Lesson No 50: A Leader Worth Following – Leading In Times Of Crisis

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader 

I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life… 

So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time… 

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”  

Rahm Emanuel

I have learned that the real test of leadership does not occur when everything is smooth sailing. Rather, leadership is oftentimes tested during a crisis. The way a leader behaves and acts during a crisis will establish their credentials as a good leader or a poor one. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a crisis that will be a defining moment for all leaders – based on the actions they take & how they navigate days & months ahead. 

The US military uses the acronym VUCA to describe times like these – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambigous.  In a VUCA environment, we need different strategies & tactics than in normal times.  

“A crisis of this magnitude has the power of putting us all in a state of disorientation – because we can’t lean on the old standards and those things that used to give us comfort. They aren’t as relevant anymore. And in the new normal that awaits us, those old standards and comforts may never come back. We must refresh and replenish our minds and adopt new ways of thinking. We must all take this moment to prepare ourselves for the future.” 

Scott Lacy

Your organization is made of people, processes, and property. For a long time, “common wisdom” has been that returns come from investing in the latter two. Yet, in the last decades, a flood of research has challenged that assumption and is increasingly proving that a company’s people are the differentiating factor.  

Since emotional intelligence is all about “people smarts” – about relating to yourself and others – it’s no surprise that EQ plays a major role in this dimension, and the skills of Emotional Intelligence are even more important in a VUCA environment. 

Emotions drive people.  People drive results 

Leaders tend to place a lot of value on rational, analytical and thinking skills, but the reality is that behaviour is driven by emotions, especially during times of crisis.  Your team’s emotions will impact the decisions they make, and your success as an organisation – your ability to survive this crisis unscathed, depends upon their ability to understand their emotions. 

As a leader, how can you ensure that you are supporting your team, and helping them to navigate their emotions? 

You can’t leave your emotions at the door… Neither can they. 

Emotions are chemicals that exist even if we try & pretend otherwise and they are an integral part of who we are. Thoughts, feelings & actions are tightly intertwined.   

The emotional system can give your team an advantage in decision making, provided they utilise the insight it gives. Many people think of their emotions as something they have to manage or control rather than something upon which they could capitalize. 

Emotions are contagious 

An anxious leader often generates an anxious office. Similarly, research consistently shows that leaders who are genuinely positive and upbeat help build an environment of enthusiasm where people are motivated and infused with a sense of possibility. 

Research shows that people have a tendency to unconsciously mimic the emotional expressions of others. This mimicry triggers reactions in our brains that cause us to interpret those expressions as our own feelings, making us vulnerable to “catching” other people’s feelings.   

This ‘emotional contagion’ means that in addition to affecting our own thoughts and actions, our emotions are affecting the people around us 

Emotions lie at the heart of how you respond to crises.  In the words of Six Seconds, emotions will lead to your best decisions or the worst ones – the difference is Emotional Intelligence. 

Stay Safe. With Love, 
The Queen Of Hearts 
Mucha Mlingo 
| Six Seconds EQ Practitioner | Master Trainer & Facilitator | 
| Award Winning International Keynote Speaker | 

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *