Yesterday, I posted on Linked In, essentially stating that every one is responding instinctively at some level to the coronavirus threat. We are genetically wired to response in-the-moment in a flight / fight / freeze way to a perceived thread. Of course, our first instinctive response does not need to be our considered response. We have the ability to reflect thoughtfully and to move beyond our first response.

Politics is a moral profession. Political leaders have a moral responsibility to model behaviour for their citizens. In their behaviours, they provide models for the rest of us about right and wrong, about courage in the face of adversity, and about creativity in the face of crisis. Simple ‘flight / fight / freeze’ responses on the part of political leaders are the last thing they need we need in face of the coronavirus pandemic Instead, political and business leaders at all levels need to exhibit behaviours which will  inspire and move us to ‘do’ in a way that goes beyond the immediate dynamics of the crisis.

Human social life, cannot stop. We need to continue to do, to create, to interact, and to be. We cannot just ‘hunker’ down in our homes and shut out the world in the vague hope that somehow the impact of COVID 19 on human life will pass us by.  

As societies, we need to find “AND” responses during a crisis. Political leaders in particular must model this AND behaviour. They must find ways to allow us to continue to do what make up the life of our societies AND do this in safe ways. They must model how to do this for their own activities, so that they inspire the rest of us to do so in ours. Otherwise, they are simply responding instinctively on the flight / fight / freeze level.

see Jim Collins on AND in his book Good to Great …

For the Canadian Parliament, this meant finding a way to continue do business AND doing so safely. Obviously, the day to day, face to face activity of Parliament cannot continue. But shutting down the business of Parliament models the wrong response.  What an opportunity to model the use of technology –  the use of the Internet to conduct ‘virtual’ meetings in order to do Parliamentary work while remaining safe. Instead, we have a ‘flight response’ – suspend Parliament, which is a wasted opportunity to model creative behaviour in the face of a public health crisis.

Obviously, not ever part of society can move in this way. But the COVID 19 virus offers us an opportunity as leaders to demonstrate our problem solving in ways that address the AND challenge. Danny Ivy and the crew at Mirasee in Montreal demonstrated that in spades. They had a face-to-face conference – LIFT – scheduled for early April. Instead of ‘suspending’ it, they morphed it .

One of the challenges that our politicians should be facing is the following.

If more and more people opt for such creative solutions – AND solutions – depending on Internet technology, what load will this put on the infrastructure used to provide those services? What focused investment and action can we take as a nation to address those load challenges. Instead, our politicians have elected to go home? Poor leadership, poor moral modeling –  but oh so human an instinctive response.

Here is Danny’s inspiring email …..


 From: Danny Iny <> Sent: March-13-20 10:25 AM To: Subject: LIFT UPDATE (COVID-19)


Hey Roelf,

Five days ago, I sent an email to everyone who is registered for LIFT saying that I think the fears around the Coronavirus are overblown, and that we’re proceeding with LIFT.

Well, things have changed; the volume of infections is rising, the United States has instituted a travel ban with Europe, and the World Health Organization has upgraded the status of the disease to “pandemic”.

I met with my leadership team yesterday afternoon, and asked them a single question:

“Forgetting all business considerations, do you think proceeding with LIFT is the right thing to do?”

It’s not as easy a question as you might think; of course there’s the real (and perceived) health risk – which is hard to gauge, given the challenge of separating fact from fear-mongering.

We weighed that risk against our responsibility to help our students build a business that supports their lives and dreams; something that is becoming increasingly urgent as people are required to work from home, and the economy slows down.

We discussed and debated.

We considered proceeding with LIFT – since the scale of the event is well below any thresholds that governments and health organizations are suggesting for cancellation.

Ultimately, though, we all agreed that what matters more than anything is the health and safety of our students, and our team.

There’s the health risk, and the risk of spreading the disease. There’s the risk of being stranded in quarantine somewhere, unable to return home. And there’s the fear of catching the virus in the back of everyone’s mind, and the minds of their loved ones.

So we made the decision to change the plan for LIFT, in two big ways.

First, we’re postponing the in-person event. Not canceling; LIFT is too important to too many people. But postponing, to August – by which time experts feel that things will have calmed down.

I’ll have more details about that shift in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that.

But we aren’t just pushing it off. Now, more than ever, there is an urgent need for exactly the online business growth training that LIFT offers, so we’re taking an unprecedented step:

Second, we’re delivering LIFT virtually. It’s still happening, on April 2-4. Everyone who is registered for LIFT will be invited to participate, and we’ll also open it up to the thousands of people who’ve asked if there is a way to participate virtually. The answer has always been no, but for this one time, we’re making an exception and making it happen.

I’ll have more details about these shifts in the next few days. As you can imagine, things are a bit crazy here at Mirasee HQ, so please bear with us as we sort through all the changes and figure everything out. 😉

In the meantime, let’s all keep cool heads.

I know it’s easy to feel your heartrate rise under the barrage of never-ending “if it bleeds, it leads” news reports.

But that doesn’t help anyone.

My suggestion is to turn off the news entirely. Get your information from real scientists.

And remember that we’re all on the same team – with our neighbors, with our colleagues, and with the world around us.

Even when it’s safest for us to physically stand apart, we stand together.

Danny Iny
Founder/CEO at Mirasee




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