Leadership and the Environment

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354: Harvard Global Health Institute Director Ashish Jha, part 1: Front Line Pandemic Leadership

Ep. 354

If you've followed sensible, expert advice on the pandemic, you've probably read or seen Ashish Jha in the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, Washington Post, and everywhere. On Tuesday he testified to the US Senate.

He's Harvard's Global Health Institute's Director. Over 200,000 people have taken his online Harvard courses, which you can for free. Over 80,000 took Ebola, Preventing the Next Pandemic and over 120,000 took Improving Global Health: Focusing on Quality and Safety. As it turns out, we were college teammates on the ultimate frisbee team.

I'll link to a few top articles by him. With so many interfaces between the pandemic and us---health, government, research, policy, etc---you can read a lot of his views and experiences from different sources.

I wanted to bring the personal side of leading on the front lines and top levels of a pandemic---how do doctors and public health experts feel about people not following advice, facing triage decisions, how to be heard, and what affects a doctor personally. We talk about leadership, the intersection between the pandemic and the environment, which overlaps with his directorship and courses, and more.

By the way, he created his Ebola course five years before this pandemic and predicted much of it, as did many. If predicting what's happened so far isn't enough reason to follow his advice, I don't know what is. Let's wear those masks


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371: Margaret Klein Salamon, part 1: Become the Hero Humanity Needs

Ep. 371
Margaret is the Executive Director at The Climate Mobilization. Writing Facing the Climate Emergency brought her to me.Her psychology background leads her to approach the climate psychologically, which I appreciate and consider missing. Our internal resistance, fears, and emotions that we don't like facing seem our biggest challenges to act. Of course, more research and education help, but we crossed the threshold of knowing enough to act long ago. We aren't acting not out of ignorance but out of emotion and the skills to manage them.She writes about facing our fears, which leads ultimately to how rewarding acting on so great a challenge feels. People don't get how rewarding acting on our values feels. We both struggled to describe the ineffable emotional and social rewards of stewardship, but I think you'll hear the magnitude of it.I think we both hope you hear from us enough incentive and inspiration to devote yourself to something so huge, even if just to start getting serious. In my experience, the more you act, the more you want to act. You'll wish you started earlier.I don't know how it sounds to others, but exploring apocalyptic possibilities---I believe you'll be glad you explored them, as we do.Close to home, how many books and movies have you come across that eerily accurately foretold the course of this pandemic. If you haven't found any, there are plenty. Many people want to prepare for such outcomes with stockpiles of food, weapons, and bunkers in New Zealand.I prefer to prevent these outcomes. Margaret focuses on action, as do I. Action can prevent some of the greatest suffering. It creates motivation, meaning, and purpose.We can change the trajectory we're on. And we'll love it.