Leadership is tough. Telling people what they want to hear and having them follow you is easy; people do it all the time. Real leadership is doing what you believe is right, even when it upsets people who believe their situation is not being considered. It takes fortitude and dedication to stick to those decisions. This pandemic has provided us with a lot of opportunity for leadership. Some people have failed miserably, many have succeeded, but in such a small way we never hear about it. One thing is certain, we need to follow the leadership that is the best for all of us.
As the CEO of the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce, I want nothing more than for our businesses to go back to how things were two months ago. Business was booming, the state of Colorado had money that it could add to transportation, our unemployment level was low, and you could stand next to someone and not worry about contracting a potentially deadly disease. Those days may come back, but today is not that day. Gov. Polis came out with his Safer at Home plan last week, and he wants things to go back to normal. The governor has stressed that he understands that it is not going to happen overnight. He also recognized that each community is different and responds to isolation and preventative care differently. As such, he specifically called on each community to monitor and act in its best interests to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 worse than what we are going through now. The Broomfield City Council, led by Mayor Quinn, believe that based on our demographics and situation that slightly more caution is needed. They have decided to wait an additional couple of weeks.
Is this the best choice for our community? Based on the conversation, there are many residents and businesses that say yes and just as many that say no. We do need to get our businesses back in business as soon as possible. But if we do it too soon, we risk being worse off than we are now, as hard as that is to imagine. So, yes, we should certainly let the mayor and our other elected officials know what we think, and how hard this is on our businesses and their employees. But let’s also give them the leeway to lead, to use solid data from the CDC and our own public health department in making their decisions. Let’s give our mayor the right to lead as he was elected to do. True leadership is not easy, but it is critical in a time of crisis.
Sam Taylor is president and CEO of the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce.