In the latest episode, we sit down with Glenn Van Ekeren, President at Vetter Health Services.

Vetter Health Services supplies management services to Vetter Senior Living facilities. The home office for the management team is in Elkhorn, Nebraska.

In the episode, we discuss various topics, focusing on Glenn’s experience as a leader in the long-term care industry.

Topics discussed include:

  • Glenn’s experience writing books on gratitude and happiness and how the process has helped him in working in long-term care.
  • Glenn’s thoughts and advice on leadership.
  • How Glenn has developed as a leader over the years.
  • What Glenn learned about himself as a leader during the pandemic.
  • Glenn’s key strengths of communication and adaptability. 
  • Growing and maintaining a strong and unified work culture.
  • The importance of eradicating customs, processes and ideas in the long-term care industry that are no longer serving their purpose, in order to grow and thrive. 

To reach out to Glenn and his team, visit the Vetter Health Services website here.

Discover how to grow and develop as a leader in the long-term care industry by tuning into the latest episode of the LTC Heroes podcast.

Rapidfire Q/A

What does your creative writing process look like?

I never know when it’s coming. A lot of times, it’s while I’m driving. Other times, it’s tough to write. 

I wrote many books when I was traveling, just by writing without looking. I didn’t get many words on the page. But I did a lot of writing that way. 

Right now, I have a file called “writing in progress.” And there must be between 100 to 150 files in there. And those are thoughts I have and things I want to write about. 

Some are near completion and some not so much. They either go into one of two things. I do a blog entitled ‘I’ve been thinking,’ and that comes out once a month. And then also, in the middle of the month, I do leadership lessons.

What’s the book you’ve most given as a gift and why?

This goes a bit with my leadership philosophy. And that is I don’t want anybody to be treated equally. And so many gifts I give are varied based on the person, so I wouldn’t have one. 

I give my own away, hoping that somebody will read it. You can bet there are a lot of books. But the one that started it off was “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. But over the years, there have been many different books that have caught my attention.

What’s something that you’ve done in the last year that you’re extremely proud of?

That I’ve been intentional about spending time with my four granddaughters. The older I get, the more precious they become. 

I’m probably one of the few granddads in the Midwest who loves to shop for dresses. I love when I can bring a smile to their face. And they go, “Papa, I love this dress better than the last one you bought me.”

Do you have a favorite failure?

I do. My favorite failure, because I’ve been able to use it to teach other people, was changing things too fast. 

I’ve been in a situation where I was asked to create change. And I wish I had taken more time to get everybody on board before I pushed the change through. 

There’s a fine line between how hard you push and how little complacency you allow. I should have allowed more time for the change to take place.

What would it say if you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it that thousands or millions of people could see on the highway?

I’m going to go back to Mission. I would put on the billboard there: “Everyone is the most important person in your life.”

We go through life, and the impact that we have on other people is what’s going to be remembered. My granddaughters won’t remember the little dresses I bought, but they’ll remember how I treat them. 

And whether that’s my granddaughter, my spouse, the people at work or the people at the grocery store, the question becomes how can I treat them like the most important person in my life? How do I make their day better than before I came in? 

Yeah, that’d be my billboard. Treat everyone like they’re the most important person in your life.

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