Posted in on November 9, 2015

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Leading, Living, and Larry

Typically this Monday round-up of top 50+ marketing links are organized by most clicked, most shared, most commented … Today we’ll take a slightly different tack as there were several topics that seemed to grab the attention of mature marketing pros over the past week.

LEADING … LeadingAge, that is!

LeadingAge, the association representing 6,000 non-profit senior living communities and others providing services to the aging, held its annual meeting in Boston from November 1-4. (Twitter users can find more take-aways with the hashtag #LeadingAge15.)

Speakers shared many ideas on how to lead — as an organization, as a manager, as a marketer.

Leading Towards Inclusion: “Diversity is when you count people. Inclusion is when people count.” – Peg Sullivan, VP of Community Life, Seabury. Sullivan was part of a dynamic panel on culture. As one of her co-presenters noted, the goal of creating an inclusive community isn’t just marketing gloss: “Social exclusion, neurologically, is the same thing as feeling pain.” Senior services organizations must commit themselves to leading discussions about diversity vs. inclusion and take steps towards both.

Leading Towards New Mindsets: We were honored to have several attendees sharing Creating Results’ thoughts on leading teams to a new marketing mindset — that of engagement. Dan Hutson - instagram post - Creating Results, Marketing Trends, at LeadingAge 2015 conference ccrc-lifecast-tweet-creating-results-leadingage Pamela Tabar recapped the presentation by Todd Harff, Beth Spohn and Willow Valley Communities’ Kim Nobbs for Long-Term Living Magazine. Please click here to read that article: Incoming LeadingAge Chair Kathryn Roberts said every team needs to be open to another kind of new mindset (and our friends on Twitter quickly shared and re-shared that call to action).

The leadership of LeadingAge is itself entering a new phase, as you’ll read below. Roberts noted that while this is a time of transition, the mission of LeadingAge is unchanged. That mission is in the organization’s name.


On Monday keynote speaker Atul Gawande shared his personal evolution on the topic of aging. The doctor and author of Being Mortal now is gratified not by the number of completed procedures but by the number of cases in which he and families together have decided against surgeries. His own father refused ongoing treatment, entered hospice care, and spent the last 5 months of his life “as a person, not a patient.”

Gawande’s feeling is that most senior housing is so institutional and so focused on care, they have become places where people cannot live fully. He told the tales of a senior who was absolutely miserable within a month of a move to an assisted living community and his mother’s fear of having to make such a move. “Just like society, she herself has lost the ability to imagine a life worth living is possible once you are dependent.”

The hard part for families and senior-serving organizations is they must talk less about preventing dying and ask the right questions about living, about their end of life choices.  “The goal at end of life is not a good death, it is to live a good life,” said Gawande.


Larry Minnix has been the President and CEO of LeadingAge for 13 years. The 2015 Annual Meeting included several speeches and videos in honor of a man who has led with compassion, strength and insight. And humor! A typical Larry Minnix quote: “This is serious work, so we’d better have fun doing it.”

While at the conference we shared a few moments from the tributes to Larry and wanted to share them here, with our thanks, for the great work he’s done in this field. (You may have to click through to play the short video.)


We’ll miss ya, Bubba.

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