By Steve Moran

Leadership is tough right now, primarily because at the end of the day there is a lack of resources. Let’s be honest, for some of you, that lack of resources is because your corporate leaders are failing you. Or perhaps it goes deeper than that. Maybe they want to provide you with the resources but they don’t have them to give, because the owners/capital providers are short-sighted and stingy.

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard place

Nearly everyone is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not enough residents, not enough staff, and not enough resources. There is plenty of blame to go around, and it feels good to cast blame. It simply does not solve the problem.


You probably remember the 1980s MacGyver TV show where MacGyver takes on noble causes and ends up in impossible places. Rather than resorting to violence, he uses the resources at hand to solve his problem. His “tools” include:

  • Swiss Army knife
  • A roll of duct tape
  • An ID card
  • A Timex Camper watch
  • Matches
  • Paper clips
  • Chewing gum

What Could You Do?

What could you do if you applied the MacGyver principle to the “impossible” challenges you face in your community, your organization? I believe that many of you could gather your team together (and maybe residents and their families too) and challenge them to think like MacGyver to solve your biggest problems.

What It Might Look Like

You might discover that one or several of your team members have talents and abilities you never imagined. I know that has happened in our organization. You might discover that there are residents and family members who could help you solve those problems. What if you went to residents and asked: “We are struggling with our staffing. Do you have any ideas how we might solve the problem?”

What if you went to families and said: “We need just a couple more residents to get us where we need to be. Do you have any ideas on how we might get there?”

I believe in you, your team, your residents, and their families. I believe you have the ability to be the leader you want to be — the community and the organization you dream of.