Mapping Effective Covid-19 Engagement: Four Responses to the Challenge

Mapping Effective Covid-19 Engagement: Four Responses to the Challenge

In sum, this is the key to successful enactment of a vision. It must induce a sense of community and shared commitment. It cannot just be the product of one person’s sense of the future. Agape must be deeply embedded in any vision regarding the COVID-19 virus. During our current challenging era, we must cherish other people (“thou”) rather than treating them as numbers or economic units (“it”). “Thou” leads to mutual caring and consideration of one another’s welfare, whereas “It” requires nothing more than looking after our own short-term, individual interests (which is very tempting in a time of stress and virus-related fear). Without the Thou relationship, we are stranded and unable to move collectively into a desired post-virus future.

The Challenges of Visionary Leadership and Strategies

The organizational, community or national leader who is honored and respected for their capacity to convey a compelling vision of the future needs a viable vision (just as the Ruby Red leader needs an enemy and the Golden Yellow leader needs to possess wisdom). If people are bound together through commitment to a shared vision, then it becomes obvious that two key roles must be played by visionary Azure Blue leaders. They must help keep the vision alive and help prepare a new vision. This usually means not only that the leader periodically reminds other people of the current vision, but also that the leader facilitates a periodic review of and updating of the vision. The Azure Blue leader of vision is in trouble if the vision either is ignored or if the vision is reached. Thus, there must always be a sense of something undone, of something yet to be done, of something worth doing.

At the present time, we must envision a successful resolution of the COVID-19 crisis as well as begin planning for the post-virus era. Without an unfulfilled vision there is no need for hope or commitment to the cause. If the virus miraculously goes away, then what do we do? We confiscate our future and walk away with nothing new about which to dream. What will become of the epidemiologist and other health care specialists who are now articulating compelling (and hopefully realistic) goals when the COVID-19 virus is eradicated (or at least contained)?

Will we cease listening to them—even though they have important statements to make about post-virus policies and goals? Will legislative bodies set aside important discussions regarding the funding of health care and preparation for future pandemics once COVID-19 fades into the background? Who will step in to articulate a new vision – and will this vision be trivial and short term, or will it be uplifting? Will it elevate or diminish the human spirit and sense of community? Will a shared vision even be possible?

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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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