In times of upheaval, such as in a crisis, leaders often feel compelled to embody a commanding, confident style of leadership that provides answers, eschews dissent and remains aloof. Similarly, followers may be drawn to leaders who provide ready answers, with confidence and certainty. We argue, however, that the kind of leadership needed to navigate novel, challenging, uncertain contexts contrasts dramatically with these instinctive responses. We draw from our observations of the Covid-19 crisis to explain a growing appreciation for empathic leaders who demonstrate a capacity to connect emotionally with followers, helping them cope with new, challenging, fast-changing situations.