By Steve Moran

Dan Madson, the CEO of Leisure Care, said this during a presentation at the Empath sales conference in Santa Barbara:

“Leaders Need to be Great Sales People”

While this has always been true, there has never been a time when this idea was more critical in senior living. It is the thing that will make the difference between thriving and just surviving. It will make the difference between thriving and failure. Here is what that looks like in real life:


  1. You have to have something to sell – Leaders of great organizations have something world-changing they are doing for their customers. It might be the mission statement of the organization. But more likely it is bigger than that. You need to be selling and reselling your mission to your leaders, your front-line staff, and even your customers.
  2. Your Values Are Everything – At the end of the day, particularly in senior living, your values, the ones you live, are the things that determine your uniqueness and your success. Those values need to be sold to the entire team. Your team needs to embrace the same values that you do. You must be selling, reinforcing them all of the time.
  3. Change is Constant –  If you are going to have success or continued success, you will need to be evolving your tactics. And your team will naturally resist change. These changes that will be vital to your business will need to be sold by you.
  4. People Forget – The people you lead will lose sight of why you are doing what you do in your organization. They will get discouraged and burned out. Your job as a leader is to keep reminding them why they are doing what they do, and why their role is important. Your constant job is to remind them, and it is impossible to do too much of this.
  5. New Hires – New hires will join your organization excited about this new chapter in their life (or because they are desperate for a job). They will be watching to see if it turns into an ordinary job or something extraordinary. You have this unique opportunity to make it extraordinary by selling  them on what you are doing.
  6. Your Customers Are Cynics –  Your customers are cynics, as are most consumers, including you and me. Even when we purchase a product or service we have this sense that maybe we are not getting the value we are entitled to. As a leader you need to be reminding them, reinforcing why they made the right decision for their family; how their lives will be better, happier, more fulfilling.