Welcome to our ongoing series that answers your questions. This week, we asked Greg your question about why he wears a tie to the office every day. Here is his answer. Send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: Why do you wear a tie?
Answer: Why is an important question. Why do people do anything? For me, why people do what they do is more important than what they do. At this stage in my life, it’s not about the money. It’s about purpose.
Why matters to me. For many of the clients I’ve been working with for over 30 years, a purpose is to get them to a comfortable retirement. For the young talent in the firm, a purpose is to infuse the office with positive energy, new ideas and a channel to pass on what I know.
These types of things matter. When I was younger, I wasn’t so focused on a purpose, a mantra. In the last ten years, “why” has taken on the greatest of significance. Through the late 2000s, I had started to gear down my professional activities, planning to ease into leaving the business someday. Then the unexpected happened. In 2011, I lost my son – and then I lost my way. Everyone deals with grief differently. For me, I lost purpose. I had to do a lot of soul searching to figure out where I was going all over again. I had to scrape myself off the floor and rededicate myself to a new purpose. It was during that time that I made a decision.
I took the opportunity to memorialize my son Dustin by finishing strong. This means pushing hard every day, doing my best work, and doing the best for those around me. Once I made this decision, I started wearing a tie to work every day. Like a rubber band around your wrist or a stone in your pocket, my tie reminds me of my promise and commitment to finishing strong.
For other wealth management advisors, wearing a tie may be required. Or they may wear a tie for the respect it garners, the confidence it inspires, and the level of professionalism it implies. Nothing says sharp dressed like a tie. But for me, each day that I hand select and fold a tie, I remember my commitment to finishing strong. I remember to engage in authentic relationships that build wealth that matters for the clients I am privileged to serve. My tie reminds me that my responsibility extends beyond clients to our staff, community and the continuity of the firm. It reminds me of loyalty, collaboration and accountability. It reminds me to be present and engaged, and most important, it reminds me of my son.
Our goal is not to be the biggest firm, it’s to be the right-sized firm, with the right values, behaviors and beliefs for our clients. Coming into work every day I make my commitment clearly visible.
So go ahead, comment on my tie and I’ll tell you about finishing strong.
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