Effective Leadership During & After the COVID-19 Pandemic

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In the latest episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat, I sat down with Carol Stiff, Head of Canada at Santen, for a wide-ranging discussion. Among other things, we delved into what effective leadership looks like before, during, and after COVID-19; challenges brought on by the pandemic; the importance of developing partnerships with patient and medical associations; the future of healthcare, and much, much more!

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: I’m curious how you talk or enable vulnerability within the context of meetings when it doesn’t feel “real” or “human” anymore, especially in the context of mental wellness and all of the things that are going on right now, affecting one’s mental situation. Is there an opportunity or have you created a space for vulnerability, sharing, and getting people in a place of safety and security? What would you say to other leaders who are looking at starting or establishing a company in this virtual world?

A: It’s a great question! When I was thinking about some of the questions that we were going to discuss today, one of the things that I kind of noted as a bit of a positive fallout of the pandemic that I think happened somewhat organically, but also as a result of who our team is, is: when we’re all on these Zoom calls and your Teams calls or whatever platform you’re on constantly, people have kids at home, their spouses are at home working, it’s a different environment, and I think one of the interesting things that has come out of this is that it allows us a little bit of a glimpse into each other as human beings outside of the work environment. I’m sure you experienced this and everybody out there experienced this – you’re on a Zoom call and somebody’s doorbell rings and it’s a courier and you’ve got to run down to sign for something or there are kids crying in the background or kids coming in checking if mom and dad are on a phone call or dogs are barking because the dog walker has shown up. I see these as actually really a positive thing, because it allows us just to see each other a little bit more holistically; there is more to us than just what we see at work.

I think naturally, our team, as I mentioned earlier, by nature of who we are and the purposeful approach that I’ve had and the team had in terms of who we’re adding to our team ultimately. We’ve created an environment of trust start-off with, even pre-pandemic. I think that allowed our team to have no fear, and even in fact welcome some of these interruptions into our days and into our meetings and, oftentimes, it results in a little bit of a laugh.

Back to one of the points you made earlier about disrupting our conversations a little bit, it can be a very good thing. What I found is that I think this is something that’s actually building around our camaraderie. Going back to your question about vulnerability, I think each time one of those interruptions happens, we make a joke out of it, we make light of it instead of making it an issue and in fact encouraging those things. I think that just encourages the next show of vulnerability and the next sharing. I think some of them are natural and organic. Other things that we’ve done and I have to say we’re missing right now, that we did at the beginning of the pandemic is to do things like virtual cocktail parties or a happy hour. We just created that situation where there was no work, let’s just catch up, how’s everybody feeling? We haven’t done that as much lately and I think that’s something we’re missing that we should get back to, seeing we’re probably still going to be working at home for a while…

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Carol Stiff, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.

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