Asking for help could make all the difference in the world between success and failure.

By Steve Moran

I wish I could remember exactly where this article idea came from. I am pretty sure I was sitting in the hot tub thinking about something — though I can’t remember what — and I was struck with inspiration. In order to make sure I didn’t lose the thought, I dictated 100 words or so into a Google doc, just so I could come back to it later.

It is a Great Puzzle to Me

Senior Living has two big challenges:

  • Occupancy

  • Staffing

And yet nothing really changes all that much. In fact mostly what happens is one of two things:

  1. SSDD: Organizations and leaders double down on the same old thing they are already doing. . . expecting — or at least hoping — for different results.

  1. Nothing: Organizations and leaders do nothing . . . believing either explicitly or implicitly that there are no other solutions.

The underlying belief is that circumstances, other people, the economy, the competition or moon spots are causing the problem.

When this happens it becomes so very easy to keep your mouth shut, work hard, do the best you can and hope for the best. I know this behavior well, having ridden several entrepreneurial adventures to extinction with my fingers crossed, hoping for a different outcome.  

A Better Idea . . .

I have seen this happen in the senior living community with both providers and vendors. It pains me because — in at least some cases — the collapse did not need to happen.

It is the hardest thing — but sometimes the very best thing — that you can do as the leader of a struggling organization is to go belly up and admit that things are going badly. Then find some trusted experts to help you get unstuck.

This is the hardest kind of vulnerability there is. It means being willing to go to someone, often someone you do not know super well, and confessing you are in real trouble. And yet, just because you don’t see the solution does not mean there is not one out there.

Mostly we are hardwired to want to help people when asked and asking for help could make the all the difference in the world between success and failure.