hey Jeff, what are we going to do about this?"

She hands you a note and on it is written:, "I'm tired of being different. I want to be like everybody else. I'm tired of taking this medication. I'm going to kill myself, and anybody who tries to stop me, I'll kill them too."

Wow. What are you going to do? What are your next steps? Who are you going to call?

Hopefully you decided to call the police and the ambulance, and now you've made an effort to find John, the guy who's bi-polar and has left his workstation after he wrote the note. You've launched a search, and you found him. He's in your air-handler room on the mezzanine and he's surrounded by other employees who don't know what the note really said. They just know that he wrote a suicide note. At this point, what are your next steps?

By now, the police and the ambulance are there. You come up the back stairwell and out comes John with one of the employees. In through the backdoor come the police. Now what happens? John doesn't want anything to do with the police. What are you going to do? What next steps do you take? How do you approach?

I hope that you have good answers for these questions. These are things that HR doesn't necessarily teach us because we can't go through every possible scenario.

Again, who did you call? What approach did you take? How did you isolate John from the other employees? When the police got there, what did you do? Hope you've got good answers. Thank you so much.