USAA CEO Joe Robles Reveals Why Culture has Given the Company a Huge Competitive Edge in a New Thought Leadership Video by Culture Shaping Firm Senn Delaney

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Top-rated financial services company USAA consistently earns outstanding awards and ratings for member service, employee engagement and financial strength. In a new video in culture shaping firm Senn Delaney’s “best practice” thought leadership series, Chief Executive Officer Gen. Joe Robles reveals the recipe for USAA's continued success.

USAA CEO Joe Robles

USAA CEO Joe Robles calls himself Chief Culture Officer

“I am the Chief Culture Officer. I make sure that the tone I set and the culture that I reinforce and push is something that will be perpetual and is right for our members and our employees." -- USAA CEO Joe Robles

Why does USAA, one of America's best-rated companies in financial performance and customer service, stay laser focused on its culture to be better and better at serving its 9.1 million members? What lessons are there for other leaders who are striving to improve performance? Learn the answers in a newly released video, which is part of culture shaping firm Senn Delaney’s “best practice” thought leadership series. Chief Executive Officer Gen. Joe Robles reveals the recipe for USAA's continued success, and talks about his critical role as Chief Culture Officer. Senn Delaney President and CEO Jim Hart also shares best-practice lessons on successfully shaping a culture based on key principles developed from 35 years of experience transforming organizational cultures.

“I am the Chief Culture Officer,” Robles says in the interview with Robert Reiss, host of The CEO TV Show. “I make sure that the tone I set and the culture that I reinforce and push is something that will be perpetual and is right for our members and our employees.”

Robles attributes a big part of USAA's success to the passionate commitment of leaders and frontline employees to USAA's six cultural pillars called ‘My Commitment to Service' and to working from a higher purpose of serving military families. “The success of USAA over the last 90 years has been driven primarily by our culture. But every once in a while, you’ve got to refresh the culture,” says Robles. “We did this a couple of years ago with a company called Senn Delaney who helped us improve our culture, and take it to a higher level. This has really shown up and paid off in our business operations recently.”

Robles describes the importance of everyone, from the top tier of executive to the front-line employees, being aligned around and living the six “My Commitment to Service” values. “What those commitments do is keep us focused on our customer; keep us focused on what we do well and how we do it; and keep us focused on making sure that we will perpetuate this great institution for the next 90 or hundred years.”

“Our work with Robles on the USAA culture has been inspirational and gratifying,” states Senn Delaney CEO Jim Hart. “USAA is a well documented, perennial leader in customer and member satisfaction and loyalty, and it has experienced outstanding financial results. The ‘secret sauce’ is that more than 23,000 employees serve more than 9.1 million members with love, compassion and a deep sense of purpose. As the self-described chief culture officer, Joe knows that it is USAA’s committed and engaged employees who make the difference everyday in the lives of its members.”

Hart emphasizes that one of the key leadership lessons from Robles is “how important it is for a leader to have a compelling purpose for their organization in order to inspire their employees in their relationships with their customers. As chief culture officer, Joe’s leadership from the front, grounded in that higher purpose, inspires and drives the employees. New employees spend as much as four days in an orientation, and a big part of that is being grounded on USAA purpose and values. Joe knows there are real business rewards for this investment, as proven by numerous research studies that demonstrate that companies with compelling purposes and aligned core values outperform their competitors by up to four times in revenues and 12 times in shareholder value.”

Other recent CEO interviews in the Senn Delaney thought leadership video series include:

Yum! Brands CEO David Novak: In this Senn Delaney video, Novak describes how he focused on building a recognition culture across 117 countries and 1.4 million employees. Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn also examines why Novak exemplifies a Thriving leader and shares lessons for other CEOs to successfully lead culture transformation.

Piedmont Natural Gas CEO Tom Skains: In this interview with Senn Delaney Partner and Executive Vice President Nick Neuhausel, Skains explains why the culture has been the single most important factor in achieving stellar financial results, improving customer satisfaction and providing a Thriving work environment that engages workers and attracts the best talent.

These CEO video interviews are part of Senn Delaney’s thought leadership video series on culture shaping. These videos and dozens more can be viewed on Senn Delaney’s video channel, SDTV. Senn Delaney launched SDTV as a video learning forum with engaging, thought-provoking content that will be of greatest interest to CEOs, executives and senior business leaders. SDTV features interviews with prominent CEOs and top leaders, case studies and discussions on why organizational culture is a key driver of business performance. Several Senn Delaney leaders share insights from 35 years of work focused solely on guiding Global 1000 and Fortune 500 companies to create high-performance cultures.

About Senn Delaney
Founded in 1978, Senn Delaney is widely recognized as the leading international authority and successful practitioner of culture shaping that enhances the spirit and performance of organizations. Senn Delaney's passion and singular focus on culture, combined with decades of hands-on experience, have resulted in a comprehensive and proven culture-shaping methodology that engages people and measurably impacts both the spirit and performance of organizations.

Visit Senn Delaney's new thought leadership video channel, SDTV, for expert advice on best practices in culture shaping, CEO interviews on leadership and leading culture, client success stories and more.

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