A PLANET IN PERIL: LEADING DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Social distancing has become the new norm and we appear to be a planet in peril. The intent of slowing the spread of this virus that plagues us today is focused, but it’s futile. The question is how big a distance is far enough? Are we going to reach a state where every person is ordered to remain quarantined inside their homes until a solution to control or eliminate it is found? There must be another answer. A \The Coronavirus pandemic crisis is in play and as I have written in previous articles, “when crisis occurs, leaders emerge.”

Crisis leads to creativity and ingenuity, but sometimes it has a massive cost. Leaders, especially in the scientific and medical communities can sometimes be faced with decisions that public opinion may challenge. Federal statues and guidelines regulate activities that may hinder the production of a solution to that crisis. Often the long-term disadvantage takes precedence over the short-term benefit. The bigger picture is what is in view.

As social climate changes and adjusts to the new norms, we have expectations of the leaders in government and experts in their respective fields to find solutions now. We anticipate that organizations like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will provide those solutions, but can we really be sure? Is it not possible that the simplest answer could be in our own homes? I remember growing up as a child when my grandmother would use herbs and concoctions to heal ailments or colds that worked better than any medical prescription. This statement does not imply that it is the answer to the problem. I am a columnist, not a physician or herbalist.

Leading during a pandemic like this coronavirus is challenging enough especially when so many are relying on our leadership to provide solutions they currently don’t have. It is easy for the population to become angered or frustrated when there appears to be minimal action. Social distancing may sound like a solution, but on the flipside, that separation can precluded others from receiving assistance they need. Of course, the provision of face masks to everyone could minimize the spread but ensuring everyone wears it could promote an even bigger problem to those with allergies.

Let’s look at other countries and how they deal with the coronavirus pandemic. According to the most recent news reporting, South Korea has reported the least number of citizens who have contracted the virus. If we observe the news feeds for that area, we notice that virtually all of them are wearing masks. Should we not get a clue? Why is it that we in America are approaching one of the highest infection rates, yet have the least common sense to do what is necessary to slow it down? Could it be that we knew the virus existed, but failed to initiate any preemptive measures to stop it from spreading?

What about the impact of global markets? How do we overcome the freefalling economy when most are focused on survival rather than solutions? We must challenge ourselves to become better thinkers because no one is going to do it for us. As stated earlier, leaders in their respective fields of medicine and science must collaborate to strategize and provide more effective methods to be employed. Business leaders must incorporate the same philosophy. Although the virus situation is occurring, there is a brighter side.

What are we doing with the time we have away from our normal activities? Is that time being used constructively or are we looking out the window wondering what will happen next? Consider that just like any other catastrophe that’s occurred, this too shall pass. Will your business be prepared? Position yourselves to think about what you can do differently. What about that business you thought about starting or that book you wanted to write? Imagine all the things you could have done, but didn’t because you never took the time? What would you do if suddenly the time was available to make it happen? Well, now you have it. Think of the positive changes you could make in your business once this crisis has passed if you conceived the idea and put a strategy in place to prepare for it. You can find good opportunities in bad situations. Take this time to become the leader you were meant to be. Just because the planet appears to be in peril doesn’t mean your business has to be.

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