Essential qualities of a leader

3 Essential Leadership Qualities in a Crisis (Blog Version)

In this short blog post, we explore the leadership qualities essential to the effective management of any crisis. 

Many leaders continue to struggle with overwhelm and a lack of confidence in this moment.

That is understandable. This is an unprecedented situation. It is natural that we would find ourselves lacking confidence and unsure of how to move forward during this COVID-19 pandemic.

At the root of that overwhelm and lack of confidence likely is a fear of failure – a fear that you are not good enough to meet this challenge. Or perhaps your inner voice is pressuring you to “step up” and “be the hero” others are counting on. Perhaps that voice is saying “You need to be the one with all the answers.” Or perhaps it is saying “You need to be fearless.”

If you have an inner voice telling you that it is up to you to be the hero in this moment, that inner voice is a liar. You do not need to be the hero.

There actually are three leadership qualities you need to be demonstrating right now:

  • Authenticity. Your people do not need you to have all the answers. What they need is for you to be open, honest, and transparent.
  • Empathy. Your people do not need you to be fearless. They need you to show that you care about their well-being, and the well-being of their colleagues and loved ones.
  • Belief. Your people do not need to know that you are their hero. They need to know that you believe they can be heroes in their families, in their communities, and in their organization.

It is time for leaders to set aside the false belief that we need to be the heroes. Instead, let us manifest the essential leadership qualities in a crisis. Let us be authentic, empathetic, and believe in our people. Let us believe in their capacity to help themselves and to help each other navigate these uncharted and uncertain waters.

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