By Stewart Koesten

A friend of mine, an attorney with whom we have a working relationship, recently asked if I ever work!  Seems I leave town frequently on business (ok, and a few weeks of vacation too) and those times coincided with his calls to me. It’s just coincidental but the reality is that I do travel quite a bit serving on committees and in leadership roles on boards of directors in industry and charitable organizations.

I have always thought serving on committees and boards of directors was an effective means of giving back or giving to various causes.  For example, I’ve had a long and successful career in Financial Planning.  I have served on local committees and the board of the local financial planning organization.  I had the opportunity to serve on a national board with one of the industry’s international associations and had the privilege to help merge two leading organizations into the organization that serves financial planners today.

I’ve served on local charitable boards, and just finished my term as president of one of the oldest charities in my city.  Presently, I have the honor to serve as a board member for a national investment management association.

Like my attorney friend, you might question why I’m gone so much?  You’d learn that I’m a pretty “devout” business person, that is I focus on my business and that is not a small reason for the voluntary efforts I put forth but I am also altruistic.

Still, there have been quite a few benefits I’ve received by giving of my time and I thought I’d delineate just a few of them:

  • Most importantly, I’ve gotten to meet and network with some of the most incredibly talented and giving people.
  • I’ve learned how organizations function and how they are managed and I’ve learned one or two methods of board governance.
  • I’ve been privy to serious conversations running the gamut from budgeting to globalization.
  • I’ve participated in conversations with key executives from important financial services firms worldwide.
  • My communications skills, my listening skills and my emotional intelligence have benefited.

To my friend the attorney I say, yes I’m working when I travel.  Everything I’ve learned through my volunteer service has come home to benefit my company and our team members.

You might give it a try.  Spend some time volunteering.

For more information, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Stewart Koesten –, or call (913) 345-1881.

Photo credit: PolandMFA / Foter / CC BY-ND