Guide to Crisis Leadership

Best Practice Guide

Leading in a crisis is unlike anything else

During a crisis, the stakes are extremely high, and the normal leadership rules do not apply. That makes leadership both more important and more difficult than at any other time. But are executives crisis ready? Recent industry surveys say no.

According to a 2018 Deloitte survey, “Stronger, fitter, better: Crisis management for the resilient enterprise". nearly a quarter (24 percent) of crisis management executives cite effectiveness of leadership and decision- making as one of the greatest challenges facing their organizations, outranking all other factors.

The earlier 2015 Deloitte survey, “A crisis of confidence”, found board members—who also play a key role in crisis leadership—are largely detached from their organization’s crisis preparedness efforts. Only 49 percent of board members surveyed had engaged with senior management to understand how the organization is preparing for crisis. And, a similar percentage of board members surveyed had never had specific discussions about crisis prevention, even though board members are likely to have a rich store of relevant crisis experiences that could be imparted to their firms.

There are many reasons for the gap between how ready leaders are to perform effectively during a crisis and how ready they should be.

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