Exceptional situations seem to activate particular mechanisms in organizations to safeguard their survival. These mechanisms seem to diverge from what is claimed in managerial theories. The Covid-19 emergency allows us to observe this phenomenon both at the level of institutions and at the level of people. Looking at the institutions it seems that managers have overcome the "bureaucracy trap" produced by automatic and impartial procedures. On the other hand, workers in emergency situations seem to be motivated by factors other than those contemplated in the theoretical models. The motivational factors seem to be personal, such as altruism, reinforced by the pursuit of an interest clearly perceived as common. These observations allow us to hypothesize further ways of managing human resources that managers can grasp through their leadership.
Keywords: Management, motivation, leadership, healthcare, Covid-19.