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CultureJan 18, 2017

Life at Credera: Building Character While Building the Company

Andrew Warden, and Alex Moore

While interviewing potential new hires, we’re often asked the question, “What is your favorite thing about working at Credera?” Although there are many answers we could provide, our first response is a no brainer: the people. But we’re not talking about how much fun our co-workers are or how much we enjoy getting a beer with them (although both are true statements). We mean the character of the people—specifically the humility and integrity exhibited by our coworkers are unlike anything we have ever seen in the workplace.

Humility and integrity are just two of our four core values—but they are the two that stick out to us that define what makes Credera team members so special. They are at the core of the character of every single person we hire and the way they are demonstrated daily at Credera amazes and motivates us.

Defining Integrity

By integrity, we don’t just mean the moral and ethical aspects. These definitely must be present, but that is ‘easy’ integrity. When we speak of integrity, we mean ‘wholeness of character,’ almost like you would think of ‘structural integrity’—something that is consistent, unified, and whole. In the book Integrity, Dr. Henry Cloud defines six aspects of character that go into integrity:

The ability to…

  1. Connect authentically.

  2. Be oriented toward the truth.

  3. Work in a way that gets results and finishes well.

  4. Embrace, engage, and deal with the negative.

  5. Be oriented toward growth.

  6. Be transcendent.

A person of integrity is a person who balances and integrates all of these character attributes.

While building Credera, we’ve had both successful seasons and less-successful seasons. As a consulting firm, having a strong project pipeline is crucial to the health of the organization. When we’ve gone through less-successful seasons of business development and project wins, our CEO Rob Borrego makes it a point to embrace and deal with the negative head on. During our all-hands fireside chat meetings, he is honest about our situation with the entire firm. He authentically shares where we could’ve been better, and outlines how we are going to learn and grow to ensure a stronger next quarter. It’s pretty incredible to see how quickly we bounce back due to Rob and the rest of the partner team’s commitment to working with integrity, in a way that gets results to finish the next season well.

Defining Humility

By humility, we certainly don’t mean that we think less of ourselves. We just try to think about ourselves less, and focus on how we can help each other and our clients be more successful.

In our smaller markets, we’re working on developing brand awareness for Credera. One way we’re doing this, while also focusing on giving back to the local community, is through holding a hackathon called OpenGive. During OpenGive, we partner with nonprofits to build software solutions that help the 501(c)(3) organizations execute their missions. This hackathon requires all hands on deck from our consultants in the local market for the event to be a success. The hours our consultants put in planning, marketing, organizing, and carrying out the event are not billable hours. So on top of the commitments we’ve made to our clients, our consultants make it a point to spend extra time on OpenGive so that we can follow through on the promises we’ve made to the partner nonprofits. Meetings are held before and after work hours, and the hackathon is held over a weekend so that client projects are still completed with excellence and without distraction. Our consultants think of themselves less while focusing on how we can help both our clients and nonprofit partners be more successful.

Character Makes the Difference

Our core values have defined Credera since the beginning. The founders and early leadership team members took a huge risk in starting our firm, all coming from much larger companies. It was the humility and integrity they possessed that kept them dedicated to doing whatever needed to get done, no matter how small the task, if it was going to benefit Credera. They believed wholeheartedly in what they were building—and their passion and commitment to the greater good kept them going when they faced adversity. Throughout everything our first employees went through, they were never willing to compromise on character.

As we grew, the leadership team only hired people who shared similar core values. We believe many people chose to be a part of Credera because they wanted to consult in an environment where their co-workers motivated them to grow both professionally and personally. Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most of your time with.” We spend most of our time working, so why wouldn’t you want to work with people of similar character, who want to help you be better?

Above all else, people want to be known, understood and cared for—to connect and belong. If we don’t connect with our employees (and vice versa), we can be sure another company will. This is how we got to where we are today—a roughly 300-employee consulting firm full of exceptional people that demonstrate exceptional character.

life at credera

We’re “open-sourcing” the Credera culture in a series called Life at Credera. We are sharing an authentic perspective on what we are learning and where we are growing. We are talking about friendships and fungrowth, higher purpose, talent and character, leadership, and communication.

We hope this series is a helpful resource on the continuous pursuit of a great culture. And we hope the results are encouraging to our company, employees, clients, and friends.

Looking for more? Check out these great Life at Credera perspectives: