This chapter takes comparative views of national leadership at the beginning of two crises, the Falklands War of 1982 and the COVID‑19 pandemic. Based on first-hand observations of both crises, the author concludes that there are four key requirements for leadership at a national level. The first is recognition that there is a crisis and a response is necessary. The second is credibility on the part of leadership, both with their own team and the wider public. The third is mutual trust between the leader and their expert advisors. The fourth is the ability to deploy resources on a sufficient scale at the right time.