How To Lead During A Crisis

If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that surprising things in business do happen. If there’s two things it has taught us, it’s that resilient leaders are worth their weight in gold during times of crisis.

There’s few who know this reality better than Mindset Coach, business owner and recent WarriorU Podcast guest, Glenn Azar. When COVID-19 hit and international travel ground to a halt, his tour business Adventure Professionals lost 93 per cent of its revenue.

But rather than lying down and admitting defeat, Glenn chose to pivot. Using his podcast, The Building Better Humans Project, as a springboard, he launched a comprehensive website and set of Bro Camps designed to help teach young boys how to become better men.

‘This was my opportunity to be resilient and lead my team – or to be full of it. And I didn’t want to be full of it,’ says Glenn.

‘As a mindset coach, we can’t just talk about this stuff when things are golden. When we get challenged, we need to step up.’

Whether you’re struggling through the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 or some other business problem, Glen provides his top tips for leading your team when a crisis hits:

1. Understand your values

The best leaders take action that is considered, intelligent and rooted in strength during a crisis. They take control of adversity, rather than letting adversity control them.


By adhering to a solid set of values, says Glenn – be it strength, freedom, wisdom or something else.

‘For me, it’s about understanding your values. Because when you understand your values you can live consciously to them, rather than subconsciously where you are being pushed around by whatever is happening at the time,’ explains Glenn.

‘To be considered successful, personally and professionally, you need to understand what makes you happy, what are you good at, and how you make an impact on other people.’

2. Don’t panic

During his time in the military, Glenn learnt the importance of remaining composed in a crisis.

‘In the military, we learn how to be calm in the middle of chaos,’ he says.

‘When we are in battle situations, there’s two people we don’t want leading us: the most excited person in the room and the person who is panicking. Instead, we look to the person who is calm.’

So, when crisis hits, don’t be the leader acting without thought. But also don’t be the person who does nothing because they’re paralysed by fear.

Remain calm. Take stock. Put a plan in place and execute.

3. Have perspective

The downfall of many leaders is a negative mindset. Adopting a positive mindset doesn’t mean living in denial or being a ‘positive Pollyanna’. But it does mean looking for opportunities in adversity and realising that other people have it far worse than you.

For Glenn, this perspective came when dropping his autistic son off at school and realising that other parents couldn’t afford even basic necessities, such as shoes.

‘It’s easy to go through the victim statement of: ‘this shouldn’t have happened to us, this should have happened to someone else because we have done all the right things.’ But then you have to get over yourself and realise this does happen to other people and you’ve actually had a pretty good life,’ says Glenn.

‘Most people in society can’t find a positive in a negative situation – they just get trapped in the negative. The biggest piece of the resilience puzzle is mindset – you push through a crisis for the people who didn’t get the luxury or privilege of living a long, quality life.’

Want more leadership and resilience techniques? Glenn provides his top tips in this week’s episode of the WarriorU Podcast, along with his definition of success and views on ‘toxic masculinity.

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