How to Lead During a Crisis | EP 229

Leadership is an essential skill that often develops naturally as we grow our businesses. Initially, when we start with just one employee – ourselves – we don’t think about leadership. But as soon as we hire even one more person, leadership becomes essential.

 

 

Discovering Leadership Skills

I didn’t truly grasp the importance of leadership until I was faced with real challenges. Recently, I watched the movie “We Were Soldiers,” which shows leadership in intense, high-pressure situations.

 

 

Leading Through Crises

While the movie is about war, running a business during a crisis can feel just as intense. During the 2008–2009 recession, my music school struggled. I lost many students, especially older ones, and had to develop my leadership skills quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic was another huge test. Even smaller crises, like a teacher not showing up or deciding to close for a snowstorm, require strong leadership.

 

 

Lessons from the Movie

There’s a powerful scene in the movie where the commander, surrounded by chaos, stays calm and makes strategic decisions. His ability to remain emotionally detached under pressure is a key lesson for any leader.

 

 

Staying Calm and Clear-headed

In business, staying emotionally detached during a crisis helps you think clearly and make tough decisions. For instance, I created specific criteria for when to close the school during a snowstorm. This allowed my staff to make decisions on their own, reducing my stress and empowering them.

 

 

Empowering Your Team

When you empower your team to make decisions based on clear guidelines, you show trust and avoid micromanaging. This not only helps you stay calm but also boosts your team’s confidence and efficiency.

 

Effective leadership in a crisis involves staying emotionally detached, assessing situations quickly, making informed decisions, and delegating responsibilities. Your team’s confidence in your leadership hinges on your ability to stay composed and decisive. Remember, leadership is a skill that takes time and practice to develop.

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