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Leading in a Crisis - Practice One

Explanation of COVID-19
Face Reality: The Crisis is Real

Practice One for a person leading others through a crisis is to acknowledge the situation by facing reality. Max DuPree said, "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality." During a crisis, leaders do not have the luxury to ruminate on how things used to be. Nor do they have the comfort of wishing things were different. Amid the uncertainty, it is their job to fully assess the situation as it really is.

Face reality. In addition to the direct impact on the organization, think through the ramifications of the political, economic, societal, technological, legal, and environmental direct or indirect influences. These external factors demand serious consideration. However, a grounded leader must think about the internal effect the crisis may have on him or her. Acknowledging the need to monitor and manage your own stress level will better prepare you to mitigate the stress of those who follow you.

Here are at least four more suggestions the leader should embrace as a part of Practice One.

  1. Don’t attack the messengers

  2. Foster a climate of openness

  3. Ensure everyone understands the magnitude of the crisis

  4. Acknowledge the need to adapt

As mentioned previously, the seven practices will be included in an upcoming book and leadership course my company is developing. Your candid feedback is both welcomed and appreciated. Please share your initial thoughts on Practice One. I look forward to reading your comments.

At Apogee, we work with entities to strengthen their pipeline of leaders. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, we specialize in helping others lead through change and we offer premier leadership training programs and experiences. We welcome the opportunity to help you grow your team and/or you in the areas of leadership and personal growth. Find out more at

That's it for now. Until the next time...

Mike Nwankwo

Founder & CEO


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