• Syverson Strege’s Core Values: Positive Attitude

    by Tracy White, Receptionist | May 3, 2024

    At the beginning of the year, Syverson Strege’s leadership team challenged us to dive deep into our company’s core values. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to research Positive Attitude. I look at positivity as not only a mindset, but as a superpower that turns challenges into opportunities, setbacks into stepping stones, and dreams into reality!

    As I sat down to put my thoughts onto paper, I started brainstorming why Syverson Strege, a financial planning/wealth management company, would make positive attitude a core value. The Syverson Strege website states, “We create a better and collaborative environment for fellow employees.” In this context, what does ‘better’ mean, how does it cultivate collaboration? Does having a positive attitude go beyond just bettering the environment for fellow employees? As the receptionist, how do I fit into this vision?

    At its core, a positive attitude is rooted in the belief that no matter the challenges we face, there is always a silver lining waiting to be discovered. It's about choosing optimism over pessimism, gratitude over entitlement, and hope over despair. While it may seem simplistic, the impact of this mindset shift cannot be overstated.

    Positive Attitude Blog

    Definition of Better

    In Syverson Strege’s definition of a positive attitude, it states, “we create a better and collaborative environment for fellow employees.” According to the Oxford Languages, better: as an adjective is “of a more excellent or effective type or quality”, an adverb is “more excellently or effectively”, and as a verb, “improve on or surpass.” When I think of Syverson Strege’s approach to conducting business, I can’t think of a better word that could have been used.

    Syverson Strege is not the largest or flashiest planning company in the Des Moines area; however, the quality of work and the level of service we provide would be difficult to replicate anywhere else. The philosophy behind providing better service is that our team earns the trust of our clients. We don’t look at financial planning as a transaction; our clients become part of the Syverson Strege family. This was confirmed when Syverson Strege was named “Best Wealth Management Company in the 2023 West Des Moines Chamber’s “Best of the West” awards.

    Collaborative Environments

    Having a positive attitude doesn't just benefit us individually; it also has a ripple effect, influencing those around us. I believe at Syverson Strege the culture of positivity is engrained in everything we do. Employee happiness is a top priority for our leadership team. We have a very open and honest approach that is a catalyst for building strong, collaborative teams and fostering a culture of mutual respect and support. At a minimum we have quarterly team-building events to get to know one another better and have fun together, such as axe throwing to attending an Iowa Cubs game together with our families. We have quarterly recognition meetings that start with “high-fives” for co-workers. We recognize birthdays and anniversaries monthly. This might seem elementary; however, our positive atmosphere sets the tone for interactions with one another and with clients.

    Syverson Strege has created a welcoming atmosphere where ideas can flow freely, and innovation can thrive. We focus on finding solutions and lifting each other up. In this way, positivity becomes a cornerstone of effective teamwork at Syverson Strege, driving collective success and achievement.

    Numerous Benefits of a Positive Attitude

    The reason I was so drawn to writing about positive attitude is that our attitude serves as the guide to help us navigate every twist and turn, every peak and valley. It can ignite the fires of creativity and innovation within us. I strive to approach challenges with an open mind and a can-do attitude!

    I have found that the benefits of a positive attitude extend beyond simply smiling and giving high-fives; a positive attitude permeates every aspect of life. As a person that suffers from mild depression, I find hope in numerous studies that conclude a positive attitude bolsters mental well-being and shields us from the harmful effects of anxiety and depression. I have also experienced firsthand that optimism is closely linked to improved physical health.    

    One of my favorite movie quotes and a great summary of the importance of your attitude is from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to smell the roses every once in a while, you could miss it.”

    The Receptionist's Role in Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere

    I came to Syverson Strege a little over a year ago. Previously, I owned a Farrell’s gym location (during the COVID-19 pandemic). If I didn’t keep a positive attitude my business wouldn’t have been successful. People came to me at their most vulnerable – most of them had tried many different exercise programs that didn’t work. They felt defeated, and it was my job to be encouraging and realistic. My positive demeanor not only instilled confidence in the fitness program but also reassured clients that they were in capable hands.

    This same demeanor is required of me as the frontline ambassador at Syverson Strege. I am honored to set the tone for visitor/client experiences. My job goes beyond merely greeting guests and answering phones; I play a pivotal role in shaping the overall atmosphere of Syverson Strege. The key to success in this role is the cultivation of a positive attitude because it directly impacts the lasting impressions of our clients and guests.

    Embracing the Power of First Impressions

    My primary job duty is to make a memorable first impression, and I want the clients and visitors to feel valued and appreciated from the moment they walk through the door. What seemingly would be an ordinary experience turns out to be extraordinary because of the little touches that the Syverson Strege team provides including, seasonal office decor, greeting each client by name, providing treat bags in meeting spaces, hosting a fun-filled annual client appreciation event and designing educational events geared towards our clients’ needs and interests. Clients are more likely to feel valued and appreciated when they sense our genuine interest in meeting their needs and exceeding their expectations.

    In a world often fraught with negativity and uncertainty, cultivating a positive attitude is not merely a luxury but a necessity. This is why Syverson Strege has made a positive attitude one of their core values. We have the choice to be better each day which shapes our well-being and enhances the lives of those around us.

    You can learn about Syverson Strege’s core values here, or check out the other blog articles in this series here. If you’re intrigued by a values-based approach to financial planning, we invite you to reach out to us to schedule a complimentary, private consultation at (515) 225-6000 or request to be contacted online.


    Tracy White, Receptionist
    Tracy White joined the Syverson Strege team as Receptionist in January 2023. She grew up in Omaha and graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. After graduating college, she moved to Davenport, Iowa, to be a merchandise buyer for Von Maur. In 2005, Tracy transitioned to the banking industry, first in retail lending and then commercial lending. In 2017, Tracy left banking and moved into an entirely new profession: gym ownership. She owned, managed, and was the head coach for a Farrell’s Extreme BodyShaping location for more than four years. She sold the gym in August 2022. Tracy’s passion has always been making each customer feel welcome and taken care of.

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