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Leadership Post-Pandemic

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What does club leadership look like during and post COVID-19? What a topic to consider. One of the obvious questions is: How will this affect our club operations and perhaps the leadership skills needed to lead our organizations?

This pandemic made us vulnerable. As managers and executives, we had to use many of the leadership traits we have spent our lives developing, giving reassurance and a vision for our teams. 

Wise leaders were transparent and honest with staff, because we don’t have all the answers. However, we will work through this together, making the best decisions we can with the information we have. 

Early in the pandemic lockdown, my fiancé and I decided to go back and watch the first few seasons of the reality show Survivor. While watching, there were some interesting comparisons. 

In particular, during the first season the players were playing a game for the first time. It had never been done before and they did not have the benefit of seeing others play the game. They were learning as they went on how to form alliances and strategy for who to keep in the tribe and who to vote out. Similarly, we are working through this for the first time. We do not have all the answers, but here are some things that will help us all: 

As we progress through the different phases of reopening among the COVID-19 outbreak, we have to remember plans are fluid. They are changing based on data and facts, as well as perception and public social comfort levels. Our leadership will require us to be adaptable and able to communicate out of love and concern on why hard decisions are made. In your plan, having multiple scenarios on how this will continue to play out may help put you in the best position possible as things continue to change.  

Look at your organization with fresh eyes. During this time, challenge yourself to evolve rather than rushing to get back to normal. Instead, focus to create new opportunities and growth for your organization and our industry. 

As hard as these times have been for many people professionally and personally, we will get through this as an industry and be a stronger “tribe.”

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Andrew Barranco

Andrew Barranco is the regional operations and aquatics manager for Merritt Clubs. He can be reached at abarranco@merrittclubs.com.

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