#LeadershipMatters – 5 COVID-19 Tips and 1 Vital Leadership Lesson
This blog has some helpful information, and ends with one vitally important leadership lesson. For those who believe that everything that President Trump says is true, when he said finally said late this week that “the Conronavirus is serious”…believe him! Be it two months late, he finally responded to the Coronavirus pandemic appropriately.
Here’s what I believe to be helpful information. Earlier this week I heard Trump say these things in a press conference:
- “Coronavirus is like the flu.” It is NOT like the flu. When the NBA, NHL, all of college sports, public schools and all public events of 250 or larger are cancelled…this is not like the flu.
- “Travel from Europe will be suspended for 30 days.” U.S. citizens and their families and legal permanent residents can still travel back to the United States through the proper channels.
- “Cargo will be banned from Europe.” Not true.
- “Health insurers had waved the costs of treatment for COVID-19 related medical expenses.” Health insurers have waved the costs of testing.
- “This is a foreign virus…Europe is the source of America’s problems.” The virus is here and is silently spreading throughout the United States at a rapid rate. This week a colleague of mine who has worked in the senior health arena for over 20 years told me that if we do not take extreme measures to deal with this pandemic, that their organization is “fully expecting record rates of senior citizen deaths in the coming months.”
As of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, globally there are “125,048 confirmed cases (4,613 deaths) worldwide. There have been 6,729 new cases in the past 24 hours…The US CDC reported a total of 1,215 cases and 36 deaths across 42 states.” Until the number of new cases starts to drop like a stone, COVID-19 is a clear and present danger. Other countries are slamming the U.S. for its slow, inadequate, and often inaccurate response.
Here is a great resource on preparedness from the Center for Disease Control as the virus continues to spread throughout the country.
Here are five things I’m doing to try to be a good citizen:
- Cancel all non-essential travel for the next three weeks, and re-evaluate then.
- Only spread information that is known to be accurate.
- I’m not going to hoard toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
- Lookout for my elderly neighbors and others who are the most vulnerable.
- Wash my hands often.
So here’s the leadership lesson I referred to earlier. My observation is that the White House staff is afraid to tell Trump the truth in situations when they think he won’t like the message. He’s demonstrated for years that when he doesn’t like the message, he “kills the messenger.” You’re fired!
Such an environment, in any organization, breeds a culture whereby people only tell boss what they think he or she will like, or that will make them look good. So much for telling someone “the truth in love.” Leaders who do not listen and heed their team’s honest feedback will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say. Leadership matters, perhaps now more than ever.
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