By Cindy Becker, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Recently, I attended a breakfast where our firm was being honored as a finalist in the St. Louis Business Journal’s annual “Best Places to Work” competition. Our St. Louis area employees made this accolade possible after responding to the newspaper’s online survey about workplace features.

As I sat listening to the descriptions and benefits offered by other local companies, I found myself thinking of the qualities that all of our firms shared. The theme that seemed to be most common – regardless of the size of the company, the industry it was in, or age of the firm – was the feeling by employees that they were invested in the firm where they work. They feel their views matter, that they have a voice and a say in their future, and they are empowered to use it and will be listened to.

For us a lot of this candor is driven by our adherence to the Golden Rule and treating others the way we want to be treated. This commitment to the Golden Rule helps generate trust and a sense of purpose. It requires us to not only listen, but to work together. It propels each of us forward, and gives us strength as we reach beyond our traditional comfort zone. We’re each an entrepreneur, and we must think like an owner. We enjoy a shared sense of purpose and destiny. All of us are devoted to this organization for the long haul. We take pride in our accomplishments and know that the best is yet to come.

Here at Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., our employees know their presence will have meaning. We are in a highly-regulated industry, which defines much of what we are able to do. However, what sets us apart is our collective focus on what really matters: helping our clients achieve their financial goals.

During a recent employee presentation by motivational speaker John O’Leary, a particular exchange really stood out for me. As part of his activities, John asked people to share why they were doing this (coming to work at BFEC).

One of my colleagues – not known for his love of public speaking – stood up and said some things that really addressed this question. During his remarks, he said the following:

“I am coming to work every day and am here for the people around me. They are like family to me. I care about them, and they count on me to mentor, coach and make the decisions where I have their back. I look out for them. If I don’t, they won’t look out for each other. To me, that’s the key to building a team. You stick your neck out, do what needs to get done – even if it’s beyond your comfort zone, and know people have your back.”

For me, this couldn’t have been said any better.