Read the latest issue June 2017
Advice

Find Your Why: Julie Peterson Klein

Julie Klein

People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. Bell Bank’s EVP & Chief Culture Officer Julie Peterson Klein answers Fargo INC!’s question, “Why do you do what you do?”

Photos by Paul Flessland

There’s a well-known TED talk from motivational speaker Simon Sinek titled, “Find Your Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” The premise of the 20-minute presentation is simple: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe. So we’re asking everyone we talk to now, “Why do you do what you do?”

I was put on this Earth to serve others.

My heart guides me, and I want to be a major contributor to making the world a better place. When I wake up in the morning, I ask myself, ‘How can I serve others today? How can I brighten someone’s day?’ I let God align all the opportunities.

“I love helping others. It energizes me and makes my heart expand. As blessed as I am, I feel an obligation to help as many people as possible. That sense of obligation extends to my kids and making sure they grow up with pay-it-forward hearts.

“I believe our only hope for the world is all of the random acts of kindness and pay-it-forward opportunities to help others. They can truly change the world.”

– Julie Peterson Klein

Get to Know Julie Peterson Klein

As Bell Bank’s chief culture officer, Julie Peterson Klein leads the company-culture and human-resources teams. Bell has repeatedly been recognized both regionally and nationally for being a top workplace, and its culture is a big reason for that.

“It takes all 1,100-plus people to create a culture,” Peterson Klein says. “It’s every team member and how we treat each other. The little things matter most. We’re very intentional and focused in carrying out our values. My personal values align with the company’s values so I get to be myself 24/7/365, and that’s priceless.”

The first thing Peterson Klein does every morning is email every Bell employee on their birthday and anniversary. When her desk is piled with paperwork and major deadlines are looming, she still takes the time to stop and visit with employees, even if that means she’ll be working late to get the rest of her work done.

“I take care of the people first and the workload second,” she says. “At the end of my life, I want my headstone to read, ‘There was nothing more she could do on this earth.’”

 

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