A Letter From Our Leadership: Managing Partner Jordan Person
Two years ago this month, Town Hall was born. As we’ve approached this milestone, I’ve found myself spouting contradictory cliches. One minute I’ll say something like, “If I only knew then what I know now! I’m so much better prepared!” And the next minute I might say, “Thank goodness I didn’t know that was going to happen. I might never have [fill in the blank].”
Here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last two years with an important caveat–I am no expert, but I’m on the journey.
Relationships are everything.
Building and growing a business is hard. (I’m fighting my instinct to end the previous sentence with five exclamation points because it feels like an understatement without them.) Things happen that you’d never be able to predict, and nothing is as binary as we want it to be. Everything is interconnected. And many times, solving a problem feels like pulling apart a rubber band ball. But it’s the relationships we build and the communities we create–within our teams, with our clients, with our peers–that allow us to navigate change and solve complicated problems. Investing in these relationships day-in and day-out means that “our village” is ready to navigate challenges together. My own village here at Situation Group has carried me so many times over the last two years.
Don’t overreact; don’t underreact.
So much of what I’ve learned and how I think has been influenced by Situation Group Founder Damian Bazadona. This one is a direct quote from him: “Don’t overreact. Don’t underreact.” Change can often generate fear. Fear breeds panic. Panic is contagious. Measuring my own response and approaching situations–even those that require a significant reaction–with focused composure and active listening always produces a better outcome than when I jump to a reaction or respond based on emotion.
Simplicity is undervalued.
Occam’s Razor is a principle that tells us that the simplest solution is almost always the best one. This certainly isn’t new information and yet, complexity is often celebrated in our world today. Complex tech solutions; complex analysis; complex requirements. Sometimes there’s a sense that if something is so complex that we don’t understand it, it must be smart. We have a tendency to perceive complexity as something that must be representative of greater value. I’m guilty of this. But I’ve learned that there’s incredible power in simplicity. Simple is not easy. In fact, it’s often harder. Simplicity is something to strive for and something to celebrate when we see its elegance in action.
Optimism is powerful.
An alternate title for this section could be: “There’s a fine line between optimism and delusion.” And I’ll be honest, there are days when I’m not so sure which side of the line I’m sitting on. To be clear, I don’t see optimism as a belief that everything will work out no matter what. My optimism is a representation of my deep belief in my team and in the power of commitment, relationship, and intention. This belief is influenced by my inherent privilege, but I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a powerful element in navigating the last two years.
There is no playbook.
There are best practices. There are case studies. There is research and data. But at the end of the day, there is no playbook that tells you the path forward. No one has a crystal ball. All we have is the team we’ve assembled sitting around the table. There will be mistakes. There will be wrong turns. There will be storms. But how incredible to sit at this table with these people and make something together. Being part of an incredible team that’s charting the path forward and generating real impact for our clients has been a significant motivator and source of inspiration for me.
For those of you who have been on this journey with us–whether as clients, partners, colleagues, or friends–I offer my sincere thanks. I look forward to continuing to learn, grow, and evolve together.
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