One of the reasons SEI is such an amazing company comes from its respect for the individual and its support for the causes that our employees are most passionate about. We promote an environment where we are free and welcome to share those personal passions openly with one another. In my personal case, mission trips ignite the passion in my soul. I started actively participating in missions with my church both locally and internationally in 2015 and since then have served in the United States, Mexico, Africa, and along the Amazon River of Brazil.
My desire for missions stems from my deep yearning to serve others. Each mission trip is unique and offers many opportunities for Servant Leadership. Depending on the needs of the community or village, the mission trip can encompass the construction or repair of a house or church, bring medical services and medicine, serve food to the hungry, clothe the needy, provide haircuts, and minister to or pray for the people of the town. Almost every mission trip includes children’s ministry where we sing songs, play games, share Bible stories, entertain with balloon animals, or paint faces.
Our team has also taught leadership principles to local leaders including how to define core values, understand vision, mission, purpose and ‘X’ factor for success, and the differences between transactional and transformational leadership, among others. I get great satisfaction from serving others. I love to see the expressions on the faces of people we serve when they are able to read for the first time because they have new glasses, for example. One of my favorite memories is when our team delivered a new baby after our clinic had closed for the day. Our team continues to take steps to help these communities become self-sustaining by teaching trades, life skills, and leadership.
Similar to my personal life, my professional life at SEI leads to many opportunities to serve others by removing the competitiveness of hierarchy and incentivizing employees to help one another as employee-owners. Servant Leadership is one of the main cultural components that attracted me to join SEI almost three years ago. We have an Advocate program where new hires partner with a buddy that helps them acclimate to our model, answers questions and provides support of all types. Our Shared Services team serves our entire company by supporting the legal, accounting, human resources, and recruiting functions. Additionally, they host an amazing orientation each quarter for new hires.
The founder of SEI, Dan Pierce, serves every new hire by helping them understand why we exist, how we operate, what we do, how we will succeed, what is most important right now, and who must do what in order to be successful. SEI consultants are able to help one another be successful through cross-office collaboration. Commitment to collaborative relationships and knowledge-sharing increases productivity, quality, and innovation. Consultants serve one another in all aspects of the business. Just like on the mission field, you do not have to serve in every area, but you have to figure out where you can add the most value toward the common goal. As an SEI’er, it is exciting when I get an opportunity to help someone by sharing my experiences, collaborating on a sales pursuit, interviewing a candidate or building a toolkit that others can use in client delivery.
Whether on the mission field or at SEI, I find myself looking for opportunities to serve others while building strong relationships of trust and respect and focusing on a common goal of helping one another and our clients become successful. I’m excited that one of my colleagues and dear friend, Carol Austensen, the Managing Director from our Atlanta office will be joining me on my next mission to South Africa later this year. If you would like more information about my mission trips or SEI, please contact me at [email protected] These photos bring back so many sweet memories. I hope you enjoy them!