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03 April 2020, 07:00 PM

Crisis Leadership: When it matters most

A talk by Dr. Leonard Marcus PhD and Richard Serino
Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative & Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative

You lead, own, manage or run a business entity. It could be a government agency, a corporation, non-profit, or community group. On New Years Day 2020, you look forward to normal operations.

Two months later, you transform into a crisis leader. You make decisions, take actions and cope with implications you never before imagined. People look to you for direction, support, and the assurance that in the long run, life and work will return to normal.

This is your “You’re It” moment. You are the crisis leader. The long term viability of your business unit - and those who depend upon it - look to you. What do you do? How do you behave? And what can you hope to accomplish?

The faculty of the Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Rich Serino and Leonard Marcus, will present this brief seminar on crisis leadership. Rich Serino is former Boston EMS Chief and FEMA Deputy Administrator and Leonard Marcus, Ph.D is NPLI Co-Director. They will provide key crisis leadership ideas and practices to help you weather this COVID-19 storm.

The NPLI recently published a book on this body of work, “You’re It: Crisis, Change and How to Lead When It Matters Most.” Serino and Marcus will discuss key pointers of their crisis leadership field research, spanning the years since 9/11. The seminar combines broad thinking and pragmatic practices – Meta-Leadership Tools – as you lead through this crisis.

The theme of these crisis leadership modules: Meta-Leadership. You will learn to take a big picture analytic view of what you face and with that, a big picture strategy for building solutions. The objectives:

  1. Get above the sense of panic that can overwhelm you and others in a crisis.
  2. Develop a systematic method for situational awareness, decisions, and operations.
  3. Build connectivity of effort in your operations and with those of other entities.
  4. Leverage human instincts to swarm, incorporating swarm leadership into your group.
  5. Work the crisis Arc of Time, anticipating and preparing for resilience on the other side.


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