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Leading with Purpose: Simple Truths for Complex Times

April 3, 2023

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Lynne Gilliland

Lynne Gilliland Consulting

In this week’s episode of Lessons From Leaders, Morgan Lance, CEO of OneSky, shares her story and insights as the first CEO to take over from the founder and leader of over 24 years. This conversation is characterized by Morgan’s focus on simple truths that have helped her navigate the challenges of leadership in complex times.

As the new CEO, Morgan faced difficult decisions, new responsibilities, and a new role, but she made it clear to the board that the values and mission of the organization would not waiver.

Morgan admits that it hasn’t been perfect, but it has been a valuable lesson in decision-making.

When there's tough decisions to be made, or moments of leadership that I know are going to be difficult for me, I always go back to that question: What is best for the kids that we serve? What decision do I need to make right now, or what do I need to do or embody in order to move the mission forward? And that's a really clear, decision-maker for me. It makes things a lot easier.

Morgan Lance, CEO, OneSky

Midway through, Morgan shares her personal journey in leading an organization with programs in foreign countries during the height of the pandemic, emphasizing the importance of avoiding assumptions about how the pandemic affected the teams, as it varied depending on where they were based. Programs were re-evaluated, and she reminds us that the innovative spirit needs to live on.

We needed to innovate quickly. We could not simply wait for the world to get better. For funding to pick back up. For countries that were in lockdown to open back up - we just couldn't wait. We had to find ways to reach the populations we were working with online, and sometimes that meant expanding to low-tech solutions. Being able to take what was once a really structured in-person training program for caregivers of vulnerable children and quickly innovate to online delivery methods, was a big learning for us. 

Morgan Lance, CEO, OneSky

As a CEO, she learned that decisions need to be made quickly, and that “leaders are remembered for the pace at which they make decisions, not necessarily the outcome of those decisions”.

Morgan’s message is timely and full of tips for leaders looking to re-energize their leadership role and their organization’s purpose in 2023. Her story is a reminder that a clear purpose and a focus on the people you serve can help you navigate even the most complex challenges.

Thank you, Morgan, for sharing your transition story and for reminding us to re-evaluate: what’s our purpose? As we move forward, we can all benefit from the simple truths you have shared.

Real conversations. Current topics. Honest leaders. Found wherever you listen to podcasts. You can hear top tips from leaders across the world. Lynne and her guests discuss everything from success to failure, fear to courage, and the path to growth. Listen today!