This the season to be thankful. I am that. Today we will gather, eat, talk and play with the grandchildren. I am thankful for family but equally thankful for a state of mind that I think of as constructive discontent.

My grandfather, Frank Ricker, was a person driven by what I now think of as constructive discontent. He saw needs and gaps everywhere. In retirement he started a bank (though he’d never been in banking), an independent insurance agency and a mortgage company. He was involved in real estate, local politics and other things that I probably don’t have a clue about. He saw needs in the marketplace whether due to trends or failure of others to adequately meet them.

I seem to have inherited his drive to improve things and ability to see opportunities to do so along with the will and energy to act. I take great satisfaction in my work which involves helping clients make improvements. In the most advantageous circumstances, clients are not broken, nor fatally flawed. Great leaders and great companies constantly look for ways to improve – they are in a constant state of discontent – and cultivate it as an important key to ongoing success.

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