Having the right team supporting the besieged leader is critical. "There must be an expectation of mutual trust and respect," she says. "You need a team you support and a team that supports you. You need that trust."
When facing a crisis, she says the best leaders are able to make sense of the situation early on and separate the noise of the crisis from what really matters — the people who are adversely affected by the situation or the leader's response to it. Another important early step is to take the perspective of key stakeholders. Others will experience the crisis differently than the leader, and unless she or he can empathize with them, it will be difficult to identify response strategies or make decisions that will meet their needs and expectations.
A last bit of advice is to be human. "Show grace and integrity during a crisis," she says. "Demonstrate compassion."