Leading in times of crisis

A toolkit for leaders and managers

Image by Riccardo Annandale

Leveraging the power of learning to Lead in Crisis

Dear Leaders,

As we continue to adapt to the ongoing pandemic, our staff and teams are looking for strong leadership more than ever. The resources and tools in this portal will provide you additional real-time support as you continue to lead your teams through these unprecedented times. On this site, you’ll find information on leading in times of crisis through short articles, videos, online learning, tools and materials.

We have created this portal for you with great gratitude for your leadership and dedication to our patients, our community and our associates. This is our opportunity to support you with valuable resources and creative solutions, to lead your teams. ​We will continue to update this portal with  additional relevant information over the next days and weeks. We sincerely hope this resource can play a role in helping you and your teams.

The Learning Network Team


Quick tips for leaders on how to respond during crisis (Source: Engagedly.com)


Project honesty and confidence

This is one of the most important things a leader needs to do, especially in times of a crisis. During a crisis, everybody looks to a leader for the next step or for reassurance. If a leader projects fear and unease, that unease transmits to everyone else, much like a contagious disease. This is why is absolutely necessary for leaders to look like they are masters of the situation. Employees need someone they can rely on, not someone they need to reassure.
But confidence is not the only thing leaders need to display. Honesty is key as well. While the urge to state that ‘everything is going to be fine’ is going to be overwhelming, it is important for leaders to be realistic.


Decisive and adaptable

There are a few situations where leaders are supposed to make quick decisions or hard decisions. A crisis is one of them. Leaders need to be able to make decisions on the fly, and in some cases, they might need to make the hard decisions, the ones they know are not going to win them any points.
There is no time to dally or even ponder the pros and cons of a decision at a leisurely pace. Leaders who take action, who are decisive and who are open to adapting their decisions to suit the needs of a situation are going to have more success weathering a crisis than a leader who chooses to wait and wait and not take action.


Control the chaos

In an immediate crisis, a work environment can very quickly devolve chaos because of all the emotions running high, with stress and fear being at the forefront. It is imperative for a leader to take control and stop the panic from spreading. In fact, this is often the first thing a leader has to do when news of a crisis breaks. This might involve quickly delegating tasks or simply bringing a room to order. Either way, it is only possible to begin a crisis action plan if everyone involved is focused and determined to complete the task on hand.


Exercise caution

A crisis is not an excuse to throw caution to the wind, and risk it all (unless a worst-case scenario occurs and there is literally no other option). Instead, leaders have to be not only quick but also measured. This is a case of quickly evaluating all the facts at hand and then making a calculated decision about what would be the best course of action.
While this might seem like an impossible task, in actuality, this is a habit that can be cultivated over a period of time. The alertness of mind is a valuable skill for leaders to have as it is especially handy during times of a crisis.


Stay positive

This is one of those things that is easier said than done. After all, how does one stay positive when everything that could possibly go wrong is happening? This is not to say that leaders have to be blindly optimistic even when the outcome seems to state otherwise. However, it is important to keep a game face on until the worst of the crisis has passed. This is because once insecurity finds a way, it very quickly morphs into crippling self-doubt. And this can prevent leaders from making the hard choices that they have to.


Quick tips for leaders on how to respond during crisis (Source: Engagedly.com)