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What Does Effective Leadership Look Like in a Crisis?

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

I am having a lot of conversations and being asked a lot of questions about leadership during a crisis these days. What does it look like? What should I be doing differently? There seems to be no shortage of leaders who care deeply and want to step up in all the right ways, and that is good news. The really good news is that Leadership in a Crisis looks an awful lot like leadership any other time.

Keep in mind that there are tomes of research, shelves of books, endless classes and scores of speakers and educators that can teach you about being an Effective Leader. Being a leader is not simple and it is most certainly not always easy. However, there are a couple of key things that all leaders should do, no matter what style or theory of leadership they ascribe to. And, they hold true even in a crisis.

I like the way Hugh Coppen, President of Winning Leadership Inc., breaks it down in his guest blog for USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy:

1) Be calm, be clear, be smart

2) Genuinely earn the trust of your people

3) Be Courageous

4) Prudently manage ALL your resources

5) Never lose sight of your longer term purpose

Those don’t seem too bad. And while it can take a lot of heart and a lot of work to do and be all those things, most of the leaders I have been talking to already are and already do. So, why all the fuss about leading in a crisis? Because it is harder. Much much harder. The people you lead are dealing with more unknowns, more emotions, and more things completely out of their control. And here is the real kicker – so are you!

In your organization, in your community, in your family; leadership begins with you. Your time. Your words. Your energy. Your beliefs. Your mindset. Your thoughts. Your behavior. Your emotions. Your determination.

My advice to all leaders right now is to remain mindful of your own needs and emotions. Find support outside your organization that can lift and fuel you so that you can lift, fuel and lead those who rely on you. If you are looking for support for you or your team, give us a call. Let’s see what we can do together.

Want an opportunity for more connection, Register for our LIVING CONSCIOUSLY GROUP COACHING SERIES

Kim Clist Fons is the President and Founder Blue Wysteria Coaching and Consulting. She received her coaching certificate from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has almost 15 years of leadership development and professional training experience.

Fons has worked with people around the world to strengthen their leadership skills and better equip them to make powerful change in the communities and organizations that matter most to them. She loves to work with purpose driven individuals, teams and organizations - often those focused on community - supporting them in becoming more effective, resourceful, and connected.

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