According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a staggering 203,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus during the first three month of the novice pandemic (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020). Leaders’ behaviors and choices can have a profound impact on various stakeholders (Gandolfi & Stone, 2018). Amidst the current COVID-19 crisis, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio exhibited mixed leadership attributes.
This research paper aims to evaluate and discuss the leadership attributes of Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, including effective communication, empathy, compassion, and inspiration. During challenging and potentially chaotic times, excellent leaders are often distinguished from the clutter.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have effective communication skills. The two political leaders remained candid and blunt during the coronavirus crisis, discussing the extent of the threat, the financial and human costs, and interventions that were put in place to curb its spread. The two leaders exhibited a reasonable level of transparency in their communication by willing to admit mistakes. For example, Governor Cuomo acknowledged that New York failed to prepare adequately for the threat posed by the crisis, consequently leading to unprecedented human cost (Beheshti, 2020).
Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio demonstrate empathy and compassion in their response to the pandemic. Both leaders acknowledged the challenges in relation to the response to COVID-19 pandemic and strived to cultivate unity and community within their region. Despite remaining calm and clear-sighted, Governor Cuomo talked about the pandemic and its devastating consequences in deeply personal, human terms. As a show of empathy and compassion, Mayor de Blasio announced in early 2020 that his government would pardon 900 convicts who committed non-violent crimes.
Despite being reactive and underestimating the threat posed by the pandemic, the two leaders were strategic in their responses. Governor Cuomo established clear goals to guide response efforts: flattening the curve and increasing capacity, as well as clear measures for realizing each objective. Similarly, Mayor de Blasio laid down a robust plan focused on facilitating recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic put Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to test in regard to their leadership qualities. Demonstrating effective communication, empathy, and compassion towards the needs and challenges of people, as well as being strategic in their response to the crisis facilitated recovery.
Beheshti, N. (2020). Steady hand in a crisis: What business leaders can learn from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Forbes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). COVID-19 Outbreak — New York City, 2020.
Gandolfi, F., & Stone, S. (2018). Leadership, leadership styles, and servant leadership. Journal of Management Research, 18(4), 261-269.