Effective leadership during the COVID-19 crisis

The current crisis involving the COVID-19 pandemic is different than anything we’ve faced in over a century, one that looks to be a prolonged and possibly existential challenge for organizations. Effective leadership in a prolonged crisis with such serious consequences is absolutely necessary for an organization and its people, and requires physical, psychological and emotional fortitude. In this pandemic crisis, resilient leaders must respond and adjust to fluid circumstances across the organization in a climate that changes day by day and hour by hour.

In my point of view, the leader’s primary responsibility is to keep the team safe, cohesive and productive. Then, to deal with the crisis, leaders must develop the 4 attitudes bellow:

Attitude N°1: Set and establish a list of priorities:

In the event of a crisis, there are instances when companies need to deviate from standard policies and procedures to best meet the needs of their customers and employees.

Leaders’ primary responsibility in this context, is to make the companies available to incorporate pandemic planning considerations into existing resilience management activities to provide a comprehensive response and to provide continuity for their most critical products and services.

But to reach this objective, effective leaders will have to act on their teams and managers in order to make them more autonomous and independent. Therefore, they empower managers to make the best decisions they can, such as keeping employees safe, followed by whether they are available to perform critical functions. And also, ask the teams to continue to communicate with customers through multiple channels, reinforce that customer interests are a priority and provide information to alleviate their concerns.

This dynamic situation develops the organization’s ability to respond quickly and effectively when the crisis occurs.