Leading in a Crisis

When a crisis occurs, it requires a leader to take a spontaneous and
unplanned role to truly show leadership. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly important for leaders to demonstrate responsibility, make decisions, and cope with substantial stress.
Leaders demonstrate responsibility by influencing and motivating others to
navigate through difficult situations. It is easy for yourself and your people to give up. This is counterproductive. A leader can show overt accountability by not putting things off, encouraging others to keep working, and building adaptive strategies that develop themselves and others throughout the crisis.
Decisions still need to be made. There are new and different decisions that arise during a crisis. A leader needs to balance known information and expertise with a level of pure intuition. This is accomplished by doing research, recognizing faulty information, and creating substructures that result in action. By articulating principles, developing a bias for action, and adopting a style to engage effectively with others, a leader can balance expertise and intuition while making appropriate decisions.
A leader needs to build resilience and cope with high-stress situations despite their fears and trepidations. A leader can do so by focusing on organizational and personal values, their people, and the strengths of the organization that they lead. It is important to build relationships with co-workers and direct reports even if they are not “in the office”. Together, they can better share the burdens while experiencing the joy of accomplishing things together.