Though 2020 has been a year full of challenges and changes, Vault CEO Jamie Saylor looks back on the firm’s accomplishments with pride and respect for every single team member’s commitment and resilience.
Commitment and Resilience
“I’m most proud of our people. No one, for the most part, really enjoys change, yet everyone’s life has been chock full of change this year—of every kind—family, work, society, everything. But the flexibility, speed, and willingness with which our team has adapted to all of these changes has been great,” says Saylor.
Saylor shares that he has tremendous respect for parents of young children and all who are managing caretaking responsibilities in addition to working remotely, forging client partnerships in new ways, and adapting to new processes. Most people’s lives have changed drastically—whether they are caring for loved ones, experiencing the isolation of physical distancing, or living with other impacts to their physical and mental health. Through all of this, Saylor is proud of the way that Vaulters have shown a tremendous capacity for patience and fortitude.
“COVID’s been a challenge for everyone in all sorts of ways,” says Saylor. “I admire their commitment and know it’s been tough on them.”
In addition to the changes in work-life balance that have been a completely new experience for many Vaulters, innovative internal processes and workflows have helped tremendously.
Saylor is both proud and relieved that Vault’s cloud-based systems were implemented in advance, so the move to remote operations brought one less layer of complication than it might have even a year prior. Still, when forging a genuine relationship with your client partners is at the core of your mission, distance can become a barrier. Saylor has observed essential lessons in that change and is pleased with how Vaulters rose to the challenge.
“This year has taught me that we can provide service in a distant manner. Our mission is to form a partnership—and that is still the most important aspect of our business relationships,” says Saylor.
While delivering intentional, proactive, and innovative service has always been Vault’s priority, a new working format provided many opportunities to learn and grow as a service provider—to be more purposeful, disciplined, and proactive in client interactions.
A Major Milestone
Even with the uncertainty of COVID-19, Vault is still proud to be celebrating important milestones, like its fifth anniversary. For Saylor, it is hard to separate the accomplishment of moving to a new space from the anniversary milestone. Together, they encapsulate a vision coming to fruition through a lot of hard work.
“The move to Tysons, the build of the new office, has really captured everything we’ve been trying to do. When we moved into our new office, it felt like we stepped up to another level of corporate maturity.”
Saylor describes the new space as open, warm, and inviting—a reflection of the kind of partnership and service Vault seeks to provide its clients and the type of atmosphere it wants to create for every team member. Its practical updates that encourage healthy work habits (like adjustable standing desks) and social spaces (like the café) suggest what Vault has been working toward: “an outstanding place to work, and a place where outstanding work is done,” as Saylor describes it.
The new space is filled with glass surfaces, natural light, and orange accents that celebrate Vault’s values. It encourages collaboration and movement throughout the team. Saylor is a big fan of his new, bright office and enjoys the café space. The café booths, with their cool penny tiles and vaulted ceilings, are the central design feature as you enter the space.
“We like being social, and the café space invites being social with one another. Just having small little happy hours in the café—I’m looking forward to that.”
Besides these flexible spaces that encourage camaraderie and collaboration, Saylor looks forward to how the new conference rooms will elevate day-to-day operations with better technology and AV to support team productivity and cohesion. He is patiently awaiting the days of a bustling office where the team’s energy is palpable and motivating on a daily basis.
“Obviously, safety first, but I am looking forward to having a fuller office schedule once that’s possible.”
Looking Back on Five Years
Reflecting on what he has learned and how his leadership style has evolved over the last five years, Saylor wishes he could encourage his five-years-ago self to practice patience.
“I’ve learned that you don’t have to do it all yourself right away. Build a great team, work with that team, trust that team, and you’ll get where you need to go.”
In thinking about how 2020 fits into the story of Vault’s first five years, Saylor finds reasons to look on the bright side and knows that Vaulters can manage through uncertainty and change.
“I do think there is more confidence and optimism, knowing that we have handled some of the toughest things that can be thrown at us.”