Crisis conditions demand quick, deliberate and effective action by leaders.  But under pressure, when we’re most vulnerable to rushed decisions, is when we need to keep core values and integrity as our trusted pathfinder.

Maintaining composure and a strategic leadership focus helps – to see beyond the obvious, to foresee intended and unintended consequences of decisions, to anticipate impacts to diverse stakeholders, to assess risks to core assets, and to preserve organizational core values and guiding principles.  Times of crisis are when many people decide whether those holding ranking positions are the ones they actually trust and want to follow into the future.

Here are some fundamental reminders for leading in crisis:

  1. Put people and safety first, emphasizing compassion and care;
  2. Be visible, available, and in proactive communication with your team and others affected;
  3. Accept and assume responsibility appropriately;
  4. Understand all stakeholders’ needs and address them in a timely way;
  5. Adhere to ethics, integrity, and your core values throughout.


Amidst the chaos, remember to balance the needs of your company, your loved ones, your team, and yourself – all need different types of care.  Have your list of key contacts (upline, downline, around and external; including a hardcopy) readily available because it’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate.  And steer yourself clear of harm’s way – your able leadership today and tomorrow is important to many who count on you.