Presented on July 8, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided remarkable leadership challenges and opportunities. Having been through the escalation and emergency stages (1 and 2), many regions across Canada have been wading uncomfortably in the recovery stage (3), which requires a vast array of leadership capabilities. This prolonged limbo-like stage is taking its toll on people’s mental health, as well as the economy, and the pressure to open things up is countered by the looming threat of a second wave and the need to prepare for it. At the same time, we have seen outstanding examples of leadership, rapid innovation, and collaborations that far exceed pre-crisis experiences. Health leaders are now tasked with striking the best balance between health, safety and freedom, preparing for another emergency and encouraging and supporting innovation, and providing care and support for staff, while at the same time motivating them with purpose and direction.