Leadership 101: German Chancellor versus Thai General

Flip through any management or crisis management book and find that leadership or lack thereof is the key to either success or disaster.

Welcome to German Chancellor Angela Merkel versus Thai Fuhr… sorry, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

There’s a clip (https://youtu.be/hVDyE-e3gqE) done by a Thai and shared by many Thais. It’s not viral, although it should be. The clip explains “three among many more reasons” Germany went from “tens of thousands” of infected cases in April and May to “in the hundreds” (or the low thousand) in June and July.

These are the three reasons, according to the clip.

Firstly, leadership and responsibility. When lockdown measures were miscalculated, Merkel apologized to the nation. When the AstraZeneca vaccine showed side effects such as blood clots, she immediately imported Pfizer and Moderna. While many political analysts argued the apology would shake public confidence, the opposite happened. The public appreciated the honesty, transparency, and quick action, gaining more confidence in the government.

[Meanwhile, General Prayut blamed the people for “lacking conscience.”]

Secondly, rapid testing. In addition to testing centers nationwide, the three-wheel (German tuk-tuk) mobile units parked at coffee shops offer a 15-minute test. Furthermore, test kits are widely sold at a mere 150 baht, preventing citizens from queuing up for testing by the thousands and risking infection.

[Meanwhile, getting tested in Thai hospitals cost thousands of baht, with the Police General Hospital offering the lowest price at 400 baht. In addition, queues at the few testing centers are often overcrowded.]

Thirdly, lockdown measures, vaccines, and compensations. The clip said Germany used the lockdown period to vaccinate 90 percent of the population with at least one dose [actual number around 60 percent]. In addition, there are clear compensation policies for large and small companies, including freelancers and all age groups. They have the money to do so because Germany cut the budgets of all departments and devote the resources to the Health Ministry.

[Meanwhile… well, you get the point.]

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