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Greenspring Advisors Core Value #3: Have A Bias Towards Action

Joshua P. Itzoe, CFP®, AIF®

Welcome to my fifth in a series of seven blog posts about the importance of culture, core purpose and core values at Greenspring Advisors.

In my first post, I shared the significance of culture at our firm and how our Core Purpose and Core Values form its cornerstone. In my second post, I discussed our Core Purpose which is why we exist and what we stand for at Greenspring Advisors. In my third post, I wrote about our first (and most important) Core Value which is to “Love Your Neighbor”. It means to think about others before yourself. In my fourth post, I outlined our second Core Value which is to “Own Your Stuff” which means to take responsibility for your actions.

This week I am going to cover our third Core Value which is to “Have A Bias Towards Action.”  Simply put, this means making things happen and ties closely to “owning your stuff” and taking responsibility.  As I mentioned in a previous post, we place a high value on people who are “doers” and not merely “talkers”.

People who embody this core value at Greenspring Advisors tend to be self-starters and exhibit uncommon initiative.  They don’t sit around and wait for things to happen or for work to be assigned to them.  They are proactive, action-oriented and dependable.  You rarely hear people say, “that’s not my job”, point the finger or place blame on others.

Having a bias towards action manifests itself in other positive ways.  It requires people to have a growth mindset – imagining possibilities, looking for solutions and finding new opportunities.  These things can be externally-focused, such as finding new clients for the firm or establishing business partnerships that help us do a better job for our clients.  Or they can be internally-focused.  Let me give you an example.

As you may know, we recently went through a rebranding and name change.  Prior to that, we had magnetic name tags for each member of the team which included our name, logo and the person’s name.  It was way cooler (and more professional) to show up to an event with your own magnetic name tag instead of having to use a pre-printed one (or worse, writing your name on a blank one)!  One of the things we forgot to do throughout the rebranding process was to order new name tags.  That is until Lindsay Novotny on our team took the initiative to get new tags designed for everyone.  Nobody asked her to do it and the task wasn’t assigned to her as part of the redesign process.  But she saw the need and exhibited a bias towards action to get it done.

This may sound like something small but it’s a perfect example of how Lindsay embodied this core value and made things happen.  It’s also significant for three additional reasons.

First, it’s comforting to know that our people are proactively identifying opportunities, issues, and problems. It’s also encouraging that we’ve been able to develop a culture where people feel the freedom to act when they see these things.

Second, the little things matter.  I’ve found that if you take care of the little things the big things tend to take care of themselves.  On the other hand, when people are so “big picture” focused that they forget about the little things, mistakes often happen.  And lots of little issues usually lead to big problems over time.

And third, much like our other core values, when people live these out it inspires confidence in their teammates, further invigorating the culture.

Pablo Picasso once observed that “action is the foundational key to all success.”  It sounds like he would have been the type of person we value and look for at Greenspring Advisors.

Thanks for continuing to read each week.  In my next post, I’ll share our fifth Core Value which is “Master Your Craft”.