Leadership for the Greater Good: Reflections on the 2020 Pandemic

We are living in an unprecedented time. While none of us have experienced the specific details of the challenges before us, we are not without resources to help see us through. ILA has invited well-known and respected thought leaders from around the world to share their leadership knowledge, wisdom, and viewpoint to inform and inspire us as we continue our collective work.

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The Entire Planet Must Reformulate Its Way of Operating

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(8 April 2020)

by Aldo Boitano, Founder/Executive Director, Executive Development, Chile

It is a fact that to survive this pandemic the entire planet must reformulate its way of operating.

Despite the previous certainty that the challenges of the present and future — the environment, technological disruption or terrorism — required enormous cooperation between countries, everything remained the same, with populist and irresponsible leadership exacerbating nationalist feelings over the planetary common good.

That is, until a strange virus showed what hurricanes, heat waves, and street outbreaks had not yet revealed. Not only that a shared future is better than a lonely one. It's that there is no future if it is not shared.

A stable world is a rare thing, says Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. It tends to emerge only after a great upheaval that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. But for it to emerge, the first thing is the recognition that the old order will not return and that efforts to resurrect it will be in vain.

If we accept that, then this tragic virus may force us to mitigate the lack of a sense of community that afflicts the planet. Depending on the decisions that are made in the coming days and months, it may be the midwife of better global and local systems, which will come out stronger to meet the challenges.

Globally, this will imply complex changes, revising the privileges of those who are the most benefited in order to alleviate the anguish and fragilities suffered by those who are not. When the storm passes, leaders and institutions must remind us all that the actions of each directly affect the rest.

There is no greater fragility than living in isolation and omnipotence without knowing it.

Aldo Boitano Aldo Boitano is the founder/Executive Director of Executive Development. He currently teaches on International Business, Leadership, and Building High Performance teams at ESE-Universidad Los Andes and at the School of Business Universidad de Chile. A world-class mountaineer and active philanthropist, he has designed and executed curriculums for outdoor leadership experiential programs to be used to empower low-income students. He is a former board member of the ILA.

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