Diversity is critical for effective crisis leadership: The UK government’s groupthink would never cut it in the board room of a high-performing company.

In his bestselling book on the Spanish Flu, The Great Influenza, John Barry implores governments in future pandemics to retain the public’s trust: “The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one.” There are few times in history when leadership is so important as in a pandemic. With more than 30 years of political experience, German chancellor Angela Merkel has shown herself to be the expert crisis manager in the Covid-19 emergency, as she did in the 2008 financial crisis. As a leader she is credible, she shows humility, listens to expert advice and makes data-driven decisions.

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