From personal experience, leadership is not a static state; flexibility is required day to day. A pandemic has been an epic test of determination and character. Managing during this time has been difficult and assessing priorities has stretched due to phenomenal demands. During the ‘shut down’ and the preparation of dealing with requirements, the element that fuelled actions was definitely adrenalin. Solutions to problems and work had to be managed instantly.
Being aware of and able to understand emotional climate was and still is the most important quality one must possess. A company CEO must be able to assess how their stakeholders are travelling and be able to discern what is needed and how to provide for them. During a crisis the information received or not received by stakeholders can be enigmatic. Taking action must be preceded by knowledge of each situation and where possible of each family or staff member.
Communication was critical to inform and to reassure. If the head of the home/business knows what is going on and is happy to share ideas and possible solutions, others feel confident and anxiety can be curbed. To be able to communicate and tackle the issues at hand, the leader must be on the ‘look out’. Searching for factors that are detrimental and factors that remediate and support. The leader must be in touch with her community.
An invisible thread has now been identified, which helped lead the school during COVID. It was a school vision designed by the community of CMS. The vision for CMS is: To provide an exceptional Montessori environment that develops each child’s potential. I did not think of our vision, but subconsciously wanted to support our community to be the best they can be in a manner that highlighted our Montessori essence. A pandemic was just another opportunity to demonstrate strength, abilities and creativity even if the light at the end of the tunnel was less than visible. I believe we met our vision in a way we never have before.
We are out of the crisis, but not out of the effects of the pandemic. Now we need time to restore, revive and thrive and leadership must show that each member of our community has the power to do this.