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Longtime Retirement Advisors of America CEO Ron Simmons says: To build trust have “no agenda” meetings

March 22, 2023
Longtime Retirement Advisors of America CEO Ron Simmons says: To build trust have “no agenda” meetings

Ron Simmons

Longtime Retirement Advisors of America CEO says: To build trust have “no agenda” meetings

Don Yaeger’s Corporate Competitor Podcast Episode 138

When Ron Simmons co-founded the Retirement Advisors of America, a wealth management company for retired commercial airline pilots, he developed the practice of holding a 20-minute meeting with each of his team members with “no agenda other than getting to know each other.” Managing other people’s money had taught Simmons that trust was the foundation of any strong and lasting relationship, and he applied that lesson as a leader of others as well as himself.

“I learned early on that if I wanted to be able to accomplish things, I needed to have my colleagues trust me,” Simmons explained. “If you can develop a personal bond with someone, then when some conflict arises, you can melt it away a lot better by drawing on your understanding of the person.”

The credo served Simmons well at Retirement Advisors of America, which at the time of its sale to another investment firm in 2019 had more than three billion dollars in assets under management, and it continued to serve him when he turned to public service. During his first term as a state representative in the Texas House of Representatives, he did something nobody had ever seen in that august body: he made it his mission to have in-person meetings with every other state representative and senator, Democrat or Republican.

That’s 179 meetings in 70 days, all agenda-free and designed to start a productive and personal relationship. Now, there’s a radical notion!

Leave it to a small town kid from Arkansas to reintroduce the art of person-to-person bonding as an effective leadership tool, but that’s exactly what Simmons does in the podcast as he traces his leadership development from the football and baseball fields of Junction City, Arkansas, to the C-Suite of business and halls of policy making.

Today, Simmons is chairman of Texas Mutual Insurance Company and shares leadership lessons in the book we co-wrote together titled Little Red Wagon published by Maxwell Leadership Publishing.

You will learn:

  • 10:00 How a casual conversation builds bridges while teaching you about a person.
  • 14:00 The advantages of being a jack-of-all-trades rather than a specialist.
  • 16:00 What playing small-town football teaches you about perseverance.
  • 30:00 The key to creating great team goals.


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