The Hancock Askew Way

At Hancock Askew, we put others first. We’re passionately engaged in doing what’s best for our clients, our employees and our communities. In fact, that’s why we use our core values – trusted, passionate, engaged and best – as the basis for every interaction. But what do those values mean on a daily basis?

The 29 Fundamentals that follow provide the answer. They’re what define our extraordinary culture.


  • PUT OTHERS FIRST. Passionately engage in doing what’s best for others. Be a servant leader and put the needs of others—be they clients, the community, or each other—ahead of your own. Even if a decision is to the short-term detriment of the firm, do what’s best for others. There’s no better way to build a reputation than to steadfastly put others first. Every day.
  • ACT WITH INTEGRITY. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. Always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.
  • TAKE OWNERSHIP. Take personal responsibility for making things happen.Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and show initiative. We get paid to complete things, not simply to work on them or to put them in motion.
  • SIGN YOUR WORK WITH PRIDE. Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. The goal is to get things right, not simply to get them done. Double-check your work. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?”
  • HONOR COMMITMENTS. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, and meetings. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new deliverable to be honored.
  • WOW THE CLIENT. It’s all about the experience. With every experience, do the little things, as well as the big things, that surprise people. Make every interaction stand out for its helpfulness.Create the “WOW” factor that turns clients into raving fans. This includes both internal and external clients.
  • LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND. Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more, rather than jumping to conclusions. Above all, listen to understand.
  • SPEAK STRAIGHT. Speak honestly in a way that helps to make progress. Tell the truth with compassion. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said – when it needs to be said. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.
  • BE A FANATIC ABOUT RESPONSE TIME.Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or by e-mail. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question and we’re “on it,” as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues.
  • BRING VALUE. Find ways to help clients become more successful. Understand their goals and be sure everything you do for them is aligned around helping them meet their objectives. Understand emerging trends and stay relevant. Quite simply, if we don’t add value, there’s no reason for us to be involved. This includes both internal and external clients.
  • BE A MENTOR. We all have knowledge from which others can benefit. Take responsibility, both formally and informally, to coach, guide, teach, and mentor others.
  • PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM SOLVING. Demonstrate a relentless solution focus, rather than pointing fingers or dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve ourselves and our processes so we don’t make the same mistake twice. Get smarter with every mistake. Learn from every experience.
  • BE HUMBLE. Check your ego at the door and pitch in wherever necessary. Nothing is beneath any of us. Be open to learning from others, no matter what their role, and regardless of their age, industry, experience, or years with the firm. Everyone has something to teach us, and everyone’s perspective has value.
  • INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS. Get to know your clients and co-workers on a more personal level. Talk more and e-mail less. Understand what makes others tick and what’s important to them. Strong relationships enable us to more successfully work through difficult issues and challenging times.
  • THINK TEAM FIRST. Remember that we’re all in this together. Eliminate silo thinking and be willing to step into another role or help a co-worker when that’s what’s required for success. Support and care for each other. Help each other to succeed.
  • GET CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS. Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others and ask when you’re not clear on what they expect of you. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and due dates.
  • SHOW MEANINGFUL APPRECIATION. Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out when they do things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation—in all directions throughout our firm.
  • BE PROACTIVE. Solve problems before they happen by anticipating future issues, planning for contingencies, and addressing them in advance. Work with appropriate lead times. Preventing issues is always better than fixing them.
  • BE A LIFELONG LEARNER. Own your development. Take the initiative to seek out new experiences and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge, to increase your skills, and to become a better professional. Be coachable and seek feedback. Practice self-critique.
  • “BRING IT” EVERY DAY. Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, focus, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of urgency to get things done.
  • CREATE A GREAT IMPRESSION. Every conversation, phone call, e-mail, letter,and even voicemail, sets a tone and creates an impression. Pay attention to every interaction and be sure you’re setting a tone that’s friendly, warm, and helpful. Your dress and the appearance of our office also create an impression. Be sure everything you do demonstrates your professionalism and enhances the reputation of the firm.
  • RESPECT CONFIDENTIALITY. Our clients,their families, and their businesses share information with us because they need and trust us. Honor that trust by keeping their information in confidence, and taking appropriate steps to safeguard how and where it’s used. The same is true for information about our firm as well as about your fellow team members.
  • ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT. Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and that the intent behind their actions is positive. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
  • EMBRACE CHANGE AND GROWTH.What got us here may not get us to the next level. Get outside your comfort zone, rather than stubbornly hanging on to old ways of doing things. Be willing to try the unconventional and to ask “What if?” Embrace technology to stay relevant and be more effective. Be excited by the possibilities that change and growth bring.
  • BE EASY TO WORK WITH. Think from others’ perspective and find ways to make working with you/us easier. Provide simple and complete instructions. When in doubt, do more rather than pushing the work back to others. Streamline our processes. Simplify everything. Be respectful and approachable, and avoid negativity and sarcasm. Be ridiculously helpful.
  • MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Be an active part of your community. Give back by contributing your time, effort, and where appropriate, your money, to make your community better. Every little bit matters. You can and do make a difference.
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, COMMUNICATE PERSONALLY. When delivering difficult or complex messages, or in emotionally charged situations, speak “live” versus hiding behind e-mail or voicemail.Where appropriate, follow-up in writing to confirm your understanding.
  • THINK AND ACT LIKE AN OWNER. Understand our business and the role that productivity plays in our success. Make decisions by asking yourself, “What would I do if this were my own money? Am I being a careful steward of the client’s and the firm’s resources?”
  • KEEP THINGS FUN. While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Laugh every day.

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