As I was finishing up my continuing legal education (CLE) filing recently, it occurred to me that I was admitted to the practice of law 30 years ago.
As I reflected on my career and current position as Assistant Vice President – Advanced Solutions, it was easy to see all the technology changes that have impacted my career over the years. From cell phones and fax machines to the Internet and iPads…. things certainly have changed.
When I left private law practice to join the Principal Financial Group® 28 years ago I never dreamed of all the technology and how easy it would be to research a tax issue. I still recall hours in the law library surrounded by numerous books and the time spent photocopying cases to take back to the office and read.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the benefit of working as a team. Today, I lead a talented team of 12 – including six attorneys, two CPAs, two advanced case illustration design consultants, a competitive intelligence analyst and administrative assistant – that keeps the ship running every day. We provide tax, legislative and pre-sale technical support to our distribution partners working in the Small-Medium-sized Business Market, utilizing our Busniess Owner & Executive Solutions (BOES) platform.
My background is in basketball. From the time I could walk, I had a basketball in my hand. Growing up in Iowa, I spent many days shoveling the driveway so I could shoot baskets until I didn’t have any feeling in my fingers.
I have great memories of playing high school and college basketball along with coaching college basketball and my daughters’ teams. The lessons I learned on the basketball court often coming through in my work life. Whether it is working with my team at The Principal® or with a client’s advisor, the focus needs to be on the team and what is best for the client.
As was made very clear by my coaches, it isn’t about me. It is about what I can do to help my team. There is no excuse for lack of effort or selfish play. On the basketball court, putting forth your best effort, following the game plan and knowing your role were the keys to a winning formula. As a team at The Principal or in working with clients and advisors, those principles still apply.
Yes, a lot has changed in the last 30 years, but an understanding of how to identify a goal and work toward that goal, as a team, hasn’t changed. I love to win and try to start each day focused on what I need to do to help position our team to make a difference for our company and our clients.
How I accomplish, a goal today, may be different than when I started my career, due to all the technology changes, but knowing the goal and having everyone working towards that goal hasn’t changed.
Today, as it was in the past, it is still the people that make the difference between success and failure. I hope you share my philosophy, and that you’ll follow me as I share about our experiences in the SMB market place, and look for ways teams like ours can help a team like yours with business planning needs.
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