In the senior services industry, a leader is an important role that has tremendous impact on both a company’s bottom line and employees. Whether it’s an executive director or administrator at a senior living community or a resident care director in a skilled nursing facility, these leaders are responsible for everything that goes on on the campus. The success of the residents, their families and employees depends on their expertise and dedication to providing excellent senior care.
For these managers to be successful Melissa Khedar, they must be able to delegate effectively, build and maintain strong relationships, and communicate clearly and concisely. They must also have the ability to inspire and motivate their team members to act. And they must be able to handle the unexpected.
One of the biggest challenges in leadership at this level is that it can no longer be a solo effort. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to step up and take on new challenges, like managing remotely during lockdowns. This type of situation requires a leader who can think quickly and manage teams at a distance.
Similarly, senior leaders need to be able to build and mentor other managers to be effective leaders in their own right. They should be able to teach their managers the best practices and techniques for their specific areas of expertise. In addition, they should have a strong understanding of their team’s goals and aspirations.
Another critical skill for managers at this level is being able to make judgments with confidence. When a key business decision needs to be made, they must be able to quickly weigh the options and provide a clear and concise rationale for their choice. They must also have a solid grasp of the big picture and how their decisions will affect multiple functions, markets, and locations.
In addition to these competencies, senior leaders need to be able to collaborate across boundaries. Whether it’s across different departments within the same organization or with partner organizations, they must be able to connect with other leaders and work together to solve complex issues. This includes collaborating across vertical, demographic, and cultural boundaries.
If you want to be a senior leader, then it’s time to start preparing. If you’re interested in a management position in senior services, talk to your manager or HR to learn more about growth plans and how you can set yourself up for success. And remember, promoting from within is only effective if you can show that you can be a great builder and manager of other leaders. If you can’t, then your organization is better off looking externally for a qualified candidate to fill the senior leadership gap.