Friday, May 1, 2020

Good Leaders Model Good Behavior

Interesting things have transpired in the news media over the past week.

One theme which caught my attention was the differing response to creating and following rules about wearing face masks in public. 

Leaders follow rules and provide an example for others to emulate. They reinforce good behavior my modeling that behavior. 

Which brings me to to images that I captured this week. I was careful to choose two Republican leaders so that there can be no thought that I am providing a partisan view of leadership. 

Vice President Pence in the Mayo Clinic
April 28, 2020
For the first exhibit, I have the now infamous image of our Vice President in the Mayo Clinic clearly not following the rules regarding the wearing of face protection while visiting patients. Some leaders are so vain that they will not emulate good behavior. Notice that everyone else is wearing a mask. The explanation for not wearing a mask is not sufficient. According to CNN reporting, here is the Vice President's rationale for not wearing a mask:

"As vice president of the United States I'm tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus," he said, citing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicate wearing a mask can prevent those who have the virus from spreading it unwittingly.
"Since I don't have the coronavirus, I thought it'd be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers these incredible health care personnel and look them in the eye and say thank you," he said.

But, as I wrote, wearing a mask in not only about the singular view of the Vice President in this matter, it is about modeling behavior for people to follow. If the Vice President believes that he is exempt from the guidelines and rules, then there will be many others who similarly believe that the rules and guidelines do not apply to them. 

Governor Larry Hogan Walking into a News Conference
April 29, 2020
Turning now to a Republican governor--Larry Hogan of Maryland who holds regular news conferences. Governor Hogan the other day gave a news conference and, as in his previous conferences, he wore a mask. I find it interesting because there is apparently at least six feet of spacing around the participants, but the governor wore a mask with the exception of the time he spent at the podium. 

Leaders lead!

Leaders need to recognize that everything they do is leading their constituents. If they follow rules--they are leading. If they flout the rules--that too is sending a message. 

Good leaders model good behavior.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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