Crisis Leadership – Serving Others Through The Cycles
With the advent of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we are seeing an event unique in our lifetimes.
Our lives, professional and most definitely personally, are being impacted in a major way that will test our abilities to lead and serve those who place their trust and security in us.
So how can we assist and guide others through this crisis event?
First, it is essential to understand the facts in play during this crisis. Great leadership is a discerning leadership based on facts and not emotionally driven to fear or false hope.
There is a role to play in acknowledging fear and giving hope but not in fueling them to people’s detriment.
Second, understanding the cycles of behavior and emotional response will allow us to meet the needs of our employees, colleagues and family and friends as the crisis cycle deepens then eventually lessens and moves on.
SAMHSA, a division of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, posted years ago (and has updated this in recent days) this great information on the phases of disaster and how each phase impacts individuals and communities.
- Pre-Event (Pre-Disaster)
This is a great resource for people to read and know not just what is currently going on, but what is coming throughout and long after this epidemic wanes.
As not just leaders, but citizens and human beings, we should ask ourselves the following to apply in all phases of this and other crises:
- How can I empathize with what someone else is feeling and expressing?
- Where can I serve and assist the need at this phase?
- How can I objectively teach and educate through fear and false hope?
- What can I do to meet the needs of the next phase before it occurs?
- Where can I ensure giving hope grounded in reality?
- How can I inspire others to work together and build a stronger community through this event?
Throughout any crisis, leadership should work harder to instill a goal, no matter how lofty or impossible, to resolve and improve conditions after the event is over.
Leadership – in our families, community, work and industries, as well as globally – calls us to cast a vision and hope to get others through tough times.
Be there for others. Understand the cycles of behavior. Serve them more than ever. Things are tough and may get more difficult. We hope they get better.
And lead them through this and beyond.
Think of the lives you can help to get through this together.
(For further reading, go to “Is Hope A Leadership Trait?” over at Lead Change Group)