September 28, 2022
In the past 12 months, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to add more than a half-dozen top-quality individuals to our growing team at Dix & Eaton. To say we have been fortunate is an understatement as these are trying times in the talent market. And while we work hard to recruit the best candidates, our ticket to securing the best in new talent is due to the character and professionalism of our owners – each and every one of our employees. In interviews with recent hires, their great questions caused me to reflect on my own experience and on Dix & Eaton’s 70th anniversary in 2022.
What has kept D&E in business for 70 years?
As one of my colleagues so eloquently stated it, “grit and grace.” In 70 years, we’ve seen many ups and downs but through it all, we’ve stayed true to the legacy of a wonderful mentor and our co-founder, Henry Eaton. He believed success would come from building great relationships with clients and colleagues, caring for each other as individuals, taking the high road, and being honest about doing what is right for a client even though it may mean we lose out on an opportunity. This approach has helped us to build strong partnerships that can weather all types of volatility, and in some cases, create friendships that last a lifetime.
What kind of people thrive at Dix & Eaton?
Our people have a natural curiosity about business, a passion for helping others, and they are team players and problem solvers, bring a good sense of humor, and embrace their role as owners (as we are an employee-owned company). Our core values were developed by reflecting on the successful qualities of our people – they are passionately collaborative, driven to make a difference, and enjoy thinking ahead and providing insight – all with the goal of building great relationships in their lives.
And what have you learned from things that have not worked so well?
So much of what we do is about relationships, which can be tricky. Resilience is critical. We don’t always get it right, we learn from these experiences and try to improve going forward. One thing I’ve learned that is also a guarantee: If something does go wrong with a client or colleague, face into it quickly with a sense of curiosity and willingness to actively listen. In a majority of the cases, the behavior observed – and assumption made – is not aligned with the intent of the individual. It can be one of the best opportunities to learn and potentially strengthen a connection.
In my orientation meetings at Dix & Eaton more than 20 years ago, I asked my colleagues what kept them at the firm. The answer was always the same: the people. I thought it was an unusual answer and I didn’t believe it. Today, I know it to be true. Over the years, we’ve had great people come and go – onto exciting careers, new chapters and retirement opportunities. And while it’s always hard to see them go, we wish them much success. And, today I wish our fabulous team much success in the next 70 years!