CNLP Bonus 21: Crisis Leadership. Special Panel on Best Practices for Crisis Leadership and Finding Hope with Jud Wilhite, Kevin Queen and Tricia Sciortino

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What do you do when you’re leading in the biggest crisis in our lifetime? In this special episode of the podcast, Carey talks to Jud Wilhite, Kevin Queen and Tricia Sciortino about the best practices in crisis management, virtual teams and how to make decisions when things are changing constantly.

Together, the panel has led through deep recessions, tornadoes, career transitions and virtual teams. The team talks about no matter how uncertain and negative as things are, how to find both answers and hope.

Welcome to Bonus Episode 21 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Jud – Instagram | Central Church
Kevin – Instagram | Nashville Strong
Tricia – Instagram | BELAY

Financial Peace University

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You can provide that hope by bringing Financial Peace University to your community. Financial Peace University has helped nearly 6 MILLION PEOPLE save for emergencies, pay off debt and build wealth. You don’t have to be a financial expert and you don’t have to take the class before leading it. In fact, 40% of group leaders lead a class while taking it for the first time. All you need is a desire to help others!

Dave Ramsey and his team do all the teaching. And a dedicated advisor will walk you through every step of leading a class. Plus, you can lead an FPU class from anywhere, even online, through a virtual group. Dave Ramsey’s team will give you everything you need to lead with confidence—for FREE.

To help,
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World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Remote Work Resources

3 Rules for Keeping Conflict Low and Passion High at Work by Carey Nieuwhof

How to Lead Through Rapid, Unexpected Change (Responding to COVID-19) by Carey Nieuwhof


1. Cultivate a non-anxious presence in crisis

One of the best pieces of advice Kevin Queen ever received was that in crisis the greatest gift that a leader gives is a non-anxious presence.

The best ways to do that are by grounding yourself  in prayer, accurate information and a team around you that can help you make the best decisions.

If you think about the leaders you most admire in a crisis, they carry a non-anxious presence too.

2. Wait to communicate until you have all the info

In the current crisis, things are changing so quickly that decisions that make sense at 8 a.m. are outdated by 3 p.m.  Resist the urge to communicate too early.

Weigh the evidence, consult your team and make announcements in time, but not too far ahead of time.

Clarity beats certainty, and prematurely announcing your constantly changing plans undermines your authority.

3. Default to video with your staff

Now that all church and business leaders are leading virtual teams, Tricia Sciortino, CEO of BELAY, the largest virtual staffing company in America, suggests defaulting to video as your primary communication method.

Services like Zoom, Skype or even FaceTime make communication more human, more personal and more emotionally intelligent.

Quotes from Episode Bonus 21

The greatest gift that a leader gives in a crisis situation is a non-anxious presence.@kevinqueen Click To Tweet Don't communicate too early what's still unknown. If you can delay, it's okay. You don't have to have your plan for this weekend on Monday. @JudWilhite Click To Tweet I would say setting really clear expectations, overcommunicating, and mandating video will be the key places I would start if I was going to start working from home tomorrow. @triciasciortino Click To Tweet As a leader, you don't really have a choice but to be okay. @JudWilhite Click To Tweet That's been trying as a leader to be constantly in the place where you're having to change and make a decision off a decision you just made. @triciasciortino Click To Tweet Times like these really test your character and strength as a leader. @triciasciortino Click To Tweet You've got to feed your faith to starve your fears. @JudWilhite Click To Tweet You've got to feel the feelings. Tell yourself the truth, and then embrace life on life's terms. @kevinqueen Click To Tweet I think the part of us that hurts for people is what makes us leaders worth following. @kevinqueen Click To Tweet I think once I get over that initial heartbreak of what a crisis is, I remember that the church, the faith community, we're made for moments like this. This is where we're at our best. @JudWilhite Click To Tweet Don't pretend you have all the answers. @JudWilhite Click To Tweet You either cry or you laugh. Sometimes you need to do both. @JudWilhite Click To Tweet God's faithfulness in the past is evidence of his faithfulness in the future. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet You didn't ask for any of this, but you have to lead through it, anyway. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode Bonus 21

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our new YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen. We’ll add select episodes to YouTube as time goes on.

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Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Joseph Sojourner

Pinewood Studios is the largest film studio in North America, and Joseph Sojourner just started a church to reach actors, creatives and crew in the film and TV industry. We talk about that journey, but also SoJo’s personal journey: his diagnosis of narcolepsy, finding his own voice when he stepped onto some of the largest stages in the world, and how he navigates life as a single man, including how to handle scores of sexually charged DMs that he and others might classify as inappropriate.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 329.

Lead With Confidence and Clarity. Grow Your Church.

As leaders, we tend to see the challenges and roadblocks before other people do.

We've all been there before...

  • You need to refresh your vision for the future but know that change will be an issue for that person.
  • You're overstaffed (or missing a key role) and can't find the right person to fill the role.
  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

Now ask yourself this:

What would it feel like to have those answers at your fingertips 24/7?

Whether it's reaching new people, improving your preaching, increasing volunteers, refreshing your vision, engaging your staff, or any of the countless challenges we face as church leaders, The Art of Leadership Academy will equip you to lead your church with confidence and clarity.

Between comprehensive church leadership courses, live coaching calls, staff and volunteer training resources, and direct access to an online community of senior-level church leaders, you'll get the exact insights and answers that fuel your church for growth.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.