Best Practice

Leadership during a crisis: Five crucial traits

Previously, Jez Bennett explored how we can handle the coronavirus crisis using change-management theory and drawing on lessons from the Apollo 13 mission. He continues his discussion, looking at crucial leadership traits for crisis situations

Once initial shock and frustration have been overcome, what decisions might leaders need to take to ensure they choose the right trajectory – one that leads to positive outcomes?

I am exploring this question with reference to the BBC World Service’s 13 Minutes to the Moon podcast, written by Dr Kevin Fong and Andrew Luck-Baker.

Even at a time of significant challenge, successful leadership may require combinations of delegation and retention, subtlety, improvisation and trust. These antithetical qualities were necessary in NASA’s attempts to return the crew of Apollo 13 successfully to earth 50 years ago.

This remarkable story provides some insights into the decisions that school leaders will need to make over the coming weeks and months in order to handle the coronavirus crisis effectively, so that when children return to school their provision is stronger than ever.

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