Trust in Times of Crisis

Why leadership now becomes more critical than ever before

We have a crisis.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

If you have not admitted this, it is not time to do so. This moment is not “the chance for renewal” or “an opportunity for change”. People genuinely fear about many core aspects of their personal and financial existence.

Just because you, as someone who is in leadership does not feel the same does not mean that your feelings can apply to others. It also does not mean that your job is to unsolicited force your point of view on others.

If you lose the trust of your people now, it is highly unlikely that you will regain it after the crisis. The time to take the right steps is now.

Control vs Trust

Some organisations set a positive example during these times. They allowed their people to work from home and focus on the most relevant aspect of work: results. However, the vast majority of organisations implemented control mechanisms to measure time instead of results — a severely outdated approach to leadership. You do not pay people to spend a certain amount of hours with you. You pay them to deliver the results you want. In practice, we even found subtle and dishonest control mechanisms in place. Do you think that your people do not realise why you ‘by coincidence’ call early in the morning and late in the afternoon?


Your priorities must be with your team now. Unfortunately, many leaders at the moment keep themselves busier by taking care of personal career networks within their organisation. They leave their team behind. Your people will quickly realise that your primary motivation focuses on self-interest rather than a spirit of teamwork. This behaviour will have irreversible negative consequences. Put your team first, and they will follow. Put yourself first, and people will only work for you until they have a better option available.


Great leaders are great communicators. These behaviours go hand in hand. It is challenging for some people when suddenly only a technical option for communication is available — still, this offers many great options for focused meetings. Stop to do the “weekly meeting we always do”. This fact especially applies, when many of your staff already know that it is another “this meeting could have been an email” moment of their week. Often these standardised meetings drain every bit of motivation out of your people. Be proactive. Be engaging. Be focused.

I wish you all the best when implementing this in your organisation.

I am here to help.

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Niels Brabandt

Niels Brabandt


Niels Brabandt is in business since 1998. Helping managers to become better leaders by mastering the concept of Sustainable Leadership. Based in Spain & London.