“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does…” – Howard Schultz
I was sharing dinner earlier this week with several of my colleagues, and the conversation turned to the topic of work, motivation, and ambitions. One of the more rewarding aspects of my job is to understand what motivates my fellow team members – and to make sure we honor those elements as we build our business.
“To be honest, I just love helping people find work”, one of our recruiters said. “The beauty of working in staffing is that you get the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every day”. Prophetic words that spoke volumes about what motivated her behavior.
And I can tell you this statement was a genuine as the day is long. I know this because I saw it in action. Earlier that day we met several of our consultants during a client visit. One of those consultants pulled our recruiter aside to inform her his assignment would be ending prematurely. I wasn’t part of that conversation, but I did witness the follow up.
“We have to get Shatesh another job quickly”, she said to the rest of the team when we regrouped. “He has a finance’ flying over from India to be married later this month, and I don’t want him worrying about a job with that on his mind.” “Did he tell you that?” I asked. “No,” she replied “I know because I always make a point to get to know our consultants”.
That followed other conversations I had with consultants who also shared similar appreciation for our interest in their personal success. A staffing company that cares about their consultants? Novel concept, given how the balance had shifted to the client in the last decade.
Increasingly, business needs a purpose to be successful. Top line growth and financial performance are important elements for the shareholders, but what we do and how we do it often defines it. No amount of new contracts can replace that. Our customers can see through this and will eventually stay with those who live true to a purpose. Why? Because over time, that purpose leads to a higher quality product/service – something process, tools, and technology alone can’t replicate.
As an individual, that sense of purpose and accomplishment also give us value in this world – more than just a paycheck or tick in a box. It’s in our DNA. It’s part of what makes us human. And when you spend more time in a day working than you do anything else in your life, it better have meaning.
I have always believed this, and in my life have been fortunate to work for companies who support this approach. In fact, this blog was born out of my desire to share a deeper purpose in leadership, one that would serve as a quiet catalyst for both the individual and business collectively. Along my path I’ve met countless others who also believe the same.
So if you want to build a brand that will last – if you want a company that achieves success in the long run – make sure what you do and how you do it have purpose and meaning. And that your team members believe and live true to that purpose every day.