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I live in Boston. And I lived in New York on 9/11. Both times I was 2 miles away from unimaginable attacks. I learned in 2001 that there is no way to make rational sense out of irrational actions of evil people. So that’s not where my mind has been this week.

I find myself, instead, focusing on all the good in the midst of such a tragedy. The people of Boston and all the international visitors this week have been kind, cool headed and determined. The enforcement authorities and elected officials have done fantastic work and made tough decisions. The medical personnel have been quick to respond and have saved lives. There has been no hysteria. Just thousands of people doing what is called for in a time of crisis.

And as a student of leadership, we’ve witnessed some of the finest examples of it this week. Governor Patrick, Police Commissioner Ed Davis, FBI agent Rick DesLauriers and President Obama showed all of us how to lead during impossible times. The crispness and clarity of the communications, explanations about why more could not be said, concern for public safety being the first priority, injecting both seriousness and calm and coordinating multiple groups to arrive at a good conclusion. I’d like to see a CEO do as good of a job…but almost none will.

It will take weeks and months to put all the pieces together. For today, I am grateful that it was not worse and that it affirmed my fundamental faith in humanity.

I leave you with this line I read today in the NY Times. It is a quote from French poet, Charles Peguy: “Tyranny is always better organizes than freedom.”


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