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In the midst of a crisis, even the most seasoned leaders can find themselves struggling to find the right response. Now more than ever, take stock of how you can enhance your strengths and lead with compassion to move your organization forward.

COVID Inspirational and Leadership

5 Tips for Effective, Thoughtful Leadership During a Crisis

  • Nancy Brown
  • 4/2/2020

In our lifetime, there haven’t been many crises that have tested our organizations like the current coronavirus pandemic. During trying times, we’re faced with tough decisions. Our resolve is tested. Even leaders who have navigated difficult circumstances may find themselves questioning how we’ll come out on the other side.

As I watch amazing leaders around me, I'm taking notes and continuing to practice my leadership skills. Like any sport or skill, we get better by examining ourselves and gleaning tips from others. While there is no shortage of leadership articles available to us, here is my personal version of five top leadership skills. Maybe they will help you, too.

Top five leadership skills to continue developing

1. Take care of your people

Looking out for your people and those you care about most comes above all else. Without your people, your organization doesn’t exist. Show them you support them and understand the personal and professional challenges they may be facing in this situation. It doesn't mean there aren't tough decisions to be made about people, but it does mean that you should do so with care and concern. Keep your empathy level up, even when "tough love" is needed.

2. Utilize teams

Your teams have amazing talent — that’s why they’re part of your organization. If leaders try to do everything and micromanage, the outcome won't be nearly as good. Bring in team members to help through the crunch. Empower them and foster collaboration. Let them shine!

3. Be forward-looking and decisive

Leaders who are proactive and make decisions effectively will help lead their teams to a strong, stable position. Being forward-looking will support stability by considering all aspects of the situation, even when there may be many unknowns. A decisive leader breeds confidence — and a crisis situation is often ripe with new decisions that need to be made quickly.

4. Communicate with transparency … and communicate more

Sincere, calm, and transparent communication is key, but it takes practice and intentional effort. During a crisis situation, it’s even more critical. Your people will want reassurance that the organization is managing the changing landscape, but be real. Overt optimism in a time of challenge could come across as insincere and shake your credibility. Keep honing your communication skills as leaders.

5. Develop other leaders

I love seeing this one in action. Leaders get stronger as they invest time in their teams and help develop other leaders. Leaders don't need the credit or the involvement in every decision. Empower and elevate your people. Develop other leaders.

How we can help

These are the leadership skills on my mind during these challenging times. My hope is that you look to tomorrow as an opportunity to do the same. We’re in this together. Please reach out if we can help support you in this journey.

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