Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are several critical ways to embody leadership successfully during a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

• How are you supporting local leadership during COVID-19? 

• Read about how to execute effective nonprofit leadership during this time. 

What should artistic and cultural leaders aspire to exemplify and accomplish in a time of crisis? This series of four blogs is intended to stimulate dialog about characteristics desirable in leaders during crises, the ways effective crisis managers think, the special needs and opportunities for leadership during crises, and the management principles that prove most valuable during crises.

Let us focus on a third kind of crisis: one caused by a ubiquitous challenge that imperils the value in many kinds of transactions and organizations, threatening or disrupting the general operational environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic fits this description. So does racism (about which there are many lessons to be learned by considering for whom this issue has been a crisis their entire lives and for whom this issue is perceived as a crisis more recently—and why).

In any kind of crisis, a leader who strives to maintain the mission capacity of an enterprise must be successful in fulfilling several critical functions.

  1. Embody the mission in order to clarify how it applies or must adapt to the present crisis. Effective leaders make connections that motivate their audiences to purposeful action.
  2. Provide a unifying spirit, direction, and agenda, uniting a diverse following.
  3. Deter panic, which otherwise results in the counterproductive use of resources.
  4. Take responsibility, building trust and loyalty and fostering constructive risk-taking.
  5. Inspire a sense of shared responsibility for solutions, fostering collaborations, facilitating creative problem solving, achieving scale of resources to implement a complex strategy.
  6. Bond emotionally, helping to heal crises of spirit, establishing a sense of community that transcends rational agreement on a direction or policy, building ties at a level that leads to relationships and solutions instead of further crises.

Read the full article about leadership success in crisis by Dr. Jonathan Katz at ARTS Blog.