Almost no nation has been spared as the covid-19 has swept around the world. But the responses to the coronavirus and the preventive measures have differed greatly from country to country. Lockdowns, and imposition of other restrictions have become ubiquitous, but then there is still great variance in their severity. Social distancing, wearing face mask, constant washing of hands under running water, adherence to hygienic practices, modest funeral ceremonies will be “part of life” until a treatment or vaccine for Covid-19 is developed. Quarantines, self isolation etc also have their own discomfort they bring. But as people’s frustrations rise, economic woes multiply, and some signs emerge that the spread of Covid-19 is slowing in some parts of the world, the desire for a return to pre lockdown “normal life” grows stronger. The scary truth is that the changes wrought by the pandemic will not fade soon, if ever, forcing organizations, individuals across the spectrum, families, governments, to grapple with what normal means now and in the future.
Education via technology is also making huge difference in teaching and learning. There will certainly be a new normal which no one truly can predict completely but our world and our lives are, and will, certainly be different post covid-19 crisis.
In crisis situation and even post crisis, most people tend to regress to a state of greater dependency. It usually results in yearn for the kind of leadership that can soothe collective fear and anxiety. This is the situation most Ghanaians find themselves today and will remain so post covid-19. Unfortunately, the current leadership has proven to be quite ineffective. But if we fail to do critical assessment of the situation, our incompetent leaders may get away with it because of our state of psychological regression. When the going gets tough, societies tend to withdraw instead of reaching out. Our sense of helplessness increases the appeal of national identity politics. For the current leadership, the pandemic is a convenient excuse to channel people’s growing sense of helplessness into autocracy. We are now on the cusp of many critical decisions. The pandemic should encourage us to reflect on the power of our collective will.
Despite the huge number of jobs lost, could the pandemic be an opportunity to direct our energies to other kinds of activities? How are we going to restore the economy? The pandemic could give us an opportunity to restore lost connections and create more interrelated, cooperative societies, but will depend hugely on the kind of leaders we elect. A leader who could spur us to tackle issues that we have always been quite aware of but have preferred to ignore
Leadership will change forever after the covid-19 pandemic. Ghana will need high performance leaders, government and culture focused on inclusion and the power of individuality. We need a leader who will look beyond titles but their influence will extend beyond official capacity to become the face of courage for the masses and will reveal an authenticity and urgency that will reflect the feeling of the masses. Resilience requires adaptability, and adaptability requires the freedom for the masses to be their most individual selves and to be themselves fully.
Ghana needs John Mahama to handle state affairs post covid-19 to create a positive impact to our growth regardless of the changes that might be experienced in the country as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. We need a leader who will ensure that all Ghanaians are catered for and provided with adequate resources and safe environment to operate, to help facilitate effectiveness in diverse activities we undertake.
When it comes to our industries and businesses, they need a visionary leader whose leadership will enhance effectiveness in the organizations and introduce prudent measures that will not create adverse impacts to procedures undertaken by them. Not only does a successful change strategy requires good planning, but also the drive of a good leader.
Uniting this dangerously divided country to fight the covid-19 pandemic impacts is another serious issue worth considering. Getting all on board is equally important for our long-term success. A leader cannot drive the change we need on his own. It is essential we elect a leader who will genuinely assemble a coalition with right mix of expertise devoid of unnecessary partisan permutations. Having experts on board that can liaise with different sectors, bring different skills to the table and raise the profile of the strategy will make our post covid-19 reconstruction easier.
I have heard the President make so many promises. Possibly the most important ability of a change leader is to envisage the future. This is not simply copying the practices of your competitor, making tall promises, attacking your predecessors and political opponents, but seeing a vision that goes beyond the normal and accepted practices.
Almost all the facilities the current administration is using in fighting the covid-19 pandemic were built by the Mahama administration- hospitals, temperature testing devices, improved telecommunication network, oil funds, the Exim Bank etc. This is the kind of leadership the country needs post covid-19 to enable us compete with the rest of the world. We cannot make any meaningful inroads if we enter the post covid-19 seasons with state captured institutions, polarised political environment, massive corruption, unprecedented nepotism, procurement laws breaches, human right abuses, muzzled media, reckless spending and this attitude of constantly manipulating data to make our government look good. We need a honest leaders who will tell the people the true state of the nation and encourage the people to continue to work towards our target.
There is no returning to normal after covid-19. But there is a path forward. Assessing needs and priorities and mapping them over time can help our government, businesses and individuals respond to the new normal. This is the time to take stock of how the crisis has disrupted the strategic decision making framework for individuals and organizations and try to build a new one to look beyond the immediate crisis. With $1 billion IMF support and millions of dollars thrown into our coffers by the world bank and other institutions and contributions from individuals and organizations, our government still cannot point to anything meaningful implemented.
The shift from response to recovery (post-covid-19) will require us to move from an internal, functional view to a view focused on stakeholders and outcomes. The pandemic offered opportunities to build trust, but unfortunately, we lost it because of how the government handled and handling the fight. The ability to embed rapid and nimble decision making into a country’s culture is very important through crisis recovery and into the next normal. But managing in this new and unfamiliar environment demands more from leaders hence, the urgent need to elect a visionary leader like Mahama to take over the administration of post covid-19 Ghana.
The substantial shift in society, our institutions and individuals during this crisis have introduced major uncertainties into our familiar structures. We need new visionary leadership to handle these uncertainties about the underpinnings of businesses and society.