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To leaders at all levels — thank you for serving those that you lead! What a great time to stretch, experiment, and develop yourself and others. I consider myself fortunate to work in the leadership and professional development space and from what I’ve seen, leaders’ interest in professional development is surging.
There’s been an uptick in one-on-one leadership coaching during quarantine. The combination of having time to reflect, the flexibility of work hours, and the personal changes required to be effective have spurred many leaders to work with a coach. Because coaching is a facilitated process of growth, leaders are finding that a personal coach can help with self-discovery – helping leaders learn without teaching them.
In the rapidly changing environment we face, most leaders have few experiences to look back on for guidance: they must share their strategic focus with shorter-term needs; they must be willing to shift at the speed of an emergency room doctor, knowing the impact of their decisions is on a much larger group than a single “patient”; and, they must do what they believe is the best in the moment.
The leaders I am working with are dedicated to doing their best. They understand they will make mistakes and that their decisions may be less popular or at odds with more people than occurred during pre-pandemic times. They are guided by their own level of personal confidence that they are doing what they think is best, as imperfect as it may be. And yet, they are still leading and learning.
During a time of social distancing and virtual learning, leadership development workshops continue. With facilitators like myself getting up on the virtual platform curve, the demand for learning alongside others still remains critical. Virtual workshops mirror what leaders are required to do when they lead. Different from many webinars, virtual workshops allow for interaction, questions, and participation. And, as with the in-person workshops I conduct, virtual workshops are particularly effective when used in combination with pre-workshop assessments.
For example, I just completed a virtual Personalized Leadership Development Workshop with 14 CDC PMR/F program participants. As stated on the CDC’s website, “participation in the program strengthens participants’ abilities to bridge medicine and public health, preparing graduates for leadership roles at the domestic and global levels.” These leaders took the Highlands Ability Battery prior to the workshop and participated in a half-day of learning. They applied and exchanged information about how their natural leadership talents impact them as leaders.
The demand for virtual leadership development will continue for those that I work with, whether it is for leaders in Education, Public Health, or aspiring leaders at UGA. The commitment to leadership is there!
If you were leading prior to the pandemic and you’re still hanging in there, BRAVO to you for staying, flexing, adjusting, and learning. If you recently stepped into leadership, THANK YOU because you’ve done so knowing that it is going to be tough. If you’re an aspiring leader, you’ll be on the forefront of the new way of leading. What an honor it is to support you!