A personal tale of how Centric’s core values ended up being the greatest gift of all.

I work in a unique place where people go out of their way to make other people happy. We are not Disney or the Ritz-Carlton, but rather a business and technology consulting firm. That’s right. We are Centric Consulting.

Our Core Purpose is to “Create Unmatched Client and Employee Experiences” and we try to live this out every day. Sometimes it’s a grand gesture and sometimes it may be unnoticeable to anyone other than the recipient. Recently, I was the one who received an “unmatched experience” from our Cleveland team that really made me speechless.

Every month during our Cleveland business unit meetings, we meet in person at a unique venue in our community. December’s meeting happened to be at MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and the topic was our business unit’s plan for 2016. Attendance was 100%, the mood was upbeat, and the cocktails were chilling. At the start of the meeting, Kevin Bracy announced the team members who had an anniversary with Centric this month (we do this at every meeting and each anniversary is recognized with a gift customized for each person). This month, I was the only person with an anniversary, and since I was the first Cleveland employee in late 2008, it was my seven-year anniversary.

Coincidentally, we have seven Core Values by which we lead and manage our firm every day. My gift then consisted of items to represent each of our Core Values and since Kevin and my teammates know all about my passions, they customized accordingly.

Here they are:

#1 Commit to Delivery Excellence –

Gift certificates to the highest quality produce in town, backed by 100 years of history, the West Side Market.

#2 Invest in an Exceptional Culture –

A sweatshirt emblazoned with a logo of a company with the strongest culture I have ever experienced – Centric Consulting.

#3 Embrace Integrity and Openness –

A bottle of fine wine. The name of the wine? ”Integrity.” (Openness is more of what you get when you drink it!)

#4 Practice Responsible Stewardship –

A donation to the Cleveland Leadership Center. Leadership Development is a hobby of mine and stewardship of up-and-coming leaders in our community is something we should all do every day. I’m a proud grad of Cleveland Bridge Builders class of 2002, and currently in the Leadership Cleveland class of 2016 – both programs of the Cleveland Leadership Center).

#5 Strive to Innovate –

An oldie but a goodie, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, by Peter Drucker. I am convinced that Centric will disrupt this industry again.

#6 Ignite Passion for the Greater Good –

A donation to a social services organization where I serve on the board of directors, Catholic Charities, which helps more than 500,000 people a year across nine counties.

#7 Live a Balanced Life –

A gift certificate to go skiing with my beautiful wife, Terri, and the two men in the world I’m most proud of, my sons Charlie and Sam. All work and no play makes for a grumpy Joe.

I truly believe that when it comes to gifts, it’s the thought that counts. The very best gifts are the ones that have been given the most thought. This was the perfect gift.

Every day, I’m amazed by the work our does for our clients, but I”m even more amazed at how each team member makes each day memorable, whether by a major accomplishment or a simple smile. You CAN have an extremely successful company that lives by its core values, has fun, and genuinely cares for its customers and employees. We are in a special place at a special time.

Thank you Centric, thank you Team Cleveland Rocks, and most of all, thank you to Kevin for this Unmatched Experience.