Effective leadership can improve public response to coronavirus precautions

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Blue face masks. (Karolina Grabowska / Pexels)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Not everyone associates empathy, integrity, or gratitude with good leadership. Still, those traits help make up the top ten qualities of the most effective leaders, according to the Center for Creative Leadership.

Top ten qualities of effective leaders

  • Integrity
  • Ability to delegate
  • Communication
  • Self-awareness
  • Gratitude
  • Learning agility
  • Influence
  • Empathy
  • Courage
  • Respect

Source: Center for Creative Leadership

Senior Faculty Program Director for Graduate Business Programs at Excelsior College, Michele Paludi, Ph.D., has been studying what effective leadership looks like for more than 40 years. She has also written 56 books centered around leadership.

When asked what politicians can do to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, she said they should model the type of behavior they are trying to promote. In other words, they should lead by example, wearing a mask and social distancing in public.

“People want this virus to be contained. They want to have a leader who is demonstrating that they know what to do, that they are listening to what the experts in the field have to say and demonstrate it themselves. But in all of that, doing so in a way that is kind, compassionate, caring…,” Paludi said.

Having the trust of the people they guide is also an important characteristic of effective leaders. It’s what improves employee engagement by almost 80%, according to research from Comparecamp.com.

Some of the best ways to avoid catching or spreading the coronavirus are through mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing/using hand sanitizer, avoiding large crowds, and staying home when not feeling well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Paludi said the best way to ensure Americans are doing those things is by seeing politicians adhering to the same guidelines and in turn could assist the country in reducing or eliminating the coronavirus.

In terms of goals and success, Paludi said an authoritarian or tyrannical form of leadership is successful in the short term. However, servant-minded leaders who focus on the happiness of employees and constituents, or transformational leaders who empower their subordinates, are better at achieving long term goals.

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