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Leadership During Crisis –Stand Tall

“The significant measure of leaders is not where they stand in the moments of comfort, but where they stand at times of challenges and crises”- Azim Premji

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Organizations across the globe are on the verge of an unprecedented economic catastrophe as the humanitarian disaster from the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds. There is no roadmap to resolve this pandemic struggle apart from taking it one day at a time. These times call for more of a motivational leader, a crisis leader and a positive personality. They play a crucial role by realizing that even in a recession, it is possible to stay optimistic and energize their team members by believing in their abilities and the capabilities of the organization.

Now the question arises how will this happen? What do we need to do in order to go beyond the usual leadership?

Let’s start by understanding - What is crisis leader?

The first thing often people look for in a leader; the person who knows how to resolve the issues and will take the necessary steps to do so. But in today’s situation, the problem is ever-changing – from Janata Curfew to a complete lockdown, the crisis that is emerging after the virulence of the virus are weeded out will be of a unique nature.

So, therefore, let’s explore a few easy tips for it:

-         Lead from the front. One should show confidence and steadiness. Take complete charge of the situation.

-         Act promptly, not hurriedly. A leader must provide direction and also should respond to the situation timely. But acting hurriedly only makes people nervous. You can work with deliberateness as well as speed.

-         Stay in touch: One can be a great executive, but if you are not a great communicator, things can fall apart quickly. A good leader should interact with the employees more often. Let them feel that you are there for them.

-         Paint a positive future: Many will wonder how and why should we do this? The term “Manifestation” has been widely researched, and results are astounding. How about we do some team manifestation and positive affirmations. In return, chances are our future will turn out as progressive as we envisioned it to be!

-         Short-term Goals: Set goals for your teams and layout rewards for your team on achieving them! Remember, this has to be done consistently.

-         Some fun moments: Give your team some fun things to start their day with – it can range from the art on a sticky note to a shutterbug day. Spending some fun time in the morning will help them start their day on a happy note.

Besides, there are also some essentials that leaders need to practice day in day out:

Empathy: An empathic leader might be good at quickly recognizing warning signals because he/she can pick up on very slight emotional cues; cues that someone less attuned to other people’s feelings might just miss. At the same time, a very empathic leader might be prone to taking every slight squirm as an indicator of a major crisis. In the midst of such huge uncertainty, leaders need to be intensely connected to the emotional landscape of employees and should intrinsically motivate to help them thrive

Be Courageous/ Resilient: Leaders should prominently have the mental ability and courage – ability to stand on your ground in the face of all odds and stay self-motivated. This means being able to control or overcome your fear and anxiety in adversity and guiding your team through tough times. Your team needs to know that someone has the ability and determination to make decisions and stand by them firmly.

Communication: As Winston Churchill rightly said: “The difference between mere management and leadership is communication”.

During a crisis, the need for information and knowledge increases drastically. The ability to make an impact on effective communications is vital. It is imperative to actively communicate up and down in an organization, as well as to customers, clients, and employees. Honesty and transparency are also crucial at the same time.

Conclusion

The evaluation of a leader is often tested during a crisis. No one can prepare for the unknown, but great leaders keep themselves mentally fit and ready to face every storm. It is not necessary to win in such situations, rather understanding when to act or wait can be a great strength. And leaders who can engage directly, but still retain their sense of perspective, are the ones that will help the organization survive.

Let’s be the role model we would wish for ourselves!

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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Leadership during crisis Jai Ballani Executive Access

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