What We Look for From Leaders During a Time of Crisis

These character traits make all the difference

Hurricanes are notable for their circular pattern, with an "eye" at the center that is eerily calm.

In the days before satellite tracking, the eye was a welcome respite from the howling winds and rain that pummeled unfortunate victims. What quickly follows the eye is the rear wall of the hurricane, which can be more forceful than the initial onslaught.

"It began about dusk from the north and raged very violently till ten o'clock. Then ensued a sudden and unexpected interval, which lasted about an hour. Meanwhile, the wind was shifting round to the southwest point, from whence it returned with redoubled fury and continue so till near three o'clock in the morning. Good God! What horror and destruction—it's impossible for me to describe—or you to form any idea of it." — Alexander Hamilton, 1772

When we're in the eye of a storm—literally or figuratively, as in a crisis—everything is swirling around us. This is when people are looking for reassurance from their leadership.

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