Before joining the Centennial team in April, I was Senior Director of Programs for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. In this role, I interacted with hundreds of talented senior executives. When it was time to move on, I chose to work with Centennial, since the Centennial team shares my passion for helping executives succeed and positively contribute to their organizations.
3 People-first Philosophies for Corporate Success
In my brief time with Centennial, I’ve come to recognize certain key philosophies that have lead to the firm’s success for more than four decades. These same philosophies can be applied to any organization.
- Learn and act on what is best for your clients
- Learn and act on what is best for your employees
- Ask, listen – repeat!
Each of our clients is unique, with their own “wish list,” requirements, and corporate culture. Likewise, each employee comes with his or her own strengths, weaknesses, and passions. The leadership at Centennial has instilled in us the value of uncovering these qualities and aligning them with the purpose of the companies we serve.
Learning Your Clients
At Centennial, we understand and continually explore “the why” of what we do. It’s about building healthy, thriving organizations by connecting them with right executives. It’s not transactional–it’s relational.
This relational business requires a significant amount of intentional listening. If we’re looking for the right executive to meet your organization’s needs, we want an in-depth understanding of what you truly need. That’s why we ask lots of questions. In addition to a list of requirements, we seek an understanding of the nuances that make up your unique organization–another reason we ask a lot of questions. My team members and I stay curious until we feel we know exactly what you’re looking for in your next hire. That enables us to apply Centennial’s 4C process of aligning character, culture, competency and chemistry.
This level of detail and care leads to a level of trust and effectiveness. Centennial’s clients feel comfortable sharing significant details of their organization, knowing that we will use the information to lead them to greater success.
Learning Your Employees
Internally, Centennial is passionate about investing in their employees. Everyone is given the opportunity to grow and explore untapped potential. Communication is open and praise is generous.
It seems that so many high potential candidates, especially young professionals, want to work for a mission-based organization. Centennial is mission driven– as are our clients.
Ask, Listen and Repeat
So much of learning more about your clients and employees is asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. You need to keep digging until you uncover what is most important. Whether it’s your client or your employee, what does their definition of success look like? I believe the best conversationalists are good listeners. My mom gave me advice that is a good reminder to all: “We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
The reputation Centennial has earned in the executive search industry reflects the care and purpose apparent throughout the organization. What starts with healthy, internal relationships extends to the development of healthy, trusted client relationships. I’ve concluded that must be why 98% of our clients come to us from referrals. Trust is the pillar of our relationships.