By Brian Halverson, President/CEO
Courage is most often thought of in relation to tales of bravery and heroism. But courage is a trait that transcends all aspects of our personal and professional lives. It serves as a catalyst for growth, innovation, and transformation. It is a driving force that propels us to overcome obstacles, embrace change, and forge a path towards success.
Courage is something we all need. In Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead, she makes the connection between vulnerability and courage. You can’t have courage without being vulnerable, yet our egos say being vulnerable is a bad thing. In reality, it’s not. We must understand that being vulnerable is ok.
In the business world, courage is the cornerstone of innovation and progress. In this ever-evolving world, businesses that stay stagnant will be left behind. Leaders must show courage and adapt with the rapidly changing landscape. Taking calculated risks opens doors to new opportunities and enables companies to stay ahead of the competition.
At Heartland Trust, we have shown courage over the past few years as we grow. We’ve had several promotions and hirings; we’ve migrated to several new software platforms including our entire wealth management business; and we recently finished our office remodel (stop by and see it if you’re in the neighborhood!).
Ultimately, we want our courage to promote personal and professional growth. We strive to make every day better than the last. Not every day will be a great day, but we want more great days than good days, and more good days than bad days. I am proud of the team at Heartland Trust and the courage they show.
Brian Halverson – President
When you match a strong work ethic with a society that doesn’t promote balance, a person can get lost in the day-to-day grind of trying to keep up. Without balance, something always suffers, whether it’s work or family. Or maybe you are present, but nothing gets the full attention it should.
Finding balance isn’t easy. You must identify what is meaningful and learn when, why, and how to say yes or no. When you introduce “change” into the conversation, it makes finding balance even more difficult.
Brian Halverson – President
One of the most legendary expeditions was led by Sir Ernest Shackleton from 1914-1916. On a ship rightfully named Endurance, he led a journey known as the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. This expedition had no guarantee of returning home safely and promised an abundance of adventure in the unknown.
With a clear goal, a strong team, and a mighty ship, the crew of 28 set off for the Antarctic Circle.
As you read this quarter’s newsletter, you will notice many exciting changes going on at Heartland Trust. After 31 years leading the operations, compliance, and HR departments at Heartland, Sheryl Bernier has retired/significantly reduced her work hours and duties.
Sheryl’s departure brings changes in the form of promotions and new hires. Our team is growing, and we are bringing on experienced and knowledgeable people who share the qualities and values that we hold up as important. And while not seeing Sheryl every day will be a hard change, we are grateful. Grateful for her three decades of leadership. Grateful that our other team members are growing with their careers. Grateful that we can bring in other experienced professionals who want to grow with Heartland.
Spring is a wonderful time of year.
Snow melts, flowers bloom, docks, and boats are placed in the water. This is the time of year when we see the cold bareness of winter transition into the long warm days of summer. With the season come key moments that signal the end of winter: tax season, golf course openings, trees budding.
For all of us, spring confirms that winter doesn’t last forever. As dreary March stretches into light-filled May, we find new hope, new growth. We receive this confirmation when we have to buy our kids new soccer shoes, or suffer aches and pains from hitting golf balls, or see farmers in the fields.
After the year we’ve been through, it is comforting to recognize the growth process is alive and well. No matter how cold the winter is, spring comes. This time of year, that’s confirmation of new opportunities and growth for us all.
We have all been confronted with challenges over the past 10 months.
Whether we needed to find a new way to complete a familiar task or wrestled internally with some difficult questions, this pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives.
In response, we’ve had little choice but to move onward.
While finding a way forward can be uncomfortable, it’s actually a good thing. Challenges promote growth. When we face obstacles, we learn how to be more efficient and prioritize what’s important to us. We’re forced to recognize and cherish the small things in life.
As we turn the page to a new year, I celebrate the ways the team at Heartland Trust has moved forward with confidence and purpose. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished professionally and personally in a year where nothing was expected. Even as the world changed around us, we hung on to the values that mean so much to us and you.
I’m proud of the challenges we’ve faced and look forward to seeing how we continue to grow. Onward!
Balancing Work and Family
Adapted from Broadridge Investor Communication Services
At one time, the typical American family looked like this: a breadwinner father who commuted a short distance to work and earned a very good living, and a stay-at-home mother who took care of the kids and family home with aplomb. Life seemed easy and manageable, with plenty of time for family meals, parent relaxation, and important life lesson discussions, and little in the way of work or technological distractions.
Today, things are different. There are many more two-parent, dual-income families and single-parent households, along with increased work expectations, longer commutes, and a 24/7 mindset. The result is often a more harried existence for today’s parents as they try to balance their work commitments and family obligations – a juggle that is one of the major issues people face during their working years.
30 Years: Our Core Culture Has Stayed The Same
Well, HTC has passed another milestone – 30 years.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is still true that two out of three start-up businesses, with employees, will only last two years and about half of the remaining ones will last five years. I guess we can say we made it.
With a milestone like that, we should have a big celebration but due to the Covid situation, we have not really had a chance to celebrate.
After 30 years of history, a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same at Heartland Trust Company. Obviously, the Covid-19 virus has caused us to make some very radical changes. We have kiddingly said that in two short months we adopted technology changes that normally would have taken five years to implement. Also, some new words and concepts have crept into our everyday language. For example, the idea of a virtual or Zoom meeting was a rare thought a year ago but in today’s world, it seems to be an almost daily event.
There are many great quotes out there that are relevant right now, but it’s a lyric from Bob Dylan’s song, Brownsville Girl (a B-side track from the 80’s) that is in my mind: “Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content.”
Yes, the times they are a-changin’ in many different ways, and it is easy to feel alone or isolated as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. But remember . . . our families, businesses, communities, states, and countries are all in this together. We have all been forced to look at things from a different angle. Ultimately, it is making us stronger and pushing us forward so that we can be more resilient in the future.
Is Being Vulnerable a Weakness
By Brian Halverson, President
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a hot topic in today’s business world, and rightfully so. It is your ability to express and control your own emotions and also your ability to understand and interpret other people’s emotions. Why is this so important, you may ask? Just watch an episode of The Bachelor or Bachelorette. Many of our own problems we bring onto ourselves.
As humans, it is impossible to get every decision just right or have the proper reaction to everything. It’s hard work balancing a sick kid, getting everyone out the door in the morning and on time, dealing with a flat tire, meeting deadlines, dealing with health issues, etc. This is where having the ability to be vulnerable is so important. If you are aware you made a poor decision or said something out of line in a meeting, recognize that and have the courage to admit it. It’s far better for your team at work or your family if you address it, put it behind you, and move on. If you don’t, it will linger on and not only affect your performance but those around you.
At the end of the day, we all want to be happy and that starts with ourselves. In my mind, being vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about showing strong character.