Every crisis reveals the truth about systems, processes, and people. Amidst the tears and the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic there are many valuable lessons to be learned. People will be the focal point of this discussion today: recognizing the Unfiltered View of society and what attracts us to Crisis Leaders.
Most would agree that crisis, or more precisely the stress of crisis, brings out the best and the worst in people. Specifically, it gives an objective and honest view of people: what motivates them, how they think, and how they naturally behave. This is the unfiltered view of society – where you can’t fake concern, altruism, motivation or anything; you behave as who you really are because of the pressure of the situation.
I have had the privilege of treating over 100,000 patients in emergency departments over my career. Every ED in the nation is a window revealing how our society behaves in crisis. Reflect for a moment: no one ever plans to have an emergency, from a minor injury to a life-threatening event. Each of these disrupts that individual’s life and often that of friends and family; when you mix that with loss of control, pain, inconvenient wait, and a negative personal fiscal impact – the result is a crisis. Sound eerily familiar to a mini pandemic? Such a “stress test” or “crisis” reveals the truth about who that person is: selfless or selfish, resilient or frail, optimistic or pessimistic, kind or indifferent.