Thu | Jan 21, 2021

Making moves: VM boss shares tips for success

Published:Friday | January 24, 2020 | 12:23 AM
Courtney Campbell, president and chief executive officer, Victoria Mutual Group.
Courtney Campbell, president and chief executive officer, Victoria Mutual Group.

Victoria Mutual Group (VM) President and Chief Executive Officer Courtney Campbell shared some ingredients that contributed to the success he has achieved in his enviable career in finance, at a recent financial education seminar hosted by VM.

The scores of persons who attended the event dubbed ‘Making Moves’ at VM’s Half-Way Tree, St Andrew location were noticeably captured by Campbell’s powerful 10-minute masterclass in which he spoke about some guiding principles of his journey from childhood in the sleepy community of Chapelton, Clarendon, to becoming one of the most highly regarded figures in the local financial sector.

“Growing up, my parents taught me to always aim high,” he said. “They sacrificed for their family and stoked the fire of ambition in us. They instilled in us that only the best is good enough. But they didn’t just teach ambition, they taught us values – to respect and serve others with humility. That is how I started on my leadership journey.”

Campbell, who has held senior leadership positions at some of the leading financial institutions in the region, encouraged the gathering to focus on ‘Four Ps’ – purpose, preparation, performance and perseverance – as they take on the new year and the pursuit of their ambitions.

“You must understand your purpose,” he said. “A vision that is not driven by a larger purpose cannot move anyone. What is your vision for your life? How is that driven by a purpose? Let it be a vision that reflects a positive impact on the world. A purpose-driven vision is the type that stirs your blood; it is the mark that you hope to leave on the world or on those around you.”


On preparation, Campbell said: “There is a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin: ‘By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail’. This captures the importance of preparation to the achievement of excellence. Preparation requires sacrifice. It means you will have to take the time to get ready for the tasks before you, well ahead of time. It means that you will be responsible for looking at the big picture to determine what will be required of you at different points of the journey to success. Then, you will have to act decisively.

“Regardless of the sector in which you operate or the discipline that you practise, you need to be aware of the developments in your industry. I am always reading, trying to learn new things. I read magazines or newsletters that are relevant to my field – Fortune, Economist, Boston Consulting Group, Bain Consulting. I use Twitter to follow many of the updates from these publications. I also read lots of books – business books by authors such as Jim Collins, Ram Charan, Clay Christensen. The point is that you should feed your mind with positive and helpful material that will help you to broaden your perspective and allow you to step out of your comfort zone. Reading widely also provides you with an advantage in your career because knowledge is power, and I guarantee you that if you take up this challenge you will be better informed and equipped than most of your colleagues.”


Campbell urged the gathering to commit to excellent ‘performance’ – the third ‘P’.

“Put the preparation into practice. Your education, exposure and experiences, your training, your abilities and talents, and your passion – are all gifts that cannot be buried. Take the risk and step into the unknown. What does high performance look like to you and in your respective areas? You have to engage these thoughts. Your commitment to high performance cannot be superficial. It must be aligned to the purpose of your work. It’s all connected.”

Even with the first three ‘Ps’ in place, Campbell reminded that the road to success requires ‘perseverance’.