By Steve Moran

I don’t think there is a single senior living leader who does not want:

  • A great culture
  • Low turnover
  • High occupancy
  • Their team members to make a living wage
  • Their team members to love coming to work
  • Their residents and family members to be ecstatically happy

Not only that … I have never met a senior living leader who even hinted that they had these kinds of goals:

  • To be mediocre
  • To pay the least amount they possibly can
  • To not care about staff happiness or turnover
  • To only care about profits
  • To not care about quality

I am actually lying about this second part. I once met an owner who fits perfectly the second set of bullet points. He had one small facility (“facility” intentionally used) in a small town, and I hope he is no longer in business.


The problem is that having good intent is simply not good enough. Simply having good intent is what allows organizations to languish and problems to fester. Simply having good intent is why churches all over North America are closing their doors for good at an astonishing rate. Good intent is why people hate American and United Airlines while loving Southwest and Alaska Airlines.

Good intent is why nursing homes and other senior living communities have such a poor reputation in the marketplace.

Beyond Intent

There is a single antidote to the plague of good intent, and that is the pursuit of excellence. Excellence is a practical goal. It does not mean perfection, which, of course, is impossible, but it does mean being willing to be self-critical and accept with an open heart the criticism of others. It means never being satisfied with the success you have, no matter how great.

It means always asking: “What else can we do?” “How can we be better?” Then really thinking about the answer to those questions.