I have been in the leadership business since I was a cadet at Virginia Military Institute in 1969. As an Army officer, we were not converted into “wartime” CEOs, our constant context was war. That was what we were trained to do.
It is like nails on a blackboard when I hear venture capitalists describe the “wartime CEO” using the Army as a context.
All of this has drawn me to assess the leadership of the country in the context of the WutangCurse.
The nature of leaders
The WutangCurse is a crisis and it will require stalwart, sound, optimistic leadership to navigate the medical, the intellectual, the psychological, and the economic shoals of this dilemma.
We do not have perfect leaders. Life gives us leaders who may be or become perfect for that challenge.
Today, I think we have two of them: President Donald J Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Winston Churchill, an exemplar
Winston Churchill was the perfect leader for England and what would become the Allies — long before the United States entered into the war — when on the heels of Dunkirk, he spoke directly to Hitler and told him England would resist the Nazis with ever fiber of their being.
In the Parliament of the United Kingdom, 4 June 1940, having lost his army’s heavy weapons in France, his army in tatters, Prime Minister (since 10 May 1940, the date upon which the Nazis launched their attack against the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) Winston Churchill, rose and said in his inimitable voice:
“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender.”