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Your Leadership Orientation: Crisis

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.”

― Tuli Kupferberg

You feel most at home when things are unpredictable and high stakes. You revel in keeping your cool when others can't, directing resources to the right places, and bringing stability through inspired quick-thinking. Yours is the domain of novel practice.


People know they can rely on you to find resourceful ways to get through difficult circumstances. You know how to get people engaged quickly and keep them focused on the tasks at hand.


You work best in contexts that reward bravery and decisiveness. Your leadership gift is in bringing a measure of order and stability to chaotic situations. Sometimes, though, you may try to hold onto your authority for longer than necessary. Moreover, you may be tempted to treat every situation as if it were a crisis―lording over others with your command-and-control style―where processes could be more collaborative or deliberative.

3 Quick Tips for Calibrating

Your Leadership Compass

1) Know When to Stand Up

Not everyone has your skills; in fact, most don't. Clear-mindedness and clear communication when everything is wrong is precious. Learn to recognize when a crisis looms or drops and practice communicating that quickly across age, culture, and gender groups. Step into your bravest self in these moments, and don't be afraid to tell people (caringly) what to do.


2) Don't Be a Bully

Unfortunately, the best leaders in crisis can often become jerks. Do some soul-searching; do you like crises because you like the power of being the only calm one? How do you balance this incredible power with the responsibility of care? How will you keep your values in the forefront of your intentions and actions? Be aware. Notice yourself. Use these answers to shift toward integrity― now and throughout your life.


3) Know When to Stand Down

Crisis-oriented leaders need to recognize when the coast is clear. The mental stamina required of leaders in the chaotic domain is incredible; but so is the time and space needed to ease down, to recover, and to process what happened. Crises don't last long, but the energy you bring to them can become addictive or traumatic reenactment. You must learn to embrace your leadership qualities in other domains: creativity, collaboration, clarity, and confusion. Learn to enjoy life and leadership even when the situation isn't a crisis. Friends, family, and mental health supports can help you stay grounded.

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