This post is a little different than the rest. In October of 2013 a friend of mine passed away and I was asked by his wife to speak at his funeral. Here is the talk I gave as a tribute to my friend:
I’m honored and humbled for the opportunity to share a few thoughts today about the Great Steve Hatch. My hope is the comments I make today will reflect the kind of person Steve was and will help each of us to be better because of the example he has been. One of which being, the way to endure the trials of this life, and overcome hardship is to focus not on yourself but on others.
I was reviewing some of the thoughts of others over the last few days, and felt impressed to share personal insights from the Humana perspective:
“Steve was one of my real life Heroes. He was a great example and inspiration to all of us.”
From Jeff Chicots:
“I will remember him as a true professional who did not let his challenges stand in the way of success….but more importantly as someone who deeply cared for his clients. Only Steve can lay claim to have earned his President Club honors while setting up his entire day at WalMart due to being restricted to a wheelchair. What a great inspiration he leaves behind for all of us to follow.”
It’s important for you all to know what an amazing asset Steve has been to Humana. He has truly been an incredible force in helping Humana to gain a foot hold here in Utah. He has been responsible for affecting the lives of thousands of individuals. Just a few of the highlights:
Top Agent Award (three states): Utah, Idaho, & Nevada
Top Medicare Producer
Top Traditional Insurance Products Producer
Top Income Producer
and the one I’m most jealous of, President’s Club Qualifier (Hawaii)
So how was Steve able to accomplish so much?
In sales, we always try to promote the idea of building relationships with the people we do business with but I honestly don’t know how to teach what Steve was able to accomplish.
His clients loved and cared for him…
I believe because Steve truly loved and cared for them.
Steve was quoted repeatedly when asked about his success, as saying he felt like he has purpose in what he was doing. He felt that what he did left others in a better situation than when he first met them. “This is part of the reason he is passionate about this work,”
Steve was able to build relationships that were impenetrable. I have a neighbor, and know of other clients of Steve’s around town that constantly talk about Steve. I get chewed out every time he wasn’t in Walmart, and always get asked why I keep making him go to meetings and taking him away from the store.
Just this week I’ve been touched by the tender thoughts his clients have shared with me by phone. Reinforcing the character I’ve always seen in Steve. The most popular comments… What am I going to do now? Who is going to take care of me? And then with distain: Who are you going to get to be in Walmart now?… as if to say… NO ONE will ever measure up to the agent Steve was!
In one of the many conversations I had with my agents in a one on one, I had this interaction with Steve that I felt impressed to document. I’m so glad that I did. I asked him the question (amongst others).
What are your hopes and dreams?
“I try not to dream. My life could be short term… I live day to day… looking for excellence… Focusing on the most worthwhile activities. I avoid the negatives.”
I want to call attention to this.
It’s important to recognize the truth that Steve has given us here. The best legacy that he could leave us is to impress upon us a resolve to live better and to do better, or to do as he did. In the final years of his life, Steve focused on the most worthwhile activities, avoiding the negatives, and looking for excellence. Where did he find it? In the service of others.
This truth is a teaching of Jesus Christ. When challenged about the greatest commandment the Savior responded:
“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
How fortunate we are to have seen the example Steve has been to each of us. In his daily life, with his own trials, challenges, and abilities, Steve endured his trials by loving, ministering, and caring for our Heavenly Father’s children.
Steve was a huge success at Humana, but that success was nothing more than a byproduct of what he was doing that was most important. Whether he knew it or not (and I’m pretty sure he did), his life was prolonged by focusing on the individuals that needed him most.
I pray that as each of us are drawn to the memory of Steve, we are inspired to do as he did and seek after those who stand in need, succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.. and as we do, we feel the fullness of joy that only comes by doing that which our Father in Heaven has asked us to do.
I will truly miss Steve, as a fellow co-worker and as a friend, but I will continue to refer to him as my Hero as well, for the example he has been to me.
I say these things in who’s name is the author of these truths and the ultimate example to us all, our Savior, even Jesus Christ… Amen.