Why senior living professionals shouldn’t act like posers

Steve Farber wants you to throw out every catchword you know. Well, except for one: leadership.

A management guru and president of Extreme Leadership, Inc., Farber has heard all of the baubles and chestnuts that captivate business professionals whenever a new bestseller has been released. He crucified such words as “empowerment” and “reengineering—although, what he was really going after are the people in management positions who throw around these terms without following through in their actions. “It’s a lot easier to use the word than do the thing,” Farber said during today’s opening general session at the 2011 Assisted Living Federation of America Conference & Expo in Orlando.

He fears that the word leadership has been used too loosely in recent years and had a directive for the audience of senior living operators. “Don’t tolerate posers as leaders,” Farber said. “At the worst they’re dangerous. They’re damaging. They suck the life out of a place.”

Farber said that the greatest leaders he has studied, in route to finishing his book Greater Than Yourself, are not famous to the world at large, but are famous within their own organizations. “The greatest leaders make others greater than themselves,” he said, reiterating his latest book’s title.

He then issued a personal challenge for providers to find someone within their organizations worthy of sharing all their wisdom and expertise with in the effort of spreading true leadership. It’s a lofty goal, one that Farber even described multiple times as saying it would be “changing the world one person at a time,” but his message was well received. And residents can be recipients of such treatment as well. “A person is never too old to be lifted above what they think they are capable of,” he said.

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