When I started at HORNE, I didn’t realize how much I could actually love the firm I worked for. I haven’t been at HORNE long, but I have learned so much about myself, my profession and my firm. I even vividly remember my first new hire orientation, HORNE FastStart. They told us that HORNE was big on flexibility. But that it wasn’t a policy, it was a philosophy and it even had a name—Fearless Unrivaled Flexibility. At the time, I didn’t really understand what that meant. I assumed it meant that I would occasionally be able to leave work early on Fridays or that I could even leave work in the middle of the day to handle a personal errand if needed.
I didn’t really grasp how HORNE lives out the Fearless Unrivaled Flexibility Philosophy until my dad passed away. When I lost my dad, I was devastated. I didn’t know how to juggle taking care of my family and also taking care of my work responsibilities. At the time, I had only been with the firm for four months so I was extremely hesitant about asking for time off or even just the help I needed.
But, I can’t even begin to describe the relief and appreciation I felt when the firm and my team told me to take as much time as I needed. They were truly concerned about my well-being. I know this type of flexibility does not exist everywhere, and I will be forever grateful. When I came back to work, I was energized and had an increased sense of belonging. I was more than ready to give back to the firm that gave so much to me.
This experience helped me understand that there are two directions of flexibility: flexing up and flexing down. As our Executive Partner Joey Havens says, flexibility is a privilege. Team members must have the same willingness to flex up as they do to flex down. And, it’s an equation of equal parts, communication + trust + commitment = Fearless Unrivaled Flexibility. That’s what makes HORNE different. As I said earlier, I know not every company allows their team members the level of flexibility that I experienced. And you’ll never catch me taking that fact for granted.
About the Author
James Marshall is a team member in our Public and Middle Market focus area. He is among the many passionate team members who have embraced their role in building the Wise Firm.