To the managers and supervisors reading this and for those dreaming of starting their own company one day, be the leader you wished you’d had when you were just starting out. Be the honourable role model who people take their cues from. Don’t just talk it when you are giving your keynote but act it out in practice each and every day. Inspire people to be their best selves and do their finest work – by being your best self and doing your best work. Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility to serve and protect the people who work so hard for your department or company’s success. Role-modelling ethical values and behaviours is a duty of care to others. If you are a manager then employee wellbeing is a subject that you will be aware of.

I have defined success in part as doing all that I can to provide for our people and make them great, trying to help them fulfil themselves. When I shared with the staff and clients that we were not in a great place and would be hand-to-mouth for quite a while, every one of the people I’d been working so hard to care for stepped up to take care of me. It was remarkable, extraordinary and humbling. Discussing mental health in the workplace can be a good way to alleviate a difficult situation.

I will never forget the kindnesses granted to us when we needed them most. Even the incredible people we had no other choice but to make redundant were so heartbreakingly understanding about it. I cried hard about them (but not in front of them). Without question, our relationships and our values saved us. Since they were based on trust and genuine care, these connections stayed strong, our passion never waned and we used every ounce of our collective wisdom – and our hard work ethic – to find solutions. Throughout this period, we cheered each other on, and consoled each other through some very dark moments. There are small, simple steps you can take to make hr app something that people can talk about.

Being in the thick of a crisis reveals the depth of one’s ethics, honesty and compassion. If we’d failed to live up to our values, we wouldn’t have come out the other side. There is always a temptation to lie one’s way out of trouble or to turn on others to protect oneself. But if a person in crisis can stay strong, wise and caring, they’ll not only survive, but will be that much stronger, wiser and caring the next time the wheel of fortune turns. Whether you work with 10 people, 10000 people or just yourself, paying attention to mental health first aid has never been more important.

For ethical leaders, crises are only an opportunity to serve as examples of how to keep up one’s hope, faith and morals. It’s so easy to be inspirational when things are going great, but when the chips are down, your finest qualities are revealed. The key is also to act and act fast. Don’t spend any time at all hoping it might not be so bad and pretending that nothing is wrong. Be honest.