The kind of leadership that is needed at a time like this is knowing what will work in the moment. Leaders need to forego with the long-term ambition and focus on staying in the fight. As the great heavyweight fighter Mike Tyson famously said:
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
To survive and possibly even thrive in this crisis, leaders must prioritise these 3 things:
Be the kind of leader who drives business reliability and stability through tough times. This means getting the team to execute the same outstanding work that you’ve learned to do together despite the impact of a crisis.
Consider the crisis response of a customer service manager providing tech support for a massive global network of data servers.
Her team of call agents was already running low on capacity at the start of the pandemic. The manager’s immediate response was to pull the remaining team together and ensure zero service interruptions.
By increasing check-ins, they were able to keep customers informed and at ease with the service during this critical time. They have managed to keep operations seamless enough that outsiders would never have guessed how badly they’ve been affected by the pandemic.
Strategies and modes of work shift in a time of crisis, but the team’s ability to deliver consistently and competently shouldn’t. And that is a true test of leadership strength.
Resilience is often associated with mental toughness – the ability to take the worst blows and come out swinging. For leaders, this means demonstrating grit and mastering self-discipline despite adversity. It is a self-leadership quality that inspires high-performance in others.
Take Nelson Mandela’s leadership story for example. He endured 27 years of wrongful imprisonment and then proceeded to lead a nation under the banner of peace and reconciliation.
To be a resilient leader then is to possess an indomitable spirit to withstand pressure and trauma and emerge as a force for good.
Compassion and Caring
Compassion and caring are not often regarded as must-have leadership qualities. A recent Gallup poll reported that most managers are not cultivating trusting relationships with their cohorts. And that’s unfortunate because demonstrating compassion and caring is proven to inspire optimism, confidence and courage in others.
Now is the time to reach out and offer support because our survival depends on it. We need to find ways of connecting and forming trusting relationships so that we can build a network of support to carry each other through this crisis.
Be stable, resilient and caring enough to succeed during this difficult time. Learn all about it at the CORONAVIRUS LEADERSHIP SURVIVAL LIVE WEBINAR SERIES, featuring AIDAN PARSONS, CEO, Keystone Executive Coaching.
Engage in learning virtually and develop the skills for effective and inspired leadership wherever you may be. Get tickets to LIVE video streaming of The Leadership Institute’s Training and Events today.