INSPIRED: Christie Williams

October 18, 2018
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller

“It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

How many times have you heard that saying? It’s a pretty common turn of phrase used to describe the separation many think exists or should exist between our work lives and our home lives. We should be able to separate the things that happen to us between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the rest of our daily lives.

The interactions we have at work between colleagues – no matter how difficult or contemptuous – shouldn’t matter after hours. When we leave our workplaces, we should be able to leave all that behind. After all, that was just business. It wasn’t personal.

If we’ve had a particularly tough day at work that’s left us feeling frustrated and unhappy, we should simply brush off our frustrations and avoid bringing those burdens home to our families. After all, it’s just business.

The problem is, business is personal.

When we spend 40 or more hours a week with the same group of people, when so much of our energy is dedicated to fulfilling our responsibilities in our job, business most definitely becomes personal. When you have any group of human beings working together toward a shared goal, emotion is involved, and business becomes personal. And that’s the way it should be.

That’s how problems are solved. That’s how creativity reaches another level. When people care about what they are doing and who they’re doing it with, there’s no stopping the potential of what can be accomplished. The human element should never be removed from business.

In this episode of our THL: INSPIRED series, we hear from Christie Williams, a leader at Engle Martin & Associates, a division of Cor Partners, a BW Forsyth Partners portfolio company. BW Forsyth Partners was formed as a hybrid equity firm to – unlike the typical private equity firm approach that prioritizes investor return – create great companies with rich legacies. Our approach is focused on building value, rather than extracting value. BW Forsyth is now creating new business platforms in multiple areas, like Engle Martin & Associates, which provides commercial property, casualty loss adjusting and third-party administration services.

Christie tells the story of how, earlier in her career, a trusted leader’s response to the death of a family member affected her personally and professionally. But then you’ll hear how that led her to understand the true meaning of leadership, Truly Human Leadership.

“I have found freedom in knowing that I can love on my team when I need to love on my team – when they need to be loved on and care about them in a way that they know is genuine,” Christie said.

Watch and listen to Christie’s story through the link above.


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