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Collection No. 6

Leading through COVID

COVID-19 has created leadership challenges for every kind of organization. Some are working to help the sick or the hungry, or to maintain vital services. All are scrambling to stay connected with their employees and remain economically viable. We’ve been talking with Yale SOM alumni about the challenges that they are facing, and hearing about their professional and personal lives during the global pandemic.

Illustrations by Sean David Williams. 

Illustration depicting home office & financial crisis during COVID
  • Leading through COVID: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

    A year into his term as governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont ’80 found himself with a new agenda: responding to the state’s outbreak of COVID-19, one of the first and most severe in the country. We talked with him about the partnerships he formed to bring down Connecticut’s infection rate and the risks that lie ahead.

    An illustration of Governor Ned Lamont speaking to the press wearing a mask on the beach
  • A Climate for Change

    Judy Samuelson ’82, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program, explores whether this cataclysm will trigger lasting change.  

    An illustration of people in business clothes marching with signs
  • Lessons from Past Pandemics

    Matt Walton ’78, an entrepreneur whose emergency management software was used to direct responses to past pandemics, examines the cost of lessons not learned.

    Two doctors, one in a historical plague mask and one in modern protective gear
  • The U.S. Army Adapts to the Pandemic

    Richard Kidd ’93, who serves as deputy assistant secretary of the army for strategic integration, explains how the U.S. Army has responded to the COVID-19 crisis and the lessons we can learn from the experience.

    Illustration of a military council
  • Leading through COVID: An Alumni Conversation

    We recently convened a group of Yale SOM alumni, leaders of organizations in a variety of industries, for a conversation about the evolving challenges they have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    A screenshot of a Zoom discussion
  • Lessons on Leading through a Pandemic

    We’ve been talking with Yale SOM alumni about their professional and personal experiences during COVID-19. Here are a few key ideas that have emerged from these conversations.

    Illustrations of various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Feeding First Responders

    John Wang SOM/YLS ’09, founder of the Queens Night Market, describes transforming the community camaraderie and diverse food that made the market a draw into a project to feed first responders.

    A takeout box decorated to look like a hospital, with the text "thank you"
  • Guiding Family Firms During a Pandemic

    Seán O’Dowd ’03 of Silvercrest Asset Management, who works with family firms, says that while conservatively managed businesses are well positioned to handle an ordinary crisis, even well-run small-and medium-sized firms need help from the government right now.

    An illustration of images from a variety of industries
  • Providing Childcare for First Responders 

    The childcare provider Bright Horizons, founded by Linda Mason ’80, has pivoted to open centers for the children of first responders. Mason says that however devastating the impacts of the pandemic, there are reasons for hope and pride in this crucible moment.

    A teacher with a mask and a group of children
  • Opening Restaurants in a Pandemic

    Seth Goldman ’95, the co-founder of Honest Tea and chair of Beyond Meat, was opening PLNT Burger, a new chain of plant-based restaurants, as the global pandemic struck. 

    An illustration of a plant-based burger
  • Investing in Vietnam’s Future

    Venture capitalist Eddie Thai ’12 says that the pandemic is doing economic damage to Vietnam’s globalization-driven tech sector, even as some companies in his portfolio see their valuations grow.

    An illustration showing volatile financial results through boats on the ocean
  • Helping the Hardest Hit

    Even when the economy was roaring along, far too many Americans lacked the savings and support to respond to an unexpected loss of income. The COVID-19 crisis has thrown that fragility into stark relief.

    A graphic of an umbrella made out of money sheltering houses with faces
  • A Vast Experiment in Remote Work

    Scott Wharton ’95, who leads Logitech’s video collaboration group, sees far-reaching and sustained changes from the remote work explosion forced on us by the pandemic.

    An illustration of people communicating through videoconferencing software
  • Manage Your Team with Empathy

    Laszlo Bock ’99, CEO of Humu, says that right now, checking in on how your team members are doing is is the most important thing you can to keep your organization productive.

    Graphic showing empathy in business