Audio Interview

Crisis leadership: what characteristics do leaders need in a crisis?

Published on December 13, 2020   44 min

Other Talks in the Series: Interviews with business leaders and scholars

Interviewer: Today, I'm interviewing Dr. Raj Persaud, a consultant psychiatrist who also holds a degree in psychology and a master's in statistics, all may be relevant to the discussion. The subject of our conversation today is the response of female managers to crisis. May I ask you, rather than putting words into your mouth, to state your opinion, your conclusion in your own words, and then we can explore it. Dr. Persaud: Well, the pandemic has been a very interesting, vast social psychology experiment on leadership. Across the world, it looks like countries that have done the best in terms of the lowest death rates, for example, and various other statistical measures of outcomes from the pandemic caused by COVID-19, very interestingly, significantly large numbers of these countries that have done very well compared to the countries that have done very badly seem to be led by women. Taiwan, New Zealand, Iceland, Estonia, Germany, Denmark, these are countries that are seen to have done very well, and they have female leaders. Interestingly, the countries that have done really badly, Brazil, the US, the UK, for example, have not just male leaders, but prototypically male leaders. They revel in old-school masculinity. So what are the interesting questions? Is there something about female leadership that makes it better, particularly in a crisis?

Crisis leadership: what characteristics do leaders need in a crisis?

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