A strong culture begins with strong leaders

Growth is a subject all business leaders discuss, so naturally it’s a topic we talk about at Silverado.

We don’t, however, simply look at how quickly we can grow. Instead, the speed of our growth is governed by a question: “Will we change for the better your mother’s life, your life as a family member and our associates’ lives?”

That question relates directly to our vision to “Give Life” — meaning to change lives for the better. And to answer “yes,” we must have the right leaders in place.

One of the essential components to any growth strategy is the ability to grow while ensuring the ingredients for success remain and the output is still world class.

Strong leaders make a strong culture

Shaping and maintaining an optimum culture starts with developing leaders.

You develop leaders for the long term by seeking individuals whose purpose aligns with yours, and by integrating robust leadership development programs into their career.

Leadership must be a priority for any business that wishes to achieve success while managing periods of rapid growth. Regardless of your industry, leaders drive your business and your culture.

Silverado has had many more requests to enter new markets, build new memory care communities and open new offices than we’ve had opportunities to hire the right leaders to run those operations.

The response is to not pursue growth opportunities until the right leaders are in place. In a strong organization, the leaders, along with their ability to extend your culture and inspire others, are critical to the underlying success of your company.

This business model takes discipline. Most entrepreneurs want to build and expand their business, but the most difficult part of the job is deciding when not to accept an opportunity.

Define your success

Your definition of success can differ from others.

Strong financial results are vital to any business, but you have to look beyond that. Even if you’re not in the health care business, you should be thinking about the number of lives you positively impact.

That is the ultimate success metric and it’s the one that brings with it economic reward.

Having the right leaders also results in better success when assuming operations of a troubled business.

I recently spoke to leaders at a community we acquired three years ago, and in a candid discussion they recalled that at first, Silverado’s vision sounded too good to be true.

Now, however, they were excited to share that the company had exceeded their expectations and also taught them about positive leadership.

Leaders who are in alignment with the culture have a magnetic affect and attract the best associates — leading to a sustainable stream of business. This recently acquired community went from having the worst reputation and losing money to becoming No. 1 in the market, and now has a wait list!

This is a story that has been duplicated many times in multiple states.

The positive energy created by your leaders can change lives. As you continue to grow, stay focused on this true measure of success and entrust your leaders to shape and uphold your culture. ●

New pickups are GM’s biggest test since bankruptcy

PONTIAC, Mich, Thu Dec 13, 2012 — General Motors Co. is counting on muscled up, more refined versions of its lucrative Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickup trucks to show investors and car buyers that the No. 1 U.S. automaker is back on track.

The 2014 model-year trucks are the most critical launch for the Detroit company since its bankruptcy and $50 billion U.S. taxpayer-funded bailout in 2009. The trucks are also a linchpin in GM’s ongoing battle with No. 2 U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co., whose F-150 truck is the industry’s top-selling vehicle.

GM showed off the new full-size pickups in Pontiac, Michigan, on Thursday, and executives are touting the benefits of the vehicles, which will initially be offered in the most popular four-door, “crew cab” version in the second quarter of next year.

“There’s nothing more core to our business than our trucks,” GM North American President Mark Reuss said at the introduction at a movie studio north of Detroit.