By Steve Moran

When I look at leaders in senior living (though this likely applies to any business), I am pretty well convinced that most leaders have not spent much time thinking about what really matters to them.

They do, of course, think about the obvious things . . . happy residents, happy team members, high occupancy, low turnover, and reducing costs. Those are important, but I am 100% convinced that those goals will make it impossible or near impossible to achieve those goals.

Nope, Not a Typo

When you look at leaders who are crazy successful, who are changing the world for good, it is never bottom-line stuff that drives them. It is instead, a bigger purpose:

To be the best . . .

To create the best . . .

To change the world . . .

To solve . . .

To resolve . . .

The Mundane

You may be thinking, “I love it in theory, but who has time . . . I have all these problems I have to deal with. Positions to fill, debt payments to make, unhappy residents to deal with, family members who are on my back, overwhelming corporate demands. The list is endless and real.

Maybe Though

While it is hard for me to imagine, because it is not in my DNA, if all you want is to be good enough to make a paycheck, this article is not for you. And while this may sound harsh, I would argue that you are a manager and not a leader, which is okay I guess.

What about the Biggest?

You might notice one thing missing in my list of aspirations, and that is to be the biggest. I guess it could be there if it were the biggest and best, but it is rare when the biggest is the best. Part of the reason for this is that managers of the biggest get confused. Believing that being the biggest means being the best when it doesn’t.

We can find dozens of examples of this, think cable TV and airlines.

Another Way to Look At It

Perhaps the best way to look at it is this: If your team members were asked to describe your big purpose as a leader what would they say? Would they talk about something wonderful, aspirational, and lofty? Or would they talk about profits and the bottom line?

Why It Matters

Senior living is suffering, and as we come out of the depths of the pandemic, there will be companies that thrive, companies that just barely survive, and those that don’t make it. I have 100% certainty that those who thrive will be those focused on bigger, more lofty goals than the bottom line.

So what does matter to you as a leader?

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