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Coronavirus Leadership -- Governor Andrew Cuomo

What does leadership look like? Look no further than the governor of New York.

by Eric Holdeman / March 24, 2020

The governor of New York has been holding daily coronavirus news conferences to update the situation on COVID-19. I do occasionally catch bits and pieces of those briefings. As an emergency manager, that is the leader I want to serve.

I say that because he has the following qualities:

  • He is direct, he is not sugarcoating the circumstances his state is in
  • He is plan spoken so that people can understand what he is saying
  • He provides hope without tossing out platitudes on that topic
  • The examples he gives, metaphors like "closing the valve" for restricting movement helps people understand the situation
  • He takes responsibility!!!

On this last point, when he was closing off all nonessential travel and basically giving a "stay at home" order, he took responsibility for the decision. He said he consulted with county and city officials about the action and many were worried about the ramifications of doing so. He didn't say it, but basically, "Who's going to take the blame for doing this?"

At that news conference, he said it loud and clear. "I am responsible for these actions. No one else is responsible. If you want to blame anyone, blame me!" It is a character trait our own "national command authority" could assume to build trust with the American people, where there is none today -- except for a small segment that would buy ocean-front property in Arizona if he was selling it. In a few years he may be doing just that. 

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