“Getting here was a  bit of a God thing,” says Dan Heiman, President & Managing Partner of Cornerstone Executive Search in Kansas City and North American Chair for Cornerstone International Group. Dan has been in the most senior leadership position at the company for 17 years, beginning with a co-ownership that became a buy-out in 2007.

Originally, Dan worked for a Fortune 500 medical device company, and traveled all over the world doing sales and business development. It was a busy time of life. "My wife and I were just passing in the night," he shares, "and then once we started having children, I knew something needed to change." Dan happened to express that need to a friend at church, who responded with a surprising proposition: "Why don't you buy my firm?" With that, Dan's career in executive search consulting began. 

The mission

From the get-go, Dan’s work in executive search consulting felt like a natural fit. “I’ve always been a people person,” he affirms. “I feel like I was put on earth to help others.” Driven by his ability to make meaningful connections, Dan loves diving into the work of matching great people with great companies and roles. Although he’s currently trying to move away from the busywork of day-to-day operations, he remains deeply involved in the relationship-building and search process for his clients to this day.

“Work is a noble thing. When you get to align people with meaningful employment and connection with an organization that values them, and when you connect a team that you've poured into with someone who can set things on fire, that's very gratifying.”


The  community

Dan considers his role as a husband and father to be his number one vocation in life. A newly minted grandfather, Dan loves that much of his time outside of work is spent watching his five mostly-grown children, with their wide range of personalities and interests, thrive and build their own communities. He knows firsthand how important it is to engage with communities of like-hearted individuals in order to truly flourish.

After being introduced to Acumen over five years ago, Dan remains  enthusiastic about this particular community’s impact on his life and firm. “You don’t always feel like the president, when you’re always in the weeds,” he shares. “Acumen has definitely challenged  me to lead  and get more involved in strategy and planning, and being the best I can be for my team and as a part of the community.  My wife, Jennifer stepped into the EOS Integrator role a few years ago and that has proven to be the missing link to our recent success.  I’ve also found that having a spouse that believes in me more than I do at times is a game changer.” 

Beyond the concepts and practices from Acumen that have allowed Dan’s business to evolve and advance, Dan can  attribute much of Cornerstone’s back-to-back record years to the coaching from his Growth Catalyst and his time spent with his  Acumen Ignite team. He’s eager to see how Acumen can continue to support him as he moves the company into the exciting new services of executive coaching, leadership development, and outplacement services.

Dan’s most impactful takeaway from his time in the community?

“Business is a vocation, and it's not just about serving clients, but also the people that work here. At Cornerstone we have a big jar in the conference room, and we drop a card in every time someone demonstrates one of our four core values: integrity, optimism, stewardship, and service. That jar fills up every year, in large part because Acumen has pushed me to define who we are and why we serve. This accountability thing - it's instrumental!”

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