Skip to main content

Lessons in Leadership: Scholar Stories

Our goal is to provide a forum for discussion about leadership in challenging times.

Why now?  The physical isolation necessary to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus has created a host of second order effects and impacts to the Vanderbilt community.  Students are contending with a sudden shift to distance learning, living away from campus, and a sudden stop to athletics and extracurricular activities.  In addition, each day brings new changes cancellations of here to fore sacrosanct events like commencement.  Staff and faculty are having to creatively adapt to a virtual environment while maintaining standards and productivity.  Finally, university leaders are having to make difficult decisions in an unpredictable environment.

Around the world, the impacts vary from inconvenience to life and death.  For some, loneliness and boredom are the major challenges.  For others, disrupted livelihoods and lost income threaten their health and well-being.  For health care workers and first responders, long, stressful workdays and the risk of personal exposure are both taxing and dangerous.  For institutional and government leaders, hard choices to protect life amid an ever-changing situation yield a host of adverse repercussions.  Every decision and non-decision faces sniping who are not accountable.

Military service members often contend with situations where the same human emotions come into play.  These are their stories—comments are welcome.