Leading Your Community as Part of Your Company Culture

Guest Contributor: Gary Thompson, President & CEO of Columbia Insurance Group.

We believe in being responsible corporate citizens is one of eight core values that guides the decisions and actions of the Columbia Insurance Group and our company culture each and every day. And though it’s become part of our very fabric, our DNA if you will, it remains a conscious choice. That choice is re-visited periodically with everyone on our team having an opportunity to provide input, from our Board of Directors to our newest entry level teammate. We think that’s a good and healthy practice and like our review last year, we make some adjustments to these core values periodically and then re-commit to live them out every day.

But why place such importance on being a responsible corporate citizen? The Columbia Insurance Group, like any organization, is merely a group of individuals who have come together to achieve a common purpose. To us, it follows then that while the organization is pursuing its goals, it should also reflect and support the collective desires of those in the organization. For some, the driving influence comes from their faith. In the Bible, Jesus teaches in Luke 12:48 (NIV), “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been trusted with much, much more will be asked.” Whether guided by faith or not, most of us have an innate desire to help others, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. We are compassionate, caring human beings, who have been helped by others in countless ways throughout our lives and want to pay that forward to others. As an organization, we simply want to support the fulfillment of those desires.

Whether guided by faith or not, most of us have an innate desire to help others, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.

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So, what does “leading your community” look like? I think for many, the very idea of “leading” conjures up thoughts of a major financial or time commitment. And to be sure, those opportunities are there, and we are pleased to be able to commit our financial resources as well as our time in significant ways. We are very fortunate to live and work in a community where so many other businesses and individuals do as well. Our entire community benefits.

But there is a virtually unlimited number of opportunities for every business and every individual to “lead their community.” Read in the classroom for an hour. Take your team to the food bank and package food for a couple of hours. Attend that charity fundraiser and just give a little. It all adds up and collectively, with each one of us doing our little part, our community and our world becomes a better place.

And just one final thought. One of our other core values is we believe in having fun. Talk about an amazing combination of being a responsible corporate citizen and having fun while you’re doing it! It just doesn’t get any better than that! Give it a try!

A special thanks to Gary Thompson, President & CEO of Columbia Insurance Group, for contributing this guest blog.

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