4.6.20 – Weekly Update from Brian Hetherington

Dear Colleagues, Clients and Community,

You may know that part of our Newfront ethos of Work, Love and Play came from a quote from Doris Kearns Goodwin (DKG). For those of you who don’t know the story…

10 years ago, Robin Hendrickson, Newfront’s Practice Leader for Occupational Health and Safety,  invited me to hear DKG speak at the San Jose Convention Center for a YWCA event.  DKG was charming, funny, poignant. Exceptional. I learned things I didn’t know before. Eleanor Roosevelt, set the path for the first lady’s role in a thousand ways. One of them was insisting that only female reporters cover her news conferences. That, Goodwin said, left newspaper publishers scrambling to hire women. “A whole generation of female reporters got their start because of Eleanor Roosevelt,” Goodwin said. Goodwin helped write LBJ’s memoirs with him after his Presidency. He was a broken man because he had put so much into politics that he was out of balance… which is when DKG quoted Harvard Psychologist Erik Ericson with “The richest and fullest of lives have a balance between Work, Love, and Play. Achieve this balance and you’ll die a happy soul.” (#WLP).   As I heard these powerful words, I realized I was at a “work” event, with colleagues, prospects and clients that I loved, and a chat on a subject I also loved. The intersection of Work, Love, and Play. We hope everyone has that opportunity to intersect WLP. (Sports. Music. Food. Hang Gliding. Fantasy Football. Spinning. Nieces and Nephews. Dogs. Cats. Beer. Wine. Barry’s Bootcamp. Travel. Yoga. Church and religion. Philanthropy. Non-profits. Colgate. UCLA.)

There is a community around each of these “loves” and a way to “play” with your networks. We also insure a number of companies – and individuals who love these interests. The Warriors. The 49ers. The Baccus Restaurant Group. Opus One, Dominus, FF Coppola wineries. WBN. Goodwill. Edgewood Center. For me, reconnecting with lacrosse thru coaching my boys has been enriching and nourishing. And the community that is supporting youth lacrosse has been very good to our business. Friends become clients. Clients become friends. The lines of WLP become blended.

As we prepare for another 30-days of Shelter In Place, we should try to ensure we have a balance between these pillars. This is a great opportunity to re-balance. Re-focus. Renew. Recharge. What can you accomplish in the next 30 days?

I plan to focus on Love.

  • Send a note – those people who helped shape you. People who were in your wedding party. People who were there during another turbulent time? Who made you laugh?

  • Family – check in with your family – however you define family. Do a silly facetime theme. A virtual happy hour. A meditation or prayer. Make those connections stronger.

  • What inspires you? Can you read one more book? Run a mile? Run a faster mile?

  • Did you take time today to tell someone you love them? To do something for yourself?

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s latest book (released in 2018), is called Leadership in Turbulent Times. It follows the paths of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson thru the various challenges they each had during their terms as President.

  • Lincoln had a country that was being torn apart through a Civil War – his **temperament **and absolute determination not only saved the Union, but it also ended slavery. One of the greatest quotes to emerge from this President – “all man is created equal.”

  • TR – He instituted anti-trust policy while supporting Progressive Era policies around immigration, urbanization, and woman’s suffrage. TR helped restore fairness to social and economic life in the wake of the industrial revolution.

  • FDR united and lead thru the Great Depression creating hope and restoring faith in democracy.

  • LBJ took office after the tragic assignation of JFK, and masterfully implemented a domestic agenda that established the greatest civil rights movement since Lincoln.

Each of these leaders not only led through a crisis – they emerged on the other side with life-altering changes that made the fabric of our country even better. Temperament. Determination. Fairness. Restoring faith. Unity. Masterful. Accountable. Expert.

What are the important words for you to weave into your narrative during these turbulent times? How can you balance your buckets of Work, Love and Play?


Brian HetheringtonChairman

Brian Hetherington
The Author
Brian Hetherington


Brian Hetherington is Chairman of Newfront, a specialized insurance brokerage headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. Newfront is home to more than 750 employees who serve clients across the United States and globally. We are focused on M&A Advisory, Employee Benefits, Property & Casualty insurance, and 401k programs.

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