It is during times of crisis that leaders are most scrutinized and evaluated. These are great times to build or destroy your leadership credibility. A crisis may arise due to a unique situation that few companies could have foreseen. How can leaders be effective during a crisis?
1. Keep Calm
It has been scientifically proven that the best decisions are made when we are in the right frame of mind. This brings us optimism, increases our analytical capacity and our thoughts are clearer. In addition, a composed leader has much more influence on his organization and can serve as a model.
2. Communicate Honestly
If you lie to your employees or if you try to embellish the facts, people will realize it and feel betrayed. You will quickly lose trust and credibility. Communicating also means listening. Front line employees may have great suggestions. Speak from the heart and practice what you preach.
3. Keep Messages Simple
Simple instructions using clear language are more likely to be followed. Avoid long-winded communications and opt for short, more frequent messages.
4. Trust Your Team
A senior leader will never be as smart as the collection of the people under their responsibility. First, you need to know the people around you, their strengths and weaknesses. There will be some individuals who excel in this kind of situation and therefore you must make room for them.
You must be sensitive and attentive to your employees. You must also, if necessary, refer certain employees to appropriate support or care. True leaders raise awareness about civic responsibility and invite their employees to take care of people around them with small simple gestures.
6. Preserve Cash
Preserving the company's liquidity is essential. The day the cash runs out, we close the doors. It is important to save money because we do not know how long the crisis will last. However, this should never be at the detriment of human life.
7. Don't be Afraid to Change a Decision
You have to adapt to changing facts and situations. Some leaders may be reluctant to change their mind quickly because it may suggest that they have made a mistake. This is especially true during a crisis situation since leaders will be more prone to criticism.
8. Do Not Isolate Yourself
War rooms, a concept that excites senior management in general, can speed up decision-making, but can be dangerous if they operate in a vacuum. The danger is to isolate yourself and create a sense of urgency that can influence decisions at the expense of the future. Keep your ear to the ground.
9. Take Care of Yourself
It can be easy for a leader to be selfless in times of crisis. An exhausted leader is not an effective one. A crisis is a marathon, not a 100-meter dash. You have to take care of yourself and your family.
10. Opportunity to Adopt Change
A crisis can create many opportunities for long-term change in organizations. In times of crisis, people are more open to change because they have already given up certain habits.
Finally, put yourself in the shoes of your customers, suppliers, partners and employees and ask yourself: What information would I like to know now? What would I like to hear from this company right now? What actions would I like to see from this organization?
 George Amy. (March 2020) Inc. 6 Ways you can show true leadership during a crisis
 Coderre Jean-François. (March 2020) La Presse. Les 10 commandements du gestionnaire