Why The Best Leaders During Crisis Are The Most Human Leaders
-Bill Marklein, Founder Employ Humanity
Leadership at its core is the awareness of our own emotions and the emotions of others and the ability to manage these emotions in a positive, productive style. Leaders embrace the full wheel of emotion from joy to anger, trust to fear and adapt to make those in their presence better versions of themselves. The workplace, and any social setting for that matter, is full of changing emotions. Emotions make us human. Crisis, whether health or social, amplifies anxiety and stress and makes our negative emotions much more real. To successfully lead and inspire people during crisis, we must be boldly human with high Emotional Intelligence.
So why are the best leaders the most human leaders during crisis? The most human leaders have the following in their leadership DNA:
Vulnerability: Leadership is not about always being right or bulletproof but more about always being real. This pandemic is the first major crisis for many leaders so be gentle with yourself and others. We are learning as we go. For once, we are all experiencing intense negative emotions at the same time. It is in being vulnerable with courage that makes us authentic, relatable and able to lead forward.
Self-Awareness: Leadership is about being present to those immediately in front of us to truly connect and serve. Mindfulness allows us to connect with and lead ourselves first so we are able to better lead others. When it comes to our own negative emotions, "Name It to Tame It". Feel it. Sit with it. It is not healthy to suppress and bury negative emotions (this is like shaking up a soda can and putting it back in the fridge).
Empathy: No two humans share the same experiences, the same stories. Empathy is the most human we can be in our leadership to listen with curiosity and put ourselves in others’ shoes to better communicate, especially during challenging times.
Passion: The most successful teams are passionate about a common goal. Passionate action is important during crisis. Emotions drive passion in a positive way and is at the core of humanity.
Adaptability: With the rapidly changing and intense emotions during crisis, we must adapt to those around us to truly listen, engage, inspire and ignite real human connection heart-to-heart. We must serve all those in our care.
Heart: Compassion and putting people first is at the core of leadership during crisis.
Integrity: One of the most unique qualities of humanity is the ability to choose and to do what is right for our organizations, our people, our community and the common good.