By Steve Moran

A significant aspect of what I do is visit senior living communities. I find it really hard to write about the industry without experiencing it for myself.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and regular contributor to Foresight Kent Mulkey invited me to visit his new independent living community (new to him — as executive director), Ansel Park, in Rocklin California. It started as an invite to come for lunch, and he upped the ante by inviting me to join their stand-up meeting, followed by lunch with Kent and a couple of his team members.

A Great Stand-up Meeting

It was a dream stand-up meeting. The primary goal of stand-ups is to make sure everyone is on the same page with the things that are happening in the community that day. But that is not the real value, because you can do a status update via email, text, Slack, or a bulletin board.

What Kent did was joyful. It was a time for affirmations, a time for bonding. A time to remember that they are all doing something wonderful and unique — something world changing. He also used the time to teach. To talk about how each team member is in control of their own mindset and how the right mindset has a huge impact on their own team happiness as well as that of the residents.

The Team

I have walked into communities where it was clear team members hated their job, that they wished they could be anyplace else. Here, it was clear team members were delighted to be doing what they were doing. This is the single biggest, most important thing a leader can do — help team members love their jobs every day.

Would I Move In?

Every resident I talked to was happy to be there. The thing that most made me want to move in: There was group of guys playing poker. I went over to watch for a few minutes, and they started teaching me a new game and invited me to join them.

Ultimately my goal for senior living is to live in a place where “everyone knows my name,” where I have friends to hang out with and do things with.

Ansel Park felt like that kind of place.