The most underrated but essential task of a leader in a moment of disruption might be to maintain optimism and create a vision for the future. As a former Firefighter/EMT, it was so easy to get caught up in the incident. Flames draw focus. Damaged vehicles venting coolants after an off-set head-on collision brings a swarm of activity. On the scene, everything is trained on the incident. A leader is thinking about managing the crisis and also the care and well-being of the rest of the community. Therefore, the department does not dispatch all the rigs to the call. A few firefighters are left on standby at the station, prepared to respond to the next call, ready with the gear, and focus on being present to another set of needs.
In our work today, it has to be more than just a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. There is also an anxiety pandemic, economic recession, shelter and food crisis, unemployment, and many other casualties. What we are seeking is individuals who can assist with the immediate needs while providing hope that the future (even if it is different) will be worth the journey we are navigating.