A Test for Our Time: Crisis Leadership in the Next Normal

May 11, 2023

Leadership isn’t all glitz and glam. It’s a grind, and leaders need to know how to handle themselves and their teams in all situations, including crises. Communication, adaptability, proactiveness, and empathy are just some of the characteristics needed for effective crisis leadership.

But how did leaders like Dr. Stephen Tang, a CEO in the life sciences industry, handle such a profound and long-lasting crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic?

On today’s episode of Holistic Leadership, Hosts Travis Hearne and Geoffrey Roche speak with Dr. Stephen Tang, CEO, Entrepreneur, Civic Leader, and Author of A Test for Our Time: Crisis Leadership in the Next Normal. Hearne and Dr. Tang work through his crisis leadership as CEO of OraSure Technologies during the pandemic, what he believes contributes to wholehearted leadership, and the driving forces behind his authorship.

Authenticity is one the characteristics that builds a great leader, and Dr. Tang knows and lives this. When leaders hold true to their values and personalities while displaying honesty, it makes it easier for their team to trust them.

Dr. Tang shared, “I think what I learned from it was this notion in the book of wholehearted leadership, which is, you really do need to be present for your people, be authentic for your people, communicate to them in a way that they can understand that you understand the tragedy of the situation and the optimism of the situation. And thoroughly care for them not just because they’re doing work for you day in, day out, but because they’re whole people with whole, full lives themselves.”

Hearne, and Dr. Tang also discussed…

  1. The reasons Dr. Tang decided to author his book
  2. Tang’s experience as OraSure CEO during COVID-19 and advice for leaders walking through crises
  3. How to encourage leaders to take risks during crises

“Leaders have to earn their trust every single day. So, to present yourself as credible and intimate with your people I think is vitally important. And I go back to something that I said before. What does wholehearted mean? Wholehearted means nurturing the mind, body, and spirit unashamedly…It’s truly caring about all those dimensions,” Dr. Tang explained.

Dr. Stephen Tang is CEO, Entrepreneur, Civic Leader, and Author of A Test for Our Time: Crisis Leadership in the Next Normal. Dr. Tang has been CEO of OraSure Technologies since 2011 and has served as Chairman and Member of many Boards of Directors throughout his career. Dr. Tang earned his BS in Chemistry from The College of William & Mary, his MS and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from LeHigh University, and his MBA in Strategy, Finance, & Entrepreneurship from The Wharton School.

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