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Pivoting Leadership Styles for a Post-Pandemic Era

As we reflect on the challenges of the COVID-19 prolonged pandemic crisis, it is clear that the prolonged pandemic has reshaped many sectors, not least of which is the not-for-profit senior living and service sector. Faced with the immense pressures of one crisis after the next, leadership in our organizations often had to resort to a command-and-control style of management. Necessitated by the urgency and unpredictability of the crisis, this approach was a tactical response aimed at securing survival in uncertain times.

However, as we transition into the post-pandemic phase, this command-and-control approach is no longer suitable. The shift required is multi-tiered, spanning all levels of leadership in a not-for-profit organization: executive, board, and managerial. Executives will need to cultivate an environment of collaboration and empowerment, encouraging their teams to find innovative solutions to emerging challenges. Boards must adapt to their new role, moving away from crisis response towards strategic oversight and support. Managers, on the other hand, are tasked with re-engaging their teams in the mission and vision of the organization, moving beyond just firefighting. This is not a decide-and-do type of strategy but rather is a transformational strategy and demands a renewal, restructuring, and reorientation of the entire leadership team.

The challenge is substantial, but so too is the potential payoff. Leaders in not-for-profit organizations must focus on fostering resilience and adaptability for a sustainable future. This includes equipping teams with the skills and resources to navigate uncertainty, encouraging innovation, and promoting a culture of continuous learning. This is the time for leadership to build on the lessons learned during the crisis, championing a holistic approach that emphasizes empathy, inclusivity, and long-term sustainability.

This series will focus on leadership and management behavior, leadership and motivation, and building a leadership culture resulting in staff retention. The post-pandemic era provides a unique opportunity for leaders of non-profit organizations to reassess and reshape their approach to leadership. Transitioning from a command-and-control model to a collaborative, innovative, and empowering approach is not just a necessity, but an opportunity to build a resilient, adaptive, and sustainable organization for the future.

First in a five-part series reflecting the training sessions presented by Dr. Krishnakumar.

White paper on leadership available – click here to request.


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