The Long Tail of COVID-19 Crisis Leadership - Your Organization's Future is Now

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

covid19-stop-physician-burnout-physician-leadership-mark-cuban-long-tail_opt150WAttention Senior Healthcare Leaders - your personal leadership response to this COVID-19 crisis will lock in the culture of your teams for the next 5 years.

  • The tail is long
  • The time for leadership is now
  • How are you showing up?

When the pandemic forces your people to strap on their PPE for each shift, putting themselves at daily risk in order to serve the sick and dying - they are watching for any signs that someone has their back. 

If we polled them ...
... how do you think your people would rate the quality of your crisis leadership, on a 0 -10 scale?

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Are you stepping up to the challenge, maximizing your efforts to be the kind of leader people want to follow?

  • Do you have a clear understanding of what is going on in the trenches?
  • Are you are doing everything you can to give your people the tools to do their job right?
  • Are you present, visible and in daily communication - in person when possible and by every virtual means at your disposal if you cannot be there in person?
  • Have you personally said Thank You to every one of your team members in the last week?
  • Are you are rallying the troops and visiting the fallen?


Are you simply doubling down on the usual administrative punch list -- in meetings, putting out fires -- invisible to your people in the Emergency Departments, Urgent Cares, wards, wings and isolation facilities. Meetings are important ... and completely insufficient in times like these.


What you do or don't do now - will be burned into the memory of everyone around you in the years ahead.

When the chips were down ... did you have my back?

Or were you AWOL and invisible in the ivory towers and management silos of the professional administrator?

I urge all physicians who lead work teams and all healthcare leaders of teams caring for COVID-19 patients to STEP UP.
This is not a skirmish, it is an 18 month siege. We are just getting started. Do not delay.

Show people you have their back. Be the kind of leader people want to follow into battle.

BE ...

  • Informed, transparent, truthful
  • Empathetic, omnipresent, supportive, thankful
  • And communicating at 10X of your usual volume and frequency

Your people are watching.

They will remember these times, for the rest of their lives in some cases.  

Your leadership actions will determine your team's effectiveness today and the culture of your work teams for at least the next five years. Mark Cuban says the long tail of your crisis leadership could define your organization for decades.

The fire of this outbreak can drive you closer depending on how you respond. You can quickly jump to new levels of connection, collaboration and effectiveness

OR ...

You can do your best to keep your head down, hope that no one notices and that this pandemic blows over quickly. That course of action a powerful message to your teams, clear as crystal - no one has your back back now or in the future

What is it going to be?

Take a look in the mirror. Your people, your patients and your future is at stake.

Carpe Diem




What are your senior leaders doing well in this crisis?


Tags: Physician Leadership, stop physician burnout, Pandemic