Wayne Johnson, MBA, CFP®, AEP®, CAP®, Financial Planner
September 5, 2023
On a day-to-day basis our firm is known as Syverson Strege. However, founders Johnne Syverson and David Strege chose a more inspirational name as the legal name of their firm when they formed the organization many years ago. The firm we know as Syverson Strege is legally named Values Based Holding Corporation.
What makes values so important for a business, especially Syverson Strege? 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.
So why is an aspirational name that is not widely used an important part of the story of Syverson Strege? The name Values Based Holding Corp. is important because Johnne and David consistently made their leadership decisions based on their strongly held values over the past 26 years – and before. This name is also important because these values guide the decisions and interactions of all members of our firm as we serve our clients and work together.
Several years ago, Johnne, David and the next generation of our firm’s leadership identified the need to be more explicit about these values. They knew it was important to be intentional about identifying a list of the most important values to guide us in how we choose to act throughout the firm. The entire staff participated in an exercise to identify and describe the values of the firm that are most important to clients and employees alike.
The values chosen during that exercise became the company values that guide our decisions and our interactions at Syverson Strege every day. These values hold an important place in our office: large images of each one hang in the hallway that leads to our office kitchen – and EVERYONE goes to the kitchen!
We identified the following values:
We do the right thing, even when it’s not acknowledged or convenient.
We feel and show sympathy and concern for others.
We never waiver from the truth and our words are rock solid.
We act soundly using our experience, knowledge, and good judgement.
We feel and show respect, grace, and deference.
6. Positive Attitude
We create a better and collaborative environment for fellow employees.
We work hard, but with reliability and responsibility.
These are a lofty set of ideals, and we are aware that our firm and the individuals in it are not perfect. However, these values define who we are and what we strive to be. These values guide us and help us to be our best at all times – particularly when things may be difficult.
Over the coming months, several of my colleagues will describe how each of these values is applied at Syverson Strege, and how they are each a key component of how Syverson Strege takes good care of its clients and the members of the firm. We hope you find these articles interesting and encouraging.
If you are looking for financial planning assistance guided by these 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.
Wayne Johnson is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®), and Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) who has been serving individuals and families in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years. He grew up in a multi-generational family business in rural Iowa, and his background provided valuable experience that now helps him work with families and business owners, particularly those related to agriculture. Wayne is a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and a master’s in business administration. Prior to entering the financial services industry, he worked for more than 15 years in Fortune 500 companies in project management, quality engineering and procurement.