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CultureNov 28, 2016

Life at Credera: Training as Corporate Athletes

Morgan Eseke

Life at Credera: Training as Corporate Athletes

Successful athletes are strong, quick, agile and steady. They are competitive, hard workers who are committed to the mastery of their craft. Superstars like Lebron James and Russell Wilson are beginning to break the traditional mold by incorporating experiences from other sports and training styles to sharpen their game. Highly specialized superstars (e.g., Kobe Bryant) are becoming less attractive as the number of athletically diverse competitors is on the rise.

A new UCLA sports study of nearly 300 NCAA Division I male and female athletes found that 88 percent participated in an average of two to three sports as children.

In a recent interview on his approach to recruiting, Seattle Seahawks football coach Pete Carroll says, “The first questions I’ll ask about a recruit are, ‘What other sports does he play? What are his positions? Is he a big hitter in baseball? Is he a pitcher? Does he play hoops?’ All of those things are important to me. I want guys that are so special athletically and so competitive, that they can compete in more than one sport.”

What Does This Have to Do With Consulting?

At Credera, we often refer to one another as “athletes.” Aside from the fact that many of our Credera coworkers are cross-fitters, triathloners, or soccer players, this description makes sense because it reflects our view of intellectual and leadership development. The word “athlete” reminds us that our goal of excellence requires diligent training and continual learning.

When hiring, we seek out team members who are strong leaders and exceptionally talented, but also eager to learn. We want to be the very best consultants to our clients and in most cases, our clients need us to be more than specialists in analytics, organizational change, or development. They also need us to be clear communicators, efficient project leaders, strategic thinkers, and quick problem solvers.

For this reason, we train like elite athletes. We rep out our free throws (e.g., disciplined approach and process), we build muscle (e.g., grow our capabilities), focus on cardio (e.g., train to go for long periods), and sharpen our ball handling skills (e.g., prepare for adversity).

How We Train

As all-around athletes, Credera members are constantly striving to improve both personally and professionally. In the same way teammates on a winning sports team challenge and encourage one another, the hard-working nature of Credera staff paired with an others-focused desire to help, exposes fertile ground for excellence.

As we grow and learn in our careers, we help our teammates learn what we have figured out. And with a partner team that exemplifies humility and a genuine willingness to improve—both individually and as a firm—this cycle of development is continuous.

Credera University provides new consultants with important foundational training for their career and role on client projects. Multiple research and development teams collaborate to stay on top of the latest technologies and languages or best practices in strategy and marketing.

Credera’s Career Performance Management framework encourages employees to develop holistically in areas such as client service, presentation skills, writing, and business development while also deepening their expertise in a specific focus area. The mentor program and continuing education plan ensure employees have the resources they need to continue excelling as well-rounded professionals.

Here’s an Example

In the video above, Sugandha, an architect in our Analytics & Business Intelligence (ABI) practice, shares how she has grown in more than just ABI expertise during her time at Credera.

According to Andrew Stewart, principal in the ABI practice, Sugandha’s diligence in growing as a well-rounded consultant makes her an exceptional teammate. “Sugandha is a hard-working, loyal, and trusted teammate, mentor, and friend,” says Andrew. “You can always count on her to deliver results. She’s who you want on your team as you embark on a challenge.”

The Perfection of Helping Others

We don’t strive for perfection. Our goal is simply to be people who are continually improving and encouraging one another along the way. Ultimately, we believe our commitment to thought leadership and all-around leadership development will enable us to serve our clients with an increasing level of excellence. Our mantra is progress, not perfection.

Pro athlete Andre Agassi, summed it up perfectly:

“Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we’re here.” 

We strive for excellence because it allows us to be more effective consultants at work and servant leaders at home.

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: