Weinbeck: A reflection on 5 years in leadership at Bayview

Nancy Weinbeck: 5 lessons from the for-profit senior living world

Nancy Weinbeck: 5 lessons from the for-profit senior living world

Early summer of 2001 was monumental for me. I got married and I started a new job: working at Bayview in Resident Services. I was 36 years old. In April of 2019 my world changed again when I began my tenure as Bayview’s 9th CEO. Fast forward to 2024, and I’m suddenly two and a half short years from my ability to become a Bayview resident myself! My five-year tenure as the leader of this awesome and beloved community leaves me with a myriad of emotions including gratitude, pride, as well as a sense of profound learning. And as I look back, it’s clear how lessons learned on my Bayview journey were intertwined with the broader journey of life. And there have been so many lessons. I’ll share just a few in this short reflection.

Leadership muscles are like any other muscles. They need to be stressed and taxed in order to get stronger. Apologies for the mixed metaphors, but I was just getting my sea legs under me, or so I thought, when a skilled nursing facility just north of us experienced the first COVID outbreak. And so, it began. What I thought was going to be a great year of sharing my vision for transformational aging became a daily endeavor of keeping residents, children in our Intergenerational Children’s Center, and our staff as safe and protected as possible.  Adapting and flexing to the changing course of the pandemic while keeping the community safe and learning resilience in the face of adversity taxed my leadership muscles in unanticipated and unexpected ways, but this community has become stronger for it. And so have I.

Further, my time as CEO has underscored the importance of balance. It’s a delicate equilibrium between professional responsibilities and personal well-being. And in a community like Bayview, the professional and the personal become so intertwined. But that is also part of our secret sauce. A community based on love and compassion feeds professional and personal growth. Carving out moments of pause and reflection has helped me sustain not only my effectiveness as a leader but my overall fulfillment as a 59-year old woman embracing the joys and sorrows of life.

In essence, these last five years have served as a mirror reflecting profound lessons that surpass those learned in a “job”. These lessons have not only shaped my approach to leadership but have enriched my journey of growth and self-discovery. The best part is that I get to carry these lessons forward on my own aging journey. Bayview is a beacon guiding me forward with grace, empathy, and resilience. And each new resident that becomes a part of this amazing community makes that light shine brighter. 

Nancy Weinbeck is the CEO of Bayview in Queen Anne.