Start with Why; How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek, is a book written for corporate structures but resonates beautifully with senior communities (most of which operate within a corporate management structure).

seniors connecting in community

Sinek is "leading a movement to build a world in which… [We] are inspired by the work we do." In his book, Sinek suggests that most organizations can explain what they do and how they do it, but "few can clearly articulate why."

Let's apply this idea to a senior community. Residents tell us they want two things from their communities: first, connect deeply with their neighbors, and second, find meaning and purpose for this stage of their lives.

Research and industry evaluations tell us that both connection and purpose are easily achieved through lifelong learning opportunities. Engagement in a lifelong learning program can keep our minds sharp, increase self-confidence, experience a feeling of accomplishment, and help residents share their interests with others.

We know this is true because we hear this repeatedly from residents, and research has proved the value and importance of learning from the cradle to the grave.

Suppose our primary focus is to help our residents connect deeply with their community and feel like they belong. In that case, we know the "why" is for greater socialization, interaction, and engagement for all residents.