We all recognize that senior living organizations are changing as new challenges are surfacing and competition is increasing. That’s why leaders need to continuously polish their skills and talents.
The start of a new year and new decade is quickly approaching. Now is a good time to take stock of your leadership skills as well as add new competencies that will be key in 2020 and beyond:
- Cultural Sensitivity. Leaders need to help employees understand one another by giving them the opportunity to work alongside people with different cultural attitudes and behaviors. Creating a diverse workforce has a number of benefits including higher performance, productivity and creativity.
- Cognitive Flexibility. Leaders need to quickly shift their thinking from one concept to another or think about multiple concepts at the same time. Cognitive flexibility is needed for creative problem solving and quick adaptation to new situations or unexpected disruptions in the workplace.
- Understanding Multi-Generational Workforce. Currently, there are 4 generations in the workplace according to Inc. Magazine:Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials (aka Gen Y), and Gen Z. With each generation comes specific demands, viewpoints, and expectations for companies and the workforce. These are big challenges and leaders are tasked with attracting, leading, motivating, retaining, and integrating these generations.
- Outcentric Leadership. No longer is it “my way or the highway.” This mentality will no longer be effective. Per Thrive Global, Outcentric leaders are focused on developing their teams and encouraging them to be active, valuable contributors. They empower their teams and don’t micromanage.
- Artificial Intelligence Vision & Tech Savvy. A recent Forbes article states that AI needs to be weaved into the fabric of every business. AI is transforming organizations globally and along with other technologies. AI is now one of the most important lenses that business leaders need to look through to identify new business models, new sources of revenue, and new efficiencies of how to conduct business.
- Emotional Intelligence. While not new, emotional intelligence traits like accountability, transparency, fairness, and honesty cannot be replaced by AI and they’ll be invaluable for the success of future leaders.
- Mentoring/Coaching. Inc. Magazine emphasizes that today’s workers expect frequent feedback. However, they don’t just want to be told what’s working and what isn’t — they want to be appreciated for what they’re doing well and coached and mentored on how to improve. Plus, they want clear career pathways that map out the skills they’ll need as their star rises.
Recently, MedBest had the opportunity to interview Dan Williams, COO, and President of Seasons Living, Lake Oswego, Oregon, about the future of senior housing and the senior living industry. While Dan agrees that new leadership skills will be needed as we move forward into the new decade, he emphasized the importance of honing the leadership skills and talents that have been a staple in the senior living industry from day one.
- Empathy. Leaders need the ability to understand another person’s experience, perspective and feelings in order to reach them. Without empathy, you can’t build and inspire a team or nurture a new generation of leaders.
- Service and Servant Leadership. A Servant Leader shares power and puts the needs of the employees and residents first. A leader in senior living exists to make people a priority and serve them.
- Passion. Most successful leaders don’t have a job – they have a passion. Passion as a leader will enable their people to focus on the causes that resonate with them. Plus, as a leader you will need to help others understand their passions so you can place members of your team in the right roles and responsibilities.
- Compassion. The best leaders have compassion for others. It’s about having the ability to relate and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives. These leaders show that they care through support and guidance, and especially recognition. When a leader expresses recognition and gratitude, employees feel appreciated and in turn, organizations accomplish great things.
In a rapidly growing and changing industry such as Senior Living, leaders of the future are those who can adapt to the multiple forces of change. However, armed with the right skills and competencies, they can be ready to successfully guide their companies and communities to retaining or even increasing their competitive edge in 2020 and beyond.
is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since that time, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.
Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry since she previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.