By Steve Moran

I am fascinated by the game of poker. It is part psychology and part math. There are world class players who consistently win at the game and make a very nice living at it. There are some unique quirks that are a lot like life and like senior living.

  • It is one long game that consists of a bunch of small games. The small games are individual interactions with residents, team members, and family members.
  • They are new programs you try, some of which work and some that do not.
  • They are sales strategies that you try, and some work, some don’t.
  • They are things you have been doing for a very long time that maybe once worked but don’t work anymore.
  • They are things you have been doing that worked okay but need to be abandoned for better things.
  • They are jobs that once were great and are now not so great.
  • They are team members who once did good things for your organization but now don’t.
  • They are friendships that once worked and now don’t.

A Long Game

The point is that life is a series of mini games, but ultimately, it is a single long game. The same is true with every single senior living community, every single senior living organization.

So What?

The reason this thinking is so important is that you need to be willing to take some losses along the way and be okay with it. What is important here is the same as in poker … to not keep chasing losing hands, pouring in more money with the odds of winning tiny. Great poker players ignore the amount already invested and only look at the probability of success.

We have seen some senior living organizations that have decided that their way is the right way, and they keep pouring money and resources into their way of doing senior living, their way of leadership, because of how much money and emotional energy they have poured into their way of doing things — even though it is obvious to others, and really to them, that they are wasting precious assets, and even worse …

They are hurting other people.

Do Business Like a Top-Notch Poker Player

It is simple but emotionally hard. There are times you simply need to move on, cut your losses, and remember that life, senior living, and poker are each simply one long game that you want to win.