Wall Street Steward Blog

Chase Perfection

The great Vince Lombardi once said “Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good.”

That encompasses my overall business philosophy very well. Our department just celebrated our three year anniversary, and in a short amount of time, we have accomplished extraordinary things.  We doubled our business in 2012 for the second consecutive year, despite a tough economic backdrop.

These accomplishments have made Family Trust Investment Services a model to our entire industry, and have even resulted in personal accolades for myself. However, the last thing I will ever do is become complacent, because there is always room for improvement.

Like Mr. Lombardi said, I plan to “relentlessly chase perfection,” and that means our department will always strive to improve in every individual area until we reach perfection, which we know will never occur.

In December, we mailed out a client satisfaction survey to a select group of clients. Having 20 years of experience in this business has taught me that one cannot be all things to all people, which is a nice way to say that at any given point in time, it is impossible to please every client.  Some clients equate account performance and level of service, meaning that if their account grows, they think I did a good job of servicing them. Others desire an unreasonable high level of service, and no amount of account growth will change that expectation. Suffice to say that I know enough to realize that all clients will not think every aspect of Family Trust Investment Services is elite, so I had reasonable expectations when considering our survey results.

Our scores came in very high (think 8.5 on a 1 to 10 scale), although I focused on the select few that highlighted areas that need improvement. That is the perfectionist in me, for I know that I will never be satisfied, because if I ever become satisfied, I will get lazy, and our department will suffer.

If I were brutally honest, I personally would not have graded our department as highly as our clients did, because of my obsession with perfection. Despite that, the gist of the survey was that we are doing a good job, and that fact was underlined by a 100% “yes” answer to the question of “would you recommend your friends and family to us.” One hundred percent.

Still, we will stay hungry, and chase perfection in the hopes that one day we will catch excellence.