Table 2

Summary of leadership themes, subthemes and meanings during a crisis from qualitative interviews of leaders at Michigan Medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic

Themes and subthemesMeaning during a crisis
Leveraging the unique circumstances of the crisisTaking advantage of a clear mission and alignment of resources to effectively promote positive change.
Strategies for taking care of your team
Emphasis on communication to build trust Sharing new information and plans with the team as soon as possible, but acknowledging the uncertainty of the situation, while having a ‘boots on the ground’ mentality to encourage team members during difficult times and ensure better closed-loop communication.
Tending to emotional and psychological well-being Listening to your team regarding the emotional and physical burden of the crisis and responding to them empathetically.
Using leadership reasoningObserving other leaders and their decisions to learn what works well and what can be improved while also looking back at the outcomes of your own decisions to determine what can be done better.