By Leonard Marcus, Ph.D, Barry Dorn, M.D., Richard Serino and Eric J. McNulty, M.A.
The massive and growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa is tragic both in the suffering and deaths among the affected population and in the difficulty of mounting a sufficient response. The number of cases is rising exponentially. We have had the first death in the U.S., the first case of someone contracting the disease in this country and the first case of transmission in Europe. Over the weekend, a man who had recently traveled to Liberia was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to be evaluated for possible Ebola.
Fear and anxiety are rising.
This has the potential to be the defining public health crisis of the 21st century. Boston has stepped up by sending doctors and other health care professionals with extensive experience and expertise. There is, however, something more that Boston has to share: the leadership lessons from the Boston Marathon bombing response.
After the Marathon, we saw federal, state and local agencies, as well as organizations in the private and non-profit sectors, came together as an integrated enterprise that can serve as a model for the Ebola response. While the two events are quite different, the principles for leadership effectiveness are actually similar.
There are five key interrelated lessons from Boston that can be useful as the world confronts Ebola:
Build A United Effort
An effective Ebola response requires linking and leveraging many organizations into a collaborative, cooperative enterprise, much like we saw in Boston after the bombing. Continue reading