I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
—Abraham Lincoln

John Quelch, Dean and Vice Provost at University of Miami Business School and Professor Emeritus from Harvard Business School, provides “7 Cs” he feels are essential leadership capabilities, especially during times of change, uncertainty, and stress. We think you may find them useful and wanted to share the following excerpts:

Calm. You are going to be looked to as a leader to project a sense of calm through this difficult, uncertain situation.

Confidence. Project confidence that you will help others see this through successfully.

Communication. Relentlessly communicate, communicate, communicate. Develop a strategy for communication, making it timely as well as a priority. Silence is absolutely the worst possible thing as that’s when the rumor mill can run rampant.

Collaboration. Utilize the strengths of your “people” resources; bring them together in taskforces, sub-taskforces, and create roles where everyone can contribute to overcoming the uncertainty. This will also reduce the rumor mill and increase confidence levels.

Community. We all live in communities; work, home, schools, etc  The idea is to lead by example and model behaviors across all communities that others can learn from.

Compassion. As leaders we are depended on to listen and allow others to express their concerns. This includes both work and home concerns. The virus is potentially affecting the most vulnerable, and time away from work may be needed to care for others. Compassion at a time of crisis is a very important manifestation of leadership.

Cash. The most obvious commercial C of the 7 Cs is Cash. Cash is king at a time of crisis, and everything needs to be done to look at both the short term and long term financial health of the organization. You are being depended upon to lead, not just emotionally but also prudently with respect to the long-term finances of the organization.

During this time of change (and stress), have you adapted your leadership capabilities when interacting with colleagues, direct reports, business partners, clients and community members? (Don’t forget about family members; they need your support too!).

What could you change to be more effective?

We cannot escape crisis situations. Although unable to avoid them, we can learn to lead people through them.—John Maxwell