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Corona Crisis Demands Leadership Quality And Resilience

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Corona Crisis Demands Leadership Quality And Resilience
Corona Crisis Demands Leadership Quality And Resilience

Share prices crash, public and economic life is restricted by the state - the corona epidemic hit the global economy with full force.

Now in such critical times it becomes clear whether corporate success is sustainable. Leadership skills and resilience are required,”says Olaf Eisele, scientific expert at the Ifaa - Institute for Applied Ergonomics. This is how a crisis-proof company is characterized by resilient organizational structures and promotes continuous organizational learning.

"For companies, the crisis can mean declines in orders, liquidity problems, short-time work and, ultimately, the necessary adjustment of cost and personnel structures in order to secure the existence of the company or to save it through the crisis," said Eisele.

Secure the continued existence of the company

For companies, the order of the day is: "Business Continuity Management", which means ensuring the company's continued existence. Executives have an enormous responsibility for their employees, especially in times of crisis and, despite difficult decisions, have to be very sensitive when dealing with employees. Many employees are not only unsettled, but also have fears, for example of infection or job loss.

In order for managers to act professionally in times of crisis, they need crisis skills. For practical crisis competence, specialist competence (knowledge and skills on a broad basis), social competence (dealing with employees) and personality competence (dealing with the crisis yourself) are required. Important leadership qualities in the crisis are:

  • Positive thinking and confidence,
  • Keeping calm (inside and outside),
  • Empathy (emotional, social and mental skills),
  • Courage and determination to make decisions
  • Communication skills,
  • Trust in your own strengths (specialist knowledge and practical experience)

Resilience checklist

Your own behavior at a glance

It is currently especially important for executives to keep a cool head and not to be led by emotions. Personal misconduct could further fuel the crisis at company level.

Self-reflection can help you become aware of possible negative reaction patterns. How do I react? Resigned, despondent, insecure or aggressive, provocative?

Especially in crises, negative reaction patterns often appear. These normal human patterns should be adopted and not suppressed or hidden. It is important not to fall victim to these behavior patterns, but to recognize them and take countermeasures (e.g. close exchange and association with others).

Building crisis competence through learning

In order to deal with a crisis in a resilient manner, one should neither take it lightly nor fixate exclusively on possible risks and negative effects. You should also see the opportunities. For example, managers, companies and employees can learn from crises.

Ultimately, crisis competence can only be built up by learning and practicing. In this respect, the current crisis is a challenge but also a learning and exercise process for the state and companies, from which as much knowledge as possible should be drawn.

Resilience compass

Admit mistakes

This also requires an evaluation after the crisis. Experience has shown that there is resistance from fear of uncomfortable knowledge, reflection and discussion of misconduct or loss of prestige and status. Responsible managers are self-critical and are aware of the fact that without admitting mistakes, learning and improvement are not possible. The corporate culture is also crucial here: How has errors been dealt with in the company so far? An open crisis follow-up is the most effective preparation for the next crisis and building resilience and crisis stability for companies and managers.

“The current crisis shows once again that companies have to place more emphasis on leadership in crises. Crises always focus on people. That is why crises are not just about leadership processes and leadership methods, but also about leadership with a vision, goals and values,”says Eisele.

Managers should pay attention to the following:

  • common goal
  • Values and interests
  • motivation
  • engagement
  • interpersonal relationships

These points provide orientation, security and stability in crises and thus make a significant contribution to operational crisis stability. Continuous training (skills development) is important to support.

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