Among many other things, the Coronavirus pandemic helped me reflect about leading in times of crisis. I know how hard it is for leaders, business owners, and public servants to lead. That’s why in this article, I’ll share with you what you need to know to lead when a crisis hits.
People look to the world’s political leaders to provide them with assurance and information about the pandemic. They need support and guidance to make them feel safe and hopeful about the future.
In business, people are looking at you to pull them out of the rut and into a better situation. But that doesn’t happen overnight. We know that shit happens in life. Yet, there’s a different way of looking at it. You can use this as an opportunity to make a shift happen.
In this article, I’ll share with you the steps on how to start leading in times of crisis. It’s not always everyday that you get this opportunity to make leapfrog growth as a leader. So it’s time to take advantage of what’s happening to stretch yourself.
Let’s face it. There’s gonna be a lot of bankrupt companies out there. And without proper leadership, everything would be in chaos, confusion, and conflict. Clarity is what you should provide as a leader.
Watch this video to understand what I’m sharing with you. Then read on the article to have a better grasp on what I shared in this video.
Here are the five steps you must take to be effective in leading in times of crisis. These are some powerful insights I’ve learned over my 30+ years of leadership experience. Aside from that, I learned this from some of the greatest leaders we’ve known.
Step #1: Have A Vision
The number one thing that you must have as the leader in your organization is a vision. A vision of a way forward regardless of coronavirus. A vision on how you’re going to succeed in spite of the fact that this pandemic has affected your business.
You got to have a vision first and foremost of what the future’s gonna look like for you and your organization. This will help you become effective in leading in times of crisis.
This is one of the most important things you must do as a leader, especially in times of a crisis. During a crisis, everybody looks to a leader for the next step or for reassurance. People want someone who’s confident and knows what they’re doing.
Aside from that, the Bible says that “without vision, people perish.” Without a vision in what your company can become (even after the crisis), your business will continue to suffer. So ask yourself what will your company look like in 5, 10, 20 years from now?
Step #2: Communicate Your Vision
The number one skill of all leaders in the world is the ability to communicate their vision well. Communities around the world thrive because of leaders who are great communicators. They make people understand what their vision looks like.
To communicate your vision clearly, you must learn how to paint a picture in people’s minds. Explain everything from top to bottom and vice versa. Make them see themselves in that vision. Show them know what each and everyone in your organization has to do to achieve it.
There are a few situations where leaders are supposed to make quick and hard decisions and they need to tell it to people. A crisis is one of them. Leaders need to be able to make decisions on the fly. And in some cases, they might need to make the hard decisions. The ones they know are not going to win them brownie points.
But the important thing is to speak to your people with understanding and empathy. This will lead to better responses from your people.
Step #3: Demonstrate How People Can Contribute In Achieving The Vision
Did you demonstrate an example that you are willing to do whatever it takes for your team? If yes, then your people will be inspired and motivated to do the same.
Demonstrating your vision means enrolling them into it. You don’t shove your vision into their throats and threaten them to follow. Instead, if you want to be effective on leading in times of crisis, you must enroll them in the journey.
Be a role model to them. Work harder than you would’ve otherwise. When people see you walk the talk, it compels them to follow you. As a result, they are more willing to volunteer their blood, sweat, and tears. All to help you accomplish your vision.
Step #4: Train Your People And Build Accountability
Once you demonstrate how much you care to your people, you must also provide them with education. Train them step by step, little by little on what they must do so that vision becomes real. So people around you know what to do, when to do things, and how to do it.
After providing great training, you must build accountability. Your people aren’t perfect. That’s why they need you – the leader – to point them to the right direction. To get them back on track especially when they lag behind or mess up.
Step #5: You Have To Implement
Take these items and test your ideas. In an immediate crisis, a healthy working environment can quickly decline into something chaotic. Because when emotions run high, it comes with stress and fear. As a result, people make low-intelligence decisions.
It doesn’t mean they’re no good. It just means that their judgment becomes clouded with high emotions. It’s a must for you to take control and stop the panic from spreading. In fact, this is the first thing you have to do when news of a crisis breaks.
Final Thoughts On Leading In Times Of Crisis
The real test of leadership does not occur when everything is smooth sailing. Rather, leadership is tested during a crisis. The way a leader behaves and acts during a challenging time will establish people’s trust in them. They are seen as either a good leader or a poor one.
Apply these 5 steps so you can make effective decisions and start leading in times of crisis.
What steps are you in right now in terms of leading your organization out of a rut? Let me know in the comments below!