Leadership in Action in a Crisis: Governor Andrew Cuomo

Leslie Grossman,  The Voice for Courageous Collaborative Leadership Among Women and Men

In the midst of a crisis, we look to our leaders to enable us to endure and persist.

Leadership in Action in a Crisis-Governor Andrew CuomoI have been listening to Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State speak at his daily press conferences addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. I have been astounded by his confidence, clarity, directness and overall communications skills. He shares mostly bad news as the number of Corona Virus cases in New York State and New York City continues to increase. Yet, I feel inspired and more courageous after listening to him. Great leaders do that. Think about Churchill, FDR and Nelson Mandela. As a leadership coach, I am attuned to notice examples of great leadership and help leaders practice new behaviors.

Here’s my view of the nine (9) actions practiced by great leaders as exemplified by Governor Andrew Cuomo:

  1. Share your Vision. Governor Cuomo shares a vision of losing a minimum of lives during the Pandemic. He enables us to see a ‘positive’ result at the end of the tunnel.
  2. Share a Precise Strategy to make the Vision a reality. Closing the doors of non-essential businesses, mandating people to stay in their homes and keep a social distance are among the strategies he has mandated.
  3. Be Clear and Direct about the challenges being faced and the solutions. Cuomo stated in detail the challenges and the actions required.
  4. Leaders show Respect to their teams by Consulting and Listening to them. Gov. Cuomo shows respect by listening to his internal team as well as external experts and implementing their guidance in his strategy.
  5. Acknowledge your team and your constituency for the contributions they are making. In addition to his advisors, he acknowledges the efforts of the medical community, the delivery people, those in essential businesses and all those that are working towards reaching the Vision.
  6. Build Trust with your people by being honest, consistent and truthful.
  7. Take Responsibility for your decisions and admit to mistakes or missteps. Cuomo has boldly stated at press conferences that he takes full responsibility for the mandates he has made and to solving this crisis in New York State.
  8. Great leaders practice Authenticity and Empathy. Cuomo has shown his humanity to all people, not only in his state, but in the U.S. and the world, by sharing his feelings, and how he cares for every living life. He shares personal stories about his Mother, and reveals his personal fears and vulnerability, and in doing so he unveils his character.
  9. Great leaders are Inspirational. The Governor inspires us by his heartfelt emotion, tone and body language. He challenges the private and public sectors to provide what is needed to meet the challenges of this pandemic. He is clear that the People of New York State – who are at the epicenter of the pandemic – are his priority. He states with intensity that he won’t stop until he gets what is needed to save as many people as possible and finally, to end this plague, achieving his vision and ours.

For more information about leadership insights during challenging times, contact Leslie Grossman, Executive Leadership Coach and Faculty Director, Women’s Leadership, The George Washington University – CEPL, Leslie@lesliegrossmanleadership.com.

About the Author: Leslie Grossman lives her purpose – developing, coaching and transforming women executives and entrepreneurs to achieve their personal visions of success.  Her focus is on supporting and training women to become effective communicators with leadership presence and confidence and to build trusted relationships throughout their careers. Founder of the Women’s Leadership Exchange, a national conference program from 2001 – 2010, a former business owner, and a Chair for Vistage International, Leslie is an executive leadership coach, trainer, speaker and facilitator of groups and advisory boards.  She presents workshops to many organizations, including LATAM Business School, Impact Leadership 21 and Leading with Edge; and is a senior fellow and on the faculty of The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership. She is the author of two books, “Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections “(Wiley) and “Sellsation: How Companies Can Capture Today’s Hottest Market: Women Business Owners and Executives “(WPE Press). Her TEDx Talk: “The Value of Having an Entourage” is highly viewed and espouses how the most innovative ideas and results come from collaborating among trusted allies.  She can be reached at Leslie@lesliegrossmanleadership.com