Friday, December 18, 2020

Leadership: Responsible for All


I have written and skirted the issue of leadership during the pandemic. As most of you know I do not believe, based upon the evidence, that the current administration has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, but rather has attempted to distance itself from the mounting tragedy which embodies America's response.

The basis of my assessment is that America has about 4 percent of the world's population and 20 percent of the coronavirus deaths. Distilled down, and not addressing the economic toll, that is the basis for my assessment. The most advanced and capable country in the world has failed by almost every measure to protect not only its population, but its economy. Yes, the stock market is still strong--but that is not a measure of the economic strength.

Leaders own it all! The good, the bad, and the ineffective.

Effective leaders know they are responsible for it all. Really good leaders do not take credit for the successes--they heap thepraise for the successes on their people. They realize that success does not happen without a great team. Take the vaccine deliveries. The drug companies did a great job expediting the production and delivery of the vaccines and they were aided by the government streamlining some regulatory issues. Who should get the credit? The drug companies!

The explosive unemployment, the economic disaster that is the U.S. right now, the quarantines and the isolation, the skyrocketing death rate--who gets the blame? The leader. 

That is how leadership is--it is not a popularity contest and leaders cannot pick and choose what is their responsibility. They are responsible for all of it. Leaders cannot try to separate the vaccine from the death rate because they are all responsible for all of it. 

A good leader accepts when they fall short and stands up and takes the blame for the team and vows to turn it around and do better, not sulking off to a Florida retreat to ride out the pandemic. 

I do not understand how a leader gets a free pass where people heap credit for producing a vaccine--which really he had nothing to do with while failing to protect Americans resulting in the deaths of over 300,000 of our fellow citizens. 

A true leader is responsible for it all. It is tough and maybe not fair--but, it is what came with the job.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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