Cultivating Tomorrow's Leaders in Senior Living

By Marianne Lake, Senior Director, Education & Research
May 6, 2021

Most, if not all, of us are familiar with the age-old debate on whether leaders are born or made. People on both sides of the discussion easily cite examples of great leaders that support their argument. In fact, legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi once said, "Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work." But is it really hard work that creates a leader?

This debate seems trivial since leadership is usually developed not from a single path or influence, but, instead, through the exploration of multiple paths and motivators, since the ability to lead others lies not only in our potential, but also in our environment and opportunities. One needs to look only as far as the past year of the pandemic to see the many natural leaders who rose above the challenges as the circumstances required.

Leadership does not choose people, people choose leadership. I am confident of this because I have witnessed it in all of our LeadingAge PA Fellows in Leadership classes, for which each participant chose to apply. I have heard the participants' passion in their voices and noted the pride in their eyes. I have seen confidence the size of a mustard seed grow into something that moves mountains.

Leaders with the ability to move mountains are even more evident in The Alumni Council, made up of Fellows in Leadership graduates. Alumni are forward-thinking, well-rounded professionals who continue to build on the strong foundation of leadership training that helps them effectively guide their team toward success. They are not only leaders, but they are also coaches, mentors, confidants, friends, coworkers, and family.

The future direction of an organization and the skills required to support it will always change. One constant to support those changes, though, is the need to develop leaders. Through leadership training programs like Fellows in Leadership, participants discover not only their strengths, but also how to use them to contribute to the development of their teams and organizations. This servant leadership is just one of the hallmarks of our Fellows program, as well as one of the key insights from the Inc. magazine article, "4 Powerful Leadership Lessons From Jesus."

Regardless of whether leaders are born or made, to cultivate the next generation and advance aging services in Pennsylvania, it is necessary to invest in leadership training now. We are excited to rollout our new hybrid Fellows in Leadership program later this year that incorporates the best of both online and in-person learning styles. We encourage you, or a star performer on your team, to answer the call for applicants that opens June 1!