Dear Readers,

It is a season of fear, but it doesn’t need to be. A measure of fear is essential in crisis, but beyond that, the normal fear responses of fight, flight or freeze will not provide the leadership people need right now. Instead, in the early stages of a crisis we need to access three crucial resources: facts, foundations and friends. I outline these in this video of a TED-style talk I gave a few years ago: Leaders, Where Do You Go When You’re Afraid?  It’s 10 minutes long, which is probably about all you have time for right now.

Jonathan Wilson


In the coming weeks, however, it is crucial that we think deeply and carefully about how to lead effectively in this time of distress.  For this purpose I will issue a number of articles (and possibly videos) which draw out key leadership principles I learned in a wide range of chaotic and threatening situations (natural disasters, disease, recession, violent regional conflict, and organizational meltdowns).

  • I will look at how to access and improve your own stability as a leader, and the stability of your organization.
  • Without a stable core, no leader or organization can exercise the second leadership capability needed for charting a constructive way through chaos: agility.
  • I will then unpack ways to use the crisis as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to peel back the layers of the onion of your industry and market, rigorously re-assess the assumptions that drive it, and reinvent a better future based on strong foundations, using risk-managed approaches to innovation.
  • This is also a time to build high levels of trust, and to implement best practise in team work andcollaboration, within an almost exclusively digital environment. I will produce guidance for this too, drawing on work I did some years ago in helping a global engineering firm implement virtual collaboration for a geographically dispersed and culturally diverse team.
  • I have experienced the stress, anxiety, trauma and depression that come in the course, or aftermath, of intense crises, and will include those personal leadership learnings as well.

If there is another particular topic you would like me to explore with regards to navigating these uncertain days, just email me at

This is a time to take care of one another. It is also a time to reflect back and decide what foolishness we wish to leave behind. It is a time to discern what wisdom we will carry forward. It is a time for deciding what new future we will work towards, if tomorrow is to be better for our society than yesterday was. It is a time for leadership.

Take care,



Another leadership insight from

Leadership by Soul™, Trademark and © Jonathan Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

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