Introduction to John
In Stephen Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” he talks about how the first 150 years of U.S. history is built around character ethic. Character ethic suggests success is built on things like integrity, humility, simplicity, modesty and the golden rule. Personality ethic, on the other hand, promotes social image, quick fixes and techniques that clearly manipulate and can be deceptive when trying to produce results for people. The “fake it ’till you make it” philosophy.
It was easy for me to enjoy this book as it encouraged the reader to consider character ethic as the foundation to eventual success.
This is absolutely consistent with the fundamental beliefs, values and goals engrained in me as a mennonite boy, raised on a dairy farm in a rural community.
As a boy and young man, I heard much about serving our fellow man. Helping people is like climbing a ladder, when they reach the top, you will be only one rung behind. Employers being servants to employees, fathers being servants to the family.
Love people, use money. Don’t love money and use people. Make sure you work a day that when you put your head on the pillow at night you can say you’ve earned your sleep. Value simplicity yet be thorough. Minimum fanfare, maximum effort. The list goes on.
Being involved in the financial services industry since July 1979, I certainly concur with Stephen Covey’s encouragement to stick with character ethic. The value system given to me by my parents and community, has been my greatest gift, as I now serve my clients, my community and my family.
Often times, I will see situations where clearly the salesperson needed the commission more than the consumer needed the product. Where the client was exploited when they allowed themselves to be vulnerable, or where people obviously were railroaded into a one size fits all solution.
Since 1979, I have been a bank employee, life insurance company employee, a salesperson and business owner. I would say each year my resolve has been to deliver our services in a manner that maintains a good name for myself and my team.
Today we have the best team of staff and suppliers of financial products and services that I’ve known.
I say this because years ago a person might complete high school, maybe college, maybe university, then get a job, a pension, then marry, buy a house, have children, grandchildren, retire and make it safely through to death without a major crisis.
Today, while children grow up, they watch dad without a job, see/experience abuse of various forms, not want to grow up, they finish school, enter into relationships, have children, experience relationship breakup, get laid off, deal with health issues, change careers 3 to 4 times, make their own pension, have children, move back home, never sure if they ever can buy a house and so on.
In my opinion, I believe our team understands, cares for, and is most capable of working with our clients as opposed to selling to them – a big difference!
I wish you every success as you write the chapters of your life and sincerely would like to be part of that process.