When faced when a crisis – how do you lead? My mantra during this time is “Crisis can lead to growth and opportunity, stuff-up’s can lead to resilience and lessons, and purpose and vision can withhold any challenges.”
Here are my top ten ways and a blog to lead through a crisis –
1. You must align expectations
2. Focus on more of what makes you who you are
3. Demonstrate on positive energy and actions
4. Be authentic and tell the truth
5. Remember and know what you stand for
6. Always demonstrate kindness and empathy
7. You must remember and see the big picture
8. Please stay calm and courageous
9. Have a flexible and focused plan
10. Leaders must simply lead
Nothing prepares you to lead when faced with a crisis. The current bush fire crisis across Australia is just heartbreaking and it is times like these we need great leadership. In turn, while a majority of the country remains engulfed in smoke and flames, the other topic on everyone’s lips is how prime minister Scott Morrison has been leading (or not leading) during this crisis. Like I always say, “Leadership is not just a title or a role, it’s an attitude and a mindset.” What I have seen is a number of people who have been incredible leaders during this crisis who don’t have the title of leader. However, I am in two minds when it comes to our leaders with titles showing courageous leadership during this crisis. This article is about how to show courageous leadership during a crisis.
A lot of people believe that the true leadership capacity of a person is tested during times of crisis. Leadership, courage and performance under stress can show how level-headed a person is, or on the contrary, it can show where their weaknesses lie. It is important that you always keep your wits about you and stay cool in challenging situations. In turn the importance of emotional intelligence and resilience are critical in times where we need to show great courage.
These are the a few key things that every courageous leader does in times of crisis, and traits you should always keep in mind when running a business.
Courageous Leaders are Honest and Transparent
Courageous Leaders know that the centre pole of Leadership are integrity and honesty. They are honest and transparent regardless of what people might say and think. Personally, I am seeing a lack of this leadership at present and this fundamental in building trust and safety with those around you. How do you build trust which is EVERYTHING in leadership – lead by example and be honest.
Courageous Leaders Don’t Let Their Emotions Get In The Way
The most important thing to do during a crisis is to maintain an example for your people by keeping cool, calm, and collected, which will allow you to think about the curveballs being thrown your way. This can be challenging and something we coach in a lot. I know when I can feel the pressure impacting me – it is important to ask for help, take a breath or look at the bigger picture. I am also one who embraces vulnerability and at times I am comfortable sharing how I am feeling and where I am at. Remember you are not your emotions.
Courageous Leaders Are Truly Brave and Face Fears
Many people respond to a crisis by being overwhelmed by stress, which turns to fear. It is easy to be afraid when you have a crisis situation in your life but if you remain brave, then the people around you will be too, and together a strong team will be able to turn anything around. I know when I feel fear that I embrace it and share with my team that we have got this.
Courageous Leaders Are Accountable For Their Victories And Their Losses
Courageous leaders own up to when they make mistakes. After all, we are all human, and someone who is too proud to admit their own mistake is not likely to be someone that others will follow. Taking responsibility for any actions that you have taken that could have contributed to the crisis will be a good way to prompt the people around you into working on the situation with you wholeheartedly, instead of just because they have to. Courageous leaders also don’t make excuses!
Courageous Leaders Don’t Take Failures Personally
By separating your personal feelings from the matter at hand, you are better able to focus on what is happening and take care of it in a manner that is going to be most successful for you and those around you. I find that I learn most from when I stuff up and even though it is tough not to take it personally
Courageous Leaders Possess Positive Attitudes From Start To Finish
The end of the crisis is not just when you pull yourself out of the muck that it had put you in. The end of the crisis is those around you have started to recover and are moving on, which might take a bit. Keeping a positive attitude on your face and pushing through any challenges will keep morale high, which will put things right back on track in no time at all, and will also earn you the trust and respect from those around you.
In Times Of Crisis, Great Leaders Are Needed
When we think about examples of great leaders that truly embody leadership, we immediately think of the Jacinda Ardern’s, the Martin Luther King, the Nelson Mandela’s, the Rosa Parks; the people who wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, while demonstrating kindness, compassion, courage and other fantastic leadership qualities.
Followers look to see whether a leader is courageous before they’ll fully accept that person’s leadership. If they see courage, it feels safe to ‘sign up.’ People need courageous leaders in order to feel there’s someone to make the tough calls and to take responsibility for them – they need to know that the buck truly does stop with the leader. With a courageous leader, people feel protected – not that they’re helpless, but they know the person in charge really has their back.
Empathy, courage, decisiveness and the willingness to take action, no matter how hard it may be, are the leadership qualities Australia needs right now to lead us through this catastrophe.
Let’s rise above the chaos and crisis when things seem uncertain and impossible. The world needs
Our Leadership Legacy
At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching, workshops and leadership programs.
We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.
To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.
At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.
McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.