Leading During the COVID-19 Crisis

The Way We Work, a 4.38-minute TED talk, Amy Edmondson, Harvard professor, leading researcher of psychological safety and author of Teaming and The Fearless Organization provides practical wisdom and insight about “flipping the leadership playbook.” As she points out “transparency and urgency are the keys to successfully steering an organization -- big or small -- through the challenges that come our way.”21 Leadership Challenges & How To Overcome Them, 21 toughest leadership challenges you can bet you'll run into ... and how to overcome them.

3 tips for leading a school through the Covid-19 crisis, was written by Steve Munby who was featured in the InConversation. No leadership course could prepare heads for this crisis - but they are stepping up with courage, says Steve Munby.

Leading your team through crisis written by Alaina Love suggests some important practices to put into place for remote workers that can reinforce interpersonal and organizational connection among your team.


Brené Brown, author of Dare to Lead and other inspirational leadership books, shares messages of hopes and inspiration in a recent blog.


I have never been prouder to work in education than now by Leora Cruddas. Extraordinary examples of schools showing civic leadership in the coronavirus crisis are appearing all the time.


'We've got difficult decisions, with no right answers' by Michael Todd. Heads are having to make tough judgement calls in response to coronavirus - with unclear guidance.


'In our time of crisis, schools are showing leadership', by Geoff Barton. We’ve seen teachers, heads and other staff setting a tone of calm authority and natural leadership.

Granted. Bad leaders believe people work for them. Good leaders believe people work with them. Great leaders believe they work for people. Especially in crisis, we depend on servant leaders to put others first.

Real Leaders Are Forged in Crisis by Nancy Koehn, April 03, 2020. We are living through a global health crisis with no modern-day precedent. What governments, corporations, hospitals, schools, and other organizations need now, more than ever, are what the writer David Foster Wallace called “real leaders”.

Tolerance for Uncertainty: A COVID-19 Workbook by Dr. Sachiko Nagasawa. A guide to accept your feelings, tolerate distress, and thrive.

From ‘COVID 19 – School Leadership in Disruptive Times’


“Self-care and consideration must be the main priority and prime concern for all school leaders. Leading a school through the changes and challenges that accompany COVID-19 and post COVID-19 will require school leaders who put their own health and wellbeing first, so that they will be able to help others. Increasingly, school leaders are managing the emotional responses of others to this crisis including anxiety, frustration loss, and anger. Consequently, self-care must be a priority for those leading schools at all levels.” Harris & Jones, 2020

From ‘COVID-19 – School Leadership in Crisis?’ (Harris, 2020)

“As leaders at all levels of education systems struggle to reconfigure ways of connecting with learners and supporting the well-being of millions of young people, PISA and the other large-scale assessments are the last thing on their radar. Right now, educators are concerned with what is best for all young people in this crisis, as far as they know, as far as they can judge. It is an imperfect exercise. School leaders are working tirelessly to ensure that for the learners in their care, emotional, social and mental well-being is nurtured and supported. The scale of their effort and the extent of the leadership challenge are colossal and relentless.”

Video recording hosted by Martin Scanlan, Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Capital and Community who talks about professionalism in the pandemic with Alma Harris, Pak Tee Ng and Pasi Sahlberg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1wzdmP8wIM. In this recording, Alma Harris speaks eloquently about leadership in disruptive times.


To share your messages of encouragement with Ontario leaders, send them to communication@education-leadership-ontario.ca.