We got Sinek-ed
A short tale of our morning with Simon Sinek and our quest to find out what makes us feel proud.
At Rowben Consulting, we have an adage: if you can take away three items from a conference or seminar that truly enhance the way you do business, then money well spent.
As you can imagine, after a morning with Simon Sinek, it was hard to limit the takeaways to three – and why would we?
Sinek has become a very familiar face. His 2009 book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action has become a bestseller; his TED talk on the same topic is the third most popular of all time. Earlier this year, a video detailing Sinek’s thoughts on millennials in the workplace chalked up millions of views in just a couple of weeks.
So when we heard he was presenting a leadership forum in Melbourne in March, we jumped at the chance to attend.
During our time with Sinek, one key thing he spoke about was organisational pride – what makes you proud to work for your organisation? This really struck a chord with me.
Rowben Consulting is not a purely transactional business. We deal with people every day. Building relationships with candidates and clients is the core of our business, and our dedication to this has seen us form many long-term partnerships.
However, equally important is the strength of our team. We’re lucky to have management that promotes a positive internal culture; it’s an approach which seeks to create an empowered workforce that knows its value and feels proud to work for Rowben Consulting.
But Sinek encouraged us to reflect further. What exactly has our company done, what specific contribution has it made, which makes our staff feel proud? After all, a company is a separate legal entity which has the same rights as a natural person. So what contributions does Rowben Consulting make in this capacity? We asked our team members for their opinions.
Some focussed on our external recruitment function and how we’re in a unique position to connect people with great roles and careers. However, more surprisingly, a lot of the team commented on our internal graduate program. Our employees cited the company’s willingness to take a chance on a graduate, the time and effort we all put into developing them and the reward of seeing our graduates grow into confident recruiters with a clear career path.
For us, these observations help to define our company’s purpose – that is, why we do what we do. As Sinek observed, very few organisations take the time to do this, yet a sense of purpose is central to great organisations.
Does your team understand why your company does what it does? If asked, could they articulate a specific company contribution that makes them proud?
Clare Holst – March 2017