By Steve Moran

This article was inspired by Seth Godin’s talk at the 2021 Empath conference in Santa Barbara. Here are the highlights.

What Does Senior Living Make?

You might say we don’t make anything, but that is not really true. We make, or at least our industry promise is that we make, changed lives. The big question is really this: Do we deliver on our brand promise?

While I don’t think we fail on our brand promise exactly, I am not sure we are delivering a superior experience.

The Lowest-Paid Person Is the Most Important Person

This one smacked me in the jaw. Because, while we frequently give lip service to this idea, I am not so sure we behave as if this is true. Yet it is these frontline, lowest-paid people who have most of the contact with our customers and prospects. They are the ones who determine our success or failure.

I would also note that they are almost entirely the product of the way we lead and the operating systems we have created.

We Have the Power and Opportunity To Say “I See You”

This is true for our customers (residents and family members) as well as team members. I think we often miss the power of this. Have you ever been to a conference where you walked past someone who you knew and they didn’t even say hello, even though you are sure they saw you? It feels pretty terrible.

When we see people, we give them power and say, “You are important. You are valuable to me and to the organization.” It takes so little to do this. And yet, it takes a lot because it does take emotional energy to pull this off.

If Your Community, Your Organization Disappeared, Would Anyone Notice or Care?

Of course, your team members would care because it means needing a new job. And of course, your residents would care because it would mean needing a new place to live. But would people drive by and say, “I am going to miss that community because they really cared, they really made a difference in our local marketplace”?

Worse, of course, would be if they noticed and said good riddance.

The Most Important Thing We Sell Is Trust

We are trusted with something very precious and very fragile and vulnerable. We clearly deliver on the promise of physical safety at a rate that is well above 99%. The much bigger question is how trustworthy we are when it comes to delivering a steady dose of last chapter experiences.

A Final Note

These are worthy concepts for those of us in the vendor community, as well as providers.  If you were to grade your organization on these five concepts, what grade would you receive?