The following letter is from Matt Lunger and is one of the more inspiring letter's of commitment to running a business I have read. Sometimes I feel like I spend all of my time giving to, inspiring and teaching others, but one thing I can appreciate about Matt is that his work ethic is so high that I get the opportunity to learn from him. This letter is what commitment means.
-George Ferko - District Manager
I have always viewed myself as a very intense person. I never decide to invest time in a task unless I intend to commit to it wholeheartedly. When I played basketball in high school, I lived this philosophy for four years, concentrating almost entirely on academics and my role on the team. Even though I had no potential to play in college, I dedicated myself as much as any of my friends who did have a future in the sport. Nobody forced me to care so much, to attend every offseason workout, or even to practice on my own. When I was a freshman or sophomore, my coaches and teammates, aware of my rigorous course load, did not anticipate that I would be present, engaged, and eager to work at all these mundane events throughout the year, but once it became clear that I was in for the long haul, they knew to expect me in the gym every day, running every sprint and fighting for every rebound as hard as anyone. My efforts largely went unnoticed, but I didn’t mind because I barely realized how much I sacrificed for the team. I just did it subconsciously. Giving less than my best effort would have felt unnatural. Rewards and recognition from my peers or the community did not cross my mind until my senior season ended and I had time to reflect. My attention towards our process of making the State Tournament - a goal my friends and I set when we began playing together in middle school - consumed me too much for me to notice the physical discomfort or mental strain it required.
From the time George Ferko accepted me to work for him at Vector, I was instinctively all in. It never occurred to me not to show up for training, to list only a few dozen people for my names list assignment, to pay less than full attention when George shared his expertise, or to do anything else that would demonstrate apathy or a standard of mediocrity, yet I saw so many new reps act this exact way and develop poor habits. Corresponding with George weekly while in college in North Carolina, attending my local prep in Greensboro, and traveling to Olean got me thinking seriously and concretely about the possibility of what I can achieve in Leadership Academy - create and operate a brand new $100,000 office and develop fresh leaders for the company to train for branch next year. Since returning for winter break, I have spent most of my time in our office, trying to help George grow our team while taking control of my learning process. I have really enjoyed assuming new responsibilities in the office while preparing for management. In planning for and training the new class of reps, I feel myself emerging as a leader, not just by way of my title as assistant manager, but with my attitude - enthusiastically mentoring new trainees to help them achieve results of which they can be proud; exemplifying to receptionists and my fellow assistant managers how to follow the program for calling PRs and conducting interviews; and creating an atmosphere of productivity and organization in the office.
Observing George’s impact on our operations in the two months I have been working actively, inspires me to work hard for him, which benefits me in turn. As a branch manager, I would dedicate myself to influencing others the same way. I have tried to implement my desire to share the Vector experience with others through our PR program, encouraging some of my friends to launch and guiding them to success during their Fast Starts. The rapid advancement I have experienced with Vector is a testament to my devotion, but also to the strength of our managers. I am eager to step into this more demanding role so I can have the independence to learn and improve my attributes as a leader by helping people my own age reach their untapped potential. When I spoke with you for the first time about Leadership Academy, I knew I wanted to do it, but I was still unsure about how qualified and ready I would be by the summer. While it’s only the beginning of January and I still have innumerable amounts of knowledge to absorb, those doubts about whether I could run a branch successfully have evaporated. I’m excited to embrace the challenge of running an office on my own. Based on my current trajectory, I project that in less than one calendar year of launching out of training myself, I will have acquired the skills to open a branch and excel as the leader of new reps. I believe in our mission, our product, and especially our ability to influence people, since I have experienced it myself.
When I arrived for my interview last July, I lacked the confidence to communicate with conviction, convey expectations and instructions to others, or apply new information in order to reach my goals. To this point in my development as a leader in Vector, I have become more proactive. I energetically approach phone time and demos - conversations which involve asking something of people - from the perspective of how they will propel me towards my long-term aspirations. Instead of feeling guilty about these discussions, I view them as opportunities to provide a valuable good for someone while honing my presentation approach. In the office, I follow George’s lead of upholding standards for activity and aggressive learning because they empowered me to grow with more exposure to the demo and the office environment.
I attended an outstanding high school, currently go to a top-thirty university, and played for one of the consistently great local high school basketball programs, yet Vector has introduced me to some of the highest quality individuals I know. The wealth of knowledge and level of organizational pride inspire me to welcome other college students to the family and mold them into the best versions of themselves. Ultimately, this is why I believe so strongly in “going branch.” As a branch manager, I would spread the Vector message of personal development to the young adults in my territory. I use the term family because I have felt embraced by leaders in our division - even those I barely know. My commitment to integrity and high character in my personal life is mirrored by the people I have met at conferences. I wish to surround myself with these types of invigorated, strong-willed, friendly people and evoke the same qualities from future reps who launch in my office.
Of course, I value income and management experience to emphasize on a résumé, but I could achieve those essential aspects with another job or internship. Being a Vector branch manager, however, would enable me to teach, motivate, and mold the results of others who sit where I sat in an interview, training class, or team meeting less than a year prior. I foresee difficulty recruiting, maintaining trainees, and sustaining reps solid enough to serve as the foundation of a powerful branch, not because I doubt my work ethic, capability, or commitment to creating the type of office on which I want to stamp my name, but because anything worthy of value presents adversity in order to build it up from scratch. Without a strong foundation of receptionists and a few reliable, driven reps who buy into the goal of creating a formidable team, and the core of a manager with lofty ambition for the success of his organization, an office will not thrive. This is why I plan to contact and staff receptionists before I come home for the summer, so they can train with George and be primed to hit the ground running from day one. This is why I plan to stress the steroid program, which transformed Bryan Hurlman’s office into one of the deepest in the company, in order to attract groups of sharp individuals who already trust and will push each other to maximize their potential. This is why I plan to wake up early each day throughout May and June, while my friends sleep until noon, relax on the beach, and work a less rigorous job with minimal pressure.
Although motivational quotes and phrases seem to permeate Vector, my style leans more towards blunt, straightforward mottos: buckling down and working tirelessly, refusing to become complacent. “Pay now and play later” summarizes my mentality about work, in general. Other candidates likely tell you that nobody will work harder than they will. Not to dismiss them, but it’s in my nature to prove that I truly will concentrate on nothing but constructing the best branch I can. As we approach the summer, my plans for May and June focus solely on bringing that branch to life. When I fixate on a goal, I pour myself into it and make whatever sacrifices necessitate attaining it. I cannot wait to learn, challenge myself, improve my skills, grow as an individual, and lead a team this summer.
Thank you for your consideration.