When faced with deadly events, leaders react differently to their own fears and grief

During wars, natural disasters and other emergencies, when people’s death anxiety is heightened, some leaders start caring more about their own interests and welfare, while others become more considerate and committed to helping their teams. Chidiebere Ogbonnaya studied 595 leaders from workplaces in the UK, China and Pakistan. He writes that those with a positive mindset were less anxious about mortality and more focused on leading well.

In today’s business world, discussions about mortality are often overlooked, even though death reminders are all around us. From global pandemics, wars, and natural disasters to personal trauma and emergencies, these events create mortality cues that affect individuals, jobs, and organisations. But what about leaders? How do they respond to these mortality cues, and what impact does this have on their teams?

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