Leading Through Turbulent Times

Smith School of Business

Smith School of Business


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Who should attend

This program is designed for managers and executives from all industries and functions who may be tasked with responding to crisis events within business units, functional teams or the larger organization.

About the course

A crisis is a make-or-break moment in the lifetime of your team, business unit or organization, requiring immediate action from leaders at every level. And yet, the majority of those trusted to navigate tumultuous times have developed leadership skills throughout a career defined by far less dire circumstances, and hired based on success within the status quo.

It's no surprise that leaders are often caught unaware and unprepared in the moments where their ability to rally a team or turnaround matters the most.

This crisis leadership program combines hands-on global executive leadership expertise with recent theoretical research from diverse disciplines, delivered via interactive remote learning environment.

In this program you will learn:

  • Practical frameworks and industry best practices that can immediately be applied to crisis situations, including the current COVID-19 pandemic
  • To understand the value of a crisis
  • The six behaviours of effective crisis leaders
  • To leverage the power of a leader's optimism to inspire in despair, while avoiding the "optimism trap"

Personal benefits

  • Gain an appreciation for the importance of how a leader’s presence, practice and passion impact performance in a crisis
  • Improved situational and personality awareness, along with an understanding of how these affect behaviour during a crisis
  • Identify specific areas of improvement by reflecting on past crisis experiences

Organizational benefits

  • Adopt best practices curated from successful crisis leaders
  • Improve crisis leadership competencies at all levels of the organization
  • Limit the damaging effects of crises and leverage opportunities inherent in turbulent times
  • Improved ability to identify, plan for and avoid crises before they occur


The Program covers the following curriculum:

  • The Value of Crisis: A crisis is notorious for its catastrophic impact on three critical aspects of the organization, namely, brand, finances, and stakeholder relationships. However, hidden inside the palpable gloom and desperation of a crisis are the often-missed gems of crisis. Participants will learn to use the three phases of crisis and uncover the treasures in the pressure of crisis and their implications to the organization.
  • The Optimism Trap: Generally, humans are innately optimistic. Optimism makes the business world go round. Attendees will learn to differentiate between the type of optimism that powers business success in non-crisis situations and the kind that creates the optimism trap that leads to the mismanagement of crisis. Discussions will focus on the interpretations, impairments, and implications of the optimism trap in the context of crisis leadership.
  • Leveraging Pragmatic Optimism: Participants will explore the pragmatic optimism model, based on empirical research for leaders in crises. Participants will discuss definitions, descriptors, and drawbacks of the model and its implications for leadership behaviour during turbulent times.
  • Six Behaviours of Effective Crisis Leaders: Learn the six behaviours adopted by highly productive leaders in various crises. This behavioural model is founded on experiential research of senior executives located around the world. Participants will reflect on their crisis behaviours in comparison with the model.
  • Shining in the Darkest Hour: During a crisis, your organization depends on your leadership. As business becomes more global, automated, and dependent on technology, moments of volatility will become more varied, frequent, and intense. This concluding section stitches together all the components of the program, using relatable real-life scenarios to engage participants and equip them to lead and succeed when the stakes are high and their skills are needed the most.


Daniel Monehin

Daniel heads Resolut Consulting, a global leadership development firm headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with associate consultants located around the world. Over the course of his nearly 30-year career, Daniel held various leadership roles in diverse businesses including global firms across wide...

Daniel Tisch

Daniel is widely known as a leader in the Canadian and global communications community. He is the CEO and principal owner of the Argyle Group, one of Canada's largest communications consulting firms, and previously served as chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Mana...

Penelope Naas

Penelope (Penny) Naas is UPS President for International Public Affairs and Sustainability. Penny began her UPS career in May 2012, managing the Public Affairs team for the EMEA Region, where she enhanced governmental understanding of UPS and the issues impacting the logistics industry. In 2014, ...

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Leading Through Turbulent Times at Smith School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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