Why A Leader Must Constantly Reinvent Oneself

Joel Landau is the Chairman and Founder of The Allure Group, a New York-based healthcare group of skilled nursing and rehab facilities.

The world has transformed as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced individuals and businesses alike to adapt to changing rules and restrictions. For corporate leaders, this means more than reconfiguring the workplace. To be able to pivot and keep pace with change, leaders must literally reinvent themselves. Howard Shultz of Starbucks, Apple’s Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos of Amazon are all examples of business leaders who have reinvented themselves — and their companies — to retain both customers and employees.

Reinvention is defined as changing something to such a degree that it appears to be entirely new. This takes confidence, courage, skill and an open mind, not to mention superior communication skills. The new direction must be abundantly clear to everyone on the team, from top to bottom, so there is no doubt about where the enterprise is headed.

Leadership advisor Glenn Llopis notes that the pandemic has forced leaders to adapt — that, in fact, it has provided unique opportunities to explore new horizons. That being the case, he encourages the adoption of a “farmer’s mentality,” which involves continually planting seeds, secure in the knowledge that some of them will provide a bountiful harvest.

The transition into the post-pandemic era puts the onus on leaders to reorganize their organizations to fit into this new business climate in order to thrive. The healthcare industry, for example, has been vastly changed by the widespread adoption of telehealth and telemedicine. A majority of physician’s offices and outpatient practices were closed at the height of the pandemic, so medical practitioners largely assessed patients through video and phone consultations.

A report by Sykes shows that, in 2021, 80% of survey respondents believe that people can receive quality healthcare through telehealth; whereas, at the very start of the pandemic, 66% of the people polled were uncertain about the quality of care an individual could receive virtually. While the worst of the pandemic may be over, leaders and businesses in the healthcare arena — indeed, in every industry — must reevaluate and revitalize their culture to reshape their image and reputation.

Successful leaders, in particular, may feel that reinvention is risky because they have built their reputation on doing things a certain way. They may feel intimidated; by changing, they stand to lose money or status. But if someone is already perceived as accomplished in one area, others tend to assume they are good in general. People are usually willing to give established leaders the benefit of the doubt. This, along with a robust network and financial reserves, provides a position of strength from which to reinvent.

I think about a quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw that states, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

As head of The Allure Group, a network of six New York City-based skilled nursing facilities, I have remained cognizant of the need to evolve and tried to make certain our team did the same. Specific to our goals of providing top-notch patient care has been a commitment to state-of-the-art innovation — the most recent of which has been two new technologies.

The first of those, enacted long before the pandemic began, involved placing tablets at each of the 1,400 bedsides in our facilities. Initially used by our residents for entertainment and relaxation, these tablets provided them with a vital communications link to their loved ones after the pandemic began and government-imposed lockdowns went into effect. The second, meanwhile, involves dispensing handheld monitors to patients upon their discharge, providing them with a link to healthcare professionals and invaluable transitional care.

The bottom line is you can never afford to stand still in any sector. There are always opportunities for reinvention, and it is essential for a leader to be aware of them and be prepared to venture off in a new direction.

Reinventing oneself requires a constant focus on what’s happening around you as you learn to use your observations to transfer this knowledge to a new set of skills that can help you and your organization move forward.

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