A Year of Covid: LSST’s Deputy CEO thanked for outstanding pandemic leadership – and for contributing over £600,000 to students and staff
By Kunal Chan Mehta | Article Date: 26 March 2021
During an academic year like no other, and having just marked the anniversary of a full year under the shadow of a pandemic, effective leadership has never been more necessary – or more difficult. Acknowledging this, in a heart-warming moment, students and staff thanked LSST’s Deputy CEO – Mr Mohammed Zaidi – in a surprise virtual meeting for his pioneering leadership and generosity in contributing over £600,000 to LSST students and staff, in awards, fee waivers and grocery gift cards, over the last 12 exhausting and difficult pandemic months.
‘As a team, we have been able to pull through 12-extensive months during the most challenging time LSST has ever faced,’ said Mr Mohammed Zaidi, during the surprise virtual meeting. ‘Through outstanding coordination, constant learning and communication we acted robustly and responsibly in the face of this pandemic. And by doing so, we helped minimise the risk of infection and disruption. Our stringent measures, developed in consultation with our students and staff, allows everyone at LSST to keep as safe as possible. My LSST ethos is simple: doing what is right and doing what is good.’
The ability to effectively lead
The era of Covid-19 is a very unusual story. There was no leadership crisis manual or template – and it took everyone – from organisations to individuals – by total surprise. Hence, the ability to effectively lead became the sole point of light for navigating through Covid-19 efficaciously.
Last March, LSST’s stakeholders remained rightly concerned about Covid-19 and wanted to know about LSST’s ongoing response and planning. While keeping its community safe, LSST’s Deputy CEO still wanted students to stay motivated about studying and be able to study without hindrances, despite an impending national lockdown.
‘Through clear and concise planning from our Deputy CEO, we were able to focus on the wellbeing of our students and staff. This is why all of our services are available online and cover mental and physical health, as well as support with values and faith, disability and much more,’ said Dr Wendy Wigley, LSST’s Head of Student Enhancement and Life-cycle emphasising LSST’s roadmap to recovery.
‘Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary leadership and the Deputy CEO has shown that in full measure,’ said Dr John Pomeroy, a member of LSST’s Board of Governors.
‘Our Deputy CEO ensured that we did not just switch the physical LSST for a digital one – but rather re-shaped everything so it recognised digital learning per se,’ added Dr Mohamad Hassan, LSST’s Partnership Manager. ‘This guidance supported the handling of one of the worst crisis we have faced outright.’
Adapting to Covid
Mr Syed Zaidi, LSST’s founder and CEO added: ‘Together we remain committed to tackling Covid-19 the LSST way – by standing with the government, science and shaping the solution for our stakeholders and beyond. We have shown how our hearts, minds and actions can make a positive difference.’
‘Throughout the pandemic, over the unpredictable and challenging year, the safety of LSST’s students, staff and the communities we are located in has always been our central concern. Everyone at LSST is particularly pleased with how our IT staff have created the right distinctive balance between what we do on campus and what we do online. Indeed, for the foreseeable future, Covid-19 will continue to operate as a catalyst for change.’
Navigating towards optimism and opportunity
All of us within the LSST family want that genuine sense of connectedness that we only feel in person. But even as we acknowledge and come to terms with the separation and struggles of this past extraordinary year, LSST has seen value in how we experienced each other in more dimensions, allowing us to learn more about each other ‘beyond the campus.’ Thus, leading us to be more sympathetic, empathetic and observant towards each other that, in turn, led to opportunities in communication, collaboration and – paradoxically – connectedness.
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