Gurus have written many books on how to lead but you don’t really get it until you see the phenomenon in action: the good and the bad. I recently took part in a think-tank session which asked participants to come up with a list of words which we think are most important when conducting business conscientiously. There were the typical words such as respect, integrity, accountability but these other words were overlooked: emotional intelligence and courage. Of the list of leaderships behaviors industry experts state are critical when leading in crisis recovery, I think these are just as critical.
Emotional intelligence is the capacity for self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships. Emotional intelligence is essential in a recovery because stress, distrust, paranoia, and lack of confidence are prevalent. The leader will need to understand these emotions and offer an empathetic response and honest answers in order to calm fears, create a supportive environment, and to motivate people.
Courage is often hard to find when an organization experiences distress. Courage is necessary to deliver bad news. It may be tempting to wait for the “right time” to address a problem, but there never is a “right time” in a distressed situation. Courage is also necessary to propose and take bold actions. This may even include going outside of normal “best practices”.
As Jesse Cagle once wrote of Lois Smith (legendary hollywood agent), “there are some examples of leadership which say loudly and clearly, it is possible to do a tough job, and do it better than anyone, with the most generous spirit.”
Categories: Professional Development