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Lessons from governors leading effectively during COVID-19

How public officials have responded to the pandemic offers lessons for any leader in the importance of being trustworthy and personable.

2 min read


Lessons from governors leading effectively during COVID-19

Mika Baumeister/Unsplash

Across the US, we’re seeing incredible leadership from some of our state governors. We’re also seeing examples of what never to do in the midst of a crisis. What do the standouts teach us about what’s needed to lead others well when everything’s going to hell?

1. Truth. Tell the cold, hard, honest truth. Be transparent about where your organization stands, how bad it could get, and what it all means to the future of your employees. Don’t sugarcoat it. Don’t spin it. No matter how bleak the news is, deliver it straight. Show your people this respect so they can make smart decisions for themselves and their families. You’ll earn their respect in return, in the long run.

2. Warmth. Nothing about this situation is business as usual, and your presence as a leader shouldn’t be, either. Allow yourself to show that you’re human. Cut the script and industry lingo. Speak to people from your heart. Meet people where they are. Empathize before you try to catalyze and inspire.

In today’s 3.5-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video for SmartBrief, I describe the third and equally important factor these effective leaders demonstrate.

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