Ryan Christensen Employee Spotlgiht scaled

Posted & filed under Culture.

To be a ‘leader’ is a neutral title. Under the power of leadership, communities can both rise and fall. However, there was a moment in our interview that distinguished Ryan as a leader: When speaking about the people he leads, he became emotional out of the respect he holds for his peers—a gesture of sincere investment.

For Ryan, the betterment of others is not an obligation but an obsession. Rather than be called a leader, it may better suit him to be called a ‘lifter,’ an individual responsible for elevating his peers to a new plane of performance and potential.

Such leadership will only continue to cultivate like-leaders.

Ryan: My name’s Ryan, and I’ve been here at England Logistics for eight years now.

I came on selling fuel, and that was a great experience. I wanted to become a senior account manager to not only build credibility of working a successful book, but also form long-term habits for future gains. After achieving those initial goals, I was blessed with the opportunity to take over the team I was on as a logistics coach. There were only two fuel teams at the time. We really wanted to expand and grow.

For any expansion to happen, we needed to promote more account managers into senior account managers that could be divided from original teams and grow new ones. It worked out to where we could grow eight total teams! Right now, I’m a senior logistics coach in the Salt Lake office. I currently oversee three teams in SLC and one more office down in Mexico, which has been really fun to be able to grow.

Caden: What an awesome claim to lead around the globe! Outside of work, tell me about some of your passions. What do you enjoy doing?

Ryan: I’m a dirt baby by birth. I love motorcycles, RZRs, and crawling down in Moab. I am married. My wife’s a water baby, so we recently purchased a boat. We spend a lot of time out on the water, wakeboarding, surfing, etc.

That’s been a fun passion. It’s good family time getting the kids stuck there in the boat with us and just spending quality time together. In athletics, we have three boys, all under the age of nine, and they love to play baseball or football. My oldest nine-year-old is a bigger kid, so he calls himself “The Wall.” He plays center on his little league football team.

All that takes pretty much all my time.

Caden: Your boy’s got his dad’s enthusiasm. With all those important people as a backdrop to this next question, tell me about your proudest accomplishment.

Ryan: I love setting goals and then being able to achieve them. One of the first goals that I had here at EL was wanting to get a house for my wife.

Two years into working here, now as an accomplished senior account manager, and we were able to build a house together. That was a really cool accomplishment to walk her through that threshold and be able to say, “WE built this together. We set a goal, and we achieved it.”

I also feel like I’ve been able to rub shoulders with some really great mentors and coaches who have been able to develop me. I think it was an awesome decision to take on a leadership role. It has grown me to be less selfish and to think about others more. There’s a degree of accomplishment in that, I think.

It’s the feeling—it’s so gratifying to see an individual set goals themselves and work with you as a partner to go and achieve those goals.

Sometimes you become father figures to some of these individuals, or best friends, or brothers, but everybody here is just family.

Honestly, it’s my family first, but my EL family is my second-best accomplishment.

Caden: That’s totally beautiful, and it speaks to the person that you are. How did you grow into the leader that you are?

Ryan: I think I enjoy the coaching aspect of leadership. Culture’s a huge piece of this answer too. I felt like there was an impact I could bring to the table if I tried to elevate in a leadership role.

I also wanted to see managers take their careers to another level. You know, if they wanted to just make a ton of money here, they totally can. If they want to become leaders, I wanted to show them how. I felt like I could find those fundamental opportunities just from the experiences and the mentors I’ve already had here at EL.

Caden: I’m sure there are several individuals here that owe you a lot. You’ve talked a lot about people and things that are important to you, but concisely, what would you say is your ‘why’?

Ryan: I believe strongly in not just getting there, but how to get there.

I can be as disciplined as I want here in the office, but I want to take that outside of the office. I can’t go home and give my family the best version of Ryan if I’m not giving it my all here! I can’t just turn it up and down. The way that I do things is because I want to take that Ryan home and be that way.

I think that there’s obviously some common ground around family and growth, but the more selfish answer is that I just want to grow myself and be able to make an impact. I want to be the best Ryan that I can be so that I can give that to my family. I also think that individuals here at England Logistics have become a part of my ‘why’ as well.

I care about them. I get emotional about them. It’s been interesting to develop those feelings for these individuals. I want them to succeed.

Caden: There’s a sincerity in your reply that demonstrates your style of leadership. Well said.

So, when do you feel most rewarded? What are the things that are pay off for you?

Ryan: I think oftentimes, as coaches specifically, we come here, and people take, take, take…

I think the biggest payoff moments for me is when I see enough growth that those individuals can start contributing.

It’s an amazing feeling to observe that.

Caden: I can imagine the fulfillment. Is there something that most people don’t know about you, or they wouldn’t expect something that might be surprising?

Ryan: Gosh, that’s a tough one!

I do have two kids in Costa Rica that are named after me. So that’s cool. I have been attacked by a boa constrictor, which is also pretty random. There you go.

*Ryan and Caden stare at each other for a moment.*

Caden (Laughing): Yeah, there’s no need for follow-up on that, I guess.

You’ve spoken a lot to your professional perspectives, how you feel about some of your coworkers, how you feel about your family, but holistically for you, what is your life’s mantra?

Ryan: I heard a quote years and years ago, I believe it’s from Shakespeare: “There’s no profit where there’s no pleasure to be taken.”

I’ve thought about that over and over and over again: If I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, then it’s just not worth it.

I want to put myself in situations where I never take the easy route but to be able to continue to find pleasure and satisfaction throughout the process.

Caden: That’s the recipe for a rewarding life. Final question here: Where do we go from here? Who do you want to become?

Ryan: I think that the growth opportunities here at EL are endless. When I got tapped on the shoulder to create a Mexico office, that role wasn’t even a role that had been made.

But, if you start building teams, you’ll tend to create opportunities for yourself. If you make enough good choices, they’ll continue to create opportunities for you. So, where do I go from here? I continue to make good choices day-in and day-out.

I want to continue to be a leader. And honestly, there’s going to be opportunities here at EL. Growing here has shown me that EL is an amazing growth opportunity.

And it’s international now! So, for me, I hope that I get to continue to be a part of that. I hope to continue to be able to work with the guys here at England Carrier Services and continue to grow this great program because it feels good to be here for the crew at EL.

Caden: I feel fortunate to have sat down with one of this crew’s great captains.

 

 

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We’re on the search for more Ryans. If this interview resonated with you, apply at this link: https://www.englandlogistics.com/search-all-available-jobs/