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.
Be Present; Be Great
After my grandmother’s funeral in early August, the message from Pastor Corey Bjertness stuck with
me: “Achieving meaningful greatness comes from having good character and consistently being
present.” In our family life, meaningful greatness is not achieved by working long hours so your kids can
have the fanciest toys or electronics. In our work life, it’s not achieved through a grand marketing plan
or a single transaction.
Meaningful greatness is achieved by consistently being present.
When it comes to family, there are things we don’t want to miss: T-ball games, summer vacations, piano
recitals, and more. There are also those small moments you don’t realize you miss.
Prepare and Enjoy
Before the start of every Concordia football game, Coach Terry Horan quotes Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
As we move through life, there are defining moments that we can prepare for and some we cannot. Moments that make us happy, sad, mad, proud, and a myriad of other emotions. Something as memorable as a summer weekend when we play the best golf game of our life with a great group of friends, or the exhaustion and uncertainty from a long health battle. These experiences shape our outlook on life, the stories we tell our kids, and how we plan for tomorrow.
In our line of work, we understand what people are going through because we experience the same things. Whether something is expected or unexpected, prepare for it and embrace those you trust to help you get through it.
What Coach Horan was impressing on the Cobbers before taking the field is that we have prepared for today. Not just in the days and weeks leading up to the game, but the months and years as well, whether we knew it or not. Every experience has shaped us, no matter how large or small. Get out there and enjoy the moment. We have a game plan, but also be prepared for the unexpected to arise for us to overcome. Be confident and strong and remember that someone will always have your back to help you through the hard times and enjoy the good times.
Trusts Built Trust
Next year – 2020 – will mark 30 years that Heartland Trust Company has served our community.
As you might know, we started our business by managing trusts, serving as trustee for the benefit of our clients and their beneficiaries. And over the decades, these trusts led to your trust – and our growth.
Today, we still do trusts, but our largest group of account types includes IRAs and investment accounts. We also set up and manage 401(k) plans for businesses.
Patience Is a Virtue
Everyone has heard the saying “good things come to those who wait” or maybe you’ve heard of the marshmallow test given to children. Likewise, delayed gratification is a major part of investing. Chasing an asset class that just had a winning period or selling one that experienced a losing streak can wreak havoc on a portfolio.
The current volatility in the stock markets reminds me the value of having a game plan and sticking to it. No asset will go up forever; almost everything is cyclical. If you are patient and stick it out, however, odds are the outcome will be positive. If you go back 10 years ago, the unpredictable asset class was housing and, eventually, the entire stock market. About 20 years ago it was the technology sector. At those points in time, if you got out at the bottom and didn’t get back in in a timely fashion, you may still be feeling the effects.
A Simplified Mission
Our mission statement is clear and simple: “to provide a lifelong commitment to the well-being of those we serve.” Living out the spirit of that mission is more complex.
As a trust company, we offer guidance whether you are saving for retirement, living in retirement, or needing to follow a document after a triggering event occurs. That said, we know that each person has his or her own definition of well-being. We carefully listen to make sure we understand your definition.
Keeping Things Personal
In a world that is becoming faster all the time, there is a tendency to lose a sense of connection or personal interaction.
For example, the personal banking industry makes it easy for us to forgo a visit to the bank to make a deposit or withdrawal, pay a bill, or sign a document. We hear in professional sports, “it was a business decision, nothing personal.”
Building Trust in Our Business
People often say the one constant in our lives is change. This has certainly been true in the financial industry. It’s hard to keep track of who’s who and who’s where. What is the bank or insurance company’s new name? Which broker is with which firm, and in which office are they located?
This leads to the big question: How can their clients receive the personal attention they deserve?
Just a reminder: As our organization continues to grow, we are still the original Heartland Trust Company. We are still independent, still locally owned, and still headquartered in Fargo. We set our own policies, make our own decisions, and answer our own phones. All of our employees live in, participate in, and support our local communities.