Leading in a time of crisis


What does it mean to lead in a time of crisis? I want to draw your attention to an article, Successlful Leadership Tactics in a Time of Crisis.  Broader than our current international crisis, we operate in a variety of situations, weather the situations are from natural disasters like hurricanes along the coastline and tornadoes in the midwest, to fires that devistate entire states, as leaders of adult education programs, we are often faced with new and unique situations. 

I will freely admit that I've struggled over the last few weeks, trying to both be supportive /encouraging of staff who are fearful and nervous while also keeping my eyes on our goal to provide education to our most vulnerable citizens and maintain both quality of instruction and integrity of program delivery. I wonder how many others have felt these same pulls. 

From the article, "Executives feel like they carry the weight of the world in a turbulent and complex environment. Ron Carucci in his Harvard Business Review article reported that “38 percent of executives said they didn’t expect the loneliness and isolation that accompanied their jobs and 54 percent said they felt they were being held accountable for problems outside their control”. The pressure to produce results is never-ending and at times, unforgiving. Sometimes, executives need a guiding light to walk alongside them to illuminate the path forward, establish credibility and sustain their results."

Sometimes, the best we can do is to be the 'calm within the storm'. 

How are you all holding up? I'd love to have a discussion here where we share ideas, tips, and strategies for leaders. 

Kathy Tracey



We looked at resources for leading during a crisis and I'd like to continue that discussion with best practices for leading remotely. While we've spent a great deal of time discussing how to develop remote learning opportunities for our students, what does remote leadership look like? 

I invite you to review Leading Remotely: What Managers Need to Know.

What are your challenges? And what tips do you have for our colleagues?


Hello program management colleagues,

Thanks, Kathy for this discussion thread. I am wondering how program mangers see their role(s) now during the pandemic: manager, leader, staff supporter, fundraiser, something else?

Anthony Tassi, the CEO of Literacy Partners in NYC, an organization that depends heavily (or solely?) on private sector funding was recently interviewed for this Forbes Magazine article.  Here's what he said about the leadership role: "The most important job of any leader is to get the right people on the bus, define an ambitious vision, and help the team use its collective skills to get closer and closer to achieving it."  Notice that he doesn't say that's the whole job of a program manager, although I agree that hiring the right people, (together) defining an ambitious vision, and steadily working to achieve it is a great definition of program leadership. Do you agree? What else is important in your program management role(s)?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Program Management group