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5 Things to Do Now in a Crisis By Brian Sanders

5 Things You Must Do Now to Navigate Crisis

When crisis comes, you will need to determine what you will do now! That is the call of a leader.

Our Current Crisis


Pause tape.

We know there’s a battle happening across the world. Bullets aren’t flying around, but a virus is. You can’t escape the news. Websites, social media news feeds, radio, and television are full of information about the Coronavirus.

As leaders, we need to be leading through this situation…not spreading a blanket, having sandwiches, and hoping all this will resolve itself.

As followers, there should be high expectations of your leaders. In other words, don’t accept an invitation to the picnic. There are some questions we need to address as citizens, leaders, and employees. How do we, as leaders, lead through such an event?  What should we expect of our leaders?

What You Need to Do Now

(1) Leaders should face reality as it is, not as we want it to be.   

  • Own the problem.
  • When you’re facing a crisis, people need to know the prognosis.
  • You must reflect accurately what is happening in the organization, society, and nation that you’re leading.
  • Addressing reality as it truly is allows your followers to place trust that you’re seeing the situation accurately, not wishfully.
  • Do it now.

(2) Leaders give hope to followers by painting a picture as to where we will eventually land.   

  • Now that you’ve explained the crisis and owned the fact that there is a problem, then cast a vision for the future.
  • Tell them how we will weather the storm and what life will be like when we come out on the other side.
  • Followers need to see a better tomorrow.
  • You can’t just let them sit in the now.

A good example of this is Moses from the Bible’s Old Testament. Israel was on the march for a new land. They would face battle after battle.  To help them stay encouraged to face those tough days, the new land was described as one flowing with “milk and honey.”

Hope hinges on the fact that tomorrow holds more promise than the stresses of today.

(3) Leaders consistently communicate the plan to get through the storm and arrive safely at port.

You’ve faced reality as it is. Everyone knows you have a grasp of the situation. The picture of the future has been painted.  Your team is ready to go.

Now you must communicate how you’ll get there.

  • Be specific.
  • Don’t talk in generalities or riddles.
  • Walk them through the first four or five steps.
  • As each step is accomplished, report on that and then lay out what is next.

In times of uncertainty, you can bring calm by being clear.

(4) Leader tell the truth because promotes trust.  

The only way people will follow you through a crisis is to be truthful with them.  Truth builds trust. Lies create chaos. Don’t oversell the bank balance. Be honest about supply chains.

The moment people get a whiff that you’re lying or shading the truth, that’s the moment they begin to doubt you have a handle on the crisis.

Trust is the currency you will spend as you lead through tough times.  Don’t spend it on cheap answers and the easy way out. Speak truth.  You’ll need that currency of trust as you make tough decisions down the road.

(5) Leaders do what is right.  

Sounds simple doesn’t it? So many leaders fail at this. You must do what is right even at the risk of being disliked, criticized, or even losing your position.

During a crisis, the stakes are higher than your personal status.  You’re responsible for a non-profit, a business or a nation. Those are lives that are in your care. They deserve a leader who does what is right.

The events swirling in the world could be your 1861.

What will you do?

thWill you face them honestly with candor, a plan, and hope?

Or will you spread a blanket on the ground, serve sandwiches and pass out opera glasses so everyone can watch the battle?  It’s a time for leadership, not picnics. Remember, leadership matters.


Brian Sanders is an author/speaker and Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio. To contact him or for more information about his book, Leadership Endurance, visit


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