How we always try to tap into something deeper that is driving a leader, the thing that gives them courage to lead and be purposeful
We often start work with clients asking them to bring a purpose object … a slightly different task to what they’re used to. The reason for doing this is to try and tap into something deeper that is driving the leaders, the thing that gives them courage to lead and be purposeful. This helps us develop a clear mission and vision, which in its own way is bold and quite heroic. We don’t talk about it in these terms but it is.
When thinking about the brand purpose of one client, Rumaila, I often go back to the very first story I heard from a 65 year old man who had been working for the company at the oilfield for about 40 years. He was going out as part of a team to fix one of the lines directly to the power station and was doing so at the height of civil unrest in Southern Iraq. They were out at night when even the oil police had gone home. They did it when there was dangerous militia on the roads. And they were doing it for a much bigger purpose than themselves and their own wellbeing, showing immense levels of pride and respect in their work. The militia knew it and left them alone.
In the West, we would call it brave or even courageous but to this man it was second nature. No oil meant no power, heating or lighting – all the things we take for granted.
I am naturally drawn to people who are striving for something better. I always treasure this story and I think of the heroes at Rumaila. I also have a natural interest to think of the new Iraqi heroes and leaders we are helping to lead. I am always thinking about the incredible determination of our Iraqi clients and our work with them is some of the most important and rewarding we have ever done.