Throughout my career, I’ve learned many lessons. I’ve built a dedicated international team, established Starkey as a global leader in the hearing industry and helped create innovative technology that will continue to change the lives of people with hearing loss for the better. Like any business owner, I’ve failed at times, but I’ve always kept the purpose of our work as my guiding light. Creating lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, determination, and passion for what you believe in to transform our world.

Don’t Leave Until The Work is Done

Leading by example is the best way I’ve been able to truly show my team how much I care during my more than 60 years at Starkey. As a leader, staying until the work is done each day not only displays your dedication to the efforts of your team but can encourage others to also be committed to the bigger purpose. There isn’t some secret office I’m hiding in. I show up and work at our Center for Excellence to feel connected to our work and to inspire others to find that same passion. I have a responsibility to put in the time and effort of helping patients just as much as any member of the Starkey family, and I intend to take part as long as I’m able. Never underestimate the power of showing up and seeing the work through.

Listen to The Customer

You can’t have good customer service without taking the time to listen to the customer. While so many people are focused on making a sale, listening isn’t a skill many people in business have developed. Since the day I began working in this industry, I noticed something was missing. So, I established the first risk-free, 90-day return policy for customers to provide honest feedback and for our team to continue innovating our technology so that everyone who received a Starkey hearing aid was satisfied. Doing so helped build trust with our customers that their opinion mattered and continues to provide a groundwork for innovating exactly what they need today. If you don’t care about the customer’s experience at the end of the day, you need to question why you’re doing the work in the first place.

Lead With Your Heart

Lastly, one of the most important paths to creating lasting change is to always lead with your heart. Those around you need to feel your passion to understand the significance of their work. If the company and its employees know your heart, they feel genuine trust and a desire to help make an impact. Our work is all about the moment someone with hearing loss has their hearing aids programmed and fit for the first time. It’s about the connection they feel to their world, loved ones and passions they may have forgotten. While we may not witness these moments ourselves every day, each hearing aid holds that same power to change someone’s life. Through the past six decades at Starkey, I always come back to the heart of why it all matters.

I greatly admired Albert Schweitzer, who once said, “The three most important ways to lead people are: by example… by example… by example.” His wisdom rings true for anyone who hopes to create a lasting change, be it in their personal or professional lives. By staying until the work gets done, listening to your customers and leading with your heart, we all have the power to create lasting change in our world. I’m grateful to have had the Starkey team by my side as we’ve continuously innovated for people with hearing loss and led the way for the hearing industry‘s future.