A global crisis presents unique opportunities for leaders to pivot and meet new demands. Luckily, the best leaders continue to rise up and model the behaviors we clearly need now, and will need in a post-pandemic era. 

I've featured scores of them in previous articles and podcasts: They model altruistic behaviors to inspire and motivate people, communicate with certainty and confidence, and act with care and compassion to bring people together to produce results.

To continue in that tradition, my latest conversations aim to highlight three excellent ways business leaders can elevate their game.

1. Start with mission

Daniela Perdomo, co-founder and CEO of goTenna, the world's leading mobile mesh networking company, is a firm believer that success relies on cultivating a culture with a strong mission that's aligned with your customers' goals.

This is important for all stakeholders, she says: The leader stays motivated through the inevitable tough ups and downs of running the business, the team has a purpose to rally behind, and the end-users receive the best possible support for their own missions.

For Perdomo, goTenna's mission statement is what the entire company prioritizes every day. "By revolving our day-to-day around this, we operate as a unit in-step with one another," says Perdomo.

2. Build a team that knows more than you do

Paul  Jarman, CEO of unified cloud customer experience (CX) provider NICE inContact, knows execs don't have all the answers. But when they're surrounded by the right experts, they can drive incredible results for their customers.

The counsel of a strong team fosters a balanced and well-informed environment. "Leaders often need to make split-second decisions, with little time to 'do their homework,'" says Jarman. "But, by installing trusted advisers who are willing and able to step in and help put together the puzzle pieces, you can feel confident that whatever solution you've reached has been well thought out."

3. Leverage empathy to improve communication

Most leaders can agree that business ultimately comes down to one thing -- relationships. And one key trait that helps to nurture those relationships is empathy. Will Bartholomew, CEO and founder of D1 Training, an athletic-based fitness franchise, relies heavily on the encouragement of empathy to drive the performance of his employees.

"Your teams spend at least 40 hours every single week together, so there are bound to be occasional disagreements. However, when you encourage an empathetic environment, you're promoting an understanding of other viewpoints, which will mitigate disagreements and help your team come to resolutions quicker," shares Bartholomew.

Empathy also leads to overcommunicating in the best way, where employees feel comfortable enough to voice feedback and ask for criticism to improve. "I learned this back when I was a running in college," notes Bartholomew. "I had one coach who just wouldn't give me the ball and I had built up this mountain of frustration instead of just asking him why that was the case. After venting to my father about it, he told me to ask for feedback to understand what was happening. I did just that and had one of the most productive conversations that helped shape me as both an athlete and a communicator," added Bartholomew.

Now, he always makes a point to overcommunicate and encourages others to as well -- it has helped everyone understand one another more clearly.