Top 10 Crisis Management Strategies for Leading with Love

Every senior level executive team I’ve ever worked with has experienced occasional high-stress times when they can’t seem to catch a break. Whether a key customer is making unreasonable demands, equipment fails, financing falls through, or a myriad of other catastrophic events occur, there are simply times when leadership skills are put to the test.

Here are 10 Crisis Management Strategies for Leading With Love to know and remember in such times:

Remember that this too, shall pass.

You know I’m right about this. Change is the one thing we can count on without fail. This situation is temporary. Remind others that change has an upside, and that much learning and growing happens during these time.

Stay in day tight compartments.

Stay in today. Tomorrow is where fear gets all of its juice. Leaders remind others to focus within tight timeframes to prevent feelings of overwhelm. There are only so many things within our locus of control.

What’s important right now?

True leadership is agile. During a crisis, decisions are fluid and based on changing data and priorities. Decide what is most important now and act accordingly. Avoid big decisions that will have a long term impact, as you may not be thinking as clearly as you could be at this time.

Take Dance Breaks.

Can you imagine inserting opportunities to play loud music, company wide, and invite people to dance for the length of a song? I’m talking about serious reduction of stress, immediately. If you need help with this, check out the world's first 24-hour music video full of happy.

Remember to Breathe.

It’s crazy but true - we forget the power of breath! When we’re stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and tight. Open your chest, breathe into your gut, and notice how the stressful feeling diminishes just a little bit.

Acknowledge leadership behavior.

During really challenging times, people will either show up bigger or decline into hopelessness. Acknowledge any human who contributes to the solution now, whether or not they are in a formal leadership position. Jot down names and behavior so you can create more opportunities for recognition later when things settle down.


Movement is medicine. Leaders take good care of their bodies because it’s so important to lead from a healthy place. You know what a great stress reliever exercise is, and now is the worst time to skip it.

Remember that leadership is love.

You are meant to treat people with respect and compassion. You know what to do, in your heart. Do that.

Create a Crisis Notebook.

Believe it or not, you will forget the details that could be very valuable in making sure this current challenge doesn’t repeat itself. Write stuff down. Or better yet, speak it into your smartphone. Review later and make a commitment to taking action on the important items.

Go home.

Staying at work longer and longer every day is not healthy. You know this. The work will still be there tomorrow. Your spouse and children may not be. When you get home, get unplugged. Be where you are.

Undoubtedly, challenging times bring about growth that might never happen without them. It doesn’t have to be a pity party, unless that’s what you’d prefer to create. Others will take your lead, as it happens.