Leadership in Times of Crisis

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What distinguishes a great leader is the level of response in times of crisis. We have often said, that there are three absolutes for anyone’s career, we all have to deal with change, we all have to deal with conflict and yes we will all find ourselves in moments / periods of crisis. Don’t panic with looking at the uncertainty ahead, as the uncertainty of a crisis can be daunting. It is especially daunting when you’re not experienced or prepared. We have just launched a new course to deal with leadership in time of crisis and more information can be found here (https://www.turlon.com/training_courses/leading-in-crisis/). Given this course, we discuss some of the key characteristics of what it takes to lead in times of crisis.

A large element of dealing with crisis is to see the bigger picture, look at how we can contribute and what we can do. Great leaders have the ability to draw from their core skillsets, the knowledge to observe a critical situation and the desire to serve their teams. So what do we think are some of the critical elements of leadership in times of crisis. Here are Four leadership traits that we would consider to be essential skill-sets:

  • Leading for results: – One of the key challenges facing leaders is knowing when to be a leader, and when to be a manager. Management and leadership are each a set of distinct behavioral skills, not style changes or personality traits that can be flipped on and off like a light switch. Understanding this distinction is crucial for time of crisis as this is a time to focus on the results that are required rather than the people to be managed. Focus on the vision, the needs, the understanding and present this as the pathway forward.
  • Aligning responsibilities: – Give ownership and develop the trust within the team. We should focus on developing engagement by:
    • Giving team members a sense of purpose and commitment.
    • Giving appropriate levels of autonomy.
    • Understanding the emotions and feelings they individuals are going through.
    • Creating a safe environment where mistakes are tolerated and learned from.

Don’t under-value the concept of responsibilities and understanding how ownership can breed trust and in turn this breeds togetherness.

  • Positivity in all stages: – Positive thinking can make us feel better and can sometimes help us to see opportunities we mightn’t otherwise see or acknowledge. For that reason, look some of the positives aspects and share this with those around you. Positivity does not need to be anything other than what you see and how you see it. Don’t think major scale, focus on the small wins. The idea of positive thinking is not a form of magic or turn incompetence into brilliance but it is a way of shaping a vision and creating an environment of participation rather than fear.
  • Looking toward the future: – At points of crisis, you should always understand your starting point and to clarify your strategic direction. Present the vision and direction of you, your team and your organization. Assess current engagement levels throughout the organisation to highlight any potential obstacles to change and ensure that these obstacles can be tackled and if not, how they can impact. In other words, in times of crisis, take a holistic view of your organization and not just focus on your own needs.

Come visit us at Turlon & Associates for more information, thoughts and understandings on how to work within our virtual team environment. More information on what we do is on https://www.turlon.com/training_category/leadership-and-soft-skills/

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