Kyle Watkins

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 1Who are you?

Who are you? That is a hard question to answer…but I’ll give it a go.

I grew up in a blended, blue-collar family in a small, Oklahoma town. It was wonderful and instilled a tremendous amount of work ethic that I didn’t appreciate at the time. After high school, I attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Knowing I was not eligible to fly, I transferred to OU after 2 years so that I could be in control on things like what I wanted to do and where I wanted to live.

My wife and I met at OU while waiting tables together. She moved to Spain after graduating to teach English, and after a trip to visit her I made the move to Fort Worth. When she moved back and we got married the next year. We now have a daughter, who is a princess, and a son who is…not. Jokes aside, they are my world.

After living in Fort Worth for a few years, one of the brothers of a dear friend that I played rugby with at OU reached out to me to grab a bite. See, I was in traditional financial services and knew he was somewhere in that realm as well. I walked out of lunch with a handshake agreement to open up a Fort Worth office of Carrington Wealth Advisors; a Family Office. Coming from the traditional financial services world was an adjustment. At Carrington, we are not paid on commissions, trades, assets under management or any other types of solutions. Our mission is to serve families; to help them achieve a quality of life that they desire. By having this paradigm shift in my career, it has greatly increased my own quality of life. I can truly help others achieve what is important to them. By giving of myself in this manner, it is incredible how much I actually receive.

Outside of family and work, I like to spend my time serving within my church, helping my mentor with his charity fundraising events, spending time with friends on the golf course and having dance parties with the kids.

So, who am I? I am a believer, father, husband, son, struggling golfer and proud OU alum. Someone lucky to call Fort Worth home and hope that I can give back to our great community. Boomer Sooner! (2017).

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 2 | Building Credibility

I heard a great quote that stuck with me…’If you want to see what a man truly values, see where he spends his time and his treasure.’

This has stuck with me and I’ve taken it a bit further, and I hope to explain why. You see, I spent a handful of years in a career the tremendous upside (financial) potential and your job was to give advice and to help people. However, there was a tiny conflict. You weren’t paid on advice. You weren’t compensated on your time or expertise. You were financially rewarded on products that you sold. So…there was a major conflict. How can I serve, guide, advise families in the things in their world that are important to them, but only if I sold them a product. In my opinion, that leap was too far to make…well, rationally.

Long story short, is that a couple of other people who saw the industry the same way I did wanted to actually do something about it. But how? We took an incredible business model, one that had only been afforded to the incredibly wealthy, and innovated it into a way that we could serve entrepreneurs and forward-looking people that wanted to align their core values to their goals. In doing so, we removed all conflict of interest. We are not compensated on any product or solution that is recommended to these families.

So now, imagine this. Picture yourself being able to talk to someone about what is truly important to them and helping them gain perspective and clarity on those things. Then you help design a strategy and process to where they can live their lives in that manner. Then imagine that you can do this being completely transparent, free of any conflict, free from the Old World way of ‘helping’ or ‘advising’ someone. At what point do you see being honest, transparent, credible not only define what you do in your career, but aligns with how you are viewed among those around you and in the community and how you live your life? Being different is tough, being distinctive is difficult and being first to do it is hard…but the impact you can have on others, including your own family, is incredible.

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 3 | Vision

So…what is my vision of the future?

That is such a difficult question to not only answer, but to wrap your arms around. What future…5 years, 50 years or true legacy? My vision of what…of who? And why?

To somewhat give some clarity to such a question, I need to answer to the things that are truly important to me. My faith, family, friends and my business.

We are members of FUMC Fort Worth, just to the west of downtown. As the development of Fort Worth continues, from Sundance Square to West 7th to Panther Island, etc…the church is going to be in a unique and special place, at the heart of the city. I think this is wonderful and symbolic. My wife and I were married here, our children have been baptized here. Now, the church’s vision is to thrive as Fort Worth continues to grow. They are planning on doing this by expanding the beautiful grounds. My vision to is see the congregation to continue to flourish, for my children to continue to learn and worship, and for the church go do God’s work in our wonderful community.

The vision I have for my family, wow. Love. Simply to love unconditionally. Everything else is just details right?. I am excited to see how our children develop, to see the people they turn out to be. To see what their interests are, what makes them happy and to help give them a confidence to where they can go do anything simply by being themselves. My wife is the bedrock for us, and my vision for us is to continue to explore the world and seek adventures together.

Friends…my friends are incredible. My vision is to continue to see them be tremendously successful and continue to grow their families. Just see their happiness and success and hopefully be a small part of it.

My vision for my business is to help families live out their vision and their lives so that they can have the highest quality of life that they can ever imagine. Being able to give this gift to people is something truly wonderful and special that I get to do.

To put a bow on these things, I’d say my vision is to continually grow in all things. To not be satisfied with the strides and achievements we make along the way, but to continue to get better and be better in all facets of our lives.

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 4 | Creating Buy-in for Vision

There is not going to be anything earth shattering here….to steal a line from an author, Cindy Arledge, “as obvious as a shirt pocket”. How do you sell your vision? How do you get people to buy into your idea, perspective, belief? Simply…you live it. Whatever the vision you may have, something tangible or something that is floating around out there that cannot be touched. Something relational, something larger than you…how do you express it? How does that match hit the gasoline so that it may spread like wildfire?

I select the picture above from a recent trip. It is of the Mendenhall glacier outside of Juneau. The significance of this is that anything great and worthwhile, it must take time. Although seemingly slow moving, the force and power is immense. It can carve mountains, change landscapes…but it doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen over a few months. How can we expect a vision that we have, something great and impactful to those surrounding us or those not, to be any different. We do not see the ripples in the water from our activities. We do not always witness the workings of our vision, but it doesn’t mean that it is not there. If our belief and desires can be faded by headwinds, then are we strong enough to begin with? If the changing seasons of our lives take away what we are passionate about, how we crave to live and the quality of lives we desire…then do we truly have a vision? Simply put, you have to live your vision…you cannot merely engage it.