Leadership During a Crisis
"Winning a battle is always a matter of people."
Sun Tzu's The Art of War 4:5:1
We continue the discussion of our vulnerability to changes in the environment. In this article, the focus is on the psychology of leadership during a crisis. As we discussed in the previous article, crises have a huge impact on our relationships. Firestorms pose a real risk to the trust and confidence that others place in us. These sudden changes in the environment create fear and uncertainty. These surges of emotion often result in a desire to find someone to blame. Poor leadership is its primary target.
Practical strategy seeks to improve how people judge our qualities as leaders. Relationships have a certain inertia. We keep our current judgments about others unless we are given a reason to change. This is why we have to make strategic moves in order to improve our position. How we react during a crisis, however, causes people to reevaluate their past judgments about us. If we don't show good leadership skills during a crisis, that fact can be the catalyst that causes people to downgrade their opinions about us.
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