Sustaining a NORC Program

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Guiding Principle # 3

Visionary leaders and strong managers are both critical to the success of a NORC program.

The complementary skills of leadership and management sustain NORC programs and guide the partnerships that keep them strong. A program that has a bold vision, but lacks competent and consistent management, will not run well. Similarly, a program that is focused on the details of daily activities, but does not have a broader perspective on the challenges of aging in place, will not become an agent of change.

Occasionally—but not often—one person is effective as both leader and manager, but the emphasis of the two roles is very different:

  • Good management entails the ability to cope with complexity—juggling day-to-day activities and personnel, and developing the organizational structure necessary to serve senior residents.
  • Strong leadership entails the ability to cope with change—focusing on the big picture, seeing how the local environment is evolving, and finding ways to do things better.

The skills of both leaders and managers are necessary to chart a course of action, prepare people to follow, and ensure that they do. In a general way, their responsibilities divide up like this:

 

Leaders

Managers

Chart a Course

Set a direction—develop a vision and strategies for achieving the vision.

Plan, budget, and implement the program.

Prepare People

Align people—empower them to support the vision.

Create an organizational structure and identify the necessary staffing.

Ensure Progress

Motivate and inspire people to implement the vision.

Coordinate activities and solve problems.

Continue to Actions and Considerations

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