"This is about leaders who stop saying, 'We can't do that, we don't do that, we always do it this way..'"

- Linda Bump


Learn the importance of having leaders at every level of staff who are willing to challenge the status quo to make life better for the elders.

Northern Pines: Leadership

This is about leaders from the heart. Not leaders by title, but leaders at all depths of staff, leaders closest to the resident. This is about all staff who tune into the bigger environment, who listen to critics, who listen to elders, who search for information and knowledge.

This is about leaders throughout the organization who practice what Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the change theorist, calls "shake up thinking, kaleidoscope thinking". These leaders challenge assumptions, see new patterns in life's events, change the patterns with the same pieces of life's events, and see something others did not see with the same pieces.

This is about leaders who stop saying, "We can't do that, we don't do that, we always do it this way," and instead say, "Why can't we? How can we? We can do that."

This is about leaders committed to high involvement, to communication, to creating a learning climate, to conflict resolution, to teams, to teams, to teams. The Bigfork story must include LaVrene Norton. We developed the vision, core values, commitment to co-workers, applied the Eden Principles, incorporated the principles from "Managing from the Heart." But it took the guidance, counsel, teaching, training, patience and challenging of LaVrene to turn our vision and dreams of a "different way" into Northern Pines Communities. Her ability, honesty and sensitivity earned the trust and respect of everyone in our home.

This is about leaders with heart, courage, conviction, patience, humility and forgiveness. Jon Shafer, the Minnesota Eden Associate Coordinator, speaks of the "magic words of love, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, patience, tolerance and joy".

This is about a resident and toddler, in the living room, squeezing the bike horn used by the residents in place of a call light, the joy of the toddler who laughed gleefully, and the joy of the resident who said, "I laugh until I cry." This is about the smiles, contentment and peace the two shared after the laughter.

So look inside your heart and find a way. Dr. Thomas says, "With courage, all is possible. Without courage, you hurt a lot of people."

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Contact LaVrene Norton

at 414.258.3649

or Steve Shields

at 785.313.4059




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