Cutting through the glut of COVID-19 advice to the essentials of good leadership.
By Robert Evans and Michael Thompson
In a crisis, especially one so unprecedented as COVID-19, many people, particularly those of us in the helping professions, want to help. Since 9/11, nearly 200 mass shootings—most of them in schools—have spawned an ever-growing number of mental health practitioners, educators, clergy, grief counselors, and leadership gurus, among others, eager to offer crisis support and guidance to school leaders. Their advice is well-meaning, but much of it is overelaborate and contradictory and ignores a core truth: however new and complex the crisis, the essentials of leading a school through it are old and simple. By this we don’t mean “easy,” but “basic.” Leading through COVID-19 calls for the application of fundamentals that have always been vital to good leadership, and that, fortunately, are already part of most school heads’ practice. They begin with courage.