A crisis brings out the difference between leaders and curators. For the most part I think the difference is temperamental.
On the one hand you have the curators. The administrators. They maintain the status quo. Their natural element is normalcy. They can function in ordinary times. They are the keepers of the social order. Sentinels of the conventional wisdom.
When the system is good, it’s good to conserve the system. When the law is good, it is good to be law-abiding.
Mind you, curators are also the dutiful bureaucrats who keep the machinery of the totalitarian regime well-oiled. Good or bad, they play by the rules. They never question the rules.
However, the curators can’t function in a crisis. They can’t adjust to something novel or extraordinary. They are vacillating. Or fossilized. Constitutionally unable to rise to the demands of an exigent challenge.
Observing the speed limit is generally a good thing. But if you’re trying to outrun an F-5 tornado, it’s time to floor the accelerator.
In a crisis, natural leaders emerge. They are daring and decisive. Uncompromising in their objectives, but adaptable in their tactics.. Problem-solvers who do whatever it takes to get the job done.
They make great generals. They will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by seizing the moment, even if it means disobeying a direct order from a superior officer.
People like this terrify the curators. It’s the difference between Charles de Gaulle and Marshal Pétain, Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain, Jean Calvin and Henri de Navarre.
Conversely, natural leaders should generally retire to a ranch after the crisis has passed and write their memories or take up painting.
George Patton is very useful in wartime, but a bit of a nuisance in peacetime. Once the good status quo has been restored, or a bad status quo has been replaced, you can let the custodians take it from there.
We see this in church history. And politics. We see this in how different Christians and different Christian institutions react to the threat of dhimmitude and global jihad.