Six Traits Of A Good Leader During An Emergency or Disaster

leaderEmergencies are unexpected and usually a dangerous situation that calls for immediate action, as defined in part by Webster. An emergency would be something like a car accident. A fire in a house or even the office.  An emergency could even be something like a job loss as it may cause a personal economic collapse.

Disasters are very similar except worse  like a tornado, hurricane,  a man-made disaster or even a large scale economic collapse that effects a nation.

Even in good times people are starved for good leadership. Let’s face it, the majority of people are followers, sheeple.  Not you though, you are a leader. Want to know how I know? Because you are reading this article.

Leaders are continually looking for ways to improve their leadership skills. They read books like John Maxwell’s “5 Levels Of Leadership” and “21 Laws Of Leadership”. The read articles like this one, they want to continue to learn, to refine their leadership skills, to learn from their mistakes and even to be able to help others become a leaders.

Leaders step up and take charge. They speak with authority and cause others to look to them for direction. They have a proven track record of leading family, friends, coworkers in all kinds of situations from day-to-day functions such as running a household to emergencies and disasters.

Then there are some who can lead during day-to-day tasks but are not good in an emergency or disaster. Sometimes during trying times the person who stands out as the leader is someone who is behind the scenes during normal life operations, someone you would never think could lead during a bad time but this is when they come to life.

Regardless of the type of leader a person is, there are some traits they must have, such as:

  • Someone who is good under stress. They step up and stand out during an emergency or disaster.
  • A leader is able to make quick and safe decisions and direct people. This may include guiding people to safety in a fire or directing traffic in the case of road blockage due to a traffic accident.
  • A leader can keep people calm. During a time of emergency or disaster, when people are taken out of their normal routine, many freeze.  Remember, most people are followers on a good day, put them in a disaster situation, and they could even get panicked if they don’t have clear direction. A leader can take charge of a situation, making announcements and communicating a plan to the masses.  People tend to calm down when they feel they are aware of what is going on, there is good communication and they are being told what to do.
  • A leader can assign tasks. An emergency gets people out of their comfort zone and a good leader can get people to focus on a task of clean up or helping someone else rather than on the emergency or disaster. It is a way for the leader to distract the mind of someone who is scared to something other than the situation at hand to ensure calm.
  • Leaders, build trust with those around them. They admit when they are wrong or have made a mistake, this again, builds trust and respect. No one likes a know it all and a leader is not that.
  • Leaders lead, they don’t demand and they are not dictators.  Nobody wants to be bossed around, the do want to be given direction.

Remember, the majority of people are followers, sheeple who do not want to take the responsibility to make a decision. They don’t want to get involved and are too afraid of making a mistake so most won’t step up and take charge. Most just want to be told what to do. This is why there are few leaders, and why those who are leaders stand out so much.

Let me know your thoughts, what traits do you think a good leader has?