Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

Before 2020, we believed that in a crisis, leaders will lead. We were wrong.

This has been a year of realizing that what we thought was solid ground beneath our collective feet was in fact a cliff that would crumble away with just a bit of natural erosion or one sharp blow. We reflected on 2020 to find truths, exploded. This is one of them. Read more about the year that changed everything »


History is fond of remembering leaders during times of crisis. Wartime quotes by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are modern-day clichés; we laud the resolve of John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the decisiveness of Pierre Trudeau during the October Crisis, the rallying cries of Rudy Giuliani after 9/11—diminished though he now may be.

So we could be forgiven for presuming, in 2020, that elected leaders are a priori equipped for crisis management. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which pits economic survival against public health and personal freedom—in such an insidiously granular way that the actions of every individual have lethal consequences—has overturned that idea. We are not fighting al-Qaeda terrorists or Nazi armies. During a health pandemic, leaders must not be generals, but strict parents. And when they fail to protect us, we know who to blame.

A clear correlation has emerged between the quality of crisis leadership and the severity of the virus. Apolitical factors like geography and urban density ravaged cities early on, yet didn’t explain how South Korea—a land mass the size of Newfoundland with a population of 50 million—slid by, as of mid-October, with just 25,000 cases and fewer than 500 deaths. Nor did it explain how Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in March, successfully flattened its curve by April; nor how Greece stayed totally under COVID’s radar until August; nor how Sweden, whose leadership infamously rejected lockdowns and restrictions, had been walloped as of early November by roughly 6,000 deaths compared to fewer than 700 in both neighbouring Finland and Norway.

OUR EDITORIAL: Looking at truths, exploded

The success stories in this mix paint a clear picture of what works: transparent, consistent messaging from the highest levels of government that resonates with the populace. Nancy Koehn, a Harvard professor and author of Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times, boils crisis management down to four tenets: acknowledging uncertainty, giving people roles, leaning into experimentation and tending to emotion. In other words, the best crisis leaders blend transparency, courage, flexibility and empathy.

These qualities aren’t always what voters look for. In the U.S., desired leadership qualities—like everything else—run along party lines. According to a YouGov survey in August, Republicans tilt toward strength while Democrats veer toward honesty. Only 48 per cent of Republicans saw empathy as an important quality, compared with 69 per cent of Democrats. And Donald Trump, to put it mildly, could never see past those preferences to the wisdom of Koehn’s tenets.

Leaders who did are reaping rewards. In New Zealand—a nation with just 25 COVID-related deaths—Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a landslide re-election in October. The premiers of British Columbia and New Brunswick successfully capitalized on their boosted numbers to transform minority governments into majorities.

Zigzagging, meanwhile, proved hazardous. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ontario Premier Doug Ford flipped from lax reactions to strict lockdowns, later settling somewhere in between. Both leaders downplayed the virus at first, then saw their approval ratings skyrocket in April and May after they adopted a tone of transparency, humility, compassion and courage.

But with a second wave under way, both jurisdictions’ death tolls are rising again—and their respective leaders’ popularity is dropping. There are political penalties for overreacting, but fatal consequences for underacting. For overconfident leaders, the true enemy may not be the virus, but their own hubris.

14 things 2020 proved wrong


‘Democracy is destiny’

The worst system except for all the others has been under attack for years. Trump just made us notice.


‘The future is virtual’

The pandemic has made it clear in more ways than we would have thought to count: you actually need to be there


‘Rich countries can overcome’

The awful response to the pandemic put the final nail in the myth of liberal democracy’s pre-eminence


‘In a crisis, leaders will lead’

The job description is right in their title, but too many simply failed to show up for work


‘Women are winning at work’

The economic crisis spurred by the pandemic has unveiled inequalities and obstacles once thought a thing of the past


‘The individual is supreme’

Our decades-long love affair with rugged independence has suddenly fallen away


‘The stock market has meaning’

Long treated as a key economic indicator by many, it is now completely detached from how the economy is actually doing


‘Climate change can’t be stopped’

After decades of planet-threatening growth, emissions fell off a cliff. Environmentalists sense a turning point.


‘We value our seniors’

Decades of promises to improve the quality of life of elderly Canadians have gone unfulfilled


‘Kids are resilient’

Children’s ability to bounce back has been pushed to a breaking point, and exposed some ugly inequalities


‘Running errands is boring’

Rushing out to get milk was once the height of tedium. Today, it’s an anxiety-inducing thrill ride.


‘We need the gym’

The pandemic shutdown forced a reality check: for many, all that time spent in the gym was more luxury than necessity


‘Bureaucracy is slow’

The pandemic forced a culture shift on government, proving that red tape really can be cut


‘You can ignore racism’

Denying systemic racism is no longer tenable. But will the outrage of the past summer translate to substantive change?

The post Before 2020, we believed that in a crisis, leaders will lead. We were wrong. appeared first on Macleans.ca.




Read also

We should’ve known Jets’ Adam Gase era was doomed from the start

Rita Ora’s apology slammed as ‘ridiculous and fake’ by furious fans after admitting fears for her NHS nurse mum in March

‘Melania hates Christmas’: Twitter Resistance ignores Biden’s call for civility, attacks first lady over decorations video



News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro




Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here