When times get tough, leaders either get really big or really small.

Getting big means being visible and overcommunicating during a crisis. Leading effectively can empower teams to stay focused and aligned amid uncertainty.

People look to their leader for guidance when confusion and panic ensue. So much of the engagement level and focus a team demonstrates is a result of the experiences their immediate leaders create.

We've seen successful leadership during global crisis before. Great wartime leaders have shown the staple of leadership during a tough situation includes inspiring and reassuring the masses while executing real-time solutions.

Here are nine quotes from these greats to lift your spirits and give you courage to lead during uncertainty:

1. "Courage is not the absence of fear. It is going forward with the face of fear."

     - Abraham Lincoln

2. "Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential."

     - Winston Churchill

3. "Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something."

     - Franklin D. Roosevelt

4. "In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest."

     - William McKinley

5.  "Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages."

     - George Washington

6. "I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger."

     - George H.W. Bush

7. "Difficulties mastered are opportunities won."

     - Winston Churchill

8. "The best way to predict your future is to create it."

     - Abraham Lincoln

9. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

     - Franklin D. Roosevelt

With the current COVID-19 crisis, there are plenty of obstacles keeping individuals and organizations from moving forward with certainty. There's certainly no blueprint or best practice to help us navigate today's crisis or show us how to run our businesses effectively. But how we show up for our teams, with empathy and optimism even when it can't be justified, that will help others focus on what they can control instead of becoming consumed by the chaos. This brave act alone could make a world of difference.