Every day, leaders face a never ending stream of challenges that require them to not only rise to the challenge but to be problem solvers. Even though these problems and challenges are part of a normal day, what’s not anticipated is the chaos that arrives unexpectedly from a disaster, tragedy, or a crisis (and Covid certainly qualifies as a crisis). This type of crisis presents a challenge where even top-notch leaders can find themselves either ill-equipped to handle the situations or they end up making well-meaning (yet disastrous) decisions in the heat of the moment.

What courageous leaders do when faced with a crisis?

Leadership in a crisis situation is very different from leadership under normal conditions. The normal organizational operating models that provide the structure for a smooth-running business will evaporate during a crisis, throwing the leadership into chaos and uncertainty. However, managing a crisis situation is possible if you understand what is required to succeed. Being courageous as a leader is a great starting point when working in crisis. In times of crisis, real leaders will rise up to take on the challenge.

Crisis amplifies leadership

Our leadership skills may have never been tested like this before.  The crisis will amplify your leadership.  It will show you the cracks in how you lead.  It will show you how your thinking really is.  It will show you how resilient you actually are.  It will help you pull out the champion inside of yourself. It will also show you many interesting things about how your team respond to rapid change, crisis, or the fear of crisis; and what emotional and resilience resources they are able to access if necessary.

Success during a crisis will require you to:

• have a clear idea of the steps you need to take as a leader

• have an understanding of what your team and followers are going through and what they will need from you

• be aware that you may need additional leadership skills

Without a clear understanding of these three points, your success through a crisis will be less than you hoped for.

Often, a leader will be so overwhelmed that they need to take time to self- manage. This process, although very normal, quickly can turn into dealing with overwhelm. A leader in overwhelm becomes silent or absent to his team or followers. Without their leader, people will become angry and lose faith in their leader. It happens very quickly. We have all watched political leaders that have become absent or floundered when in a moment of crises. It’s important to note that authentic confidence is a major contributor to your leadership, and it will help you get out of the toughest of difficult situations.

The ultimate goal of a strong leader is to provide the illusion of stability and security during these times. This will help the team to remain calm and still be able to contribute to the recovery efforts. In our next blog we will discover more important information and techniques to help you lead yourself in times of crisis.

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