Privilege of Stewardship

We have this saying inside our office: we exist for the privilege of stewardship. In the responsibilities to our business and in the lives of our clients, we can think of no better motivator than to acknowledge that we’re stewards of what other people care so deeply for.  And while stewardship is a responsibility, we have a passion for it, so it’s also a privilege to be provided with so many opportunities to serve.  We are truly grateful for all of them.

To us, a good steward does three things well:

  1. They shepherd against the wolves.  Whether those wolves are the unfortunate events that threaten the stability of wealth and financial capacity, or the false experts who’d otherwise try to sell something that benefits themselves over the client, a steward’s first job is as lookout.  And being good as a lookout means constantly learning so we’re able to spot trouble before it comes too close.
  2. They unburden the hassle.  Complexity, ambiguity, and inconvenience are roadblocks to getting the right things done, and insurance is full of all three of those characteristics.  So if we unburden the hassle of knowing the right answers, of clarifying the choices, and of handling the soul-sucking experience of working with insurance companies, we feel that clients are more likely to have the right plan and experience in place.
  3. They fight until it’s right.  The opposite of this is laziness, and we see plenty of it in our industry.  There’s usually a right answer for every question related to protecting wealth and we’re astounded by how many wrong answers exist in the insurance portfolios and the experiences of consumers.  That’s just not acceptable.

We believe in the privilege of stewardship and we practice and hone our daily habits to prove that there’s value in working with a committed steward.

Photo: Rachael McGraw, Flathead Lake, MT

Integrity from process

Integrity, like honesty, is made up in a chain of linked behaviors.  If you tell the truth sometimes, but not at other times, then it’s hard to claim you’re an honest person.  There can’t be a jury that decides to like some parts of your testimony, but not others – the entirety of your testimony is either all reliable, or none of it is.

The same is true about the larger concept of integrity, which is an adherence to principled quality, unity, soundness, and wholeness.  You either exhibit it consistently and reliably, or you don’t.

And it’s been my experience that the people I find most consistent in their principled quality are those that have a process for making it happen.  The people I admire the most for their commitment to the mastery of their craft  are not accidentally good.  They are purposefully good, and they design repeatable patterns and standards of behavior that result in strong moral character and high performance.

I believe that the people you choose to listen to for advice should have a definable and demonstrated process for netting the high performance you obviously expect.  And the process I’m talking about isn’t one of how work is moved from “prospect-to-client”, or anything sales-y or administrative.  Instead, it’s an accounting for how the right needs are going to be identified, the right answers determined, and then the right burdens lifted. And this demonstrated process is critical because the chance of you getting what’s right for you starts with a track record of how your advisor consistently gets it right for everyone else.

Photo: Vik, Iceland