How do you define success?
For me, success extends far beyond the business world. Success is about living a truly full life. That means embracing a purpose, balancing your work life and personal life, and giving back to communities.
Professional Services is a demanding business. We are “on call” for our clients. We work hard, we travel regularly and all our work must be high quality. I love it, but it demands a lot. But if that demand overwhelmed time with my family and things I care about, I would have stopped a long time ago. At EY we acknowledge the importance of that balance and truly believe it can and must be achieved even in our demanding profession.
I’m blessed to be involved in numerous organizations and causes. These organizations have influenced me personally. My life isn’t all numbers and clients. I find balance – I fulfill my purpose – by focusing on the causes I care about. Things like:
Family: this for me could not be more plain and simple; my family is my first priority. Though I remain committed to work, I’ve never put it above my amazing wife, Kate, or time with our four children, and extended family.
Community engagement: Kate and I believe in engagement and support of our community and church. We think about where we can contribute and how we can help. We support education. I have served for eight years on the Colgate University Board of Trustees. And I also see clearly that as our profession continues to grow and evolve, so does the skill set necessary for success. I see lot of room for professionals with STEM backgrounds – they have top-notch analytic instincts. I was proud to be recognized as a Top 100 CEO in STEM and as Corporate Chairman of the Liberty Science Center Genius Gala, I support the center’s aggressive push to get young people excited about STEM.
Growth and opportunity: my two youngest children are still in college, and my two eldest are just beyond their undergraduate years. Through my children, I’ve witnessed and relived the realities and difficulties of starting out on a career trajectory. I know the professional world is daunting, but it’s also ripe with opportunity. Through my work at EY and engaging with our incredible intern force at the EY’s International Intern Leadership Conference and our broad connections with higher education, I aim to help young professionals see and seize every opportunity to advance their careers and grow as individuals. EY mirrors this purpose and has countless programs – formal and otherwise – to foster growth and mentorship both internally and in our offices’ communities.
A better working world: the global business environment is changing at ever-increasing speeds. But this constant change means that business leaders are never stagnant. The working world is constantly innovating, improving and striving to be better. In our business, we support the giants of business as well as developing entrepreneurs in their pursuit of innovation and success. Also, through roles on the Board of Governors of the Center for Audit Quality, the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation and the Board of the Partnership for New York City, I have been able to spend a lot of time with the public sector, including our country’s regulators. My peers and I do all we can to provide effective alignment with regulatory framework as businesses adapt, improve and grow. EY’s purpose is to do our part in helping to build a better working world. My purpose is to enable our firm and our people to deliver on that.
Diversity, inclusion and respect. In and out of the office, I’m a passionate advocate of the numerous benefits of diversity. When we surround ourselves with people of different ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, backgrounds or abilities, we enrich our lives. And, there’s a strong business case for inclusiveness as well. When we are diverse and inclusive, we truly are better. Just this month, EY released a survey conducted in partnership with The Peterson Institute for International Economics that established a strong correlation between female leadership and stronger profits.
At EY and in my life, success is aligned with purpose. I would encourage you to set your path based on your purpose.
So, what’s your purpose?