By Steve Moran

I am fascinated by why some organizations are crazy successful, some have medium success, and some fail. It is easy to think it has to do with things like selling the right product or service at the right price; being in the right marketplace; or having just the right idea. While there is no doubt that those things are ultimately important and can determine the difference between success or failure, ultimately it is more than that.  

The right question is really this, why in a highly competitive marketplace does one company outshine all the rest?  Think Amazon, Zappos (before being purchased by Amazon), Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, and others. It ultimately comes down to leadership.  

As I have explored what makes great leaders, it starts with how they think about their place in the world, about their business, their teams, and their customers.

This is the first in a series titled “On Leadership”, featuring interviews with outstanding leaders in senior living. I want to start by saying that while John Moore now leads what is today the 2nd or 3rd largest senior living organization in the US, it is not primarily about the size of the organization.  I think it would be safe to say that we can name large senior living organizations that were large but not particularly well-led.

John’s Thoughts

  • I smiled at the first thing he said, “I don’t think it’s that complicated.” This is so typical of great leaders, which is why it is so important to get inside their heads and understand how they think about leadership.
  • Execution is the best innovation; it’s a real commitment to delivering on promises.
  • Spending a lot of time figuring out what story makes sense for the organization. This means figuring out what makes sense to do, then creating a story that supports those goals.
  • Having a strong leadership team that has been around for a long time (which of course takes time to make happen).
  • It’s about establishing core goals, core values and sticking with them. He gave the example of how they have, for 20 years, been working on getting their average deficiencies per community down from high single digits to less than 1 per community.
  • In everything you do, make sure what you say and what you do match. And then make the real story the best story.
  • When you have great leaders working for you, as part of your organization, get out of their way and let them do what they do best.
  • Always know that you can be better than you are and set a goal of being better.
  • Accept, even embrace the idea that things are changing and that in those changes there are opportunities to get better.
  • In everything we do we strive for excellence and then deliver. 

That’s it. I hope you will find something here where you will go “that makes sense to me”, then use it to become a better leader.