Leading during a crisis is one of the toughest tests you can face. From setting the right tone to strategies to create a plan to overcome the crisis, these five tips will give you all the insights you need.
1. Set the Tone
Level-headed, determined and informed, leaders set the tone and determine how their organizations respond to a crisis. They lead by example, and let others know that during truly challenging times no effort should be spared. Leaders already work harder than most, but they understand that overcoming a crisis takes the full extent of their capacity.
2. Stay Positive
Great leaders know how to stay positive while they face unpredictable circumstances. In order to pull through a crisis, some degree of optimism is necessary. By focusing on what their team can do, challenging negative thoughts and keeping the end of the crisis in mind, leaders put their organizations in the right frame of mind to pull through demanding situations.
3. Provide a Sense of Purpose
Along with a positive attitude, a sense of purpose is a key psychological component of a response to a crisis. As a leader you can help your team find a sense of purpose by being compassionate and making sure that the shared values that underlie your organization are front and center.
4. Have a Plan
In the end, great leadership comes down to great plans. Identify the problem at hand, study it, articulate a coherent solution, and execute it. It sounds simple, but great leaders have this process down to an art. When you craft a plan to face a crisis, keep the following ideas in mind:
- Rely on expert advice
- Don’t over-centralize your response
- Provide structure to offset prevailing sense of disarray
- Encourage feedback
5. Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture
As they work to steer their team through a crisis, great leaders never lose sight of the big picture. Since they stay positive (see point number 2) and have a sense of purpose (point number 3), they know that the challenge at hand may be daunting but is not permanent. As they manage through a difficult situation, great leaders are already positioning their business to take advantage of future opportunities once the storm is over.
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