Adam Steen, Director of Business Development
October 20, 2020
It happened again, just like it always does. My wife, Kasey, my young boys, Ryker and Maverick, and I, were visiting with a new friend while exploring a farm in Lucas, Iowa. The conversation was pleasant, and we engaged in the usual small talk, but then our new friend asked me the dreaded question that others have often asked.
It’s not an offensive question, it’s not divisive, but it’s a question that is not simple to answer.
“Adam, what do you do for a living?” they usually say.
“Ahh… well,” I say, “I am Director of Business Development for Syverson Strege in West Des Moines. We’re a Financial Planning and Investment Management firm."
Sure enough, often here is the next question. Almost. Every. Single. Time.
“What is Business Development?” they ask, quizzingly.
I always, ALWAYS, jokingly ask back, “How much time do you have?”
My answer gets a laugh, maybe a courtesy laugh, but I’m cool with that!
Then, I give them my honest response.
“Business Development, to me, is a systematic approach to building and growing a business by first looking at what we need to improve internally, improving that, and second, showcasing our services to those we can help,” I say.
Seems fairly simple, right? I go further to state, “I also believe that Business Development is a holistic and comprehensive approach to achieving a company vision by identifying, and then connecting the gifts and talents of employees, centers of influence, and the community. Business Development creates long-term relationships, and it creates them because without relationships, the world would be a very lonely and isolated place. Without relationships, commerce wouldn’t stand a chance."
At this point, the person I’m talking to has either completely checked out, or they completely understand what I’m talking about.
If they completely understand me, they almost always say something like this, “Yes, it’s scary seeing how divided people have become. It’s hard for me to even have conversations. If it’s not a political disagreement, it’s those darn phones. I can’t seem to get them to look up for one second, let alone have a thoughtful conversation."
And therein lies my heart. “You are right,” I say, “and that is why I’m doing everything I can to convince people that we, as a society, have been created for amazing things. We’ve been born with gifts, talents, interests, hobbies, and DREAMS! And if we just take time to think about who we truly are and what we truly can become, our communities, our state, our country, and our world would change on a dime."
They ask, “What kind of change?”
I respond, “The kind of change that only occurs when we stop seeing people through our phones and start to recognize that all people are made in the same image. We are all made to love. We are all made for genuine relationship. But most importantly, we were made to come together and collectively achieve a greater vision and purpose that we can’t achieve on our own.”
Inevitably, this conversation usually leads to a deeper conversation about the person’s past, their present, and their future, and it is one of my favorite conversations to have with someone.
Yes, it happened again, and I hope it happens over and over, every single day.
We are made for relationship.
Who are you? Who will you become? How can YOU change the world?