Leadership in times of crisis

Hi! I’m Sonida, 21 years old and currently studying International Studies at Leiden University. This year, I decided I wanted to challenge myself further by applying for AIESEC Leiden. I’m now the online marketing manager and I’m really liking it thus far. Being able to team up with people from my LC and members all over the Netherlands makes it all the more enjoyable!

Leadership during COVID

COVID-19 has brought the world unforeseen circumstances. With that come undoubtedly remarkable changes to our daily lives. It is during a crisis, that we turn to those who we believe can send us in the right direction. Now more than ever, we turn to those capable of leading us.

Media is watching and monitoring decision of world leaders through hawkeyes. They are currently under immense pressure to act on uncertainty and ever-changing situations. Those decisions which will either make them gain or lose public trust. But not only world leaders need to adapt. We as citizens have to restructure our routines and abide to certain rules.

With a health crisis right in front of us, we also need to see the opportunities that come with it. In those times we can show our flexibility, adaptability and creativity.  Unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions! If you think of it, the pandemic brings forth leadership qualities in us that we need to acknowledged.

The positive sides of the coin

Even though the corona crisis forced the whole world into social distancing, self-isolation, and maybe even bulk buying, we cannot ignore the fact that it has also allowed us to be more empathic and kind towards each other which has a great impact on those around us.

When countries went into lockdown and people lost their jobs, we saw landlords lifting some of the weight off their tenants’ shoulders by waiving rents. We have seen restaurant owners that were now out of business, offer meals and drinks for those that could not afford their groceries anymore. We have also seen people donate masks to hospitals in need, doing groceries for elderly neighbours, and even cheering each other up by making music!

All these people did not do it for their personal gain, but merely to help out others. These selfless acts of kindness in itself may not seem much to them personally. But they all chose to lead the way by being solution-oriented, self-aware, empowering others, and most importantly, by being world citizens.

The pandemic hit the world in a moment we did not see coming.   We have seen that even the smallest acts of kindness during a pandemic matter, and it shows us that anyone is capable of being a leader. The question is: what will you do to become a leader in times of crisis?

This post was written by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth. 

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