Thank you to those of you who joined us last week on September 10th. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Kristen Sieffert, President, Finance of America Reverse (FAR). 

A huge THANK YOU to the team at The University Club Atop Symphony Towers for hosting us in their beautiful space overlooking the San Diego skyline. 

Kristen inspired us with her personal and professional journey. Some highlights are below.

  • You choose your story. Each of us creates the world we live in. By taking responsibility for our mindset and the way we show up to employees, friends, family, etc, we have the power to shape our lives and outcomes despite the challenges life may present.
  • Be really intentional with your goals.  Kristen made it clear to herself and others what she wanted, and put that into the universe every day. For example, all of her passwords were aligned with her goals for that year, giving her a daily reminder of her priorities to achieve that outcome.
  • Step out of your comfort zone to achieve results.  Early in her career Kristen rose to VP in 3 years but then spent 7 years in a similar role and got restless. She made the choice to leave a company she loved for a new opportunity, and while that new job didn’t provide what she was looking for, it brought her to her dream role at Finance of America Reverse as COO. This role ultimately led her to her current position. Though she was initially hesitant to move out of the COO role which she loved, since she was promoted to President she has created great successes within the company through a focus on innovation, collaboration and culture.
  • Face your fears.  Imposter Syndrome exists in many leaders, not just women. Finding an Executive Coach is a great way to push through your limits.  People unfortunately mistake confidence for competence, which can be detrimental to those not putting forward their best selves.  Enlisting the help of others is what helped Kristen gain that extra edge when she felt stuck or unsure.
  • Developing culture using “Reasons To Believe”.   Building a successful company is about creating a strong culture and an engaged team. Kristen realized she had the power to create her teams’ reality each and every day and make it a great experience. She believes in creating “Reasons To Believe” in what they are doing to provide purpose and then align the companies objectives and actions around those. In addition, Kristen believes in showing her employees that she cares for them by listening and encourages an open dialogue for feedback.  She also believes in showing up for her team in ways they don’t expect, and to never stop.  For example, she writes handwritten birthday cards with gift cards to each of her 300 employees.
  • Create a 10-Star Customer Experience. FAR seeks to provide superior service not just prior to the mortgage but for the remaining life of their customers, which could be 20+ years. As such, the team brainstormed what different levels of service would look like, going from 1 star to 10 stars, and used that to influence how they interact with their audience and how they can wow them in each interaction. (For more information on this, check out Masters of Scale podcast, AirBnB for Brian Chesky’s explanation). FAR has expanded its level of service and products to include other ways seniors can make money, such as a partnership with a female owned startup Silvernest that matches seniors who have additional rooms with people who need affordable housing. Through initiatives like this, Kristen is transforming the company to provide a broader array of retirement solutions.
  • Juggling it all. Being a business woman, wife and mom to two sons ages 6 and 3, it is challenging to do it all well all the time. Kristen said that for her kids, she focuses on quality time instead of stressing over quantity of time. She made it clear that it is a daily practice and commitment to show up fully for her kids, put her devices away and give them the undivided attention they need.