Crisis amplifies everything. It is the same with leadership.
In times of crisis, it is essential to stay focused on how leadership works.
There is only one leader. There may be a leadership team, but only one top leader. The leader sets the WHY and WHAT, and delegates the rest.
Leadership is not a democracy. It never was and never is. Great leaders do seek input but do not rely on groupthink. The leader is the only one with the responsibility.
The leader makes the decision. Not because they are smarter or have more experience. Not because they have more at stake or because it is their idea. Leaders decide because it is their job.
Leaders take ownership by communicating their decisions. Not just talking, but context describing what is happening, what is expected, how you will monitor things, and why. Bad news may be a reality. Looking like you are unaware looks like you don’t know what you are doing.
As a result, leaders can’t avoid criticism.
Criticism doesn’t mean you made a bad decision, and praise doesn’t mean you made a good one.
Leaders continually point to the direction you are heading and reinforce the goals and plan to get there. Progress is communicated in informal ways and in performance reports. Knowing provides a sense of order and gives the organization something to focus upon.
Leaders are open in their humility. Humble themselves to the situation. They focus on dealing with the things they can control and remain aware of the things they can’t.
In a crisis, leaders do the same things they always do. Crisis changes things, amplifying the need for leadership and the impact it has on the organization.
You see, the opposite of leadership is indecision.
This is why the life of a leader is lonely.
We are conducting webinars in the coming days that are free and on topics key to leaders in times of crisis.
Crisis Leadership: Adaptive Lessons for Leaders (hosted by the German American Chamber of Commerce)
Tuesday, May 12, 11 am to 12 noon CST.
Emerging from COVID-19 Pandemic with a Better Plan and a Better Team
Wednesday, May 13, 9 am to 10:30 am CST
Just click on the titles above to register. More webinars are coming.
If you’d to talk about leadership and decision making in crisis, click here to set up a day and time that works for both of us. I’ve been through this before and likely have stood in your shoes. Two heads are better than one.
“In any moment of decision,
the best thing you can do is the right thing,
the next best thing is the wrong thing,
and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
— Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. president