By Steve Moran
Over the last couple of months, I have watched with horror at least three significant voices in senior living put their partisan political views on public display on LinkedIn or Facebook. Some have been on the right and some on the left. Every time I see it, I shake my head and wonder . . . why?
Three Big Problems . . . (Plus a Massive Problem)
There are three big problems with doing this, and a fourth that is massive. Here are the three biggies:
- You will not change a single person’s mind about whatever topic or position you take. It simply does not happen. In fact, it is more likely you will push those whose minds you want to change to harden their position in the exact opposite direction you want them to go.
- It is a complete waste of time. Most of these leaders who are posting these kinds of things are spending huge amounts of time and emotional energy on something that is completely unproductive. This one is particularly baffling when it comes to senior living. Imagine pouring that time and energy into making the lives of residents and team members better.
- It creates a negative mindset. Each day we wake up, we get to choose to go negative or positive, and it is a choice. Don’t get me wrong, some days, particularly the early days of the pandemic, it was all horrible negative all day, every day, and it felt like it was never ending. But that is different because it is something that you had an impact on.
The Massive Problem
Here is the massive problem in my view. It displays bad judgment on the part of the poster. These things are so emotionally charged, particularly in the heightened political environment we live in. There is zero upside to these kinds of posts. I have seen first hand how it has hurt personal reputations and business bottom lines.
Piling on to this theme is the reality that when leaders post these kinds of things, they are in fact hurting senior living and seniors. They become a distraction to the heart of what we do. They make it much much harder to be an effective change agent.
Not The Same as Policy Conversations
I am not suggesting there should be no discussion about policy or even criticism of individual politicians relative to policy that impacts our industry. For instance, LeadingAge has been extremely critical of the current administration because they have been slow to act with respect to COVID-19.
Hardest of All
What is hardest of all about this for me is that it seems like, it feels like in normal, meaning non-pandemic times this would not be happening, which suggests that it is a stress reaction. I get the deep heartfelt desire to lash out at someone or some group. The problem is that it becomes counterproductive to the very thing these people say they value, they stand for.
It is only together that we can forge a new, positive path forward. We will come through this, with scars, some horrible scars, but will we come out better and stronger.