Those Were the Days
I just crested the 20-year mark with Assurance. Naturally, a retrospective seems in order. I could share examples of how dramatically technology has changed our working world at Assurance. Or, compare the differences brought by sheer size and scope between our then $6 million company and our now $75 million company. Or, romanticize how we did things "back in the day.”
But somehow the whole “glory days” theme isn't striking me. I guess it's because after 20 years, I'm more energized and excited about our company and my role in it than ever before. I believe this time right now represents the glory days that I’ll reminisce about in the future.
So, what’s the unique set of circumstances that causes me to believe this? It boils down to one thing: the people I’m surrounded by. My path has allowed me to cross amazing people over my two decades, many of whom have had an enormous and positive impact on me personally and professionally.
But what’s special right now is the combined energy of the people I work most closely with – my five person (including me) executive team. Never before have I been a part of – or witnessed – a team working as closely with a shared vision and passion toward the same goals.
Here are four things I value most in my executive team:
No politics and hidden agendas: If we have them, I’m out of the loop because I just don’t see it. I never question the motives of these four people. I always trust them, even when we disagree.
Complementary strengths: We aren’t complete opposites; our skills and strengths overlap in some areas, yet we’re different enough that we complement each other very well.
We care: This could be the most important of the four. We don’t always make the right decisions, but we do always care and try our best. That means we’re willing to disagree and debate issues. And we’re also willing to change directions when it makes sense.
We have fun: Ok, this is the most important! We spend a lot of time together and frankly, I wish we spent more. I like these people; I like their spouses. They’re people I want in my life and who I consider my friends. We laugh every time we get together.
While I value our executive team at Assurance as a group, I thought about my fellow team members as individuals and the impact each has on me personally. These are people who I believe make me better at my job. I’ll share specifically how in a series of three blog posts:
- How my CMO makes me a better COO
- How my President(s) make me a better COO
- How my CEO makes me a better COO
Yeah, after all this reflecting I’ve done on the past 20 years, there’s no doubt in my mind: these are the glory days.
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- Leadership Training by Warren Buffett
- Mean People Suck
- One Is Far from the Loneliest Number
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