It undoubtedly takes a very special type of person to take the lead and guide others through troubled waters in seemingly apocalyptic times. Some of those characteristics will result from the individuals natural skills and style, but there are others that can be learned.

It's definitely a first for most of the working population as to the unparalleled impacts on both working and personal lives that the Covid-19 pandemic has had. Therefore, having a strong leader who can steer individuals and teams through this will prove to be a particularly difficult experience.

But how will the best leaders do this?

Many senior working professionals and leaders will have had to demonstrate their crisis management skills at some stage in their career, however those situations will have been on a significantly smaller scale than what the world is currently experiencing with the Covid-19 crisis.

Whether you are a key worker business, a business that has had to temporarily close or a business with impacted activity levels and challenges displayed, now is the time to step up and lead by example and be someone to look up to in a time of crisis.

So what are the Top Traits and Skills to have?

Here is our list.

Positivity and Motivation

As hard as it may sometimes be, positivity will go a long way in a time of crisis. With all the doom, gloom and negativity, it's vital to remain as positive as you can. Positivity radiates, encourages productivity and boosts morale.

However, its important to be true to yourself. There’s not one person who won't experience low points during this pandemic and it’s not a sign of weakness to have a day where you feel flat or struggle with a positive mindset.

But also, cheering someone else up can lighten your own mood too, so think of driving positivity amongst your team. Help motivate your team, whether it be in work or their personal lives.

Examples of sharing positivity can be:

  • Sharing positive quotes

  • Sharing success stories during the crisis

  • Share funny and light-hearted content with your team

  • If your team aren’t working, share with them what you are doing in the process of maintaining and recovering the business


Honesty and Transparency

Being honest and transparent are key skills of a fantastic leader at any time, but now more than ever as this will help build your credibility and gain further trust from your employees. In a time of challenge and negativity, its important to make sure you are delivering the truth and being honest with your team. Your team need to hear the ‘real’ news and outlook rather than one you or they might like to hear.



Leaders and Managers need to be accessible and approachable to provide support to their employees during this time. While in most cases face to face contact and interaction is currently limited or unavailable, the vast array of technology we have access to allows us to be ever present with our co-workers and team.

Be supportive, be there to listen, talk and check in. Unlike most situations, now is the time where even those employees who don’t normally come to you for support may well be the ones that need it the most now.



It’s important to display a balance between positivity and optimism, with realism.

Manage expectations of your team and try hard not to over or underestimate situations during this time period.

The Covid-19 crisis is such an unprecedented situation one which nobody has experienced before, nor do we have specific answers, timescales or a crystal ball to tell us how things will look when we hit the recovery phase. So it’s crucial not to answer questions you don’t know the answer to and don’t try over-sell or exaggerate the situation without knowing the reality of what may become. Your team will appreciate and think more highly of you being honest with them and delivering a realistic view on the current situation, whilst also remaining positive and optimistic.



Final point to remember… as quoted by Rag n Bone Man “We’re only human after all…”, and that’s true and key to focus on! This time is challenging for us all so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and make sure to look after yourself while looking after your team.

As leaders you will be experiencing the highs and lows of this rollercoaster ride yourself, but also those of your team. Take time out to relax, reflect and take stock.

As cheesy as it may sound, we are all in this together and we will get through to the recovery phase in time, but only if we take the appropriate steps and have the right mindset.

We hope you have found this article useful.

Why not check out our blog for other tips and advice


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About the Author: Christina Shiels