"The best thing about our workplace environment and culture is that it creates true inclusive diversity because it's looking at who you really are. I think it's one of the greatest things about Gallup."
Q: What do you do at Gallup?
A: I'm part of the partner group, leading relationships with large organizations that want to transform their business for the better. I also have the honor of heading our Berlin office. Because of the German economy, we have a strong focus on manufacturing organizations, and we partner with them on everything around culture transformation, leadership development and setting themselves up for success in the future.
Q: In your role at Gallup, how do you change the world a little to a lot every day?
A: One of the ways I change the world is by finding those organizations that need help to transform their business and be more successful. From there, I have the exciting opportunity to convince them of the value Gallup can bring to the table and how we are the perfect partners to help them solve their most pressing problems.
Another part of my job is directly working with these executives to help them bring that transformative behavior change to life. It's amazing because those behavioral changes not only make us more successful in business but also allow us to lead better lives. I think with every organization that we help transform, we contribute to making the world better.
Q: What's a typical day at Gallup like for you?
A: A typical day at Gallup doesn't exist for me, and that's because we all work with a flexible work culture mindset. I do my very best work because I'm not held to rigid, structured standards. Sometimes I'll work until four in the morning and then wake up at 10 a.m. to begin my day. Likewise, there are days where I'll be in bed by nine in the evening and then in the office by seven in the morning the following day. I'm very agile when it comes to my personal way of working.
When it comes to daily activities, there are three things I mostly focus on: One is staying in touch with our market, including reaching out to potential clients, speaking at events, and sharing our knowledge and expertise on things that matter most to the world. The second thing is working with our clients. I consult directly with HR leaders who are mostly responsible for customer relationships. I give them advice and recommendations founded in our data and analytics, and at the same time, help them break down problems and create strategies. And, finally, I spend a lot of time with my colleagues -- my friends within the Gallup tribe who basically are my partners in my pursuit to deliver on those objectives that I have. It takes partners to change the world. I don't do that alone.
Q: What made you want to join Gallup?
A: I was excited about Gallup, but it wasn't until I went through the Gallup interview, and really connected with the recruiting team, that I realized that this opportunity was the absolute perfect mix of doing what is right and doing it well. There are a lot of organizations in the world that are so focused on doing what is right, but they don't always have the "doing it well" part down. Gallup did. We have this incredible focus on doing what is right, exclusively, but being amazingly efficient while they're doing it. We're effective, productive and hugely performance-oriented. Gallup was just perfect because we are a "heal the world" type of environment -- the work we do is fundamentally good. It's about bettering people's livelihoods, regardless of where we are or the work we're doing. At the same time, we are very performance-oriented and outcomes-driven. We want to do good, and that, for me, is what made me then fall in love with Gallup.
Q: What keeps you at Gallup?
A: It's evolved over the years. That initial reason of following my inner drive to continue to make the world a better place continues to remain valid. I come from a developing country -- Gambia. I consider myself one of the most blessed people in the world, and as a result, I've always felt a necessity to give back, and Gallup fulfills that desire in me. The work we do is fundamentally good and all centered around improving the world. But what's come over the years is that Gallup has really become my family. My colleagues are my best friends. Each one of them is extraordinary in some way or form and they're there for me in good and bad times, both professionally and personally. Gallup feels like home, and no matter where life takes you, you just don't leave home.
Q: What qualities do people need to be successful at Gallup?
A: Because of our CliftonStrengths philosophy, we appreciate authenticity. We appreciate people who are not trying to fit a mold, but who just are themselves. Being who you are is the key to fitting into our culture, and nobody around here is trying to play a role. Another thing is taking the initiative and having an entrepreneur spirit. We look for people who come in and create their path. If you're waiting to be told what to do or given an exact sort of trajectory of what you should do by when, we likely aren't the right fit for you.
Q: What are your favorite parts of your job?
A: I love seeing the impact Gallup allows me to have on the world. I like seeing everyone from big leaders to individual contributors change their behaviors because of the work we do. Every time I see the positive impact I've made on someone's life, and I've had so many opportunities over the last 10 years, it really excites me, because I see I'm genuinely making a difference in people's livelihoods.
My other favorite thing about working for Gallup is I getting to do what I do best every day. I love the opportunity to paint a picture and to convince somebody of something, and my job allows me to play to my natural strengths. I get paid to do what I naturally want to do, and I'm so grateful for this blessing.
Q: What are your biggest motivators at work?
A: My biggest motivator is a sense of responsibility. We know so much about the state of the world, and we can help the world solve its most pressing problems because we actually know what it takes. I'm motivated every day to create positive change around the world. Another motivator is the people at Gallup -- whether it is my manager, our CEO or my peers -- someone is always challenging me every day to think even bigger, solve larger problems and create better solutions. Finally, it's my clients and my external partners. They're more than my clients, they're my partners who show me that the work I do helps and that my contribution is important for their success, for their culture and for the way they work. And every time I observe that, it motivates me to do even more because it means that my work and my being has purpose.
Q: What is something that surprised you about joining Gallup?
A: When I was offered the position of head of the Gallup Germany office, I remember being surprised because the people I was supposed to be consulting with didn't look like me. As a younger black man in Germany, my main customers would be older white men. I shared my concerns with our CEO and my manager, and instead of agreeing, they pushed back, reiterating how my strengths and talents would carry me to success -- and that they trusted me. And that right there is something that I find amazing about this culture: Our strengths orientation creates an appreciation of the individual beyond any visible characteristics that we all bring to the table. Male, female, black, white, Chinese, whatever it is we're more than that. We look to your natural strengths and what makes you special, and because of that, we're able to go a little bit deeper. Instead of my skin color standing out, it's my Positivity strength that stands out. It's my Communication talent that stands out. The best thing about our workplace environment and culture is that it creates true, inclusive diversity because it's looking at who you really are. I think it's one of the greatest things about Gallup.
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