Do you work with a person who always seems to be helping others? Can you pinpoint that one colleague who everyone knows as the go-to teammate? Do you find yourself often going to the same person over and over for help with a group project? Now, have you ever thought about why this individual is so helpful? The reasons may surprise you. Case in point: meet Digital Risk Appraiser Jeff Lawton.
Earning his degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, Jeff has always had a passion for technology. And while he eventually found his way to the real estate industry and obtained his Residential Appraisers license, Jeff never lost his knack for electronics. In fact, shortly after joining Digital Risk in 2010, he became the go-to guy for questions regarding computers, software, etc.
“Jeff is always ready and available to assist any co-worker with any dilemma, from project questions to a ‘stuck’ computer,” said Collateral Quality Control Specialist Julie Chartier. “And he does it with a smile and camaraderie that sets an example for all.”
Yet, what may come as a surprise to some about Jeff is the reason why he is so eager to help his teammates and establish new connections. Those close to him know that Jeff has experienced several very trying times throughout his life, including the loss of loved ones and friends. And it is due in part to his faith and these experiences that Jeff is passionate about making a positive impact on others.
“Nothing happens by chance,” Jeff said. “Because of my faith, I believe that everything has a purpose and everything is planned. All that happens in your life is based on directing you to a certain goal, or to train you, to encourage you, or to teach you.”
Jeff has the unique ability to view life’s challenges as opportunities to reflect on what can be learned from the situation and how to use that experience to help others. He is a strong believer in connecting with those around him beyond a superficial level.
“You should always try to get to know someone because you never know how they can impact you or how you can impact them,” Jeff said. “Everyone has something to contribute, we just don’t know at what level until we try to get below the surface.”
This philosophy has led Jeff to make a substantial positive impact at Digital Risk. In 2012, he began sending out a daily inspirational email to several D-Riskers. Since then, the email list has grown, reaching team members throughout the company, and many D-Riskers now contribute to the email chain. He has also touched the lives of D-Riskers and members of his community outside of work, helping them cope and grow through their trials.
“People want to have connections,” Jeff said. “I can’t meet everyone, and I can only influence my circle so much, but I can help people in the ways I know how. That’s what makes me happy.”
Jeff may not hold a leadership title, but that doesn’t stop him from acting like a leader among his Digital Risk peers. Try as he might, he likely won’t be able to meet every D-Risker, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to impact those who have crossed his path.
So the next time you see someone serving others, you should ask yourself why – what motivates this person to do so – and take this exemplary D-Risker’s lead by getting to know them beyond the surface.