The 5 C’s of Leadership During COVID-19

  • 6/30/2020
Colleagues Share Info on Tablet

In times of crisis, it is important to reflect. Here are five key lessons about leadership that CLA has learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key insights

  • Navigating challenging situations leads organizations to reflect on what they have learned
  • CLA has learned that culture, communication, connectivity, collaboration, and confidence are key to carrying your organization through and out of challenging times

Many organizations plan for a potential crisis, but most didn’t predict a pandemic. Yet, even in difficult times, we can often find silver linings. Perhaps it’s the things we learn about ourselves or others, different ways of doing things, or gaining new perspectives. The challenge for leaders is to find those silver linings, celebrate them, and use them as inspiration.

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Recently, at CLA, we reflected on what lessons we have learned from this situation, and how to use those lessons as we move forward. Here are our five C’s of maintaining a strong organization during COVID-19.


A strong culture can be a helpful foundation during uncertain times. Reconnecting to your organization’s mission and values reminds your employees what you stand for and are working toward. While technology has allowed organizations to stay well connected during this time, leaders can’t lose sight of the fact that their organization needs to see them in action, carrying out the organization’s mission and culture every day.


Never has the power of transparent communication been so clear. As leaders, we need to embrace this type of communication. Your employees not only want it, but deserve it. The key to transparent communication is to be sincere in your delivery. This helps to create trust and connectivity, and allows you to more nimbly execute your organization’s strategies.


A few months ago it would have been hard to imagine that moving to a remote work setting would bring teams closer together. Now, a conference call without video can feel a bit awkward. Embracing technology has allowed organizations to become more connected, whether you’re part of a local or national organization. Many employees have developed closer relationships, both personally and professionally, as a result of video calls and other technology. That connectivity creates accountability, which can translate into exceptional performance.


When teams come together to help their customers navigate uncertain times, exceptional resources and innovative tools can be produced at an astonishing rate. Collaboration is the key to unleashing your organization’s strategic advantage.


Sometimes it takes a dramatic event for people and organizations to appreciate who they are and what they are capable of. Organizations have gained confidence in their ability to collaborate and develop solutions, with a sense of urgency. The lesson for us all is to not be afraid to challenge ourselves — we might just discover strengths we didn’t realize we have.

How we can help

We hope these five lessons that we have learned are helpful to you and your organization. We know this is a challenging time for everyone, and are here to help. Our team can provide more tips and resources for navigating this crisis and setting your organization up for success in the future. Reach out to one of our experienced professionals to learn more.

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