Leadership Demands Responsibility

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Last week the team at Benefit Concepts, Inc. (BCI) celebrated our annual symposium – a time where we bring the enterprise, Strategic Partners, and vendors together to both look back at the previous year and look forward to the future and how our industry will continue to change.

I am honored to lead team BCI and cannot help but reflect on all that has happened since last year’s symposium. Our company has grown in revenue and, more importantly, in new staff members who are leading the way to a bright future. We have worked with amazing clients, carriers, and vendors and have enjoyed holiday parties and team building events, which strengthened our company’s culture.

Then there was, of course, Hurricane Harvey – a storm that devastated Houston and personally touched me as multiple members of my staff had their homes, cars, and possessions destroyed. It was then, you may recall, that my team came together and started the Team BCI Charitable Relief Fund which is dedicated to serving BCI employees, Strategic Partners, and the broader Houston Community in times of need.

In just a few months, we raised nearly $50,000 and were able to help numerous families. We quickly realized that our Relief Fund needed to be a sustainable non-profit that raises funds year after year to assist those that may go through unexpected misfortunes.

It has truly been amazing to see BCI unite under this non-profit and has taught me new levels of leadership.

The Cost of Leadership 

The world often heaps praise onto leaders in times of success, but criticizes them when things go wrong. Though it may seem unfair, this is how leaders are viewed, as either the savior or scapegoat.

That, however, is not true leadership.

A true leader follows the motto, “Blame goes up and praise goes down.” This means that when a business is doing well, the employees are rewarded and congratulated; when the business is struggling, leadership is at fault and must reevaluate their actions. 

Leadership comes at a cost.

I have learned from those that came before me the importance of giving back, that trusting your employees is vital, to delegate to those who are smarter than me, and to always be there when crisis strikes. Most people don’t view leadership as sleepless nights, questioning if a correct decision was made, or constantly analyzing an industry that changes daily.

Leadership asks you to give when you are tired, to work when others aren’t, and to willingly give up control, all the while demanding responsibility.

Every leader is responsible to those they lead, and to the community that supports them. This responsibility stayed at the forefront of my mind as I looked out on the crowd at our annual symposium and was proud of all the associates who were in attendance. I saw young people beginning their careers, as well as seasoned veterans who have been with us for decades. I am responsible to them and to Houston as this city has allowed us to build a business that continues to grow.

Our Relief Fund has become one of the ways we put responsibility into action, and I am excited to announce one of the ways we will raise money this year.

Team BCI Charitable Relief Fund Golf Classic 

On April 12th, the Team BCI Charitable Relief Fund will be hosting our Inaugural Golf Classic. Funds raised from the Golf Classic will go directly toward those in Houston who face unforeseen hardship, all while offering a time of fun and fellowship for our employees and Strategic Partners.

We still have plenty of room for sponsors and individual players; details are as follows:

  • April 12th, 2018

  • Black Horse Golf Club - 12205 Fry Rd, Cypress, TX 77433

  • Registration & Lunch: 11:00 – 1:00 pm

  • Shotgun/4-Person Scramble: 1:00 pm

  • Dinner: 5:30 pm

This event includes a putting contest, closest to the pin contest, and raffle prizes.

Learn more and sign up for the tournament at https://www.teambcirelieffund.org/golf/.

It would be a privilege to have you attend and meet the amazing BCI team that continually inspires and makes me want to be a better leader.

Mark Kennedy