Building Community Has Always Been Our Game Plan

Bria Community Values - Building a Team

By Craig Rumsby

Mission Statements and Value Statements are a lot like basketball games…. you need all the players on the team going in the same direction and contributing to the team in order to achieve your goals.

Companies often post detailed Mission Statements on their wall or website stating what they will do, the culture they will create and how they plan to be the best. The question is:  do all the employees and management live up to those values each and every day? In my experience, it seems to be more of a wish than an actual embedded culture.

At BRIA Communities, we have identified specific values that represent what’s important to us and to our clients. And we all live by them every day.

Our values are, quite simply:

  1. Community
  2. Collaboration
  3. Creativity

The value of COMMUNITY has never been more evident than through a recent effort by a young man I hired four years ago. Despite his youth, I hired him to work at The Waterford because he exudes passion and energy for helping others. Some of my colleagues questioned me about hiring such a young man to work in a Seniors Community. Would he really “get it”? Would he have the compassion and patience required to make the connections? Maybe the generation gap would hinder his efforts, and maybe the risk was not worth the reward.

You be the judge…

In his spare time, this young man volunteers to coach a girl’s high school basketball team. I make it easy for him to do so with flexible hours so he can leave early some days to coach and compete with his team.

After four years of coaching these girls, he decided it was time to mix his two greatest passions:  basketball and engaging seniors in active living. So off we went. Travelling by Bria Bus, we took a group of ten seniors to one of the girls’ games.

Synergy on court and off

On the court, the girls were on fire! They won. The teamwork was evident. But even better was what happened off-court.

After the game, the girls headed to the bleachers to meet and chat with the seniors. They shared stories of their own high school sports, with both groups connecting in a way that surpassed being polite. They found a common ground. They laughed. They provided insight. Some even spoke of not being able to play sports as a youth because the opportunities were just not available to them.

The bus ride back to The Waterford for the seniors was abuzz with everyone sharing memories of riding the school bus to and from school or to and from sporting events. They spoke of being cheerleaders in the 50’s. They also spoke of their pride in watching the girls play and how they felt about the shared connection. They expressed a sense of pride in the girls’ coach, and the pride they felt in being part of such an inclusive community.

They say it takes a community to raise a child. It also takes a community to sustain an adult. And that seems like a winning combination to me.