Building Bonds that Matter: In conversation with Leadership Award Winner Monica Olagundoye
The VHA leadership awards is an annual recognition program to further build and strengthen VHA’s culture of leadership excellence by recognizing individuals at all levels who demonstrate impactful leadership.
Monica Olagundoye, Care Team Supervisor, is a Leadership Award recipient in the Building Bonds that Matter category. Awardees in this category create meaningful connections with others, recognize the unique skills and contributions of individuals and exemplify VHA’s commitment to care for each other as much as we care for clients. Many care providers who directly report to Monica nominated her for this award. One nominator wrote Monica “brings their team together in love,” making it undeniably clear that she has a remarkable skill for bringing people together and inspiring those around her.
We sat down Monica to learn more about her approach to leadership and her journey at VHA so far.
VHA: You’ve been selected in the category “Building Bonds that Matter.” Congratulations! What does “building bonds that matter” mean to you?
Monica: Strong, healthy relationships are important throughout our lives. Our social ties with family members, friends, coworkers, and others impacts our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. Building bonds that matter means to develop a close connection or strong relationship with someone, or to make an impact on the bond. My aim was to bond the group of Personal Support Workers in my region into a close-knit team. Being transparent and honest, I look at areas in which they all can succeed and strive for the best. I show my PSWs that I truly care and value them individually and as a group.
What motivates you to do the work that you do?
A sense of purpose, personal fulfillment, recognition, and the desire to achieve professional growth. I am motivated by the opportunity to take on new challenges, taking on the C1 area as one of the largest in the region. In my current position, I have been able to take on more responsibility. It’s been incredibly fulfilling, and I am constantly growing and evolving in my role. My staff also motivate me as I know they look up to me as their leader and I only want them to be proud of the team they belong to as well as the one that is leading the team.
Could you tell us about an achievement, inside or outside of work, that you’re proud of?
Throughout my career as an experienced nurse, I have had the opportunity to work with many organizations and achieve significant milestones. One achievement that stands out is being a part of and among the COVID 19 Region of Peel Vaccinators as well as a Clinical Team Leader. The pandemic had the world at a standstill. I am happy that I was able to vaccinate many people as well as provide education on the benefits of receiving the vaccine.
When you look back on your journey at VHA so far, is there a moment or situation that stands out where you learned something that changed your perspective? This can be anything- big or small!
I have had the opportunity to be part of many workgroups since joining VHA. At first, I was a bit nervous as I was not sure of what would be required of me in participating. Being new to the organization, I was hard on myself when I didn’t have all of the answers. I learned that it is always ok to ask your senior colleagues questions; they are always happy to help and provide feedback when needed.
There’s no doubt that a huge part of being a leader is teamwork. Do you have any advice for how to build that connection and trust?
I live by the motto “Teamwork makes the dream work.” I believe carrying your team along only results in success. I demonstrate transparency, set goals, boundaries, and expectations, show appreciation to the team both as a whole and individually.