Governor Andrew Cuomo takes office in New York in 2011, having no idea that his time in office would see our nation through a pandemic. He followed in his father’s footsteps into politics as Attorney General and then as Governor. He has led his state into better times, crime rate is down, cleaner environment, better economy, and higher high school graduating student. (andrewcuomo.com) Governor Cuomo could not have foreseen where his leadership would lead but would turn out to have the right traits and personality to lead our nation through turmoil.
In early February 2020 American would start to hear rumblings of a virus that has a high death rate and not known cure heading our way. Our president would tell us not to worry, it was not going to hit the United States as it had other countries, go about your daily lives. By March our world would be in turmoil, states would begin state at home orders, companies would close, unemployment would be reaching unprecedented levels, and our medical personal would not be safe.
Governor Cuomo would hear the rantings of our president still telling the American people that he had it under control and that the news media was lying to them. The president would tell us there was plenty of ventilator, masks, gloves and other PPE for our health care people, none of this was true. Governor Cuomo started his daily televised briefings of what was happening not only in New York but throughout the county. He would simply ask for help and give us updates, no over dramatics, just facts. This is when his true leadership would shine, as many of us had never seen before.
A great leader is honest, humble, intelligent, determined, and sociable, he would prove to be all of these traits. (Northouse, 2016) Instead of telling the nation that he had in under control (which obviously no one had), he asked for help, telling everyone what was needed in order to save lives and get us back to work. He did not walk a party line, reaching out to governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts to form an alliance across party lines. He was determined to save lives but also do what was best for his entire state. We would be told by our national leaders that states should handle it themselves or even (God forbid) go bankrupt, Cuomo would humbly tell us all that he could not do it alone and needed help.
Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings would become must see tv, for not only those if us in the northeast but for the nation. His straightforward answers, that at times were not what anyone wanted to hear, told us not only the status of the situation but of his confidence that we would get through it together. When there is little to hope, with loss of jobs, illness, and mental health issues he gives us the information, not the national leaders political answers. Reminding not just New Yorkers but Americans to be loving, kind, strong, and resilient.
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice. 7th Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications
https://www.andrewcuomo.com/about: retrieved on May 23, 2020