When it comes to business success, passion is great, but research shows that purpose is better. Recent studies support the notion that a deep-rooted sense of purpose has the potential to create much more resilience and satisfaction than passion alone ever could.
Since resiliency is essential to a business’s long-term success, especially in the face of a rapidly evolving and often uncertain modern world, it’s the leaders who harbor passion and purpose that have the grit to stick to their goals and keep the company successful for the long haul.
Urbano Express El Salvador CEO Michael Hermann is a leader who definitely has that grit. “I love what I do,” he beams. “Working with people towards a common goal, sharing experiences and knowledge, and helping people become better in their profession and as human beings is my passion.”
Fueled by his positive attitude, Michael creates a growth-oriented environment that empowers his employees to engage in constructive dialogue, making room for innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.
“At the same time, purpose is the fundamental driver that gets me out of bed in the morning and excited about going to work. By nature, I am a self-motivated person who wants to create and achieve something to the best of my ability. There are few things more rewarding than setting a goal, making an effort and achieving that goal, either individually or as part of a team. A big part of what I do is ensuring I create this purpose and passion throughout the entire organization.”
Michael signed on with Urbano Express two-and-a-half years ago. At the time, the private mail-and-package delivery company was in desperate need of resuscitation. While it had a stable customer base and a market-leading distribution network, he says years had spanned with little to no innovation.
As a result, top-line growth was stagnant, profitability margins were eroding, and its financial stability was concerning. The new CEO certainly had his work cut out for him.
Business is about creating compelling value for the customer.
But thanks to his confronting the hard truths of reality, bold decision-making and his unwavering faith and commitment to success, he was able to lead his team towards a promising future.
“Reflecting over the past two years, I can say that we have been successful in transforming Urbano Express into a technology-based, one-stop shop logistics business partner that can serve the complex and changing logistics needs of any client,” Michael shares.
“While we are far from where we want to be, we have made the fundamental changes in the organization that will continue to steer us in the right direction.” To start, Urbano Express expanded its service portfolio offering in recent years, adding three major capabilities: international logistics, warehouse management and ecommerce (B2C) same-day delivery.
This has resulted in the company acquiring many new customers and expanding its reach beyond its traditional clientele. “Business is about creating compelling value for the customer,” Michael stresses.
“By providing fully integrated logistics solutions that are efficient and scalable, our clients can focus their resources and energy on what they do best. A great example of creating a unique value proposition is the recent launch of the award-winning ecommerce platform Urbano Now – same-day, last-mile delivery guaranteeing speed, transparency and a seamless user experience.”
Of course, Michael knows that none of this success would even be possible without his team. “A great vision without great people is irrelevant,” he says.
“Culture is everything. One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is building and managing a high-performing team around a clear set of values. People produce results for a business, so the better the people, individually and as a collective, the bigger the impact on the KPIs that ultimately help us achieve the company’s strategic objectives.”
And as Urbano Express looks to the future, it relies on its vision statement and “North Star” – “We strive to be the preferred logistics partner; delivering whatever, whenever, wherever.” While this helps the company stay on track, Michael says discipline and consistent execution is how it plans to get there.
”We are focused on doing the right things and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things,” he says. “Over time we have built such momentum that we have been able to not only weather, but also accelerate through the current COVID-19 crisis, despite many headwinds and uncertainties.
“At Urbano Express, we have embraced innovation as an always-on process of evolution, an integral part of our corporate culture, daily workflow and decision-making. Change is continuous and accelerating, so as an organization, we must be agile and robust at the same time to be able to maintain our competitive advantage as the context changes. This will allow us to outperform the market and set us up to become, as our vision indicates, the preferred logistics partner to our clients.” Michael concludes by saying that “While sustained, profitable growth makes companies last, the key to becoming a truly successful company is to hire outstanding people who love what they do and give them the opportunity to be part of something great.”