The earliest and biggest choice we make is whether or not we are going to be motivated by indulging self or serving others.

By Steve Moran

We recently closed out the final Culture 2100 session of 2018, which was an amazing exploration of how to create cultures where senior living team members thrive and residents live amazing last chapter lives. We had 4 sessions that included a half-day of intimate conversation with passionate, world-changing leadership gurus and a day of deep thoughtful conversations about how we can serve our teams better.   

This whole grand adventure came about because I went to Denise Scott and said, “I have an idea” . . . and she dared to say, “Let’s make it happen.”

Did It Change the World?

The dollar cost for this adventure was high (at least by senior living industry standards). The time cost was high requiring a commitment of three days for each session when you include travel. There are really two questions that are nearly the same, but not quite:

  • Did it change the world?

  • Was it worth it?

When it comes to the question of whether or not it was worth it, the answer is a resounding yes. Did it change the world? I honestly don’t know yet but I think so . . .

Two Kinds of Learning

When we send our kids to college (or go ourselves) we have two goals. The first is to learn specific skills that will help each student have a successful professional life. The second goal is less concrete but clearly more valuable and that is to develop critical thinking skills that help people to look at the world in a different way.  

While I know we talked about a lot of specific ideas, I am convinced that each person who participated came away, looking at our field, our challenges and our people with very different eyes.   

The World Will Change

Ultimately, we get to craft our own destiny. The earliest and biggest choice we make is whether or not we are going to be motivated by indulging self or serving others. I am struck by how almost every single senior living leader I know is committed to serving others.

The question then becomes, how do we best do that. In too many cases, I worry that leaders move a ways down that path and get stuck. Never intentionally, but they get stuck because they get busy with the day-to-day efforts needed to do their job. They also get stuck because sometimes going to the next level requires a huge dose of humility and rethinking old ideas. It requires the ability to say, “I think I had that old idea wrong.”

Back to the Question . . . Did We Change the World?

I come down soldily on the yes side. We have not seen it yet, we who are participants are not even sure yet. But we built new amazing relationships that will last for a lifetime, and, as importantly, as we walk through our organizations each day, we will see our people, team members, residents and families, with eyes that are just a bit brighter and wiser and more compassionate.  

These eyes will change the world of senior living for generations to come:

  • Denise Boudreau-Scott, my partner, friend, and co-creator of this adventure
  • Tom Grape
  • Veronica Barber
  • Cheryl Ramsey
  • Camille Burke
  • Terri Cunliffe
  • Michelle Kozloski
  • Kia Cunegin
  • David Rast
  • Roberto Muniz
  • Jean Rebele
  • Randy Brown
  • Mike Rambarose
  • Deanna Ziemba
  • Adrienne Mansfield Straub