Lessons in Leadership Learned in the Pandemic

Kendra Davenport, Chief Development Officer, Operation Smile

Kendra Davenport. Operation Smile photo: Kristen Zeis.
Kendra Davenport. Operation Smile photo: Kristen Zeis.

“Adversity is a sage teacher, and that if we’re open to its lessons, there is much to learn.”

Despite the continuously mounting obstacles and vexing challenges, we were working optimally, and our results had never been better. Looking back, I think our success amid chaos all around us was tied very directly to our team’s cohesion. Through adversity often comes strength, and while the chaos seemed overwhelming at times, I think it compelled us to work more closely, enhancing collaboration, transparency and sharing.

Kendra Davenport comforts Katerin, a 16-month old patient, during the May 2021 Operation Smile surgical program in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Operation Smile photo: Rohanna Mertens.
Kendra Davenport. Operation Smile photo: Kristen Zeis.

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Operation Smile

Through our expertise in treating cleft lip and cleft palate, we create solutions that deliver safe surgery to people where it’s needed most. operationsmile.org