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Leadership Reflections: Stories with Meaning

June 9, 2022

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Lynne Gilliland

Lynne Gilliland Consulting

We know the “normal” we knew is long gone, but what does that mean moving forward? This week in Lessons from Leaders, host Lynne Gilliland is sitting down with two leaders who share the differences they are seeing within organizational culture, shifts in the virtual workplace, and where they are anticipating things to grow and evolve as we continue find this “new normal.

Polly Dunford

Polly Dunford took on the role of President and CEO of IntraHealth International in March of 2020. “It was a crazy time to take over an organization. I started on March 16th, the exact day the world went virtual…” she explained.

In this episode, Polly shares what it felt like to meet staff virtually. She discusses her role, not as the CEO, but as the self-identified CPO – Chief People Officer – focusing on supporting her team members during a challenging times.

What are her thoughts about doing everything remotely? “The virtual workspace has been an opportunity to even the playing field…” she said.

Listen to the episode below to hear about what an even playing field looks like in her organization and how the virtual workspace led to unexpected relationship building.

What I appreciate so much about Polly and her entry into leadership at IntraHealth is her flexibility – letting go of her own plan and shifting her focus from big thinking and thought leadership to helping staff find childcare, support for eldercare, and the deeply personal needs outside of the office space.

In addition to leading through the beginning of COVID-19 and the pandemic, Polly talks about leading through the tragic murder of George Floyd and how it rocked her organization to focus even more on equity, inclusivity, and actively participating in social justice efforts.

There is vital information in this episode for leaders and organizations everywhere; stories to relate to, lessons to learn from, and struggles that have been very real for so many.

Kate Moynihan

Kate Moynihan is the Executive Director of Seva Foundation, a foundation working in over 20 countries to increase the capacity of local hospitals and develop sustainable eye care programs.

Like nearly all leaders, Kate has seen a drastic change in leadership throughout the pandemic. As she shared about her role as an executive for a non-profit organization during such discord, I admired how she leaned into purpose first—prioritizing the why in what she was doing allowed her to stick to her instincts to realign and reaffirm within the organization.

On the note of purpose, recently, a statistic showed that 79% of employees crave to know and lean into their organization’s purpose. Kate speaks brilliantly to this, and I love what you will learn about reconnecting with your purpose and vision.

You will also hear Kate discuss the importance of setting personal boundaries and figuring out how to create a balance between work and personal life.  She shares her ideas on disconnecting from work and we could all use a boost in that.

Thank you, Polly and Kate for joining me on Lessons from Leaders!


Check out more episodes here

© Photo: iStock/Maryna Andriichenko