The Seven C’s of Leadership During the Coronavirus Crisis

March 24, 2020

At a time of a widespread potential health risk, in which every member of society must play a role in safeguarding themselves and others, effective leadership becomes paramount to ensure organizational and communal strength. Dean John Quelch of the University of Miami Herbert Business School identifies seven C’s to guide leaders towards governance that both inspires and directs.

Calm. Show command of the situation by staying calm and projecting composure that instills trust in employees and customers.

Confidence. Add credibility to a calm demeanor and project a managerial bearing that boosts stakeholder reassurance.

Communication. Communicate relentlessly, but with strategy to cascade decisions in an appropriate order and promptly. Keeping all parties informed reduces misinformation or rumors and avoids silence that may hinder cooperation and engender discontent.

Collaboration. Tap into all resources and employee capabilities to extract best solutions. Managers best exemplify leadership when they allow team members to contribute their strengths.

Community. Recognize an organization’s existence as part of a greater association of social units. Leading by example in the community, beyond the company, initiates a greater overall response and transmits a sense of humanity during a time of shared risk.

Compassion. Look out for members of the organization or community that require extra accommodation. Show empathy and openness to adjust to their needs, be it by allowing remote work or extra time to look after their family members.

Cash. Give financial prudence as much attention as emotional guidance. Cash is king, especially during a crisis in which the leader must preserve funds and ensure the continuation of timely employee paychecks.

Focusing on these seven dimensions of leadership will reduce insecurity among stakeholders and motivate organizational and social cooperation. With leaders looking out for the emotional and financial wellbeing of their organizations and communities, fighting a widespread virus by reducing anxiety within the company and beyond is an essential and reachable goal.
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