Where are the solutions? Clue us in!
The one thing that has held true during this time is that we are changing the way we communicate and adapting to the new normal. There are a lot more virtual meetings, town halls and people on Facebook Live sharing information. I have been doing Facebook Lives to provide updates on things that are transpiring, resources that our campaign has put together and reminders that at this moment we are still in control of our lives. It’s important for us to focus on the things we can control.
During this time I have had opportunities to listen to others in regards to the severity of the pandemic and all of the things that are not working in the city. While we applaud and appreciate those who are stepping up to the plate, our leaders seem perplexed about why more has not been done for various issues.
I am reading Dare to Lead by Brene Brown and in the beginning of the book there is a line that reads, “We need braver leaders and more courageous cultures.” As I read that I thought about our leadership and how important it is to have the right leaders. Right now, it would be ideal to have leadership from the Federal, State and local levels who lead without ego or undermining each other. Right now, we look like the Divided States of America and the President is not helping when he reinforces the idea that some states should liberate themselves.
Let’s be honest, if this pandemic was an episode of the Apprentice, Trump would be fired. I am almost tempted to contact the show producers to see if they could help us out with that. But seriously, as the leader of this country and as a business person, it is illogical that you would not want to leverage the buying power of the states to make purchases for the things that are required at this moment. That’s like – Business 101. It is disappointing to see that someone who ran on being such a savvy business is unable to grasp that concept. At the end of the day, it is all of our money and right now we are not obtaining the maximum use of that money because we don’t have the right leadership. In a game show it plays well to the cameras to pit teams against one another. However, during a crisis like a global pandemic, it is inappropriate.
The President is literally pitting Governor’s against each other in the United States of America. What does that say about our local leaders who are not brave or courageous enough to do the right thing even when it is difficult or unpopular. Leadership isn’t just about being able to keep your position for years because you know how to play the game. Leadership is about being brave and courageous and saying and doing the hard stuff.
I applaud those Governors who are banning together, working together and easing the minds of their constituents by assuring them through their actions that things are under control. I would love to see more of that type of leadership on the local level. While we have to address the issues at hand; ideally we need to do so while being forward thinking and presenting the public with clear long term solutions to ensure that we are never in this situation again. We can’t control the pandemic, but we can control our response to it now and in any future instances. It is important that in addition to identifying and discussing the issues, we talk about what we want to see going forward. That is what we need our leaders to focus on right now – creating policies and procedures that will secure the future of us all.
At this moment it is great for our leadership to go out to different communities to distribute food, masks, PPEs etc. I am sure it makes the community feel good to see them out there. However, is that enough? Do we really want to pay someone who is making $150K or more to manage those tasks? Do we view that as leadership and giving back to the community or do we want our leaders to be drawing up plans, creating policies and procedures that will ensure there will be effective change not only in this moment but in the future?
Right now, on a parallel track we need to focus on:
Job creation and how we are going to bring the small business community back. The time is now for us to start thinking about what new positions this pandemic has created. We need to implement a plan around job creation and a strategy on the development of any necessary training programs.
Labor efficiencies that have been identified. Is a four day work week an option? Do we really need an 8 hour and five day work week? Many employees have shown that when working from home they can be trusted to get the job done. How can we ease the burden of going into an office and allow people to truly create work/life balance? Doing so will also ease the burden on our transportation system.
Education and the new normal as it relates to how we educate our children. We need to ensure that we are thinking about equipment, technical assistance, what worked online and what we can implement going forward. Is a four day school week an option?
Healthcare and what we need to do to ensure that everyone has proper healthcare and that everyone has regular checkups to both a general practitioner and dentist. These things need to become a part of a regular routine for everyone and it should be something that is considered part of a new basic healthcare plan. At a minimum perhaps we can create a network of practitioners that anyone can go to for a basic check up and teeth cleaning with or without healthcare.
Listen, there have been times in my life when I have gone through some tough times. In my family you wouldn’t go to our parents because all you would get was a lecture on how you know better so you had to figure it out. So I have had those, “I will never do that again moments”, where I examined what brought me to a particular situation and what I needed to change to ensure that I never was in that position again.
At this moment it is my hope that our leaders are doing the same type of analysis saying, “we should never do that again”, and putting plans in place to finally right many of the wrongs that have existed in this country for years. If they are let’s ensure that those will be impacted the most by those decisions are included in the decision making. Let’s be solution based and create a brighter future for us all. I’m ready and I am sure you are too. Let’s start talking about what post COVID-19 looks like!