Emotions & Hospice Organizations

by Anne Yurasek on July 15, 2008

103487515_31785dc394_m Just returned from counseling a new Acting ED (who would like to be the Board’s choice as the new ED) on how to engage with the staff of an organization that provides hospice services.  This is an agency with a traditionally large gulf between direct care staff and management.   

While business acumen is absolutely required to build a successful organization in a competitive environment, a hospice organization (as well as many other health and human service agencies) is a profoundly emotional entity.  From my perspective, the successful candidate will bring a unique set of capabilities…the ability to relate empathically with the direct care staff, to acknowledge the extraordinary nature of what they do and to create an environment that supports and nurtures them while also having the ability to think and act strategically.   It has been some time since this organization has had a leader who could actively reach out to and inspire the staff…touch them at the profound emotional level at which they do their work.   

There are many nonprofits that need CEO’s with somewhat ambidextrous brains…that can operate out of both the feeling and thinking sides of their psyches.   This Acting ED should start by asking, "How do you feel?" as well as "What do you think?".

Photo Credit: e3000

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