Five phases of leadership during the pandemic

Brett A. Hurt
2 min readJan 9, 2021

Last week was a very busy one for me for writing and reflecting. To write is to learn.

I finished my five-part series on leadership during the pandemic in Austin’s definitive cultural magazine, Urbānitūs. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Editor and Co-founder, David Judson, who really brought out the best in me and helped make the series much better. I was also able to work in the historic and tragic events of the week — a week I’ll never forget.

Here are the five, published Urbānitūs articles:
1. Fear
2. Euphoria
3. Depression
4. Acceptance (not surrender)
5. Imagining what lies beyond

I hope you enjoy the series. I know enough leaders in Austin who worked through these same five phases in 2020 to know it resonates. One in particular is Emily Ramshaw, the Co-founder and CEO of The 19th, an organization we are proud to support (both before and after launch). And what a 2020 Emily and her team had — The 19th became more prominent than she could have ever dreamed! In a meeting on December 9th, Emily helped me by affirming that these were in fact the same five phases she worked through.

What a year 2020 was, and what a start to the New Year that 2021 has become.

Emily Ramshaw, Cosmo (our son’s puppy), and me on Dec. 9, 2020



Brett A. Hurt

CEO and Co-founder,; Co-owner, Hurt Family Investments; Founder, Bazaarvoice and Coremetrics; Henry Crown Fellow; TEDster; Dad + Husband