By Maurice Collis

When a crisis arises, you can freeze in the bright headlamps of the crisis and do nothing or move to the side and be flexible and adapt.

It is quite natural to freeze. After all things have been going well and as a Leader you have followed your tried and trusted practices that have led you to where you are.

However, real leadership is not about doing the same thing over and over again to obtain a predicted result. It is about rising to the occasion when something comes out of nowhere to disrupt the status quo.

The resilient leader is developed to be aware of weak signals indicating that a more significant change is under way. In the case of COVID 19 resilient leaders did not ignore what was taking place in China but rather considered what might happen should it become a pandemic.

The qualities and desired actions we need to cultivate in those who lead teams are many, but the primary qualities are as follows:

  1. An understanding that what worked yesterday will not work today. Leave it alone
  2. The ability to experiment quickly and embrace a failed experiment as leading to a success
  3. An unshakeable belief that we will find a way demonstrating calmness and courage in the face of the crisis
  4. The ability to galvanize the team to action, recognizing their fears and having the time to deal with team needs and individual needs throughout the crisis
  5. Be aware of wellbeing – practice and encourage the practice. Find humor in the face of adversity
  6. Recognize that there are limits to what you can do time wise – sharpen the saw
  7. Record everything as a learning experience
  8. And the very hard bit: identify those who have the capability to rise to the challenge and those who cannot rise to the challenge or adapt
  9. Celebrate expected and unexpected successes
  10. In companies that depend on revenue – and even those that do not – conserve cash and focus on priority expenditure only

In most cases, people are going to learn by experience but this may not be enough. Well-crafted Leadership development programs take people out of their comfort zone and lead them to adapt and be flexible.

These “crafted” situations combined with the real enable Leaders to build resilience and face crisis without fear. In fact, many relish the challenge.