Contentment is the enemy of greatness. To ensure that our future is even stronger than our past, we must be committed to living our values on a daily basis. The 33 Fundamentals that follow provide the roadmap for doing just that, and for embedding our culture into the very DNA of our firm. We call it, The LGA Way.
We Must Be Committed To
Living Our Values On a Daily Basis
The LGA Way
Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out when they do things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation — in all directions throughout our firm. Remember to acknowledge the “singles and doubles,” rather than waiting to only celebrate a “home run.”
Get to know your clients and co-workers on a more personal level. Talk more and e-mail less. Understand what makes others tick and what’s important to them. Strong relationships enable us to more successfully work through difficult issues and challenging times.
Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and that the intent behind their actions is positive. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
Don’t make assumptions. There’s always more to the story than it first appears. Gather the facts before jumping to conclusions or making judgments. Be curious about what other information might give you a more complete picture.
Our clients, their families, and their businesses share information with us because they need and trust us. Honor that trust by keeping their information in confidence, and taking appropriate steps to safeguard how and where it’s used. The same is true for information about our firm as well as about your fellow team members.
Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to acting with integrity in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. Always do what’s best for our clients, both internal and external, even if it doesn’t appear to be in our individual or firm’s best interest.
Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in the quality and reliability of your work. Excellence begins with attention to detail, so be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?”
Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, and meetings. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new deliverable to be honored.
Our team members and our clients expect us to respond to their questions and concerns quickly. This includes acknowledging that we received the question and that “we’re on it,” as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues. Timely response is one of the easiest and best ways to stand out from the crowd and earn trust.
Take personal responsibility for getting work done. Assume total ownership for your client’s satisfaction, whether internal or external. Don’t make excuses or wait for others to solve the problem. Go the extra mile and take pride in seeing issues through to completion.
Demonstrate a relentless solution focus, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve ourselves and our processes so we don’t make the same mistake twice. Get smarter with every mistake and learn from every experience.
Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and show initiative. Challenge historical assumptions and figure out a way.
Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others and ask when you’re not clear on what they expect of you. Communicate with stakeholders and end all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, priorities, and due dates.
While efforts are appreciated, our internal and external clients expect us to produce results in the form of timely and quality deliverables. Set high goals, use measurements to track your progress, and hold yourself and each other accountable for achieving those results.
Learn to think from the perspective of others. Know their challenges and frustrations. See the world through their lens. The better you understand them, the more effectively you can anticipate and meet their needs. Treat them the way they want to be treated.
Find ways to help clients, internal and external, become more successful. Understand their goals and be sure everything you do for them is aligned around helping them meet their objectives. Understand emerging trends and stay relevant. Quite simply, if we don’t add value, there’s no reason for us to be involved.
Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more, rather than immediately problem solving or jumping to conclusions.
Speak honestly in a way that’s helpful and constructive. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.
Take advantage of opportunities to lead, by asserting yourself, whether you’ve been designated as the leader or not. Leadership is a behavior, not a title. Be the example of what you want to see.
Continuously look for opportunities to help an LGA Team Member, even if it’s outside your normal job function. Be aware of when you could alleviate someone else’s workload and proactively take on responsibilities of those above or around you. Value the 80% contribution that your team members bring and work collectively to balance their 20%.
In the search for the best solutions, challenge and question what you don’t understand. Seek out the “why” and don’t accept anything at face value if it doesn’t make sense to you. Dig deeper to go beyond the expected. Ask the extra question. Healthy debate leads to creative, often overlooked solutions.
Every conversation, phone call, email, letter, and even voicemail, sets a tone and creates an impression. Pay attention to every interaction and be sure you’re setting a tone that’s humble, friendly, warm, and helpful. Be approachable to our internal team and external clients and referral partners. Be sure everything you do demonstrates your professionalism and enhances the reputation of the firm.
Take responsibility, both formally and informally, to coach, guide, teach, and mentor others. Sharing knowledge strengthens our team.
Be a lifelong learner. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge, to increase your skills, and to become a greater expert. Take responsibility for your own learning and capitalize on the group learning opportunities that are presented throughout the year.
Be organized and plan your work for maximum efficiency. Be thoughtful about your schedule, and have a game plan for your calls, your tasks, and your workday. Be sure you know the priorities and work on them first, rather than constantly being caught up in the urgent.
Understand our business and what we need to do to prosper. Value your time and log it appropriately. Bill and collect. Make decisions by asking yourself, “Am I being a careful steward of the firm’s resources? Will this help the firm to succeed?”
Create systems and processes that are scalable and that support our ability to perform with consistency. While always looking for opportunities to improve, follow established processes to drive greater efficiency and eliminate uncertainty. Strong processes are the foundation of organizational effectiveness.
Regularly reevaluate how you work to find ways to improve. Guard against complacency and don’t be satisfied with the status quo. Be innovative and find ways to get things done better, faster, and more efficiently.
With appropriate respect for confidentiality, share information freely throughout our firm. The more people know, the better we can collaborate. Learn to ask yourself, “Who else needs to know this?” Communicate often.
Solve problems before they happen by anticipating future issues, planning for contingencies, and addressing them in advance. Work with appropriate lead times. Preventing issues is always better than fixing them.
Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by attacking your action items and to-do’s with energy, focus, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of urgency to get things done.
Own and protect your work-life balance. Know and communicate boundaries and when you need to take a break to refresh and recharge. To give your best, you must be at your best. Be a steward of LGA’s most valuable resource: you!
While we’ll always have periods of intense focus, what we do isn’t a matter of life and death. Have fun, be light, and laugh at yourself. Enjoy your time with colleagues and clients.