Mapping Effective Covid-19 Engagement: Four Responses to the Challenge
We find that this accumulation of prestigious credentials is found not only in the ancient world of Alexander, but also in contemporary society. Men (and more recently women) who have graduated from such American universities as Harvard, Yale or Stanford are assumed to be not only prepared for leadership but also, in some way, deserving of leadership. They have studied hard in high school (supposedly), which enabled them to be selected to a highly competitive college or university. Many of them have gone on to earn an advanced degree for one of these prestigious institutions. In the face of our COVID-19 virus challenge, wisdom-based leadership is assigned to physicians and health care researchers (especially epidemiologists) from high status universities and institutes. Even more importantly, these wise leaders must be able to stand and illuminate at a Golden Yellow distance—without outside agendas or personal bias.
In recent months, we see this assignment of legitimacy not only to governmental, university and research institute “experts” but also “renegade” physicians who offer a radically different perspectives on the COVID-19 virus. We might readily assume that they must have something important to say if they are wearing a white coat or show us their diploma. We might even devalue the perspectives and advice offered by those with the most experience. Whether justified or not, we might reverse the usually bias in favor of experience as a source of wisdom. It may end up that we don’t want to accept information provided by a battle-weary veteran. They are likely to be biased given their too-close and often distorted and irrational (post-traumatic) perspective — though they might actually possess better first-hand knowledge than either the Golden Yellow analyst standing at a distance or the renegade physician who definitely comes to the deliberations with an agenda.