By Steve Moran

If you supervise even one other person, you are a leader. Leaders have lots of things they need to do, but they almost never spend enough time doing the most important thing they should be doing. Their #1 job is usually about 34 on the leader’s list of priorities. Here it is:

Your #1 job as a leader is to make your team members fall in love with your organization’s mission and their fellow team members. 

That’s it.

If you do this, almost everything else you worry about will take care of itself. Your occupancy will be crazy good. Your recruitment and retention will be a snap. Drama will settle down to an acceptable level. (It is unrealistic to believe you can get it to zero, and some level of drama is healthy.) Your team members will not become slackers, and in fact other team members won’t tolerate it. They will work harder and have more fun.

Still Shaking My Head

Fairly early in my thought leadership journey I proposed this idea to the CEO of a good sized company, and he forcefully pushed back. I was intimidated and kept my mouth shut. Not sure I would do that today, because I am more convinced than ever that he is wrong … with maybe one exception …

The Exception

I once suggested this to another CEO, and that person responded with a long list of other things she had to do as a CEO. I was bothered by the response then and am bothered even more by it today.

In Fairness

In fairness, that CEO was not the person to do the hands-on work of figuring it out. Her personality was just not suited for the job. She needed to hire a proxy with a big title and lots of freedom to make this happen. There needs to be one person in the organization who sits at the C-suite level that eats, breathes, drinks, and sleeps culture.


That culture person then needs to figure out how to get every leader at every level on board with this idea. The data is clear that people quit, people are unhappy (or delighted) based on their relationship with their immediate boss. An organization can have the greatest CEO in the world, but if that CEO does not deliberately work on culture trickle, they will never succeed in the dream.


As I have grown in my thinking about culture and success, I have come to realize that the best culture keepers are those who see culture more holistically. When a senior living organization has a great culture, it is not just about the team members. It is about team members, residents, and families being an integral part of a living, breathing community.

Take your shots at me ….