The Four Universal Traits We Want From Leaders During Crisis

Article by Margie Warrell at Forbes

Image by Marc Linnemann on Unsplash


In the midst of time tumultuous time, how can leaders bring out the best in those they’re charged to lead?

A good place to start is by looking backward; examining past crisis for the traits people sought out, and valued most, in their leaders.

Fortunately, Gallup Organization has done that. They studied the fears, concerns, and confidence of citizens from across the world through many of the biggest crisis of the past 80 years — including the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and World War II, Kennedy’s assassination, civil unrest in the 1960s, 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic.

As they did, one thing became clear. In the midst of crisis, people look to leaders to allay their fears and bolster their confidence; to reassure them that they’ll be okay, even if things will be rough in the short term. It’s why in this period of intersecting crisis – employment, economic, social, political, public health – leaders must be even more intentional in how they ‘show up’ for others. Gallup’s study distilled the leadership attributes people are seeking into four core universal needs.