• Pillar 1 – Decisive Action
  • Pillar 2 – Triage (response, recover, thrive)
  • Pillar 3 – Future Focus
  • Pillar 4 – Transparent Communication
  • Pillar 5 – Compassion & Empathy

What is Resilient Leadership?

To me, it’s showing grit, transparency, compassion, and vision to your team, and your customers, ESPECIALLY through a crisis.

Right now people are scared, vulnerable, confused and they need to know they can rely on you.

Throughout my years in Operational Management I have stared down many crises, although maybe not so many on this scale!

Success or failure often hinges on getting most people to choose to follow your leadership – even though there may be unsettling, unprecedented changes to their daily lives.

There are 5 pillars that I believe are of key importance through a crisis

Pillar 1 – Decisive Action

Courage and expediency are needed, and we don’t have all the information. It isn’t time for perfect and elegant solutions, make a decision and get moving.

Pillar 2 – Give Direction

Stabilise your operation/team first, then look for the sustainable solutions.

There are 3 phases in Pillar 2


Have a command centre

Ensure people know where to get answers, quickly

Central and regular updates


This is about asking what is working, applying those learnings and iterate

Regular retrospectives and agility are needed – what will work in the first 3 weeks won’t work for 3 months

Thrive through evolution

What led your Digital Transformation? Was it your CEO, your CIO, or COVID-19? There must be a way to transform your business and evolve to thrive through, and beyond, this crisis.

We will not be going back to how things were before this crisis hit.

Pillar 3 – Future focus – give direction

For your colleagues, your team, they need to know where you are taking them.

What are the new goals and outcomes, for the business and for them?

If the path is going to twist and turn as we navigate these turbid waters, that’s ok, but have that direction shining bright for your team.

How can you leverage this situation to an advantage for your business?

I’m not talking about ambulance chasing here, but your customers needs will have changed too. How can you focus on their needs and add value to them, both now and as we all pull out of this crisis.

Nothing will be the same so how can you align your plans with a future shaped organisation while your competitors are ‘merely’ coping with the crisis?

Showing your colleagues and teams there is a compelling vision for the future will ensure they remain motivated to pull through this phase.

Pillar 4 – Transparent communication 

It’s ok not to be ok.

Your team need to know you have a plan, but it’s ok not to know it all.

Focus what you DO know, but allow them to know what you DON’T know.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and admit your fears will build trust and loyalty.

Confidence will be built through demonstrating the ability to respond to the situation and address their fears.

Authenticity and purpose

Showing authenticity and integrity alongside rallying your colleagues to stand together to overcome the crisis will build loyalty faster than pretty much anything else.

Furthermore, this is an opportunity to allow the purpose, the meaning, of your company’s mission and your personal purpose, to shine through.

In times of crisis many crave meaning and purpose.

Think about how you can ensure that shines through in your communications.

The purpose might be the overall mission of the company, or it might be a specific purpose to assist customers in a different way through the CV-19 situation.

Like with that future focus, a sense of meaning will assist your team to feel motivated to smash their goals for the greater good…

Pillar 5 – Compassion & Empathy

Clearly, financial performance and company success can’t be ignored, but nor can the psychological well being of your team.

Some of them will be self isolated and alone in their home. Some will be extroverts who are really struggling right now – trust me!

Hygiene factors are straightforward – do they have the equipment to do their job?

If they have to work on site – do they have PPE, washing facilities and advice about how to handle the return home safely

If they are working from their home, it’s harder. Yes it’s ensuring they have a decent chair, monitors etc but what about connection and community?

Ask your colleagues what they need to feel supported but allowed flexibility. By all means arrange check in calls or video meet up spaces, but it needs to be clear you’re checking IN not checking UP

Pace yourself, and your team

This is a marathon not a sprint, help your team and colleagues prepare for the wall.

Allow for the natural ebb and flow of productivity.

Encourage your colleagues to understand when they do their best work and how to maximise their productivity, not their presenteeism.

Flexibility will win you a lot of goodwill – be really clear about WHAT you need them to do, HOW they do that or WHEN they do that could offer flexibility if their role allows it

Furloughed Employees

A note on furloughed employees – PLEASE check in with them. They may be even more isolated now, because they don’t have daily work interactions.

Clearly they’re unable to use work platforms but maybe set up a WhatsApp group or a zoom catch up that they can attend IF THEY WANT.

In the hopefully not too distant future, they will need a return to work plan as well.

Start to put this together before it’s needed, as they will have different needs than the rest of the organisation.


Pillar 1 – Decisive Action

Pillar 2 – Triage (response, recovery, thrive)

Pillar 3 – Future Focus

Pillar 4 – Transparent Communication

Pillar 5 – Compassion & Empathy

Remember, how you handle this situation will demonstrate your resilience, and that will encourage loyalty, from colleagues and customers alike.

If you want some help navigating how to manage through the crisis, how to lead remote teams, how to build and maintain engagement, or how to be more productive with all of the distractions of Homelife, please contact me to discuss 1-1 coaching options.

Contact me