By Steve Moran

David Slomovic is a modern Renaissance man passionately focused on improving senior living.

He spent 18 years as a trial attorney working for the Los Angeles County DAs Office, and from there went to successfully operating a family-owned 130-unit senior living community in Orange County, California. He is the author of the senior living leadership book The Unicorn Project and consults with senior living owners and operators.

1. What is the most important leadership lesson you have learned?

A good leader leads by example. The most important leadership lesson is that people look at what you do more than what you say.

2. What has surprised you most about being a leader?

The most surprising part is how lonely it can be. When you are the apex predator you have no peers so it is difficult, especially if you are a collaborative person by nature.

3. What is the best leadership advice anyone ever gave you?

Never ask anybody to do something you would not be willing to do, but conversely, do not do someone else’s job. Either you don’t need them or you’re not doing your job.

4. When you are faced with impossible challenges where do you find strength?

I focus on how beautiful the result is going to be and how proud I will feel for accomplishing the results. The harder the challenge, the greater the reward. The higher the climb, the greater the view.

5. If you were to compare yourself with a historical, movie, or storybook character as a metaphor for how you lead, who would it be and why?

Even though it is a tremendous slight to perhaps the greatest president we ever had, I compare myself to President Abraham Lincoln, who led the country through the most difficult time in our history. He said this one thing that resonates with me every day: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” I live by that motto.


This is the start of a new series at Senior Living Foresight. I am constantly stressed that I can’t interview as many people as I would like. I borrowed this idea from a friend of New York Times writer Paula Span (with permission of course).