Whichever side of the political aisle you’re on, I think most would agree that leadership from the Oval Office has been severely lacking during the COVID-19 crisis. We are the United States of America, and we are behind the eight ball on direction and communication during a world health pandemic that is cutting across our nation.
So, what can we learn from this?
During a crisis, in particular, our past actions and words as leaders come in to sharp focus. Because history is the filter through which we understand and make sense of the present. So, if we have a history of misinformation and/or miscommunication, at best our word is questioned. At worst, it no longer carries weight.
Which means our leadership can’t be trusted, or looked to for guidance.
During a crisis.
Our actions are also part of that history filter, and if we have not demonstrated the kind of thoughtful and measured behavior that is required of leaders, our people won’t know what to expect of us. They won’t know that they can count on us.
During a crisis.
And it is leaders to whom we look during difficult times. We need — and seek out — straight information, reassurance, direction, guidance on what action to take — or not – and what action is being taken.
Which requires leadership courage.
In word and deed.
Leadership is not brash, reactive, or dismissive.
It is considered, informed, directive, communicative, compassionate, and grounded in integrity.
Those are the requisites.
Crisis, or no.
But particularly when the chips are down.
Wishing all of you and yours good health. This article that my best friend (one of the best systems thinkers that I know) sent to me, helped to illuminate and give context to what’s happening. And it made me make immediate changes to my behavior.
For more on working with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org I work with talented and successful senior leaders who are courageous.