May 2024 newsletter The importance of every position

The importance of every position


What is your position at your company? Are you the CEO, a mid-level manager, the receptionist, an admin, or maybe a janitor? All of those people play equally important roles in running a successful company.


I recently had a great conversation with my good friend June Mayher, who was one of my classmates at Burke High School in Omaha, Nebraska. June works at the accounting firm where I am a client. When I dropped off some docs over there a few days ago, June and I talked about the importance of her being the “everything person” at the accounting firm. June referred to it as being the low man on the totem pole, but I believe she is quite the opposite. Her role helps the company be successful. Our conversation stayed on my mind for the rest of the day. It made me think about the roles we all play in our companies.


When I opened my first company in 1993, we would not have experienced the level of success we had over the 16 years that I was at the helm without the contributions of everyone at every position. I believe the receptionist is where it all starts, because that person sets the tone of the company not only for the clients but also for the employees. Next is the admin staff, both full- and part-time. Without them, there would be no processing or accountability. In other words, they make the engine run. Managers at all levels are the quarterbacks whose creative and innovative ideas fuel the engine and keep the company on course. And then there is the leader, the CEO, who is responsible for motivating, inspiring, and empowering everyone else to be the best version of themselves. The CEO must appreciate everyone they work with and show it on a daily basis. As a CEO, my mission, my passion, and my purpose is to bring out the absolute best in everyone I work with. If I can’t do this, then I am not qualified to lead the company. It’s that simple.


When you understand that EVERYONE at your company is equally important and you show appreciation to each of them, you will most likely have a successful company.

I believe in transparency; I believe in showing people how I feel about them as well as verbalizing it. We should never get too big for our britches and fail to show our appreciation.


Why do you think my company had the BEST retention rate in our industry? Because we treated everyone like they mattered…because they did. When I visit with managers and CEOs of companies that have trouble holding on to their staff, the problem usually starts with the leadership. Over 60% of people who quit their jobs in 2023 said they left because they felt they didn’t matter and that they weren’t appreciated or respected. It’s important to treat people like they matter all the time, not just when you feel like it or when you’re happy or in a good mood. You need to treat everyone at your company with respect and appreciation ALL THE TIME!


I believe in praising people not just for their hard work or the results they produce but also for the effort they put forth.


It doesn’t take a lot of effort on your part to show your appreciation and verbalize it to the people at every level and position within your company. Here are just a few examples of statements that could be game changers for your employees and co-workers:


  • “Thank you for your hard work and dedication.”
  • “Your efforts are truly appreciated.”
  • “We value your contributions to the team.”
  • “You make a difference every day.”
  • “Your commitment inspires us all.”
  • “We are grateful for your exceptional work.”
  • “I sure enjoy working with you.”


You get it. The more praise we give, the happier the people around us will be. Each of us has great qualities and unique characteristics. One of mine is making people feel good about themselves. We live in a world where people are trying to knock us down. If we’re happy, they’ll try even harder to knock us down. We can control some of this. If we choose to be the bright spot in other people’s lives, it will make us feel better about our own. And remember that in order to develop and maintain this mindset, we need to surround ourselves with good humans, positive people, people that are for us and not against us.


So this leads me back to the fact that every level and every position in a company is equally important. I challenge you to identify people in your company who may not be receiving enough recognition or attention for a job well done and give them praise. Let them know how you feel about them. Let them know how valued they are. I promise that you will enjoy doing this so much that it will become part of who you are. It’s just like anything in life. If you create a discipline, it will become a habit and then eventually it will become natural to you. Wouldn’t you love to be the person that is the bright spot for people who don’t get recognized or appreciated like they should? I say let’s give it a shot!


What People in the Audience are Saying…

With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"

—George Akers // President, First Mortgage Corp.

I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”

—Justin Pauls // Realtor, Tampa, Florida

We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”

—Tracey Fortina // Omaha Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”

—Dustin Talacko // Realtor, Omaha, Nebraska

Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”

—Linda Reismeiler // Student at Randall School of Real Estate, Omaha, Nebraska

Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”

—Todd Andrews, Anchor and Producer, KETV Omaha

Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!

This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”

—Carolyn Summerton // First Mortgage Company of Idaho

I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”

—Scott Asbill, CDPE // Associate Broker, Realtor