I am writing this somewhere over the Atlantic on one of my frequent trips to Africa. My wife, born and raised in Colorado, is now a legal resident of Zimbabwe. In our efforts to follow her passion we assumed operational responsibility for an orphanage (www.kudavana.org) and adopted two boys, Anesu and Tanaka. We more or less split our time between the U.S. and Africa and I feel blessed to live what I feel to be a meaningful life. Things are not exactly as I pictured or planned, but I believe that is part of life’s beauty. I had a mentor once tell me that a big part of success is surrounding yourself with the right people. A big part of my life satisfaction is now derived from the mission into which my wife has led me. I would not be in Africa if it was not for her and I would not have it any other way.
Another area where I derive a large part of my life satisfaction is my work. As the Founder and CEO of Frontline Management, I own and run a company that employs around a thousand people whose job it is to care for another thousand or so individuals. I am not naïve enough to think that my commitment to Africa does not impact my company. Some might argue that I could get more “work” done if I traveled less. Perhaps, but I believe that as a result of my circumstances, I live and work with a bit more intention . . . and I believe that Frontline is a more intentional company as a result.
At Frontline, our core purpose is “To excel in providing opportunities and resources that improve the lives of those we serve.” Traveling to various parts of the world, especially the third world, I am genuinely surprised at the lack of excellence. I think this is one of the unique cultural traits that has made America such a success. Our country was founded by a group of people who were not content with mediocrity. I firmly believe that one of the most noble, indeed sacred things one can do, is create something that can be called “Excellent.” It isn’t easy, and frankly, in my experience most people don’t care to exert the effort. But there are still plenty of exceptional people out there who embrace the “good struggle.” It is my goal to work with as many of these individuals as I can.
It was an interesting realization when I came to the awareness that if I wanted to, I could sell everything and retire comfortably. I had a choice – I didn’t need to work. It was then that I realized how meaningful my work was to me. I enjoy the challenge of creating something great. I enjoy creating opportunities for the people who work for Frontline so that they, in turn, can create something great themselves.
I enjoy creating an environment where excellence is valued and pursued. And perhaps most importantly, I enjoy seeing how that commitment to excellence improves the lives of our employees and our residents.
I have been fortunate to partner with unusually excellent people at Frontline (I encourage you to read some of their bios here) who share my commitment to excellence and want to make a difference. This is why I am confident about our future. A big part of life’s success is surrounding yourself with the right people. People who understand that a commitment to excellence improves lives and that improving lives makes the world a better place. People who believe in making a difference . . .where it matters. People like those at Frontline.
Steve Veluscek, Frontline Founder & CEO