Leading In a Time of Crisis


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Maricar Gonzaga

Maricar Gonzaga

Managing Director

We all live through storms throughout our lives, some little, some in gigantic proportions we call “perfect storm”. Most of the time, we come out on the other side a little bruised but always stronger. 

To leaders and warriors – hard times are life’s richest times of growth, opportunity, and possibility – Robin Sharma. 

There is always an opportunity in every crisis, and the deeper the crisis, the better the opportunity can be. 

In the time of COVID, where humanity is experiencing unfathomable damage to human lives and the economy, it resonates more powerfully than ever.

The current situation presents a challenge for leaders across industries all over the world to navigate uncharted waters. They say the real test of leadership does not occur when everything is smooth sailing. Rather, leadership is often tested during a crisis. 

One year into the Corona Virus crisis and many businesses still struggled to survive stressful work situations.  As per statistics, 7 out of 10 employees indicated that this pandemic is the most stressful time of their entire professional career. 

There is no handy manual that can guide leaders through this pandemic; I have briefly pointed out below four simple traits that are for me very essential to at least make the journey a bearable one. 


Contrary to popular belief that humility is associated with self-doubt, it takes true confidence to show vulnerability, especially during times of great uncertainty, to people who look up to you for guidance. 

Recognizing and accepting that we all make mistakes, our fallibility is powerful.   

Being able to acknowledge that we are all flawed and imperfect humanizes the organization – and that’s okay.  It minimizes relationship tension at work.   Leaders should be able to cut themselves and the staff some slack in this crisis.  Just let small stuff go. 


Promotes openness, living in the moment with confidence and conviction.  Authenticity during crisis plays a vital role in inspiring those who look up to you for decisions and perspectives. 

It’s the ability of a leader to come across as genuine, leading with the right mix of heart and mind.  

Providing a compassionate response to a stressful situation encourages a sense of solidarity for the whole organization. 

Calm and Collected 

With uncertainty at an all-time high, the unpredictability of the COVID situation, self-doubt arises in all of us.  

No matter how experienced and strong we think we might be, the current situation poses an immense challenge to remain calm. 

How to stay calm and stop the tendency to overthink? Embrace uncertainty, embrace the chaos, accept and take action by moving forward. 

Taking action, taking that step forward, gives you some level of control in your life. 


Optimism is often referred to as the part where everything seems easier said than done.  After all, how does one stay positive when everything that could possibly go wrong is actually happening?  This is not blindly ignoring what’s in front of us, but keeping a game face on while waiting for the worst of the situation to pass. 

As the famous Hellen Adams Keller once said, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence”. It’s critical to keep in mind that positive thinkers are creative masterminds who can recuperate from misfortunes. Just keep your head high and see every difficulty as a learning opportunity.

At the end of the day, while we cannot change much of what is going on around us, we can always calibrate our inner self. 

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