Name: Anthony Cirillo
Organisation: The Aging Experience / Sage Stream Senior Entertainment
Anthony is president of The Aging Experience, creator of the Caregiver Smile Summit and creator of Sage Stream , a Senior Entertainment/Education Network.
Anthony is a board member of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function as well as a member of the Nationwide Financial / National Council on Aging Health and Wellness Roundtable and the Bank of America Elder Care Policy Roundtable.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Anthony's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
There is a fine line between being a leader and being a boss. The latter tells people what to do and they are expected to do it. A leader sets a vision and shows by example. A leader is firm but empathetic. That in turn leads to people being inspired to do the job. And in that lies the challenge. How do you continuously show that you know what its like to be in their shoes and ultimately show what it is that everyone is working toward.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
There are two versions of this. In all of my "corporate" health care jobs, I was thrust into management roles and supervised people but I am not sure if I was a leader. It was only after going out on my own that I truly understood more about leadership and influence. I have gotten to this point by not just doing good but following my path. Through writing, speaking, media work, I have shared wisdom, inspired people and have become an influencer. That means not being afraid of having principals, sticking to them, and voicing your opinion. That leads to leadership.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
As a solo entrepreneur, it is somewhat chaotic. I do make time everyday for exercise and meal planning as a healthy mind and body are key to working effectively. After that, I always have a to do list of items for any given day and I work through them. I take breaks, play some music and get back at it.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Someone asked me during a keynote what I would advice I would give to my younger self. I was stumped for a second. And then I answered - be true to yourself. That is easier said than done. I did not have to sleep in cars or make huge sacrifices to follow my path. I worked hard yes but did not face hardship. Still the mantra has served me well and I do not waver from my mission to help older people and also teach others how to age with a quality of life.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Think and Grow Rich. If you can envision things, you can start down the road to make them happen. My current endeavor, Sage Stream (www.sagestream.live) is a stunning example of this. I saw a need in the market to combat loneliness as well as poor staffing and ineffective activities in senior living. It has taken three years and several business accelerators to manifest but we have done just that.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Like I said above - be true to yourself.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Leadership comes from inspiring others and also being inspired. There are so many older people that have inspired me with their stories and their work. One in particular was Esther. You can hear how she inspired me here - https://www.theagingexperience.com/2008/08/18/the-story-of-esther-3/