In the wake of the unprecedented global challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, leadership and decision-making have emerged as critical factors shaping the course of nations and communities. Therefore, leaders should possess good communication skills for interaction with the aim of passing information (University of Minnesota, 2016). In most cases, leadership is associated with complex beliefs and influence which will promote the functioning of a given group. Additionally, leadership is associated with traits that are unique in the society. Leaders do emerge based on competence as well as communication skills. The outbreak has tested the resilience of healthcare systems through the application of leadership skills to solve the crises caused by the pandemic. Leaders have been placed in the spotlight, demanding swift and effective decision-making to navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving crisis. This reflective essay explores my observations and experiences regarding leadership and decision-making during the global event of the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing insights from the readings, particularly “Communication in the Real World” and “Leadership,” to shed light on the intricate dynamics that unfolded during these challenging times.
My firsthand observations reveal a spectrum of leadership styles in response to the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership is associated with goal setting and various styles. Autocratic decisions, marked by swift action, coexisted with democratic approaches that sought collaborative solutions. As the name suggests, democracy is concerned with the consideration of the views of a group before making any decisions (University of Minnesota, 2016, p.801). Additionally, laissez-faire leadership, allowing groups to implement decisions, became apparent. Autocratic leaders will assume full control of groups and the decision-making process (Organizational Communication Channel, 2020. This type of leadership exhibits centralized power. My experiences underscored the adaptability demanded by the dynamic and evolving nature of the public health crisis. The urgency, the constant influx of information, and the cultural and demographic context influenced the decision-making process. Examining leadership and power dynamics through communication studies revealed the nuances inherent in leadership actions (University of Minnesota, 2016). Legitimate, expert, and referent power were evident in leaders’ decisions, highlighting the crucial skills of influence and motivation during a global health crisis.
Leadership and mentorship are two related aspects. We rely on mentors in order to attain our professional accomplishments. Leaders are mentors because they are able to influence their followers (Organizational Communication Channel, 2020). However, bad leaders during the pandemic have been reflected by various qualities such as selfishness, lack of self-control, and incompetence. My role model during the pandemic in leadership made various impacts on society. The person became resourceful in the decision-making process in educating the public and ensuring that they regain from economic crises. In fact, effective communication is the skill that perfectly defines this leader.
In conclusion, this personal reflection on the COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes the fusion of communication studies and leadership principles. My experiences and views add to conversations on effective leadership in the face of extraordinary and developing global health crisis issues. These lessons are relevant for present and future leaders who may confront comparable global issues, highlighting the need for crisis leadership. Bad leaders show incompetent decision-making and are self-centered. Leadership, which is practiced either autocratically or democratically, is aimed at bringing various changes to society. Therefore, leadership was the pillar of decision-making during the outbreak of the pandemic, which disrupted social, cultural, political, and economic events.
Organizational Communication Channel (2020). 9 Bad Leadership Qualities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B43ZgCKU_q8&t=256s
Organizational Communication Channel (2020). Leadership Styles. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opDFifEyGHA&list=PLvkPI8QIE9MJSTKj4dx-PDe_lh4KCv8EU&index=7
The University of Minnesota. (2016). Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies