Master Class in Leadership

The coronavirus crisis gives us all an opportunity to take a master class in leadership.

The governors and mayors receiving high grades for handling the crisis exhibit a similar  set of traits.
—A reliance on facts, data and science over politics.
— An ability to communicate effectively.
— Genuine empathy for the plight of their communities.
— A willingness to work and advocate tirelessly on behalf of their cities and states.

They also take responsibility for mistakes and are quick to credit others.
They are clear in their thoughts and actions and willing to take the heat for decisions that aren’t always popular.
Sadly, those leaders who are laying an egg (you know who they are) are doing the opposite.
Refusing to take responsibility. Waffling on decisions. Undermining their own policies. Denying reality. Ignoring —or in some cases— punishing scientists.
Social distancing has done its job. But it was never meant to rid us of the virus. It was meant to buy us time so that our medical infrastructure could ramp up to deal with the crisis.
We need four things to beat the virus and sadly Washington has failed miserably on the two things they should be taking the lead on.
(I’m not counting the stimulus which has also been shaky with exhausted funds, big companies scarfing up money meant for small business, hospitals not getting relief because the idiot running the Department of Health and Human Services can’t seem to get anything right and a host of other issues).
The two things the Feds should be doing are testing and contact tracing. The Feds should also be coordinating purchasing of medical equipment but because they refused, states and cities were forced to take the lead and compete with one another. That ship has sailed.
But testing and tracing is still not  happening to the levels we are going to need to re-open our economy.
Why is this important?
Because if  we don’t know who has the virus, we can’t stop it from spreading without resorting to stringent social distancing measures.
We still don’t have enough swans and other materials necessary for testing and no way to coordinate between labs that have excess testing capacity and communities struggling to meet testing demand.
Where is the national strategy?

Instead, we have been fed the lie that there is adequate testing when every doctor, hospital and scientist says there isn’t?
Who do you believe?
I read the other day that it would cost $3.6 billion to hire 100,000 people to run a national contact tracing program. Sounds like a good investment since it may get us out of this mess and put 100,000 people to work.
The other two things we need: a vaccine (sorry my old friend in California) and effective treatment falls on the scientific community who I have faith will crack this. Hopefully sooner than later.

But back to leadership for a minute.
Pay attention to those telling you the truth. Beware those who are peddling nonsense. And remember those who have disappeared during this trying time.
Leaders steer toward crisis not away from it.
I was reminded of that by my dear friend Bill Mitchell who told the story of the Unsinkable Molly Brown on the most recent edition of Boca Lead, available online.
Now is the time for all of us to lead in any way we can.
Whether it’s helping a shut-in, checking on a neighbor, shopping and dining local, calling friends to check on their welfare etc. We can all play a role in getting through this crisis.

I do know that I will value true leadership and expertise more than ever from here on out. I hope we all do.
We need real leadership now more than ever.

Comments

  1. steve lampel says:

    Jeff,

    You are always so right on and eloquent in how you express yourself.

    I know is your opinion, but that many people do disagree with what you have to say ( which to me is black and white)
    is troubling.

    Thanks as always

Leave a Reply to steve lampel Cancel reply

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.