Like many other alumni, my Litchfield Montessori years started at the age of two and a half years old. Post LMS I attended Rumsey Hall in Washington, CT and Westminster in Simsbury, CT before undergrad at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. After Georgetown I worked in sales for the Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: EXBD) prior to founding Vorsight. We’ve been fortunate to take Vorsight from $200 in a newly opened business checking account in 2005 to $5m annual revenue with no debt and no investors.
LMS served as the foundation for everything that happened in my life since then. I remember having a lot of freedom and ability to explore. My group of friends learned new lessons quickly which allowed us to take on projects of our own creation. That independence forced me to self-start and have an imagination, two of the most important traits for an entrepreneur. I remember having a weekly checklist of assignments that needed to be completed. Once finished we could do anything constructive that we wanted. My friends would compete to see who could complete assignments the fastest. It was an incredibly fun environment for learning where class work and homework didn’t really feel like “work.”
It dawns on me now how fundamental that lesson is in the business world. As the CEO of a fast growth company, nobody tells you what you need to do or when you need to do it by. You are, by and large, left to your own devices to figure it out. You have to know how to handle the unstructured freedom of the real world. LMS gave me those skills and taught me how to think like a successful person.
One of my most vivid lessons in entrepreneurship happened not in the classroom, but at recess. I convinced a group that one of the large stones on the path to the pond had gold hidden inside. We assembled a work crew to chisel our way into this boulder using only sharpened sticks and other pebbles. It was a well organized operation with perhaps 15 kids dividing tasks and working in unison. We were convinced that if we chipped away just a little more we’d get that gold and all be rich. I think we even figured out “shares” of the treasure based on who was first into the project. The teachers must have thought we were nuts, but they encouraged us to continue and let us have our dream. Of course we never made a dent in that rock. But it was my first lesson in organizational behavior!
LMS is a special place that allows young minds the breathing room to grow. I’m so grateful for my time at LMS and for the chance to be taught by such a great faculty.
Above Steve is pictured with his class photo from 1987. Steve is the fifth student in from the left in the back row.