Serving or Servant… the Uncommon choice.
When I was young I remember someone telling me that if I wanted to be happy then I needed to, “Find what you love to do and then figure out a way to make money doing it.” They were right. Technical work is fun to me and I have been happy in my career for as long as I can remember.
Imagine my surprise when I came to work for Uncommon Solutions and found that something had been missing all along. I never realized how unfulfilled I was in my profession until I came to work for Uncommon Solutions… and basically it all boils down to “why” I am working.
When working for other companies in the past, ranging from an IT manager to a consultant, I found that the company’s needs came first. It was always about making new sales, responding to requests, or upselling the customer. All the other companies I worked for had the motto: Serving the customer’s needs. This is a good motto for building business, but I didn’t realize how short it fell from what was important to me until I came to Uncommon Solutions and heard their motto: Be a servant to your customer. The difference between those two points of view is extremely subtle but very powerful.
When you serve someone you are like a waiter in a restaurant. The customer places an order and you bring it to them. You might get the opportunity to upsell them to the “fish” if they are interested in hearing what specials are for the day. Occasionally you stop by to see how things are going and if they need anything. “Serving” the customer has been what I experienced at every company before Uncommon.
Being a servant to the customer is an entirely different concept. When you think about a servant, it brings to mind those old movies where the butler appears and disappears in the background. The “master” of the house does not ask for things, they are merely anticipated by the butler and completed before the request is ever made. This is Uncommon’s unique philosophy… the servant mentality. The symbiotic relationship between the master and servant.
Uncommon Solutions holds a monthly “All Staff” meeting. In each meeting, our founder and CEO, Brad Leiby, reminds us to be an “uncommon servant” to our customers. He wants us to consider our customers’ needs beyond the immediate. He wants us to anticipate what they will need years out. To do this, each of us is encouraged to dive deeply into our customers’ business goals and mission statements… to think about what the customer will need to meet those goals… and to provide what the customer needs before the customer even needs to ask for it. This symbiotic partnership between our customers and Uncommon Solutions is the fulfillment in my career that I never knew was missing. Beyond being happy, when I see my customer thriving and successful, when I see that the technology I help to support is adding value to their organization, I am not only happy in my career but I feel like I am also doing something worthwhile with my choice of career. I am making it possible for my customers to make their dreams come true.
So what is the answer to that most basic question that each organization asks, “Why should I choose Uncommon over all the other IT companies out there?” My answer is because when I look around at my co-workers and what they are doing, I see a servant mentality in each one of them. I see reflected in them my desire to make my client’s successful. I see an uncommon crew doing an uncommon job and finding an uncommon fulfillment.