What Drives You?

The value of influencing others to achieve

As many of my friends are aware, I am very much involved in the rowing scene in Canberra, as a rower but more so as a Coach and general helper around the Canberra Rowing Club boat shed.

I have for some time recognised that I draw significantly more personal gratification from helping rowers achieve their own full potential than from the races they win.  The other morning I was coaching the junior crews and had cause to reflect on their achievements. I realised that while they are becoming better rowers and winning more races, it is helping them achieve their full potential that truly motivates and inspires me.  This motivating force applies equally to the people I mentor.

In my leadership roles over the past 20 years, I realise what has kept my motivation as high as it is stems from the very same feeling I get from coaching and mentoring.  My ability to influence an outcome, for an individual or organisation, that is better/more successful/more efficient than it would otherwise have been is personally fulfilling.

The positivity within the organisation and the sense of achievement felt by those that have delivered the improvement, attributable in part to the guidance I have been able to provide or participated in as a part of a leadership team, is no different from the elation experienced by those young rowers I have coached when they win an event, or achieve something for the first time. The endorphin hit they get, I experience as well – not for the outcome, but from the shared sense of achievement. The exact same thing applies when individuals I am working with as a mentor achieve something previously perceived as outside their reach. It’s as exciting for me as it is for them, but for different reasons.

In the professional world it really is no different. While effectiveness of spend, or return on investment should always be a key objective for an organisation using consultants, organisations should also expect their consultants to be motivated, not only by the fee they receive, but also by the satisfaction of knowing that their inputs helped achieve an outcome that was otherwise out of reach or highly unlikely.

One of my key reasons for joining Brooke was the very close alignment of my values and those Brooke holds. In Brooke, reward is not just monetary, and success is measured in multiple ways. Key to me is Brooke’s focus on client satisfaction and the effectiveness of our delivery methodology, and therefore the actual outcomes versus expected outcomes. What this means is that for each assignment all consultants are assessed in terms of effectiveness in helping the client achieve the outcomes that ensure successful and sustainable change. While this is not unique, the high degree of effort that goes into assessing each aspect of an assignment means that we as consultants are constantly challenging our effectiveness as influencers, and change agents.

The better we are, the more likely we are to deliver services that enable clients to achieve outcomes that, like my rowers or mentees, might otherwise have been unachievable. While there is immense satisfaction for the Brooke team in seeing our input help the client be the best they can – their exceptional selves, the real sense of achievement, the endorphin hit, comes from conspicuous comments acknowledging the significant benefits that we, Brooke, were able to deliver to an organisation.

And to address that fundamental question of what is in it for us, we need only look to Brooke’s client endorsements on our website and it is these endorsements that provide us with our most effective marketing material.

I am reminded of an email I received while as Head of the Audit and Fraud Control Division in Defence. A very senior Army officer whose career had for the most part been in the Special Forces sent me a thank you email, and the message expressed the following view:

“As a military person, whose career has primarily been in commanding troops in areas of armed conflict and management of life and death decisions, I am drawn to question my status as a warrior when I find so much value and benefit from an Internal Audit Report your team has provided to me.”

This continues to be the most rewarding and personally gratifying feedback I ever received as an Internal Auditor, the fact that a team that worked within my area was able to deliver such a valuable piece of work, in a very specialised area. That it could arouse such a powerful response from an individual who has come through an environment characterised by everything but Internal Audit Reports was immensely satisfying

As a consultant, I continue to strive to produce a piece of work that could inspire a similar comment, and that is why I choose to be aligned to Brooke.

Two questions to leave you with –

Are you aligned to consultants, or organisations with similar values to yours?

What drives or inspires you?

I am always up for a chat if you have a perspective on this insight.  @Geoff Brown; GeoffBrown@Brooke.Global