How To Be A Calm Leader

Being calm is a superpower of leadership but not many leaders truly have it when global panic sets in

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit many people panicked, but I stayed calm.

When television screens were filled with hundreds of people rushing through shopping malls and centers to stock up on essentials, I was avoiding that.

Back then the despite all of the information that was beamed into peoples’ phones and computers there was a lack of factual knowledge as to what the Coivd-19 virus would do to people. Although it was clear from the beginning that it was transferred from person to person through the respiration, vast amounts of people rushed to shops and stores and began bulk buying toiletries. Of course, these products were useless for people but their panic was told differently.

That’s why when you begin to lead you must be calm and sure of why this is.

Calm in a Storm:

When the pressure comes on as a leader that’s when you`re tested to the last.

And when you have people under your guidance then you may feel that you’re responsible for their wellbeing too. This adds to the pressure. But if the leader can stick to simple rules then they’ll be able to succeed and guide people to a better place.

Understanding the facts of what is happening during that pressurized time is important because most people will get confused.


In early March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was taking hold of the western world I decided to attract people indoors to concentrate on something other than the panic.

And so I formed an online group for people that were isolated from the pandemic. Back then people just heard the world ‘lockdown’ and decided that they needed to bring everything they could get their hands on and store them at home. Whereas I thought about it differently and created an online group that would provide positive support and factual information on the pandemic.

The idea was that when people joined they would learn calmly from the facts that were discussed in the group.

And it worked.

International Leadership Mistakes:

Hundreds of people joined my group within hours out of pure fear and panic of the unknown.

Yet some of the worlds’ greatest leaders were still in denial that there was a deadly virus that was going to cause havoc. On February 24th, 2020 the US president Donald Trump played down the virus’s effect on his nation when he said:

“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries.”

But as it was proven that neither Trump nor America did not have the situation under control as throughout the next year there were nearly half a million deaths from the virus and even Trump himself was reported to have had the virus.

Similarly, in the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson the prime minister was also hesitant in accepting how serious the virus was.

On March 19th, 2020 he said:

“I think, looking at it all, that we can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks and I’m absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country.”

But Johnson too was wrong.

For example, ten months later the virus was still ripping through the land and over 30,000 people were being infected daily. Even the prime minister himself got the disease and was touch and go as to whether he would survive or not.

And yet all of this could have gone differently if these leaders had accepted the medical facts of the situation at the beginning and made calm decisions based upon that mentality.

Calmness in a Storm:

As I continued to manage my online group people became assured by the leadership that if they followed basic precautions that the virus would not harm them or their family or friends.

I, along with the help of other great moderators in the group, continued to repeat the best researched and most credible and factual updates on the virus so that people were assured of knowing what was happening. However, there was a lot of noise online and false claims that the virus was not real and conspiracy theorists were convincing millions of people that it was all some type of hoax.

The panic that existed was shown in my overflowing inbox and it took months to reply to all the messages from the initial few weeks of the first lockdown.

But all I did was continue to be calm in the storm of panic and re-iterate the medical facts as they unfolded from day today.

Creating the Culture of Calmness:

If a leader is calm then their decision-making will form a calm place too.

However, it’s important to build a culture of calmness also. When a leader keeps their head when all are losing their mind that’s when others will seek that person out for guidance. And in turn, if a calm leader builds a culture of calmness then you have more leaders that can provide better guidance to a greater amount of people when it is needed.

And that’s why calmness is a superpower of leadership.

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Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

Forbes, INC. & Entrepreneur Magazines, CBS, & NBC Featured, Dr. Conor Is The World’s Leading High-Performance Neuro Socio-Psychologist & Co-Authored 4 Books