Leading in a crisis can be like walking a tightrope. Put a foot wrong, and you risk losing the nation’s trust or worse. When people’s lives are turned upside-down, a spark can set off widespread unrest. The pandemic has shown us an international kaleidoscope of leadership styles. Some have fostered strong community bonds and a ‘team spirit’, while others have used it to promote discord and capitalise on the disruption for their own ends. Parliaments around the world have been forced to do things differently, often stress-testing the resilience of institutions and agreements.