Drive Fast. Take Chances.
I keep a quote pinned right at eye level on the tack board in my office. Though I’m not sure exactly when I first came across it, I remember pinning it up years ago when Assurance’s headquarters was in a different location – so it’s been at least 15 years. I like the quote enough that a couple of years back when the paper had grown tattered and had too many pushpin holes in it, I took the time to retype, reprint, and pin the new version right at eye level again.
The quote is from Mario Andretti:
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
It’s similar to a quote my husband often says: “Drive fast. Take chances.” which I thought was funny until my boys turned into teenagers with drivers’ licenses.
As COO, I’m charged with making sure everything runs smoothly. That would certainly be easier if we slowed down and took a break in the action to refuel, change the tires or reengineer a few things. But that’s not how I, or the people I work with, are wired. Instead, we simply get all the maintenance and upgrading done as we’re powering down the road at 200+ mph.
Sure, it means that everything won’t be perfect at Assurance all the time. But that’s okay. There are a lot of places that move slow and things aren’t perfect there either. Our commitment to growth, moving fast and sustaining that pace over a long period of time have brought us some great benefits. A few of my favorites are:
- Lots of promotions: 324 internal promotions in the past five years
- New offices: The ability for our employees to work in different offices, remotely or at our clients’ offices, all powered by flexibility and technology.
- New positions: Cool new positions that didn’t exist five years ago at Assurance, such as Instructional Designer, Client Technology Analyst, Complex Claims Counsel, Technology Solutions Consultant, Integration Development Specialist and Marketing Technology Analyst.
- Sharp service platform: An ability to adapt to changing needs of our clients and add services and tools to our service platform that solve problems in their industries.
- A company not afraid to change: We’re stock full of people who aren’t afraid of change, but welcome refreshed workflows, new technology, changing office space and new team members every day.
I recognize a “Drive fast. Take chances.” attitude is tough. But it’s exactly what makes us successful, and I’m not up for changing that. I know when everything starts to feel under control, it’s time for me to pick up the pace.
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