by Ben Geiger CFP® Financial Planner |
January 29, 2024
Of the seven core values that the Syverson Strege team strives to live by, it is no coincidence that integrity is listed first. Having strong integrity is the foundation of a firm that has deeply rooted values. As Wayne mentioned in a previous blog article, “Values are what guide our daily decisions and interactions. Our values direct our attention and commitment to what is truly important to us and provide us with a buffer to resist short-term thinking and emotional reactions.”
When I joined Syverson Strege in 2018, I quickly saw that the values weren’t just mounted on the wall but truly lived out. I observed a culture of acknowledging mistakes, taking ownership of the work we do, and always operating in the best interest of our clients. I felt (and still feel!) so refreshed to be part of an organization that embodies integrity so well.
When you think of integrity, what comes to mind? Or maybe who comes to mind? I think we can all think back to a time when it was described as, “that little voice in your head” or “doing the right thing, even if it’s hard.” OK, that line may come from a children’s book I read to my daughter frequently, but it’s a lesson I hope she picks up on at a young age.
A particular moment in my life that shaped my view of integrity took place during high school when I worked many landscape and home improvement jobs. One day when leaving for a job, my dad said, “Ben, remember, what you say, how you act, and the effort you put into your work is a reflection not just on you but on anyone who has the same last name.” Now, he may have said that because I was heading to one of his coworkers' homes, but the lesson hit home. I never wanted to compromise my dad’s reputation because I cut corners, took the easy way out, or didn’t take pride in the work I was doing.
In my work at Syverson Strege, I keep that same mentality. My interactions with others are not just a reflection on myself but on the firm, Johnne, David, and all those who have played a part in serving our clients since 1997. Doing the right thing, even when it’s not acknowledged or convenient, is just what we do here. I see it in all my colleagues, and that personifies Syverson Strege.
I hate to admit it, but dad was right. At the immature age of 18, I am glad I took his advice. Living with integrity has helped cultivate lifelong friendships, trusting relationships, and more meaningful interactions with others. The same is true at Syverson Strege. With integrity at the foundation, it is a culture that has been created here. It is a way of treating our clients by carrying an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing. Integrity is the beacon that guides our decisions and helps make our relationships with clients more meaningful.
If you are looking for financial planning assistance guided by values, we would be happy to meet with you to provide a complimentary private consultation. Please call (515) 225-6000 or request to be contacted online.
Ben Geiger is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner at Syverson Strege. His main duties include preparing for client meetings throughout the year, strengthening client relationships and serving on Syverson Strege’s Financial Planning Committee. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ben attended Iowa State University and completed his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2017. Ben wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and always knew he wanted to be a financial planner. Joining the firm in 2018, Ben has enjoyed building his planning career with Syverson Strege.