A guest blog written by the Operations Team
How many CEOs provide their teams with a challenge? Not to increase sales by 5% before the end of the quarter or to be more productive – but to attempt to understand who the team is – what do the team members value? Ron Scheese, our CEO did!
Before Ron challenged us, he challenged himself and watched the operations team’s top ten movies. Ron’s mission was to understand what we value as the client services team, and we would say that he accomplished that goal.
As a part of the operations team, we are honored for the opportunity to better understand who Ron is not only as a business leader or our CEO, but as a member of the Andesa family. After reading Ron’s blog, On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, we realized that not only did Ron give a great representation of our team while regaining some “CEO-cred” in the process; but there are similar values and qualities between Ron and the operations team – which are probably shared traits throughout Andesa. Among all the movies, Andesa’s values are exemplified, and someone clearly stands out in personifying these values and that is Ron! Without further ado here is what we learned about our CEO, Ron.
Ron values the importance of relationships – professional and personal. Of course, Ron values our partners, but he truly values each member of the Andesa family even if they did not earn their degree from Albright College. In The Big Chill, American Graffiti, and The Sandlot, the main characters came together and strengthened their bond with one another – even while encountering challenges. Going above and beyond for friends is a common theme – strong relationships last forever. The death of Alex brought the once close-knit gang back together after years apart, but it felt like little time had passed.
The Big Chill not only showed us that growing up is difficult and challenging sometimes, but a strong friendship is what makes it worth living.
In The Sandlot, the boys worked tirelessly to get the ball back from the neighbor’s yard without having to provoke the beast. Smalls said, “if it was not for Benny, I would have never made a single friend that summer.” Benny was there for Smalls while the other boys laughed at him. Ron treats everyone in the company as an equal – he knows our names, our stories and he genuinely cares for each of us. Ron gives back to the community, mentors college students and takes building strong, lifelong relationships seriously.
Ron values transparency and encourages teamwork across the organization. Teamwork is common among Saving Mr. Banks, Hoosiers, The Blues Brothers, The Sandlot, and Apollo 13. Teamwork involves working together to achieve a shared goal or idea, just like in order to have a successful basketball season the team had to work together and combine the strengths of each player to achieve that common goal. We all have an effect on one another, and we work as a team more than we work individually.
Ron demonstrates the importance of team dynamics, and he exemplifies what it takes to be a part of a team. When a team player does not show up to the big game, team morale suffers. It would have been highly impossible for one person to successfully bring the astronauts back home – it takes a team. In Saving Mr. Banks, there would not have been a movie premiere without the dedicated team members – working late nights, brainstorming new ideas and tweaking those ideas based off of Pamela’s ‘respectful” feedback.
Ron has a positive outlook on life and puts other people before himself. Ron represents a person who would sacrifice to help people in need. What would Andesa be without Ron’s leadership, positive outlook, and strong personal values? In It’s a Wonderful Life, an angel is sent to show George what would have happened to the people he touched if he had not been born – the world would have been a far poorer place to live. Ron not only has the company’s best interest in mind, but also the employees and the community. Ron looks beyond the financial statements, and pays it forward by giving back to the community and the company through hosting company-wide walks, supporting charities and mentoring college students.
In The Blues Brothers, even though the ends do not truly justify the means, the brothers’ intent was to save the orphanage where they grew up. Their hearts were in the right place. Ron puts himself in the client’s position in hopes of better understanding what the client wants/needs.
This is similar to how Walt Disney took a step back to understand and relate to Pamela’s feelings. He shared secrets from his childhood with Pamela, thus opening up, which allowed him to build a stronger connection/partnership between the two of them. The story helped justify why Walt Disney built “The Happiest Place on Earth,” just like how Ron remains positive about the future, honest and transparent with our clients, and supportive of the Andesa family.
Ron understands the importance of bringing out the good in bad situations and to respect everyone as an equal.
In The Green Mile, Paul Edgecomb treated John and the other inmates with respect regardless of the reason they were there. Paul confronted Percy for being disrespectful to the prisoners. Percy envisioned himself as above everyone else, probably because he is the nephew of the governor’s wife and his powerful political connections. Ron does not have the “I am the CEO” and “I can do anything I want” attitude. It is uncommon to hear of a CEO hosting company book clubs, eating lunch with his fellow employees in the café and mentoring students.
Ron understands the importance of bringing out the good in bad situations. In The Sandlot, the boys fearfully approached their neighbor to return his escaped dog. They feared the consequences of their actions; but in the end, the situation took a turn for the better because the boys gained a friend who enjoyed baseball just as much as they did! Everything is not always what it seems to be.
Ron exemplifies the courage to take on challenges and opportunities – prime example of a true leader. Ron’s personality is one to tackle sometimes seemingly insurmountable challenges head on. When everyone puts their minds together, remarkable things can happen, like bringing a group of astronauts back from a failed mission to the moon. It takes courage to go where no one is willing to go – the yard guarded by a beast. Andesa, under Ron’s leadership, is expanding into individual life and BPO markets – taking on risk like Benny took when he jumped the fence or the risk Curt took when deciding to move on to new adventures and leave behind what is safe.
Ron exemplifies the courage and strength it takes to change, and with change comes a loss of what was. Is it the best thing to stay in the comfort zone and expand in the COLI business, or should we take on new carriers and markets? Depends on who you ask. Les Misérables was a testament to courage on the part of the actors involved in having to step outside their comfort zones – be someone who everyone looks up to. Sometimes it takes a little push, like a dream with your hero Babe Ruth to push you out of the sidelines.
Andesa prides itself on putting its values first.
Like NASA trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, Ron and the leadership team are trying to put a round peg in a square hole – prioritizing our values and vision in a business world that opposes non-quantitative decision making. Ron is no ordinary CEO. He is a leader with the daily challenge of surviving in a competitive business world without losing sight of Andesa’s founding principles and vision; who values the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships both within and outside the company; and someone with the initiative to not lose sight in who we are as a company and who he is as a part of the Andesa family – He is not just our President.
This blog is a collaboration of the Operations Team at Andesa Services. Nicole Vesay collected everyone’s contribution and presented it for all to view!