November - Be Quiet

November 1, 2018

Hello Team -

Each month, I take time to reflect on our business, our culture and the progress we are making together, as well as the opportunities we have to improve as an organization. I also try to carve out a little time to reflect on my personal values and how my interactions can impact others. This past month, it was tough to find time to reflect as it was filled with budget and planning meetings, meetings with bankers and investors about funding opportunities for more M&A deals, discussions with several new acquisitions, and many other positive yet hectic events. I know I’m preaching to the choir about this busy time of year, but it reminded me of a very important lesson. Sometimes, simply being quiet can be extremely valuable.         

Through all this exciting noise, I found time to be quiet in two different and equally important ways. The first was listening more to those around me. This does not always come easily as I love to talk about our business, to try to solve problems and may even value my own opinion a bit too much. However, I made a conscious effort over the last few months to be a better listener as regional and local office leaders discussed challenges and opportunities facing their teams along with their game plans for 2019. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me how much I learned from these conversations. The goals and priorities laid out by our leaders were spot on, and my ability to contribute my own perspectives was enhanced by listening first. I was inspired by the fresh thinking that came out of these meetings as we discussed smart and refreshing ideas and strategies for 2019. It was a reminder to me that the most effective business leaders don’t need to have all the answers – our world and our business is too complicated for that. A strong leader understands they need to be open to hearing the best ideas from the right people at different times and places. If we can be quiet, I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised about what we hear and learn from those around us. Finding more time to listen to others is a valuable quality for us all and one that I plan to continue to focus on.

The second opportunity for me was simply taking some time to just BE…. Rather than making that first phone call on my way to the office or getting back on email before going to bed, I spent much of that time being quiet and absorbed in my own thoughts. Whether it was a conscious effort or simply out of my exhaustion from hectic days, I found myself spending time at the beginning and end of each day to just reflect, recharge and to appreciate all the good things in my life. As a result, I found myself to be more productive, more balanced and less stressed. This is a crazy time of year for most of us so it’s important to find time in your day to Be Quiet. I worry sometimes that during the rush of Q4, many of you push yourself to near burn-out.  Please take time to have some quiet moments and recharge. You’ll find yourself much more ready to face the opportunities and challenges of the day.

So, from someone who loves to talk and loves to be in the middle of the action, I found myself inspired these past few months by simply being a little quieter. Proving another important point - we are never too old to learn a few new tricks. 

Happy November and happy listening!


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