Recently, the executive team at Presbyterian Communities and Services (PC&S) shared with me that leader development in long-term care is fairly rare – most training focuses on the technical aspects of the job. Given the growth and increasing complexity of healthcare, development at all levels is important, particularly for those who are leading teams in this environment.  

PC&S, which is a faith-based, nonprofit organization, asked me to create a leadership program for them that we later named Leadership That Matters: Equipping Exemplary Leaders (LTM).  I am excited to help spread my knowledge of the program and educate others on the importance of developing successful leaders for this industry.

PC&S is implementing LTM at the director level across all of their communities –  the content is applicable for leaders in any environment. PC&S has two continuing care retirement communities: Presbyterian Village North and Grace Presbyterian Village, which offer independent living, assisted living, long-term care, skilled nursing and memory care, and also a hospice organization: Faith Presbyterian Hospice.

Leadership That Matters is a rigorous, practice-based program that spans 12 months. It’s designed to allow new leadership skills and capabilities to really sink in. LTM is divided into three sections: Self, Others and Organization.

With the intent to share an immediately applicable model with the industry, I recently gave an overview of the program and taught a core element of the content at the NADONA and LeadingAge conferences in April and May. 

In my presentation, we covered the two central models: The Drama Triangle and The Empowerment Dynamic. Many people get pulled into what The Power of TED author, David Emerald, refers to as The Drama Triangle, in which people react to problems by rescuing, blaming and falling into the role of a victim. 

The goal is to shift from The Drama Triangle into The Empowerment Dynamic (TED). With TED, people focus on the positive and sustainable outcomes they would like to achieve, then they coach others and themselves challenging them to reach their goals. Effective leaders are able to remove themselves from the drama of a situation and shift to a more empowering mindset.  Leaders at both workshops commented on the usefulness of the models, particularly in having a way to get out of the drama!

The first LTM class commenced last June at PC&S, and the second class will begin in the fall of 2015. Participants in the first program were deeply affected and shared the positive impact the program had on their lives at their commencement. They spoke of leaving the program with a greater sense of self-awareness, an increased ability to communicate and collaborate with others, as well as improved decision-making skills.

Presbyterian Communities and Services believes that our efforts will help ensure that seniors receive the highest-quality care and hospice services across the industry. We are making a difference not only in the lives of fellow professionals, but also in the lives of the seniors we all serve.  

LeeAnn Mallory is a leadership and organizational development consultant for Presbyterian Communities and Services.

This article originally appeared on McKnight's