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Strategy

Missouri Trust and Investment Co. CEO Richard Russell Gets Out of His Comfort Zone

We sat down with Richard Russell 90 days after he took over as CEO of Missouri Trust and Investment Co. to see how his background as a CPA and an attorney led him to this burgeoning company.

By Claire Porter

Sep 2018

business
Photo courtesy Shutterstock

What drew him to the job: “I’m a fairly entrepreneurial guy. I’ve advised startup companies with The eFactory accelerator. I’ve always followed startup businesses to stay on top of new ideas. I’m not an idea guy, but I’m pretty good with my background in knowing, here are some of the challenges and issues you’re going to face as you grow. It’s not rocket science what happens in business. [This role involves] all the stuff I’m familiar with plus the ability to be flexible in designing a business for what our clients need. While we are a startup, we are also in a very mature industry.” 

The first thing he put in his office: “People who know me know that I’ve got a sweet tooth. I actually have a snack drawer—in every office I’ve had, I have a snack drawer. So the first thing I put in my office was my snack drawer with my granola bars and my cookies and my trail mix snack packs.” 

Where he turns for inspiration: “I’m a fan of quotes and classic philosophy. I always try to find interesting quotes. Life can seem complicated, but I think it can be boiled down to pretty simple concepts at the end of the day.” (Editor’s note: Russell’s favorite quote is taped to his microwave at home. It reads, “To get somewhere you’ve never been, you have to do something you’ve never done.”)

Advice he would give his younger self: “In order to grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone. You can’t do what’s comfortable and expect to achieve important things. You have to be willing to try something new, and trying something new is uncomfortable by definition because it’s new. So every now and then, I remind myself that I need to get outside my comfort zone, but that means I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m trying something new.”