People-Oriented Leadership for Long-Term Success
Great leaders don’t always approach challenges in the same way, and they may have different definitions of success, but two key members of SEBPO’s leadership, Co-Founder Matt Kochan and CEO Kevin Kochan, are unquestionably on the same page regarding their company’s success: it’s all about the people.
When SEBPO was founded in 2006, the goal was to foster a culture of collaboration, growth, employee focus, and success over the last two decades.
People-Oriented Leadership for Long-Term Success
Matt and Kevin recently sat down to discuss success, what it means to them, and their thoughts on the past, present, and future of SEBPO.
What are the biggest lessons learned from working with one another?
Kevin: The most important thing I learned is that the greatest thing you can give someone is an opportunity–because that’s what my father [Matt Kochan] gave to me. It was the opportunity to be where I am today. He didn’t start me in a corner office with a title. It started with a 60-day contract to go out and prove myself. From there, you have to pave your own way.
Matt: I’m always in a hurry to get things done, and Kevin will tell me to be more patient, or say: “Here’s the way that I would do it.” I’ve learned to listen to him. He’s told me to be more relationship-oriented, which I am today, and I am better for it.
Your employees have often said the reason they love working at SEBPO is because of the people and the company culture. What are your thoughts on that?
Kevin: I think they’re spot on. The most important part of what I do is creating culture. Culture carries through everything we do.
It was also very simple to do because it didn’t take a lot of magic or insight. It took bringing what I would want from an employer, what I would like to see from somewhere I worked, and putting that in front of everyone else. It works very well.
Matt: I would agree 100%. I have worked for large companies where there was a lot of politics. I’ve gone through ups and downs. At the end of the day, if you do the culture right, it can’t be duplicated; competitors can’t copy that. It’s unique to you.
I think with Kevin over the years, the people he’s hired, and the people he’s mentored and coached, they foster it. They bring that same culture to life each day. As long as we continue to hire the right people, we can continue to grow and thrive.
What is the most rewarding part of owning and growing a business like SEBPO?
Matt: I’m so glad we can create a better quality of life for Bangladeshi people, Americans, and El Salvadorians. I think that continues to pump me up. As long as we take care of our people, and take care of them well in all three geographies, the rest will happen. They’ll take good care of the customers.
Kevin: I agree. The greatest thing that we see is the impact on people day to day. You see it in quick conversations or a thank you. What we’re able to do for people to live a good, healthy life is really the best thing. We see it everyday. We see it when people come in and out of the door, or when we go to Bangladesh or El Salvador. Again going back to, the greatest thing you can give somebody is an opportunity, and a lot of people recognize that.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to be given especially where our delivery centers are, because where they are there’s not necessarily a lot of opportunities. It’s impactful [in America] but it’s hugely impactful there. We’re changing people’s lives.”
– Matt Kochan
Matt: Our CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] programs alone, wow! When I read those and I see what our employees are doing for people who really need help, that touches me.
What do you see in the future of SEBPO?
Matt: The most direct path that we have is to continue to grow and create jobs around the globe for people, that allow them to earn a very good living wage, and create better lives.
Kevin: I agree 100%. Our employees will create our future. I am confident based on our track record.
What is your secret sauce for business?
Matt: In this business, it’s all about the people, all about the service. We believe what we say, and we’re passionate about it, and you need that in any business to succeed.
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