At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we set out to learn from Spontaneous Leaders — people who had started a grassroots response to help their community. We gained a clear understanding of what support they need (Learning from grassroots leaders in COVID-19, Part 1), and about what services we might offer to help them (Learning from grassroots leaders in COVID-19, Part 2). We also identified seven behaviors that they consistently identified as being critical to their success.
Here is their collective advice.
7 Tips for Being Effective in a Crisis
- Just start
Take a step. Take another. Keep going. Don’t let not knowing hold you back.
- Don’t be afraid to fail
If you do something, you may succeed. If you do nothing, you’ve already failed.
- Don’t go it alone
Get others to help. Collaboration will make it easier, and help you do more.
- Build on what you have
Use the skills, resources, and relationships that are available to you. Develop new ones as you go along.
Tackle one problem at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once.
Get it out there. Get feedback. Adapt. Don’t polish it too much.
- Don’t be afraid to lead
Leadership is about helping the group to succeed. You don’t have to be a boss to lead.