Eight Characteristics Of Crisis Leadership

Eight Characteristics Of Crisis Leadership

This article by our Founder and CEO, Chris Pollinger as published by Inman News shares insights about the eight consistent characteristics of crisis leadership.

Truly great crisis leadership happens when timing, skill and talent intermingle. Much like with music, the artistry emerges when leaders have mastered the basics and the uniqueness of their own voice begins to be heard.  Here are eight leadership characteristics all great leaders in crisis share.

They communicate clear expectations for each person on the team.

In changing times, clear heads prevail.  Administrative staff need to be clear about what their job is and how their performance will be measured.  Sales staff should have reasonable sales benchmarks and high standards on professional conduct.  Team accountability to these expectations, both individually and collectively are your ally in times of chaos while building a strong culture and lower turnover.

They ensure each person has what they need to represent the team well.

With things in a state of flux, don’t leave any gaps in training or support.  Each person should have the tools, coaching and knowledge to represent the team to the standard of your team.  Your team brand’s promise is one of your greatest assets, don’t shortcut your team members ability to fulfill it, even in uncertain times.

They give each person on the team an opportunity to do what they do best every day.

Crisis has a way of bringing out the best and worst in people.  The secret to the great management of people is based in celebrating the uniqueness of each person.  We all have our strengths.  Help people discover what they do best.  But don’t stop there, find an outlet for them to express this each and every day.

They consistently recognize and praise each person for what they do well.

Praise in public and correct in private.  Look for ways to recognize the great things people do in the course of their everyday work.  The public celebration not only builds the team member but also inspires everyone else to raise their game.

They care about each person on the team as a person.

Profit is important.  But the people that help create it are critical to your success.  Each person needs to know they matter.  This is only spotlighted in times of crisis.  Know what’s going on in their lives and foster a culture where people feel loved and cared about just because they are human.

They encourage each person’s development, both personally and professionally.

With active social distancing and more people working remotely, we all have more time to work on our business versus in it.  Actively invest in each person’s growth.  Help them be the very best at what they do.  If you can’t teach them, find those that can.  This extends into supporting the development of their knowledge of financial planning, relationships, communication and physical wellbeing.

They listen to the opinions of each person on the team.

We are all in uncharted territory.  Each person sees the opportunities and challenges within the team from a different perspective.  Learn to take the time to stop and listen.  The insights you will glean from those in the trenches will bring brilliant and elegant solutions.

They lead with purpose, making each person know what they do is more important than just making money.

We often get lost in the trees and forget to pull back to see the beauty of the forest.  What we get to do is far more important than merely making money.  We touch lives.  People are better off when they work with a team of professionals.  While dealing with issues of their home, our clients are in the midst of one of the most emotionally challenging things they will experience over their lives.  It can be beautiful or a nightmare, dictated more often than not by the real estate professional in whom they place their trust.  Remind each person that what they do matters more than they know.


Crisis highlights the good and the bad in each of us.  Good leaders communicate and bring calm in the middle of the storms.  It is in these uncertain times where great leaders thrive.  Great crisis leadership happens when timing, skill and talent intermingle into artistry.

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