FORTUNE MAY 2020 

3 KEYS TO LEADING IN A CRISIS

  • REMEMBER THAT PEOPLE WANT TO BE LEAD. No group accomplishes much if no one is in charge. In times of a crisis we need a leader to be a repository for our fears.The leader helps us sleep at night. If you’re in charge – be in charge.

  • BE DECISIVE. Every leadership decision is made with incomplete information; in a crisis the problem is worse and the stakes are higher. Don’t let that stop you from making firm decisions.
  • DEFINE REALITY AND GIVE HOPE. The news in a crisis is rarely good. The leader’s art is outlining reality unflinchingly and framing it as a challenge that can be met, not as a  disaster that must be endured. Effective leaders never make a promise that can’t be kept with 110% certainty; they do offer realistic reasons for hope.

These principles will only work if the leader has already built trust and credibility.

Mohammed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, “it’s better to be prepared for events that don’t happen than unprepared for events that do”.

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