Seven Tips on How to Lead during a Crisis

Seven Tips on How to Lead during a Crisis

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Early this year, the world experienced a global health crisis. This crisis was so far reaching in its effects that all sectors of everyday life were affected. The crisis was the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. During the crisis, a lot of businesses had to shut down temporarily or engage their staff remotely. It was an unusual situation that most businesses were not prepared for. Thankfully, its economic and financial effects are beginning to wane as lock-downs are being lifted. The coronavirus pandemic, as with all other crisis, required informed, quick, and decisive leadership. In our post today, we share some useful tips on how to lead during a crisis or after one. We believe these tips will be useful as you perform your leadership duties in these uncertain times.

The importance of leadership is never more crucial than during a crisis. This is because besides providing vision, an essential quality of leadership is to provide direction; sometimes out of harm’s way. At such times, members of your team will look to you for direction and guidance on what to do. It would be a terrible failure if at such a time, one does not know how to lead during a crisis. As the saying goes, everything rises and falls on leadership.

In the next section, we will discuss reasons why leadership is important during times of crisis. However, before getting into that, here are some related posts we’ve written that you might find equally useful:

  1. Five Essential Qualities of Leadership
  2. Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership
  3. Seven Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
  4. How to get through Tough Times in Business
  5. Seven Team Management Skills you need to Effectively Lead your Team
  6. Five Habits of Innovative Thinkers
  7. Seven Low-Cost Small Business Ideas for Students

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With that said, let’s take a quick look at why leadership is important during times of crisis.

Why Leadership is Important during times of Crisis

Good leadership always serves as a guide. It sets expectations and shows team members how things should be done in both good and bad times. On that note, here are four reasons why leadership is important during times of crisis:

  1. To take informed, quick, and decisive actions amid uncertainty.
  2. Leadership is important to align expectations.
  3. To safely navigate through turbulent waters
  4. To serve as a guide to team members on how to handle the crisis.

Besides these reasons, good leadership allows for a united, cohesive approach to problems during a crisis. This is as opposed to different solutions from different people that could ultimately diffuse the effectiveness of each plan.

An Example of Leadership during Crisis: Franklin D. Roosevelt During World War II

Despite initial attempts to stay out of World War II, the United States had to join in when Pearl Harbor was bombed in December 1941. Along with Sir Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the Allied Powers to victory.

Within the United States, he also mobilized the U.S economy to support the war effort. This was such a stroke of genius that it brought the country out of depression and into great wealth. It also laid the foundation for countless scientific discoveries that produced even more economic prosperity decades later.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s clear and decisive leadership was a major factor in the Allied Powers victors in World War II.

Seven Tips on How to Lead during a Crisis

Here are seven tips on how to lead during a crisis. We believe these tips can be used regardless of where or in what capacity you lead:

  1. Explain what is being done about the Crisis: As a leader, the first thing to do during a crisis is communicate to your team and customers. Let them know the severity of the issue, its possible effects and what is being done to resolve it. To prevent the spread of wrong information and confusion, its important to do this early.
  2. Use appropriate Communication Channels: Communication is during times of crisis. To keep your entire team properly informed, establish clear channels of communication between leaders and teammates. This way, you can pass across relevant or time sensitive information without any issues.
  3. Have a Plan: As with the current coronavirus pandemic, some crisis may affect your short-term goals. To prevent excessive loss, leaders will need to create new plans for safety and resurgence after the crisis. Understanding the possible effects a crisis could have on the future will help put things in perspective. It will also help prepare the team for upcoming changes.
  4. Stay positive: Like we said earlier, leaders are guides to their teammates. One excellent way to lead during a crisis is through optimism. This will show those you lead that things are in control and give them much needed encouragement.
  5. Redefine what Success looks like: During a crisis, business operations are usually significantly affected. This can make attaining success look near impossible. As a leader, during times of crisis, success may need to be redefined. For example, in such times, success could be redefined to include exceptional staff who serve sacrificially. Such people could be honored or promoted for displaying such levels of service.
  6. Create a “Can-Do” Environment: It is the responsibility of a leader to create a positive work environment. During times of crisis, while making the safety of your staff top priority, also encourage a positive atmosphere. One way to do this is to discourage fearful thinking and provide staff with the tools needed to work.
  7. Demonstrate Empathy: People can’t know how much you care until they see it displayed. An excellent way to lead during a crisis is to show empathy. Express concern for your teammate’s families and children and for their well-being and safety.

How have you led your work team and family during the COVID-19 crisis? Are there other tactics you have employed that are not listed here? Feel free to leave us your comment at the end of this post. We would love to hear from you.

Today’s Funny Quote

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. Bob Hope

As is our custom, we end this post with a funny quote. Our funny quote today is by Bob Hope, the British-American Stand-up Comedian, Actor and Author:

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.

Did you know that this post on our Innovate Today blog is brought to you by Innovate Design Studios Ltd, a web design and graphics company? We provide graphics, branding, web design and website maintenance services. If you’re interested in these services, contact us today to get a free quote and 10% off your next project.

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Have a great week ahead and we will see you later this week with more inspiring posts.

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