✏ 5 Ways to Lead in a Crisis

The odds are that an experienced leader will face a crisis at some point, especially during these times of a 24-hour news cycle and social media posts that can take an issue from a minor problem to a catastrophe in no time. Crisis management means dealing with what could become a major situation before it occurs. It requires specific skills to identify, assess, understand, and cope with a serious situation.

“Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.”

Maya Angelou

At that point, developing a set of procedures, roles, responsibilities and communication needs to be in motion. Indecisiveness can expose weaknesses, which is why it is so important to prepare for all scenarios. Crisis management requires a prepared team, but more importantly, a skilled leader to navigate.


Five ways to lead during a crisis:

  1. Reinvent Yourself

Based on the situation, you may need to change your leadership style to adapt to the specific needs required. This calls for flexibility and being willing to make tough choices while on the clock. It also requires a sense of vulnerability and making people feel safe. For some leaders, this will mean expanding beyond your typical comfort zone.


  1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

The most successful leaders understand how critical communication can be, especially in a time of crisis. By being transparent and truthful in your briefings, the result is earned trust and respect. Your goal is to gain a connection with those you lead and value them beyond their abilities.


  1. Model the Character You Expect From Others

It’s about the three C’s – keep calm, cool, and collected. As a leader, you’re always on stage, which means that your words and body language will set the example for others to follow. Show confidence, perseverance, and patience. Also, be authentic.


  1. Leverage Your Team

You have assembled a group of independent thinkers, who each bring unique talents to the table, so take advantage of the strength in numbers. This is the time to tap into your team’s creativity and innovation to make impactful decisions. Empower them to think outside the box and be unafraid to fail. Strong teams welcome the demands of a crisis and thrive in the success of the challenge.


  1. Stay Educated

In times of crisis, things change by the minute. As a leader, it is your obligation to stay up-to-date by utilizing all the resources you have to ensure that the business plan you are working from is realistic in the most current environment. Be sure to monitor respected news sources and reliable contacts — don’t act as a result of speculation when you have the chance to be proactive based on the facts.

“The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.”

Brian Tracy

A crisis can strike at any time, which is why advanced planning is the key to successful outcomes. Don’t be unprepared or think it won’t happen to you. The benefit is once you have gone through a crisis and have documented your plan, you have a template moving forward.

Crisis does not build character — it reveals it. What will your character reveal?

Go do great things today and make a difference.


Humbled to lead,

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Victor Pisano✏ 5 Ways to Lead in a Crisis

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