Five Tips from a Successful Businessman: Jordan Hansell

Young executive Jordan Hansell shares what he has learned as former CEO of NetJets Inc., current President of Rockbridge Capital, LLC, and current Chairman of Tradepost, LLC.

Story by Eddy Hoyle

TRAVELING MAN In his free time, Jordan Hansell enjoys traveling with his family. Above: Skiing with his family in Utah and with his daughter at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota.

Jordan B. Hansell’s 20-year career has been impressive. He graduated from law school at the University of Michigan in 1998 and earned a position as a law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He practiced law for 10 years, specializing in corporate law.

Hansell made his mark as the president and CEO of NetJets Inc., the world’s largest private aviation provider. Under his leadership, NetJets experienced a $1 billion turnaround. He now serves as president of Rockbridge Capital, LLC, a private equity firm that manages investment funds in the hospitality industry, and chairman of Tradepost, LLC, an alternative investment platform employing a buy-hold-grow investment strategy.

Jordan’s Tips for Success

1. First and foremost, know yourself. To be successful, you must find your work satisfying. Success is difficult to attain so make the journey rewarding and meaningful. Introspection is a good place to start. What motivates you? What sustains you? What drives you? Understand who you are, what’s important to you and why, and consciously make decisions to create a path that will be rewarding.

2. Commit Yourself. Fully committing yourself to your work is a key to success. It takes a strong effort that must be consistent. One should seriously consider what one’s work/life balance should be. And there is no generic right answer to that balance.

Be conscious of the tradeoffs and be clear about what you are giving up. Family is the most important consideration, and your spouse should be part of the decision. You should tailor your preferred balance across your life with your family’s involvement.

3. Define Your Values. List your top 10 values in life — honesty, integrity, consistency, resilience, love, etc. — for they define you, and consequently guide your actions. Then, act with consistency in all that you do. If you know yourself and act accordingly, your actions will resonate within you. Stay true to your personal values..

4. Be Helpful to Others. Every day I ask myself how I can be helpful to others. Is there a problem that I can help solve? Is there a way I can be of assistance to someone? Helping others creates relationships that “grease the skids to success.”

Helpfulness always comes back to you. Those you aid will remember your kindness and return the favor, and friends are important allies in your journey to success. Be authentic and be at ease in establishing human connections.

5. Lead with Vision. A true leader must have a vision. Be aspirational and show others how they fit in the overall mission and vision. When people understand how their involvement furthers the mission and they have ownership of the vision, your leadership becomes a magnet and people want to follow you. Be thoughtful about your vision. It must be structural on both an intellectual and an emotional level. For others to buy into the mission, it must touch them on both levels.

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