Are you ready for your ‘coronavirus moment’?

Sunday March 15 2020

Craftsmen attach a banner to containers set up on the grounds of a university hospital. The disease is spreading fast all over the world. PHOTO | AFP


When Donald Trump was elected president of the US at the end of 2016, few were prepared for what was to come.

In a most abrasive and confrontational leadership style, Trump has redefined the office of the president. He calls people who cross him names. He sends out a clear message that it is his way or the highway; anyone who does not go his way is declared persona non grata.

During the election, he bullied Republican candidates during the primaries, put them down, spoke negatively about his opponent and encouraged his followers to do the same even though he faced several scandals.

From his first day in office, he bullied his way through the Russia problem.

His henchmen were jailed for different offences committed on his behalf, but he did not stop.

Then he was impeached last December, and it seemed like he had been cornered. Surely there was no way he was going to bully his way through this one. But in February, as expected, he was acquitted by the Senate.


The bullying continued. At a prayer breakfast the following day, he took veiled shots at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was on the stage with him as he spoke. It seems like this is the new normal and everyone just has to get used to it.

And now comes the most unexpected adversary from half way around the world. Coronavirus has shown up and no amount of bullying can tame its spread. No amount of propaganda can slow it or make it go away. It has revealed the cracks, showing that the US government is not ready to tackle the pandemic, and compared with other nations of the world, they lag behind.

Everyone will have their coronavirus moment, in which everything that you have done in the past does not work anymore. It is that moment when old strategies became redundant.

Are you ready for your coronavirus moment?

It will come in the form of pressure. Contrary to what people may think, pressure is not an enemy. It is an ally that reveals the strength of our foundation and takes us to the next level.

The pressure will reveal your preparedness. How does one prepare for pressure you may ask? Being aware that a day will come when the things you believe and your actions will be challenged is the first step. The world is moving fast and we, therefore, cannot be stuck in our old methods and practices.

Bill Gates wrote in his book Business at the Speed of Thought that a day will come when everything that Microsoft did will be challenged. He said that a young upstart would emerge and put them out of business.

This is healthy paranoia. All you know is not all you need to know. A company is making a bullet right now with your name on it. How ready are you?

When your coronavirus moment arrives, you will not be able to wish it away. China built a thousand-bed hospital in a few days. It was the epicentre of the virus, and today they are getting praise for how they handled it. They were ready for their coronavirus moment.

Build capacity against your coronavirus moment. Many people do, but in the day of trouble they do not know exactly what to do.

Remember, your coronavirus moment is the day when all that worked for you before will not work anymore.

Wale Akinyemi is the chief transformation officer, PowerTalks