I read this this weekend: responsibility is the ability to respond (i.e. not panic). That resonated so deeply with me--the simplicity and the profound truth of it. That's all leadership of any kind is (including the ability to lead and master oneself) isn't it? The ability to respond. Beyond that, or to unpack that a bit, it's the ability to pause long enough to parse out the most prudent response called for in that moment.
The ability to pause--maybe that's the heart of it. That pause is necessary for any decision in any moment, but even more so in a situation requiring immediate action and immediate attention. A pause to take stock, a pause to note any fear or hesitation and to move forward anyway. A pause to keep us away from the long, treacherous fall into panic which, once stumbled into, there's no (easy) way out of that free-fall.
Maybe that's the only skill we need in this life--the ability to pause. From there, all roads clear.