Of all places, I got asked at the gym “Why Advantage?” The man, who I’ve seen frequently at the gym but only recently introduced myself to, was asking me about my line of work, and my job. He has been retired from a local Oregon banking company for over 15 years and after asking me that question, he continued to say, “I don’t want the long-complicated version of what you do, I want know why an organization would choose to do business with you – tell me something you believe, the short version (with a smirk).” I really didn’t even pause to think, and actually, I said these words quite confidently:
Beyond the measurable learning, it’s the experience of working with us and our thought leaders that create a lasting impact on the way you do business, engage your people, and the culture in which your leaders do more than thrive – they become inspirational.
Keeping learning aligned to the goals of the business is the easy part, we are experts at that – but our strength is in the way we inspire people to lead back at their jobs.
His reply was quite simple, “that sounds like a lot of fun, and I bet you love it.” He then sat down at the bench press next to me, put his headphones back in his ears, and with two 45-pound weights on each side of the bar, continued his 225 pound rep.
I reflected on my answer throughout the remainder of my workout and on my drive home. I kept thinking “oh man, I forgot to say performance management, coaching, business acumen, diversity, change”, you know – the standard pitch to let people know I might be valuable to them, or see what hits and misses. He wasn’t interested in that though, he wanted to know what I believed to be true about the value I bring, that we bring – as an Advantage team – to anyone that chooses to do business with us.
The more that I framed that in my mind, the more settled I was on my response. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, I was trying to say as simply as possible, that we have a passion for inspiring leaders to lead. Our inspiration comes from learning about an organization, talking with their leaders, hearing about successes and challenges, and partnering with them to give them an experience that will engage and inspire their leadership and their best efforts. We talk a lot about alignment, and again, we are experts at that – so keeping learning aligned to business goals, to execute a strategy based on those goals, that process will always happen with us; but there’s so much more to what we do.
I get to have deep, intense, intimate conversations about where a business wants to go, where they’ve been, and where they’ve failed and succeeded; and additionally, their dreams of what they could be. The partnership, the relationship, of being able to provide world-class, business changing experiences – that’s what I love about what we do. So “Why Advantage?”, because we are the very best at driving the inspiration, and helping organizations bring the inspiration to the leadership and giving them the right capabilities to meet their own strategic goals.