RetComLife #15 – It Doesn’t Just Happen

The quality of any team doesn’t just happen. It is accomplished by the quality of the leadership. I know that from personal experience in the corporate world. You treat your team with respect, and they will gladly go the extra mile for you. That seems to be the case with my retirement community team.

I spent thirty years in the corporate world in a half dozen different positions and probably a dozen different bosses. Most of the bosses were mediocre, some were lazy, and some were a joy to work for. I found that those who I loved showed that they really cared for their team. They never asked for anything, that they were not the first one to jump in to do. Despite the stresses of the job, they always met their customers and their workers with a smile and with real solutions.

The lazy ones were those who sit in their closed door office and hoped no one would come in before it was their time to leave. You’d be surprised how many of that type are around today. They love passing the buck/blame on to others. For me, one in particular gave me a job and promised that I would get help to do it, but that never happened. I ended up working 80-hour weeks for over three months because the help never materialized. Every week I pleaded with him to get me the help he promised. He kept saying it would come soon, but it was never delivered. When the deadline passed, he basically blamed me for not meeting it. Needless to say, I quickly insisted that I be reassigned. Bad bosses are a dime a dozen, and great ones are like diamonds in a dung heap of mediocrity.

Getting back to my retirement community, we are critically understaffed in the dining room and other such services. Right now, the salaried staff are jumping in to help out in the dining room, and the first one to do that is the head of the facility. I’m sure she is under tremendous stress trying to do her regular job under maybe the worst of circumstances, but she still manages to greet everyone with a smile when taking their orders for food. Of course, her whole team is right there beside her.

That is the quality of true leadership that I want and have in my retirement community.

Now, let me give you some advice about choosing a retirement community. When you are touring a facility for you, or a loved one’s next home, make sure you ask to meet the director of the place. If you are told he/she is too busy, then think twice about living there. Spend time getting to know the staff before you put down the serious bucks to join the community. You will be glad you did. It takes great leaders and staff to make a great retirement community.

Great Staffs Don’t Happen Without Great Leaders


Next week, I will be talking about the alternatives to having in-house kitchens in retirement communities.