How to know if it’s time for fight or flight

Here’s what leaders should consider if they find themselves in ethical hot water, by leadership coach and recruiter Doug Baird, the CEO of New Street Consulting.

by Doug Baird
fight or flight

Does the failure to follow Covid rules warrant the resignation of a senior leader? It’s the question on everyone’s lips. This week has brought us two contrasting examples in Credit Suisse’s chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio (who resigned) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson (who is currently refusing to step aside). 

After a lapse in judgement, how do senior leaders decide whether their situation is salvageable or beyond repair? And, how do they take the next steps to protect their reputations and manage professional relationships, whether they are moving on or remaining in their role? Here’s three things to consider. 

  1. Timing is everything

The timing of a crisis heavily influences its impact and any consequent requirement for a resignation. There’s been growing public outrage about senior and public figures breaking Covid rules during the pandemic and this reached something of a peak in the run up to Horta-Osorio’s resignation.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today