Leading a team during a crisis

In a time when there is so much uncertainty with COVID-19, I would like to share a few thoughts on the importance of providing the leadership our teams need during a crisis.

While our situation is unprecedented in modern times, a look back through history shows how leaders like Winston Churchill helped the U.K. navigate an even more challenging situation. His messages as Prime Minister were both honest and inspiring, and when his people needed him the most, he never capitulated or considered surrender. He inspired strength and solidarity while bombs literally fell all around him and his country.

How can his leadership style help us today? Like then, we do not know how this will play out, but we do know that calm and inspiring leadership is needed now more than it has been in 75+ years. People everywhere are worried about their health and the well-being of everyone they know. And while their concerns may not be from nightly airwaves of bombs, their worries are every bit as real. Which is why I believe we need to provide the leadership and the communications needed to inspire confidence.

Whether you’re the head of a team or an entire organization, this is our generation’s time to lead, with honesty, strength and confidence — enough to make Winston proud.

P.S. Here is an excerpt from the man of that hour. He gave this speech just a week after the Dunkirk rescue.

“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”

– Winston Churchill. House of Commons. June 4, 1940.