Own your strengths, stand up for them.
By Steve Moran
While In San Antonio in April for Argentum’s National Senior Living Conference Fara Gold had the opportunity to interview Amy Davis, the Chief Operating Officer of Mansions Senior Living, a family-owned organization based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The first thing you should know is that she is a millennial and defies all of the negative stereotypes that I believe to be mostly false and embodies all of the things about millennials that will make senior living better for residents, families, and team members.
Here is what she had to say:
She started in the industry at a very young age, it was nightly dinner talk as her dad (Kim Davis) talked about the business. A big part of that was his encouragement to get involved with senior living and the family business early. She started in housekeeping and also worked the front desk and in dining.
This gave her a strong appreciation of how difficult those jobs are.
Then for a while, after college, she left the family business wanting to fly on her own but found herself being drawn back to senior living and the family business as her first love.
At Mansions, like many senior living organizations, they struggle with finding the right people and interviewing in a way that identifies the right candidates. She is really focused on talking to younger people about jumping into the senior living space.
As a leader, she is constantly reminding herself that she doesn’t know everything and that working in a family-owned and operated business creates some unique dynamics. She finds it a bit weird to be telling her dad what to do. Mostly, she spends a lot of time learning from and reaching out to the women who are working for the company.
She is particularly focused on making Mansions more innovative.
This is so powerful, in her own words:
“One really cool thing that I’ve been able to experience is, I haven’t been in this that long . . . only five years. And I’ve had people in my company come to me, older people that I respect . . . people who have been in senior living much longer than I have, and they’ve said . . .
‘We’ve seen you grow, we’ve seen you improve, we really think you have done amazing things and we really, really are proud of you.’
I don’t think they understand how impactful that’s been for me, how encouraging and how it’s helped boost my confidence to continue to grow and to continue to speak up. It has really helped me grow even faster by people encouraging me. So I want to do that for others as well.”
She offered this particularly powerful piece of advice: “Own your strengths, stand up for them. Don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, I know I can do this and I want to do that. I want to see where it takes us.”
You can watch the rest of the interview here: