The real and significant results from leading a purpose-driven company

Posted on Categories Brandonomics, Culture/Employee Engagement, Purpose, Savage Thinking

Values rooted in passion and a strong purpose offer a winning combination for his company, and for their clients. Bret Farrar is back. The CEO and founding partner for Sendero Consulting visits with Savage’s Bethany Andell.


Bethany: Hi, welcome to this edition of Brandomonics, an inside look at top brands and their strategies. I’m Bethany Andell, President of Savage Brands and my guest today is Bret Farrar, CEO of Sendero Consulting.  Welcome back, Bret.

Bret: Thank you Bethany, glad to be here.

Bethany: In our last segment we started to talk a lot about behaviors and tying those into values and the natural transition from that to talk about actual results. And we are starting to see tangible proof of companies that lead with purpose, and values that mean something, to deliver those results. Can you talk a little about how you have seen that at Sendero?

Bret: Absolutely. I think that’s one of the reasons we have been very successful to this point. If you look at our values, really rooted in passion, shared success and higher reaching, I think those are things that our clients are really looking for. And when our people bring that mentality and really bring an earnest desire to do those things, our clients definitely see that. They don’t see somebody just going through the motions, just getting a result.

What they are seeing is somebody who is engaged in their business and wanting to see them be successful. And that is the other part of it, is living our “why,” which has unleashed potential for our clients. And so that recognition, I think, really brings our clients back wanting more.

Bethany: I have seen you give talks and do some other interviews and I found it curious that this has even extended to your performance review system where it’s a balance, even of maybe 50/50, of your business results and your cultural results. What does that mean?

Bret: For us, we measure both, and they count equally – exactly your point. So, business results really are what you do. We define cultural results as how you do it, how you go about getting those results. Because you can get results in a way that just doesn’t align with your values or angers everyone in the process, and we believe that how you do it is also just as important. So we actually, through our cultural behaviors that we mentioned in the last piece, we evaluate that. And we look at that from a performance management perspective, and that goes into our whole performance management process, around promotions, and raises and everything else. And they count equal 50/50, the business results and the culture results.

Bethany: Speaking of business results, do you feel like, I know your purpose is to unleash potential, have you really seen that delivered to you, a differentiation with clients and even with your recruiting and retention?

Bret: It’s interesting because it kind of surprised me. We made the Glassdoor “Best Places to Work” list, and what’s interesting is I’ve actually had clients talk about. I think of it usually from a recruitment perspective, but recently we have had quite a few clients that say they go to Glassdoor to look at their partners’ reviews to see what kind of a company they are. And so we have actually had that cited as one of the reasons they wanted to work with us. So that actually shocked me, but it doesn’t surprise me. Now that I hear it, I just didn’t think of that way to do it. From a people perspective in terms of hiring and retention, it’s definitely been a huge help for us in terms of attracting people. But it also, from a retention perspective, as you would expect, people believe what we believe and then want to be a part of it.

But I think the other part of it that doesn’t get as much mention, it’s the opposite of retention, it’s people who are leaving. I think by defining a very strong culture, one prevents people from joining that don’t align with us, and that is ok, we want people who believe what we believe. But conversely, people who end up joining thinking that it’s a good fit, they quickly realize that I don’t necessarily align with this and they self-select. And so I think that is an import part of retention, a lot of people think it is just about retaining everyone, but really the most important thing is to retain the right people. And I think a strong culture helps to ensure you do that.

Bethany: That’s really inspiring. Thank you so much for being here Bret.

Bret: Thank you Bethany, I enjoyed being here.

Bethany: That wraps up this conversation with Bret Farrar, CEO of Sendero Consulting and this edition of Brandonomics.

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If you’re interested in knowing more about how purposeful companies attract the best employees, build loyal relationships with customers, and differentiate themselves from the competition, then let’s start a conversation.