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COVID-19 and Implications in this Course

COVID-19 and Implications in this Course
The Covid-19 pandemic has become one of the most challenging global crisis in the history of our planet. I offer this observation not because the consequences of the pandemic have been the most devastating ever recorded. Although far too many have lost their lives to this terrible virus nor simply because of its scope. Which has clearly become a global concern. Covid has become one of the most challenging global crisis in history. Because it’s placed a spotlight on the effectiveness of our leaders. Around the world people have watched with great interest governmental leaders, business and community leaders. And even leaders of families, as they’ve assessed the situation, considered the advice of trusted advisers, made decisions, implemented them.
And then we’re forced to deal with the consequences of their choices. And these leaders haven’t been doing this in the privacy of their own homes. Their actions have been very public. The blessing and curse of our ability to leverage technology for vast and rapid communication have resulted in a reality. Where the decisions made by leaders at any level can be broadcast, analyzed, scrutinized, spun. And manipulated in ways that we’ve never seen at such scale. But even more importantly, the Covid pandemic has highlighted the need for improved crisis readiness. For better ways of planning for crisis. For better ways of managing a crisis. For better ways of communicating during a crisis. For better crisis leadership.
Or what we’ll refer to in this course as high-stakes leadership. Covid has illustrated to all of us that unprepared, uninformed, and incompetent high-stakes leadership is not only lethal. But has raised questions about the purpose of leadership. And the expectations any of us should have of a leader during a crisis. As an academic, I have a biased toward finding lessons in any situation. Having watched the Covid pandemic play out over several months. It is clear that we have much to learn as a result. As you begin your exploration of high-stakes leadership in this course. I’ll ask you to keep in mind something that all of us have experienced during the Covid-19 crisis. That we’re all naturally wired for self-preservation.
And how difficult it can be to think about how our thoughts and deeds can impact those around us. Those who could benefit from our support. Those who may need our help to navigate these complex and uncertain times. All of us have spent a good bit of our time thinking about the way that the Covid-19 crisis is or has impacted us as individuals. This is representative of the way that all of us tend to think about crisis when they appear. What does this mean to me? How does this impact me? Think about how you’ve processed the plethora of information, guidance, and regulation being directed at you. And what seems like a continuous stream.
Did you feel as though you knew how to interpret this information, and guidance? Did you know what to do as a result? Even as an individual, as a single member of a community, it was. And will continue to be challenging to know how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic going forward. And I’m in the boat with you. Times like these can be very very difficult to navigate. What are these challenges we have as individuals tell us about the critical need for crisis leadership? Certainly, we would all benefit from governmental, community, and business leaders. Who were prepared for a crisis. And could help deal more effectively with this or any crisis. Is there a lesson here for each of us?
I believe there is. And the lesson is that in any crisis, we have the opportunity sometimes the responsibility to help others. If we can project the way we felt about our concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic on those around us. We will have a sense of what they might need from us. This I will argue throughout the course is the purpose of leadership. The ability to understand, appreciate, and respond to the needs of those who depend on or could benefit from actions that you could take with their interests in mind. Actions that you could take that would benefit others. This course is not focused exclusively on the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s been designed to help you build a set of tools and capabilities. That will help you prevent and prepare for future crisis. As you’ll see in the activities that follow however, much of what you will learn can apply immediately to any crisis situation. You will certainly be counting on yourself to make it through the next crisis. Will others be able to count on you as well? Hopefully, with what you are about to learn in this course, they will indeed.
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High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis

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