I’ve watched more live news coverage in the last week than I have in the last five years. I cut cable several years ago, and I limit myself to daily perusal of the headlines from several credible news outlets, stopping only to read in-depth if it’s a topic I’m interested in or that I need to know.

anthony-fauci-andrew-cuomo-quintessential-leadershipI have had, by listening to the daily briefings on COVID-19 from the White House, the opportunity to see quintessential leadership. And unquintessential leadership.

I’ve also had the chance to see quintessential leadership at the state and local levels, and I’ve also seen unquintessential leadership.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Governor Andrew Cuomo (New York) have shown a lot of quintessential leadership in the way they have addressed the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 in the United States (New York is now the epicenter, leading the nation in confirmed cases and in deaths).

Both Dr. Fauci and Governor Cuomo deal in facts, science, logic, and common sense. They are open with their concerns about national policies and reactions to COVID-19, but they state their concerns calmly and rationally, based on evidence, not on whatever pops into their heads.

Both men are clearly looking out for the best interests and the welfare of the people they are responsible for. Neither Dr. Fauci nor Governor Cuomo displays self-aggrandizement or self-interests in their discussions about the best ways to handle this pandemic on the ground.

donald-trump-unquinessential-leadershipThis is in very stark contrast to the words and actions of President Donald Trump, who, once again, is demonstrating the qualities of unquintessential leadership that have been displayed over and over. They are clearly an integral part of who President Trump is.

I have a hard time listening to the rambling, deflecting, and, frankly, clueless, briefings the president insists on giving each day. The lies and the exaggerations are too numerous too count. The blame game in full swing. The foolish and boastful swagger of narcissism that makes Muhammad Ali seem like a very humble man, in comparison.

The repetition of the same talking points day after day. Some days President Trump seems sort of controlled (until someone in the media asks a question he doesn’t like, and then the real President Trump comes back). Other days, President Trump seems like he’s off his medications, wildly teetering from one crazy thing to another.

In the midst of this unquintessential leadership display that is actually quite embarrassing, it’s easy, if we’re thinking critically and logically, to fact-check him and that becomes even more embarrassing to see how much untruth is in this man.

Hopefully, the voices of sanity and science will prevail in America during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the voices of people who are demonstrating characteristics of quintessential leadership.

We, however, who are striving to become quintessential leaders, need to be checking ourselves in relationship to these competing examples of people who are in leadership positions.

I have no interest in politics, parties, ideologies, or personalities. That is not what quintessential leadership is about. Instead, it’s about doing what’s right all the time, no matter what. It’s about serving others. It’s about honesty. It’s about integrity.

It’s clear which side of the leadership equation Dr. Fauci and Governor Cuomo fall on in this situation. It’s also clear which side of the leadership equation President Trump falls on.

We should always fall on the right side of the leadership equation ourselves in every situation.

How are we doing?

  1. Martha says:



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