Leading Through Crisis

Business Of Spirituality for spiritual entrepreneurs and healers with Dr. Ahriana Platten

There were two mass shootings in the past week. One directly involved a dear friend. The other touched the soul of a person I love and mentor and required her to take immediate action. She did an amazing job of leading her team.

In the face of crisis, whether it be an act of nature, an act of humankind, a global pandemic, financial downturn, or internal organizational turmoil, leaders are often thrust into the spotlight, tasked with guiding their teams through uncertain waters. This journey requires more than just strategic acumen; it demands a leadership style rooted in honesty, authenticity, and compassion. These three pillars not only foster trust and resilience among team members but also pave the way for sustainable recovery and growth.

Honesty: The Foundation of Trust

During a crisis, the urge to shield teams from harsh realities may be compelling, but transparency is key. Honesty involves providing clear, accurate information about the situation, even when the news is not favorable. This does not mean dwelling on the negative but rather presenting a realistic picture of the circumstances, including what is known, what is unknown, and the steps being taken to address the situation.

Honest communication builds trust, an essential element in any relationship, particularly during times of uncertainty. When leaders are open about challenges, they demonstrate respect for their team's ability to handle difficult news and contribute to solutions. This trust, once established, becomes the foundation upon which all other recovery efforts are built. It encourages open dialogue, fosters collaboration, and empowers individuals to bring their best selves to the table, knowing that their leaders are doing the same.

Authenticity: Leading by Being Yourself

Authenticity in leadership means showing up as one's true self, with one's values, beliefs, and personality fully present. It's about being the same person in the boardroom as at the dinner table. In a crisis, people look to their leaders not just for direction but for a sense of stability and reassurance. When leaders are authentic, they become relatable and trustworthy, making it easier for their teams to rally behind them.

That may mean sharing your tears. It did for me this week.

Authentic leadership involves vulnerability—admitting when you don't have all the answers and being open about the challenges you're personally facing. This vulnerability is not a sign of weakness; rather, it's a strength that humanizes leaders, making them more approachable and inspiring loyalty and commitment. An authentic leader acknowledges their limitations while confidently steering their team towards a shared vision, creating an environment where everyone feels valued and understood.

Compassion: The Heart of Leadership

Compassion is perhaps the most critical quality during a crisis. It's the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, to genuinely care about their well-being, and to take action to alleviate their suffering. Compassionate leadership is about looking beyond the bottom line to the human side of the equation, recognizing that employees are not just workers but people with fears, hopes, and dreams.

Leading with compassion means taking the time to listen to team members, acknowledging their struggles, and providing support, whether through flexible working arrangements, mental health resources, or simply a space to express their concerns. It also involves making difficult decisions with a human touch, considering the impact on people's lives, and communicating with empathy and care.

Compassion fosters a supportive and inclusive culture, one where people feel safe and valued. This sense of belonging and care not only helps individuals navigate personal and professional challenges but also builds a resilient and engaged team, ready to face whatever lies ahead together.

Navigating the Storm Together

The journey through crisis is never easy. By leading with honesty, authenticity, and compassion, leaders can create a culture of trust, resilience, and mutual respect. This approach not only helps organizations navigate the immediate challenges but also lays the groundwork for long-term success, characterized by a loyal, motivated, and cohesive team. A crisis provides a chance for leaders to guide their teams through the storm and emerge stronger on the other side, ready to face the future with confidence and hope.

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