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Leadership in Wake of Boston Marathon Tragedy

I think that sometimes the greatest examples of leadership stem from servant leadership in crisis situations. As I, like many others, took to social media moments after hearing news of the tragedy unfolding was overwhelmed by the sincere thoughts and concerns of many. In the midst of these kind sediments, confusion and doubts I stumbled upon a quote from Fred Rogers, “when I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” and so that’s what I started to do. I started to look for all the “good” acts of kindness that stemmed from the incident.

According to an article in USA Today, everyday people became servant-leaders. For example, a Google Docs form was created which allowed marathon runners from outside the area to receive contact information from Boston residents who opened up their homes to runners who had nowhere to go. Twitter was filled with hashtags from people posting “#prayforboston” and similar messages empathizing with those across the country. Reports were made of runners being stopped numerous times by Bostonians asking if they were in need of a bed or a shower. Pictures appeared of Bostonians offering food and drinks to people in need. Reports from the American Red Cross stated “thanks to generosity of volunteer blood donors there is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet demand.” NBC Sports Network tweeted “Reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims”

All of these people are leaders responding to crisis. Leadership does not have to be something elaborate and unattainable. In response to the tragedy, Bostonians listened to the needs of those in the city, demonstrated the upmost empathy and began the healing process for many. These people all became leaders out of crisis. They were highly affective and highly impactful, certainly leaders and, in my humble opinion, heroes and heroines. See we don’t have to make leadership something planned, something fancy, something we are incapable of. Leadership is found in the smallest actions, because often they have the grandest outcome.



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