4 years ago
April 14, 2020

7 Ways to Be a Leader in a Time of Crisis

During times of crisis is when people show their true colours. For leaders, a crisis such as COVID-19 is when you really put your leadership abilities on full display. How…

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

During times of crisis is when people show their true colours. For leaders, a crisis such as COVID-19 is when you really put your leadership abilities on full display. How you act as a leader and handle the crisis will have a significant impact on your company now and in the future. The decisions you make and how you lead can be the difference between successfully navigating turbulent times and negative repercussions.

The spotlight is on you as a leader. Now is your time to shine and prove to your sales managers, sales reps, and other employees why you are fit to lead.

“The ramifications of crisis management, or more importantly mismanagement, last well beyond the end of a crisis. Employees, customers, partners, regulators, your community, are all watching carefully to see how you react to uncertainty. Responding to COVID-19 requires us to lead as much with our humanity and compassion as with our technical skills,” says Meredith Parfet on Fast Company.

In this blog, our Toronto sales headhunters recommend 7 ways to be a strong and effective leader during a crisis:

1. Lead by Example

It’s easy to tell others what to do. But are you following your own advice? Now is not the time to be a hypocrite. Everyone needs to follow the sales rules and protocols.

A crisis is a time to lead by example. Take the same measures you are asking your employees to take. Get in the trenches and help them out any way that you can. Show your support by working with your team. Actions speak louder than words. A crisis is a time to put this advice into practice.

2. Be a Master Communicator

There are many unknowns during a time of crisis. How long will it last? How will it impact the company? Will people get laid off? Will jobs and roles change? What will the company do next?

These are all questions everyone from your sales reps to management will look to you to answer. A crisis is a time where you need to be a master communicator. You need to keep your employees updated as much as possible. It’s important to have an open-door policy and be available to answer their questions.

It’s also important to quickly quash rumors and false narratives. A continuous barrage of positive messaging and updates will help take some stress off your team.

Toronto sales recruiters say that sales leaders must be masters of communication

3. Listen to Your Team

A crisis is a time for collaboration. It’s very important to be open to feedback and ideas from your team at all levels of the organization. Now is the time to come up with creative solutions to issues as they arise. Don’t only be willing to listen, also be open to implementing the suggestions you receive from your employees. Ensure that you show their voices are heard.

4. Focus on Rationality

Any sort of crisis is emotional and stressful. It’s important for leaders to keep their emotions in check, even during the most trying times. Avoid letting your emotions get the best of you. Make decisions based on rational thought processes. Don’t make decisions based on emotion in the spur of the moment. It’s important to put on a cool, calm and collected front. Now is not the time to lash out at people.

If you lose control of your emotions, you could also risk losing the faith your employees have in you as their leader.

5. Be Realistic

It’s very important for leaders to be realistic during a crisis. It’s your job to set the tone for your entire organization. You cannot disseminate false hope. You can’t make it feel like a doom and gloom situation. You need to manage the expectations for your employees. Be honest, upfront, and realistic about what is happening now and what will happen in the future.

6. Be Agile

Now is not the time to reprimand your employees for inconsequential things. A crisis is a time to be agile and make adjustments to work processes and how they get done. You may need to change work rules and give your team greater flexibility. People may need to work different hours and you may need to offer more leniency.

7. Be Empathetic

A crisis affects your employees a lot more than just what is happening in the workplace. People are concerned about their financial well-being. They are worried about the health and well-being of their family, friends, and coworkers.

Get More Advice From Toronto Sales Recruiters About Being a Strong Leader

Want to get some other leadership tips? Check out these blogs from our expert sales headhunters. Get tips and advice on how to manage your sales team members. Get suggestions that are applicable in a time of crisis and any other time:

Top 6 Challenges Sales Managers Face & How to Deal With Them

4 Challenges for Sales Managers and How to Overcome Them

6 Tips to Be a Successful Sales Manager

When Is the Right Time to Promote Your Sales Rep?

How to Prepare for Your First Week at Your New Sales Manager Job

5 Things Sales Managers Wish They Knew Before Taking the Job


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.