Archive for legacy

Legacy and the Aubrey Echo

by Bond Payne, Chairman/CEO Heritage Wealth Management Company

Bond Payne

Bond Payne

How can a legacy be measured?  Do you measure it in dollars, the number of friends or grandchildren you have, or maybe the edifices that bear your name?  Many of our clients have achieved financial security for themselves and their families, but as they begin to come to grips with their own mortality, they begin to think in terms of what they are leaving behind and how to best care for those they love.

When I moved back to Oklahoma City in 1993, I was looking for a job in the oil and gas industry. The economy was very slow in Oklahoma City and not much had changed since I had gone away to college.  Most of my high school friends had gone away to college and never returned due to the lack of job opportunities in Oklahoma.  However, I was fortunate enough to connect with a number of oil and gas producers who had been through the hard times and, through grit and good fortune, were still hanging on.  I would typically meet them for lunch at the Petroleum Club for a long lunch and listen to their stories about the poor condition of the industry.  Then I was introduced to Aubrey McClendon.

I met Aubrey at his office at 63rd and Western.  At the time, Chesapeake was operating out of a few small office condominiums that have now been replaced by a sprawling campus. Aubrey came out of his office, introduced himself, and we pressed on to Flip’s for lunch.  For the next thirty minutes, he peppered me with questions and talked about Chesapeake while we ate. Then we hustled back to his office and, by the time the interview was over, the whole process had taken only 45 minutes.  It was apparent to me that this guy was different.

While I did not get the job, I continued to follow Aubrey as he built Chesapeake and began to transform our community.  His employment practices and charitable giving raised the bar on every single company in town.  The community projects he funded became the cornerstones of a higher quality of life that was attractive to young workers and benefitted everyone.  He challenged us to think big, be more and do more.  His vision, leadership and irrepressible energy was inspiring to me as we grew Heritage from a small, independent trust company to become the pioneering, sustainable wealth management company in the Southern U.S with more than $12 billion under administration.

Recently, in conjunction with our redevelopment of the historic Journal Record Building, we commissioned a study of the Oklahoma City multi-family housing market.  One of the findings of the report was that Oklahoma City has one of the highest populations of millennials in the U.S.  And I’m sure you have read that millennials are believed to be a key driver of future economic growth, just as the baby boomers were in the post-war era.  It occurred to me that the reason all of the millennials are in Oklahoma City is largely because of Aubrey McClendon and his visionary transformation of the energy industry and Oklahoma City.  Without Aubrey’s vision for creating a corporate campus and community that was appealing to bright young workers, and without him raising the bar for all of us in the business community, I believe none of this would have happened.

Many of the brightest young people I encounter around town are here for two reasons:  1) they were born here and stayed here for because they got a high paying job at a dynamic company, or 2) they came here because Aubrey McClendon brought them here to work.  I have dubbed this group the “Aubrey Echo”, because I believe they will have an impact on our community that will make the unbelievable work that Aubrey did during his all-too-short life look small in comparison.  His greatest legacy will not be what he did while he was here, but the impact that he will have for generations to come.

Blaze a Trail

by Aaron Jack, Vice President, Director of Development and Marketing

A large reservoir near my home in Quail Creek has hills of varied size. Perfect for sledding in the rare instance of snow in OKC, the hills also represent a great workout opportunity. There are a number of options, but I’ve been pleased to settle on one that balances distance with the challenge of a steep slope. An admitted creature of habit, since choosing my hill I always return to that same starting point. Soon after incorporating the hill into my workouts, I noticed a path was beginning to appear from my steps. Whether the grass is overgrown from the summer rain or brown from a recent freeze, I can always find my spot. I take pride in the fact my hard work has blazed a trail.IMG_4553

Walking home from a recent workout, I reflected on the leadership and legacy lesson from the hill. Our clients have become successful in many ways. With success comes responsibility, and part of that responsibility is to leave a positive impact on our surroundings once we have moved on. Each of us have the chance to blaze our own trail personally and professionally. Three quick leadership/legacy thoughts come to mind:

  • Win the Day. The only way to create impact is one step at a time. I personally grow tired of trite corporate sayings. However, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” is one that stands true to the test of time. The trail on the hill began with a single step, followed by thousands more. The best chance each of us have to influence our future is the opportunity of today. Take the first step.
  • Treat People Well. A simple thing, but sometimes the most difficult principle of all. I recently enjoyed listening to Sam Presti, renowned General Manager of the OKC Thunder, talking about the Thunder’s process of evaluating collegiate players. Certainly talent and basketball ability are the top priority, but Sam also stressed the importance of character in their evaluation process. They take extra time to interview student managers and support staff at the prospect’s university. Why? Because an important part of their evaluation process is how the player treats people — not just those people in leadership positions — but especially the ones that are in subordinate positions.
  • Leadership is Influence – A favorite quote of mine is “People remember 7% of what you say, but they always remember how you made them feel.” The most effective leaders understand this key principle. Influence is not given; it is earned. True leadership transcends title or position. Yes, there will be challenging times, difficult discussions, personnel issues to tackle, and family dynamics to overcome, but how we handle these tough situations defines our ability to positively influence those around us.