We’ve all had those moments – at work, frustrated, and contemplating a career change. A true “why” moment. Why this job? Why this boss? Why does the day-to-day drag on and feel so monotonous? Sound familiar? We’ve all experienced these thoughts.
The truth is we’ve all been there and in those moments having perspective from others who’ve been at the same point can benefit our lives for good. In the spirit of helping those currently experiencing this “why” moment, we’ve compiled a few short Q & A’s from a couple of our team’s associates: Frankie Bennett and Dan Stephens. Enjoy.
Prior to joining LDR, what did you do?
Dan: Prior to LDR, I worked as a Process Engineer with Nucor Steel. While serving with the Nucor team, I got to witness first-hand the impressive things an empowered, innovative team could accomplish. Prior to Nucor, I served as a United States Army Infantry Officer for ten years, where I deployed overseas multiple times and had the privilege of serving with our nation’s finest Soldiers.
Frank: I was in the insurance industry with Zenith Insurance Company, a Fairfax owned workers’ compensation insurer. I spent time in the Claims, underwriting, and marketing departments while being mentored by the COO. I learned technical insurance skills and best practices from an organizational and cultural perspective for running a successful operation.
Do you remember your “why” moment?
Dan: My “why” moment came while visiting the LDR team in DC. There is a unique energy to the LDR team; a thirst for challenges and a passion to help clients overcome those challenges. I quickly realized I wanted to be surrounded by these individuals who found purpose in helping others and weren’t afraid to push the limits of convention to achieve incredible things.
Frank: It was my second phone interview with JD. I had only met JD once in person for 5 minutes before I had my “why” moment – a testament to the power of the people and vision of LDR. I have always had big dreams, been very ambitious, and thirsted for meaningful relationships with people I deeply respected. I immediately felt at home at LDR because it had the capacity and conviction to change the world.
What is the single piece of advice you would give to someone a couple years out of school and having their “why” moment?
Dan: Discover what excites you professionally and then pursue relentlessly. In that sense, you really start with the end goal in mind. Is it the people you work with? Is it the challenge of a fast-paced and rapidly changing industry? Is it facilitating relationships between different organizations, or helping organizations unleash their full potential? Once you can identify what truly excites you, you can begin to research what professions can help you realize your purpose, and then focus your skills and education to be an asset in that industry.
Frank: Follow your heart, and be bold. That’s not practical advice, as you will have to be brave enough to know when that applies to you. Understand what makes you happy, what you want to accomplish in life, and then rigorously work to align your activities and relationships (personal and professional) with your big picture goals. It will be messy and inherently involve trial and error, so do not be discouraged when you don’t have life figured out by 25. Be brave enough to have the courage of your convictions, and then pursue them relentlessly.
Of course, this is an LDR article so we’re going to brag a little bit about our culture and the opportunity to work here. More questions below:
How did LDR fit your identified purpose?
Dan: I sensed there was something special about the LDR team; both the culture and the people. While serving overseas, I gained first-hand experience with the impact that agile, small teams can make while unencumbered with bureaucracy and rigid hierarchy. LDR embodies these principles, leveraging modern technology and thought processes to direct organizational energy and rapidly create value. LDR’s confidence that no problem is without a solution is incredibly appealing and exciting. Additionally, I was attracted to LDR’s belief in service, both inside the organization and in support of our community.
Frank: My lifelong goals are to solve challenging and meaningful problems, to help others, and to continually grow to become the very best version of myself. LDR was clearly a place where I could accomplish my professional and personal goals, while developing deep and lasting relationships with people of the highest caliber. It is an organization that gives you the freedom, support, and platform to be the change you want to see in the world. Additionally, the vibrant culture, irrepressible energy, and unique leadership were unlike anything I’d encountered in my professional life. I recognized it is a place where I could work for the rest of my life. It is a destination, not a stepping stone. How uncommon and extraordinary is that in today’s business environment?
What makes the experience of working at LDR different than other organizations?
Dan: To me, the way LDR relies on collaboration and focus to tackle problems faster than any other organization out there. To ensure success, it is crucial that LDR brings on talented, self-starting individuals who thrive in an environment of trust and shared responsibility. With those pieces in place, LDR can operate with a very flat, streamlined process, handling the complexities of many different challenges simultaneously.
Frank: It is about people over processes. We operate in complex and ambiguous environments, often without a blue print to use as a problem-solving crutch. It is built on the power of teams – small, cross-functional, and collaborative. This resonates with me as this leaves no room for ego or passengers. It requires a deep respect for and dedication to your colleagues, which is the highest form of professional existence. The agile methodology we employ to solve complex and dynamic problems requires us to learn and adapt every day. This stimulates perpetual personal and organizational growth. I love what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, who I get to do it with.
LDR is an innovation consulting firm focused on providing advanced problem solving, leadership, and investment acceleration services that help businesses achieve their goals. LDR operates as a conduit between capital providers and invested companies to seize opportunities, develop innovation capabilities, and accelerate operations with the goal of maximizing ROI for all stakeholders. To learn more, visit www.LDRinvest.com.
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