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Family First Member Spotlight: Meet Dave Haller

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION  | 

RSM’s Family First employee network group (ENG) builds community around shared experiences and serves as a support system for the wellbeing and growth of our members and others so they can be their best – at home, at work and in their communities. Through RSM’s Family First member spotlights, we share stories about life experiences of a few of RSM’s people. Here we meet Dave Haller, who challenges himself to be the best husband, father and coworker he can be every day.

Dave Haller
Senior manager, national director of audit curriculum
12 years with RSM
Member of
Family First, AACE, Pride, Abilities and STAR

Tell us about a challenge you are currently facing or have faced.
My wife and I both work. We do our best to set good examples for our two beautiful children, while also managing our home and work. Often times, I see the man, husband and father I want to be, yet self-actualization of becoming that person isn’t always straight forward! Life happens, with all its glorious barriers; cars break down, traffic prevents picking up the kids on time; stress tempts your patience with those you love. Now, more than ever, I feel the pressure of our hectic lifestyle. It’s easy to push those daily habits aside and just try to keep your head above water. That is my biggest challenge.  

What roles do family, faith and RSM play in the face of such challenge?
It’s funny. If I’m being honest, my family and my job can both be the cause and the relief from that self-actualization challenge. Those two things take up nearly every waking hour that I have each day. They can create stress, frustration and feelings of inadequacy, fear and shame; especially shame. But they are also my main source of happiness. I get love, support and feelings of self-worth, accomplishment, and belonging. I get connection. In fact, when I take a deeper look, my family and RSM support me and provide both flexibility and patience. Those feelings of family and work causing me the challenge I describe above are usually when I don’t embrace the support and understanding that is extended to me. My family is my motivation for wanting to be a great person, and RSM is an avenue for me to try to achieve and realize my true potential.

What habits have you created over time that have led you to face such a challenge in the way that you are or have? Why were those habits important? How did you develop a commitment to those habits?
One of the most important habits I have is intentionally setting the right perspective when a challenge or unexpected circumstance arises. Stress is relative. The stress I feel at midnight with a deadline eight hours away is significant (to me), just like the stress of an ER surgeon trying to save someone’s life. But I force myself to acknowledge that relativity. I tell myself, “No one is falling critically ill on my desk as I work.” I do this with family as well. When a kid scrapes a knee or the wind blows the trampoline over the fence and smashes the neighbor’s patio table, I breathe, assess and then acknowledge that overreacting won’t be energy well spent. Rather, being diligent, honest and thoughtful with what I can control will be the best that I can do.

Tell us your day-by-day plans to move forward through this challenging time of life. How are others able to help and support?
It sounds super cliché (saying that is even more cliché) but I plan to take things one step at a time; to live in the moment. Regretting the past or worrying about the future does nothing but cause anxiety. So I try to live in the moment. I’ll appreciate a small moment with my wife or with one of my kids. Even something like tying a shoe, combing my son’s hair or making the bed in the morning with my wife. Those moments, with alert mindful presence, are actually some of the best moments in any given day. Others can support me by also being in the moment. Put down the phone, delete that email and give someone a call, make an effort to connect with someone. Without connection, life becomes less purposeful, in my opinion.  

What message would you give to other professionals who face similar challenges or who have family members facing such challenges?
Be authentic. Be imperfect. Be honest. Lead by setting the right example. We tear ourselves down and stress out over shame. Try not to let shame control you. Admit you’re wrong to your family/work when you are, in fact, wrong! When I struggle to be the man, father and husband I want to be, it’s often because I’m setting unrealistic expectations. We are all imperfect. Embrace that. The best example I can set for my kids is show them that I fail; that I can be wrong; that I’m imperfect. But I don’t give up. I try to make things right; I work hard; I struggle to always do the right thing. (Perfectionism is impossible.) If we could all do more of that (give each other a bit more grace as we navigate courageously and authentically), then I think we’d all be happier and supportive of every one.


Family First

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Family First

Family First serves as an active voice around shared family challenges and promoting an inclusive, respectful workplace.