IMPACT BLOG

LEADERSHIP DURING A CRISIS

Blog Post by Ed Maggard

What does a leader do when faced with a crisis? Whether the crisis is in the form of a man-made or natural disaster, the response of leadership is, first of all, to keep perspective.

In October of 2001, I attended a meeting at the Harvard Club in New York City. In the few weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, New Yorkers were feeling insecure and vulnerable. The topic for the evening was The Problem of Evil, and featured notable speaker and author, Os Guiness. 

Dr.Guiness pointed out the difference between major worldviews such as the Asian mystical worldview that basically says we all need is to attain a higher level of consciousness so that evil doesn’t touch us, and western secular humanism that is fatalistic and resigned to just live with reality. 

The meeting room was filled with 200 young professionals and a few dignitaries, and at this point Guiness introduced the Judeo-Christian worldview that says, “It shouldn’t be this way!” You could hear everyone in the room breathe a collective “YES!” 

While the Coronavirus has nothing to do with the events of 9/11, the point is that leaders give perspective in a crisis. The current Coronavirus Pandemic is a crisis. It has already grown to affect people all over the globe. Os Guiness’ approach is instructive in that he addressed the problem and put it in perspective, without trying to answer philosophical questions like “Why?” Those who are keeping cool heads, talking about the seriousness of the Coronavirus and yet urging calm and practical steps are leading well.

LeaderImpact is all about the integration of our personal, professional and spiritual lives. Honest and proactive communication within our sphere of influence will go a long way towards helping others who are undoubtedly feeling a vast range of emotions. Whether talking to your spouse and children, your employees and customers or neighbors and friends, calm and practical conversation will win the day.

An ancient proverb says, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!” As leaders, others look to us for strength and reassurance. Digging into our faith and putting our trust in One who is greater than us is a critical leadership move; one that will give us that perspective and strength to help those for whom we care deeply

Please Note: For those also interested in reading about dealing with anxiety during a crisis, we recommend you read this Article on Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How to Deal with the Anxiety

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