The Tests of Great Leadership

September 2, 2021 / By admin / No Comments

By: Rosanne Mondrone, Director of Community Relations

“Absolute identity with one’s cause is the first and greatest condition of one’s leadership.”
Woodrow Wilson

I heard our pastor preach on this recently and I immediately thought of my team at Mary Wade
and the circumstances that test them every day. In our changing times we find very complex
situations occurring. While our desire to move on and open our doors to the world is real and
welcomed, we are daily confronted with new and frustrating situations. Unfortunately, these
challenges often keep the doors closed and the walls up.

Although we are vaccinating and wearing masks, washing hands and socially distancing, we are
still finding positive COVID results in residents and with our team. Many times, these results are
without signs and symptoms of the disease but these results create a stop in forward
movement, and per guidelines that come from the CDC, change the course of our growth.
Levels of discontent are felt throughout the organization and the community of families and
loved ones when this happens. These are only growing pains and we must persevere. We are
treading in uncharted waters for over a year so “Here be Dragons”! But unlike our ancient
predecessors we don’t have any icons marking the bad waters for us… just our instincts.

The true test of great leadership is to remember the cause and not be swept up in the
emotional occurrences of the day or moment. It’s our responsibility to find answers and
solutions to these problems without placing our residents, families or our team at risk. We are
no different at this point than the medieval sailors setting out to find the new world over a vast
ocean of unknown monsters. The well being of your loved one and our team is the cause on
which we must remain focused. The current guidelines are an ever-changing directive. We are
constantly keeping abreast of new information and trying to figure out how to make it work.

My sister and I were talking over the weekend. She manages a daycare and has similar rules
and regulations that she needs to follow and she must always respond to. She was mentioning
how completely exhausted and stressed she was, not from the kids she watches but from the
numerous emails she has to read every night to keep informed. She too struggles with
disappointing families and not being able to accommodate everyone’s needs and sometimes
failing to comply or understand the exorbitant amount of information we are expected to

We shared our frustrations and experiences only to understand that leaders do fail, sometimes
over and over again. They often walk a lonely path. They are criticized and questioned for the
decisions they make. They lead in the darkest hours, not always able to see the light and giving
up is not an option. In our failures we learn and grow and how we handle this crisis will give us
the wisdom and courage to handle the next one and the one after that.

Mary Wade leaders set the highest standards as I have said in the past and most of you are
familiar with our practices. In knowing and observing our standards there is comfort in the fact
that we are doing everything we can to protect your loved ones and stay focused on the cause
we have identified. We can assure you we do this with diligence and loving care. As we attempt
to make the necessary changes to keep our forward growth possible, as leaders, we are aware
that we must proceed with restraint and optimism. The challenges we face today only make us
stronger and wiser for the decisions we make tomorrow. So may we find our peace in the
words of Nelson Mandela, “May your choices reflect your hope and not your fears.”

Rosanne Mondrone
Director of Community Relations



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