Leadership in practice in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

Who among us wishes we could be there serving as “boots on the ground” to help in person, to do something—anything—to help the people devastated by the flooding in southeast Texas? It brings out the ‘mobilization for action’ instincts in us.

Like many of you, I find myself glued to the television—now again for Florida—in awe of the worst of Mother Nature, the loss of homes and businesses, and the destruction of entire communities. But I am more struck by the scenes of the outpouring of the human spirit. So many people helping in so many different ways. We collectively observed an epic disaster unfold before our eyes, and an equally epic response of the true human spirit. From EMS workers, FEMA, and the Red Cross to church groups, the Cajun Army, and ordinary citizens donating money, wading through water to rescue other victims, and leaders volunteering to support our fellow Americans through this crisis. A national community has come together.

Today, it became so clear to me and many of my colleagues at the HBA that what we have witnessed is a dynamic demonstration of leadership. Leadership in practice at every level from next door neighbors to state and federal officials. Without true leadership, the widespread response to this nightmare would look and feel very different.

While many of us are not equipped to offer onsite assistance, we can salute the value of leadership for which the HBA stands. We can also take relevant action in the coming weeks to assist our leaders, members and friends in Texas. And to this end our team is investigating options that will lend meaningful support to the HBA community of healthcare and life science professionals. I look forward to bringing details to you within the coming weeks and sharing stories of true leadership in practice.

Wishing peace and comfort during this difficult time,

Laurie Cooke