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Brain circuits

Key lessons in surviving crises

Published 10 January 2022 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

As we enter the new year, with another wave of COVID sweeping the globe, it seems like we are in a never-ending cycle of crisis. But we have had time to study both past and present crises and identify techniques and advice from those who not only survive but thrive in this environment and distill them into lessons on how to navigate uncertainty and stress.

Free yourself and your team from fear

Just because you are in a leadership role doesn’t mean you don’t experience fear, anxiety, and worry. However, you need to be able to handle these emotions and deal with them if you are going to help your team. It’s important in times of crisis that you don’t let fear take control of your decisions. As a leader you can help yourself and your team to stay calm and navigate rough waters. Learn how to do that here.

Learn to leap

One of the critical factors in surviving in a rapidly changing environment is learning how to move quickly from one core competency to another. Companies that can do this early and repeatedly are the ones that are most successful and enjoy longevity. There are four principles involved in this process that you can read about here.

Understand the changes in yourself and others under stress

In times of crisis people, including leaders, change their behavior. This affects the way you act and make decisions. To navigate difficult situations when they arrive, you should be aware of five principles that will help you make better choices and keep those around you on track. You can learn them here.

Learn from the winners

In every crisis there are winners and losers, so we have spent a lot of time talking to and researching leaders who have been successful in times of crisis. There are three key things these leaders understand, and you should embrace these when your company faces tough times.

Learn to make decisions without all the information

It’s an unfortunate fact that no one will ever have a complete set of information, but the murkier the view of the future gets, the more people tend to become paralyzed. By combining scenario planning and Bayesian thinking – in essence, using probabilistic rather than deterministic methods – executives can bolster their decision-making abilities, enabling them to move forward. Here are some steps to promote agile decision-making that will help senior leaders make better choices in uncertain times.


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