Leading in challenging times: April 2020 newsletter

First and foremost, I wish you and your loved ones well. I hope you are adjusting to this new way of living, working, and leading. In crafting this April edition of the newsletter, it is my intention to provide you an opportunity to reflect, recognizing effective leadership is as important today as it has ever been.

Given the magnitude of our global health crisis, I have been proud to see so many Gettysburgians respond with compassion, creativity, and a desire to serve the greater good. Whether it’s supporting students through emergency funds or inspiring others through song, members of our community continue to exemplify the College’s values during these strange and challenging times.

At the GLC, we’ve been focused on creating and maintaining our strong connection with team members and those for whom we serve. We’ve hosted several Zoom chats with student leaders, hosted a round table conversation on leading remotely for our Gettysburg colleagues, and even reconfigured our programs to better support student leadership development virtually. We have also created a new three-part virtual workshop series to help seniors translate their leadership experiences to their career launch. Lastly, we have been hard at work curating useful resources on how to maximize personal productivity from home, lead in a crisis, and manage a team remotely. Please be sure to explore these resources on our GLC Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts—and be sure to follow us!

When considering how we may best navigate the situation before us, my mind turned to a quote shared during a recent International Leadership Association webinar I attended on perseverance.

“The whole globe is shook up, so what are you going to do when things are falling apart? You’re either going to become more fundamentalist and try to hold things together, or you’re going to forsake the old ambitions and goals and live life as an experiment, making it up as you go along.” - Pema Chodron, Buddhist Teacher

In times of distress and uncertainty, we crave guidance, direction, and any semblance of control. We recognize there are forces (like the spread of COVID-19) beyond our dominion that drastically change our situation. These changes require a choice of us.

Too often we forget that we control who we want to be in times of challenge. One powerful question renowned leadership expert Meg Wheatley recommends we reflect on in our most trying moments is this:

“Who do I choose to be for this time?”

This simple shift in framing empowers us to decide who we aspire to be and how we choose to lead. As you approach your leadership practice, I encourage you to choose to be your very best self and to put your leadership lessons to good use in service of those around you.

Thank you for reading and for your continued support of the GLC.

Best wishes,


Andy Hughes
Executive Director, Garthwait Leadership Center

P.S. How have you been leading during this time? Do you have a resource or idea you would like to share? Please email me at ahughes@gettysburg.edu or share on our social media accounts.

By Staff
Posted: 04/24/20

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