A crisis is what defines a person and brings out either the best or the worst in them. It’s the same when it comes to leadership, a health come economic crisis like exactly what we are facing today will determine who is a real leader, has strong values and principles to guide others who are suffering today.
There is no doubt times like now will expose weak and inauthentic leaders, something you have probably already noticed in this chaotic environment. This is the time to define your personal brand leadership that will enhance your reputation, people’s trust in your leadership and make you stand out as go-to leader.
“Something good comes out of every crisis”– Dave Pelzer (American Author)
Some of the things that will define you as a leader and things that you need to keep in mind are-
1) Be adaptable and flexible: Crisis situations are fast changing scenarios that need leaders to be flexible and adapt to what the situation demands but still be true to their values and principles.
2) Think Ahead: While it is important to be in control of the present situation, it is also extremely critical to be on your feet and think about the potential scenarios the future might throw up at you and how you will deal with it.
3) Be positive about the attention you might be receiving: Many leaders will have to deal with non-stop attention during a crisis as people look up to them for answers. It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed but take this as an experience that will help you to truly make a difference to the lives of many. Be confident of your leadership brand, be authentic and deliver your actions through positive and assertive body language; the rest will take care of itself in building your leadership brand and defining you as an influential leader.
4) Be Decisive: It is critical that as a leader, you are confident and decisive about the decisions you are making during a crisis as people only trust and follow a confident and decisive leader. If you are a leader sending mixed messages, then most people will not listen to you or take you seriously, thus, costing your image, leadership brand and reputation severely.
5) Be Pro-active: Do not let things to spiral out of control before making your decisions during a crisis. It will not only cost dearly you but also cost other people who rely on you. It is critical for a leader to be pro-active during a crisis and reactive only when the situation calls for.
Crisis brings in a lot of chaos and confuses people. Many people get confused and think managing a situation is the same as being a leader. It’s critical for you to understand that crisis leadership is very different to crisis management. From my experience, I can say that whereas good managers ‘do things in the right way’ and follow standardised protocols, powerful leaders ‘do the right thing’, are flexible and adapt themselves to the current scenario. Many managers think of a crisis as a massive threat, but most powerful leaders see crisis as an opportunity. The not knowing of this manager and leader difference is what costs some leaders their image, leadership brand and reputation.
Are you a leader looking at this crisis as a great opportunity that can positively define you as the leader people want to look up and trust? If you are thinking on those lines, then you are already on your way to becoming an influential, authentic and powerful leader. The present day health and economic crisis has taken everyone by surprise, however, this is neither the first nor will this be the last crisis ever!
The panic and chaos you are looking at today is in part because of the lack of authentic leaders we have now, which makes it even more important than ever that during this crisis or for future struggles, the world needs more courageous and authentic leaders with the conviction to speak the truth.