As Mike Schwabl gets ready to accept the Rochester Business Journal ICON Honors award with 24 other nominees being recognized for their strong leadership, notable success and commitment to mentoring, we asked him about his career, reflections from the past year and advice he has for other professionals. Here’s what Mike had to say.
What have you learned in 2020?
2020 has revealed that, although we all find comfort in being creatures of habit, the human spirit is extremely resilient and adaptable. Watching my family, my faith community and my team members at Dixon Schwabl roll with the punches and pick each other up when needed has been inspirational. Growing up in Buffalo, I learned the power of a snowstorm in bringing the community together … 2020 has been one long snowstorm for the entire world!
What do you hope for 2021?
We’ve all heard the expression “no pain, no gain.” I hope the entire human race can learn from the pain of 2020 how we must—and how we can—work together to make gains for everyone in 2021. From COVID to race relations to political rifts, my hope is that the pain of 2020 has taught us the only way forward is together.
What does it mean to be recognized as an RBJ ICON finalist?
They say that you are judged by the company you keep. If that is true, then I am extremely humbled to be considered in the same company of so many much more worthy and truly iconic individuals. Rochester is my adopted hometown, and to be recognized in this manner is deeply meaningful and it’s an honor I will always cherish.
What advice do you have for other professionals?
The best professional advice I can offer comes down to one word: give. Give your best. Give your time. Give your ear, because listening is the first step to great leadership. Give your heart to a career you can be passionate about. Give your hand to someone in need. Give back to your community. It is so true … the more you give, the more you ultimately get … that’s especially true when it comes to love.