By | Adil Malia | www.adilmalia.com
A leader has to step-up and defend his team in moments of crisis. Unfortunately, what one gets to see is contrary. Self preservation assumes a priority whilst cosmetic verbal fortitude is expressed for the others.
Unless they are his body- guards, the team is supposed to protect the collective purpose and not the person.
An authentic leader is one who steps up and handles all the challenges when a critical situation arises. A leader cannot be afraid and go into hiding and yet expect his team to be brave in his defense. That ‘risk-avoidance’ formula doesn’t work.
Real leaders are seen as caring for people who care for them. He puts them first. Martin Luther King instead of hiding, went to jail (even when he was given an option) to show his followers that he was more than a preacher. He wanted to show that he was with them. He risked his life for them. He was one of them. So did Mandela.
A leader has to be seen risking himself for the others . They step up in the front . Remember three rules as a leader… first, crisis are inbuilt into reality … second, courage is contagious … and third that followers can see through cosmetic fortitude. They want brave leaders.
The psychological gestures of care and concern expressed by the Chief as a leader when he throws his real skin in the game provides the much needed ‘fillip’ to the team’s chutzpah in crisis. The leader’s doors have to perpetually be kept open to discuss vulnerabilities instead of being kept shut, in moments of crisis.
Never in crisis ( figuratively) should your team have to hear when they are calling you over phone:
” The person you are calling is currently not available to take your call”
Corporate Covid experiences show similar results. When leaders escaped to safe lands in self-preservation but expected their teams to risk lives and report to work despite the danger, broke their psychological contract with their teams. The teams did not trust them. But leaders who stepped-up to help and provide support to their teams and their families, got worshipped as the people heroes.