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Critical Competencies for Crisis Leadership

One tool that may be of help you during this crisis are the Transformational Leadership Competencies that many of you are familiar with from your work with ClearView.

Several of the competences in that model are essential for effective leadership during crisis. For example:

  • Times of rapid change and uncertainty require us to be able to predict many possible scenarios and be nimble enough to pivot our thinking and plans as different situations emerge. Leaders need to have strong cognitive flexibility, demonstrating Conceptual Thinking to find big picture trends and opportunities, along with Analytical Thinking to be able to make good decisions and put actions in place.
  • Leaders also need to fully leverage their Impact and Influence skills. If we’re not careful, our fear and anxiety can spread to those we lead with the speed of a virus. Face masks may not help, but well thought-out influence strategies will. That said, given the cacophony of opinion and “fog of war” in which we find ourselves, simply telling people what you think won’t get you very far. We must kick our impact game up a few notches. This means adapting our communication and actions to resonate with others, using facts and data, reshaping our narrative to make it more compelling, taking dramatic action. It also may require us to reach out to key change agents and build coalitions.
  • Social distancing aside, this is the time to Engage the Team as you never have before. School and district leaders need to do far more that simply tell their teams what to do. They must organize collective efforts and harness the input from individuals to drive dramatic change. This is the time to empower the team, to engage people to collectively support each other.
  • To state the obvious, but sometimes overlooked, our Commitment to Student Learning must be stronger than ever. This is not the time for lip service, for sitting back and waiting for others to make tough decisions. We are leaders. We need to stand behind difficult decisions and policies that impact students, even in when those in power oppose them.
  • When you have the time, we suggest you review all seven of the competencies and see which ones resonate with you. Which are strongest areas, the ones you can easily leverage and help others develop? Which need the most work? How, and with who’s help, can you further develop them?