These are tough days to be a leader.
As a Michigander, I have watched the drama in the Lansing Capitol unfold.
When we were first shutdown, everyone I know, was more than willing to stay home to be safe. None of us knew what was happening and a week or two hunkered down with our families seemed like a welcome respite.
We watched movies and played games.
But after some weeks went by, the stay-at-home stuff became tiresome.
Restless people started making noise. They wanted out and back to work.
This is where our solidarity as a state took a hit.
We began to split up Michigan. Some chose Not My Virus, Not My Governor. Others chose to follow the rules.
Today, everyone knows what PPE, PPP, Covid19, and virus is. We have identified shortcomings in preparedness and supplies. We are aware of this virus and know it has killed thousands in our state. Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, all interrelated in the fabric of family.
Our Michigan Family.
But what happens to people who have been relatively unscathed by the physical effects of this pandemic? No one they know has been infected. It starts to feel like a hoax (another term we have learned). I read yesterday why are we so afraid of a virus that 99.9% recover from? (another term: Fake data). Things start to heat up. People start to spout off on social media. Fans from other state leaders begin to ignite the fire of dissension.
So, what happens to the leader who lays out a plan based on science and data?
Well, in my state, it seems as if people don’t wanna do it. They don’t wanna not work. They don’t wanna have to social distance. They don’t wanna not go to restaurants and bars.
What they want is LIFE back to normal.
Unfortunately for them, I don’t see this happening quickly.
In the meantime, we look to Lansing, how does a leader navigate?
First of all, I find it very sad that partisan politics has gotten mixed up with the efforts to keep Michiganders safe. The most recent data I see is over 60% are willing to stay home. But I see the cost of leadership in Lansing being multifaceted. No one wants to collaborate. Lawsuits arise brought against governors across the United States because people need someone to blame.
The economy is at its worst and finger pointing is our new GO TO.
Who are we, as a human race, if we can’t do what is best for all people? What has happened to all of us as we argue about news, fake this or that, or continue to not follow the rules because we don’t wanna anymore?
What boggles my mind is that people who don’t wanna, go ahead and open businesses and defy orders. They aren’t going to be told they can’t because this is America.
Where did this rhetoric come from?
Do you think those guys that were drafted to go Viet Nam wanted to ship out to an unknown country?
Do you think that my grandpa went to war in WW2 because he thought it would be a fun experience?
This is war, folks and it is far from over.
At this historic time in history, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.
Oh wait, I think that line has been used before.
What makes America is the freedoms we have.
It is also how we pull together with spirit and guts to SUPPORT EACH OTHER.
Right now, that means listening to the phases our governor has to keep our State as free from virus as possible. To suck it up and learn what it is going to take to get things going our way again.
No one is ever successful as a leader when there is mutiny.
For all of you Michiganders that decided to morph your businesses by thinking outside the box, coming up with innovations, creating work from home venues, we need to look to you to step up. Show, guide, partner, shift the thinking. We need to be united in this effort.
Thanks for listening.