Leading In A Time Of Crisis And COVID-19

We’re leading in a time like no other. With all of our technological advancements, we’re struggling to cope with the COVID-19 virus. It has sickened almost one million people and killed over 50,000.

People are scared to go to work. Governments have told non-essential businesses to close their doors for an undetermined amount of time.

It’s scary folks. It’s a time of crisis.

Men in front of a massive forest fire

Photo by Issy Bailey

Times of crisis don’t stop the need for leadership. Whether the leadership is at home, at the office, or through remote applications, we have to step up and lead. What does that take? How does one lead in a time of crisis?

We’re going to look at this today. We’re going to help you get through this crisis and the next and the one after that…

How To Lead In A Time Of Crisis

There have been many blog articles about the COVID-19 virus and how to lead during this time of crisis. We’re going to look at 4 ways suggested by other leaders I respect and then I will share my thoughts on how to lead in a time of crisis.

1. Be Empathetic:

My good friend Brian Dodd shares in this article that leaders in a time of crisis must be empathetic. Your team members are uncertain of what is happening and what will happen. You probably are too.

Because no one knows what will be the long-term strategy for battling COVID-19, we have to be in tune with what our people are feeling and thinking. Learn what your team is thinking, what they’re doing to cope with COVID-19, and how you can help them.

Now is the time for you to be an empathetic leader.

2. Help Your Team See Past Today:

Tanveer Naseer shares three things a leader can do during a crisis. One of those is to help your team see past today. Your team is freaking out. They don’t know where their next paycheck is going to come from and they may not even know if the business will be around when COVID-19 is under control.

You have to help your team see past today, in a positive way. You can help guide your team through the COVID-19 crisis and other crisis by being a voice of reason during the crazy times.

Help them understand how you are working towards getting everybody back to work. Show them there is a brighter tomorrow. Be the light.

3. Stay Calm:

David Grossman had a great article about staying calm during a crisis. It can be easy to go straight on crazy mode when a crisis hits. You have to think about the ways to keep a business afloat and your team on-board.

When tough times hit, be calm. Your voice of calm reason will reassure your team they are safe and you are working towards a solution.

4. Practice Self Care:

Michael Hyatt, in his podcast, reminds leaders that they cannot forget to take care of themselves during a crisis. This doesn’t mean you look out for yourself. What self-care means is that you’re looking to make sure you’re in the best shape possible to take care of those you lead.

Make sure you’re caring for yourself during the crisis. To do this, you may go out for a long run, hit your home gym for 30 minutes, or listen to soothing music that calms your soul.

To lead well, you must make sure your body and mind are cared for.

5. Look For Ways To Innovate:

Crisis brings out the best in great leaders. Many innovations and great work have been created during a crisis.

Crisis can bring people together to figure out a solution for the problem at hand. We’re seeing business and church leaders finding innovative ways to lead.

Churches are using Facebook Live to broadcast sermons to their congregants. Business leaders are coming together using Zoom.

Times of crisis are not times to sit on your laurels. Rather, look for ways to use current technology (or create your own) to lead through the storm.

6. Don’t Stop Communicating:

Working from home and away from your team, you may be tempted to cut the lines of communication. You may think your team doesn’t want to hear from you. You’d be wrong.

The last thing you want to do during a crisis is to ghost your team.

You have to be willing to find ways to communicate with your team. I’ve seen business leaders use Facebook to share constant updates regarding the status of the business. Other leaders are group texting their team members to check in on them (talk about making people feel cared for!).

Whatever you do during a crisis, you can’t stop communicating.

Question: How are you leading through the COVID-19 crisis? Share your tips in the comments below.

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