Critical Leadership Skills In Times of Crisis | Inquirer Business

Critical Leadership Skills In Times of Crisis

/ 10:21 PM October 05, 2020

The ongoing pandemic crisis has exposed the vulnerability of companies and individuals. Most have realized that they were not prepared and ready for such a black swan event.

Some businesses have closed, while others are struggling to survive. Since a vaccine or cure could take longer, how do we ensure that we are prepared to tough it out, and that we thrive again, once this is over?


We asked Ms Connie Kalagayan, our resource person on crisis communications, for some of her thoughts and tips on crisis leadership skills that could ensure we survive today and thrive tomorrow.

In the recent MAP CEO Conference, a survey was conducted wherein CEOs were asked what are the “Top 5 critical leadership skills in times of crisis.” The results were a framework that is useful and easy to grasp, as follows: Communication The top crisis leadership attribute is communication. Transparency, speed of information, messages of assurance, responsibility and accountability is needed to build trust.


Engage your stakeholders, and show concern and empathy. In these trying times, leaders need to inspire and support others to be able to rebuild together. Agility Being nimble and quick will enable you to rise again, faster. There is no time to despair from whatever devastation this crisis may have done to you and your business.

Learn from the failures and emerging successes, recalibrate your plans and move on immediately. Critical Thinking Seriously examine your risk management, areas of vulnerabilities, operations and organizational capabilities. This is the moment where you have to roll up your sleeves, work with your management team and employees and craft together both short-term and long-term plans designed to make your company future-ready.

Decisiveness Great plans will remain just a plan if you don’t decide and act on them quickly.

Take a calculated risk, trust that your team will and can deliver, provide management support and implement. Set the standard, and be the first in your market. Innovativeness The ongoing pandemic has resulted in serious health, economic, environmental and political crises.

The faster you innovate and adapt to change, the faster you can rise and move forward.

The importance of digital transformation, i.e using digital platforms and social media, are evident for nearly all business enterprises. Invest in technology, upgrade your team’s digital skills, and build business resilience. Listen to the needs of your stakeholders and endeavor to meet their expectations.

A Note on Managing Online Issues and Crises Since most people are working from home, and are sometimes bored or frustrated, they have a lot of time to rant on social media. Companies are even more exposed to unhappy customers.


A negative comment and post on social media can distract your rebuilding efforts. Within a time frame of just a few minutes, virtual condemnation could leave a cyber imprint for future internet users to negatively prejudge a company.

The outcome could cost the institution millions or billions in revenues and erode goodwill, and hasten its own demise. Part of future proofing your company is training your employees on how to effectively distinguish between, and manage, issues and crises.

Calagayan will conduct a virtual workshop on “Dealing with Crisis in the New Normal: Best Practices on How to Prepare, Handle and Recover from a Social Media Crisis” on November 4-5, 2020.

For your online learning needs, Inquirer Academy could assist you in designing and facilitating a webinar or virtual workshop for your organization.

For more information about the workshops and schedule of online courses offered by Inquirer Academy, please email [email protected], or call (0945) 2158935 and look for Jerald Miguel. The author is the Executive Director of the Inquirer Academy.

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TAGS: Business, leadership, skills
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