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Authors: Susan Walsh and Alan Johnston

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested every area of daily life for the world’s population. This narrative study will be of value and interest to an emerging body of empirical evidence on the leadership of spontaneous volunteer activity during a global pandemic. Spontaneous volunteers told their stories, and these narratives form the focus of this research, exploring leadership of this group. Empirical evidence confirmed that leadership was effective in producing successful results, and resulted from a knowledge of the community, leader skill, authentic behaviours and an adaptive style; however, no one style of leadership was identified. There is a need for further research into this area of leadership, to understand how the leadership of spontaneous volunteers can be effective for the community, in crises and disaster responses.

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