By Kyle McDonald
Chief Executive Officer, Argent Financial Group
Soon after Argent entered its 30th year just a few months ago, the Coronavirus Pandemic hit this nation. Our reaction to this catastrophe, I believe, offers a window into why this company has succeeded for 30 years – and is prepared to succeed for generations to come.
I am suspicious of grand plans. There is too much we don’t know and can’t control about the future to make grand plans feasible. Of course, we should think ahead, be aware of possible obstacles and opportunities, prepare for what we know to be probable, or even, possible. But I don’t believe we should obsess about controlling what will happen tomorrow, or next year, or 30 years from now. Because we can’t control it.
Instead, I believe in focusing on what is important and being aware of what is happening around me in case an opportunity arises to do something that really matters. This is also the philosophy of our company. So, when faced with the Coronavirus Pandemic, we were guided by what is most important to us: providing exemplary client service.
Great client service is always personal service, which is why we made sure that relationship managers were our primary mode of communication with clients during this stressful time. Not social media campaigns or email blasts or similar corporate-wide approaches.
Now, this was not a complicated thing to do, because it is how we operate every day. And, because we follow this decentralized, personalized business model, we were able to be very nimble and responsive to client needs throughout the crisis. We didn’t need (or want) a grand plan for our entire client base or a roomful of Gannt charts outlining every possible scenario. We were simply present for each client, making sure we were aware of what each person was facing, ready to act quickly if an individual situation arose that required it.
And that is how we built a 30-year-old company without a 30-year plan. We focused on what is important – taking care of clients – and stayed aware of what was happening around us. As opportunities arose that supported our mission, such as acquiring another company, we acted. But the goal was not to build a company of a particular size or age. It was to build a company that took really good care of clients.
I think this approach – which flows from our “humble confidence” philosophy – is why Argent Financial Group is not only celebrating 30 years, but is also a very strong company positioned to be around for a long time. We care about the company’s long term sustainably because it is essential to taking care of our clients. Our clients depend on us to be there not just for themselves, but also for their children and grand-children and great-grand-children and beyond.
And we plan to be. One relationship at a time.