By Steve Moran

Business and leadership books are full of examples of companies and leaders that are accomplishing amazing things. You know the list well:

I have some personal favorites, companies that have created amazing work cultures where team members love coming to work every day:

When these companies are talked about, it is always in the context of them being something to aspire to, as in, “It would be amazing if a senior living organization created a culture like Chick-fil-A or Ritz Carlton.”

Look What’s Missing

No one in or out of senior living is looking at a senior living company and saying, “That is the goal. I want my company to be like that senior living organization.” Unfortunately there are senior living organizations that all of us can point to and say, “I don’t want my organization to be like that.”

Be the Standard

I have this dream that some leader in senior living will read this and think, “I am the leader who can set the standard. My organization can be one of those amazing organizations that everyone wants to work for, that every older person wants to move into, that every family member wants for their older loved ones.”

I even have some names in my head of leaders who have the ability to do this.

It would be amazing. 100% occupancy, more job applicants than you would ever have positions for, rental rates consistently above market because your demand is so high.

Getting There

Getting there is not a matter of spending more money. It is 100% about mindset. It does not look the same in every organization. Look at In-N-Out Burger and Chick-fil-A — both fast food restaurants but very different products, cultures, and business models. And yet high performance and delighted customers.

Start by working through these questions — first as a leader, second with your leadership team, and then with everyone:

  • What would that company look like?
  • What would it be like to work for that organization?
  • What would it be like to be a resident in that organization?
  • What would it be like to be a family member who has a loved one in that community?
  • What would the day-to-day experience be like living in that community?
  • What would it be like if I were a prospect and first encountered that community online?
  • What would it be like if I walked in the front door as a prospect or just as a visitor who was curious about what was going on there?

Imagine for a moment that this was your community, your organization where leaders in and out of senior living were reaching out and asking: “Can I come visit you? Can I learn from you? Do you offer classes on how to lead?”

Maybe we need to do a think tank on this idea. What do you think?