- IMD Business School

How not to be a hostage to COVID-19: Episode 1

Looking beyond what you see
5 min.
March 2020

Leading in Turbulent Times. This is an episode in the miniseries How not to be a hostage to COVID-19. Psychologist George Kohlrieser, IMD Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour, brings his long experience as a hostage negotiator to the table. He provides practical advice for getting past fear and worry, helping us to retake a position of power and refusing to become a psychological hostage to the COVID-19 crisis.

In episode one, “Looking beyond what you see”, Professor Kohlrieser explains the sense of powerlessness we feel and how it might affect our mindset and emotions. He encourages us to focus on the present and understand perceptions…what he calls the ‘mind’s eye.’ Kohlrieser reminds us that it is important to avoid denial, but on the same token we must manage to keep calm and have control over our mindset by focusing on the present reality. Emotions guide the mind’s eye; if you feel grief or sadness, take a deep breath and come back to a state of joy in an authentic way.

Seeing beyond what your eyes can see and imagining the opportunities that could appear in the future will help you stay positive. This will allow you to provide leadership in this time of crisis, rather than becoming a hostage to COVID-19—or your own fears.


To view all videos, please visit our Leading in Turbulent Times page here.


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics