“Im finally feeling proud again to work for my company”.
These are the words that have been haunting me for quite a few years. It were the words of the CEO of a famous international candy company, to whom we just had presented our work, an updated brand narrative. His comment has always stuck with me because of that one single word: proud.
How could you not be proud of this brand? How could you, as a CEO, carry this company on your shoulders if it’s not in your heart?
His face hardly changed when he made this remark, but you felt a mental breeze brimming into the room.
A while later we presented to other clients. At the end of our presentation, we were presented with seconds of silence. It felt awful to us, but all the client felt was goosebumps. They all sided with each other that to be part of this narrative generated a sense of pride; (new corporate narrative to a client, and a/ 2 other )
Recently when we were assigned to do a purpose exercise for a high profile bank, I asked one of the shareholders what one thing he trumy would like to achieve with this challenging exercise (beyond windowdressing). He answered swiftly and decisively that he wanted all people to be proud again to work for their company (not his);
Ever since this first professional, ‘conscious confrontation’ with ‘proud’, it has been working on me like a red rag to a bull. And all the numerous other encounters along the years, have turned my eyes on this fascinating human feeling.
To discover that we got it pretty wrong.
If you read along, I’ll help you understand that pride can be your guide, and that it will guide you, your team and your company to succes/achieve more/to get a true view on the challenges we are facing in the big transition of the workplace. Because pride is not only a human emotion, it’s also a human tool. (?)