Are you hanging out with the right people? If not, maybe you should dump some of them!

By Steve Moran

There is a motivational speaker by the name of Jim Rohn who says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

This is pretty intuitive when you think about it. Fit people hang out with fit people and motivate each other to be more fit. Not so fit people tend to hang out with other not so fit people making it very hard to get fit. Druggies hang out with other druggies, which is why they have such a hard time breaking bad habits and also why 12 step programs are so effective.

Senior Living — Who Do You Hang Out With?

The big idea here is that if you want to be a better senior living leader your closest friends need to be people who are doing great things, figuring out new ways of doing things, people who are doing above average things. Many times this may even mean hanging out with people who are a bit intimidating.   

This is often not so easy to accomplish. Most leaders spend most of their time hanging out with the people they are leading and, if they are good leaders, those folks they are leading are likely great team members as well. But . . . they are not likely the ones who will really inspire you to be a better leader, to be more creative, to take more risks. They are not likely the ones who make you better.

In the Life of Steve Moran

As a writer I live this weird existence. Day to day I work out of my home office where I spent a lot of time on the internet and the phone, talking, thinking, writing and reading. Then about 20 times a year I venture out from my cave to various conferences where over the course of a year I have a couple thousand conversations (many are just micro conversations) with close to a thousand people.

Having lived that life now for several years I have developed a few very close relationships with people who are excellent at what they do. I get to see them in person at conferences or other events a few times a year and they inspire me to be better at what I do. Yep, I am going to name my five:

  • Dennis McIntee  —  A great speaker and leadership mentor who pushes me every time we talk.

  • Denise Boudreau Scott  —  A great person-centered coach, speaker and trainer. She is the speaker I want to become.

  • Kent Mulkey  —  He is the best senior living campus leader I know. He knows how to get buildings full and keep them full. He knows how to motivate team members.

  • Faith Ott  —  She had faith in the power of Senior Housing Forum before hardly anyone had ever heard of it or Steve Moran. She is a great strategic thinker, doer and a brilliant senior living marketer. 

  • Michael Owens  —  Michael is one of the best conference producers I have ever met. He came into the senior living space not really knowing anyone and has built the best senior living C-suite conference in the country and is forever pushing the industry to be better.

I write this list with some trepidation because I am friends with several other great leaders who inspire me. People like John Cochrane, Bailey Beeken, Bill Thomas and Lori Alford . . . I could put a couple dozen names here. But that group of five are the ones that I talk to at least monthly. They are the ones who inspire me, challenge me and push me. They are the ones that know me best. They make me better at what I do.

Your Five?

If you have five folks in your life then I applaud you because I am betting most leaders don’t. In fact most leaders have some people who are close to them that are actually dragging them down, folks that maybe shouldn’t be dumped as friends but whose influence in your life needs to decrease.

The best place I know for making inspirational connections is industry leadership conferences and, if you are in the C-suite, the best of those is the Senior Living Innovation Forum that will take place in Boca Raton this June. I will be there and hope you will too.