Leading in a Crisis: COVID-19 Edition

Created in partnership with: Robert E. QuinnDave UlrichKim CameronMario MoussaShawn Achor

What You Will Learn

  • Understand how to develop the resilience needed to handle the crisis for its duration
  • Discover why building courage means doing things while feeling fear
  • Recognize how to maintain optimism by finding ways to contribute to others
  • Shape a culture that unites all leaders and teams through cooperation and collaboration

What You Will Do

  • Define the personal leadership values that will ground your actions and decisions throughout the crisis
  • Share new best practices for motivating and communicating with virtual teams
  • Identify and describe ways to shape the culture that your team has always wanted


The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a human tragedy. It is a silent invisible threat to our lives and our way of life. It is ravaging the global economy and forcing everyone to change how they care for their families, how they socialize, and how they work.

This crisis brings a level of uncertainty about the future that can cause us to feel worried, stressful and isolated. The challenges presented by new ways of working can make us frustrated, unfocused and depleted.

The good news is that leaders and their teams can take very specific steps to cope with the crisis, and even emerge stronger for having gone through it.

During this crisis, leaders and teams must:

  • Improve communication skills to build trust, increase transparency and keep relationships on solid ground
  • Strengthen their minds, bodies and spirits so that they can weather the storm no matter how long it lasts
  • Gain comfort using tools that keep us connected even as social distancing forces us to stay apart
  • Make decisions that show care and compassion for co-workers while creating positive outcomes for our companies

This CorpU Sprint brings together experts on stress and resilience, positive psychology, communication, and organization culture to highlight a selection of best practices that help employees cope with crisis.

University of Michigan professors and best-selling authors Dave Ulrich, Kim Cameron and Bob Quinn share research-backed practices a workforce can adopt to create psychological safety in the face of uncertainty, strengthen their courage, and create empowering, positive cultures.

The sprint also features Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and an expert on stress management, along with organization psychologists from the global consultancy, YSC, who share proven methods for developing resilience.

Author, keynote speaker, and management consultant, Mario Moussa, presents tools and methods to help teams work virtually, and improve how they communicate and collaborate.

Expert Faculty

Robert E. Quinn
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN - Co-Founder, Center for Positive Organizations Author, Economics of Higher Purpose
Dave Ulrich
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN - #1 Management Guru by Businessweek Father of Modern HR Author, Reinventing the Organization
Kim Cameron
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN - Co-Founder, Center for Positive Organizations Author, Practicing Positive Leadership
Mario Moussa
AUTHOR, KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND EDUCATOR - Duke University Consultant, The Wharton School Co-Author, The Art of Woo and Committed Teams
Shawn Achor

Additional Material