After almost a decade in the industry, Sascha Rodenberg is back. Now a Principal at Booz Allen, he first joined the firm as an associate in 2005, before going on to pursue new challenges in the world of defense. Fourteen years have passed since he first walked through the doors at Booz Allen, but for the man who adds US Army Infantry Officer to his resume, it was only a matter of time before he returned. “Consulting suits my personality,” he says. “I enjoy fixing tough problems and formulating new solutions.” Even during Sascha’s time in the industry, he worked for a client of Booz Allen and he has followed the firm’s growth in the MENA region every step of the way. “I’ve kept my fingers on the pulse of Booz Allen, waiting for the right moment,” he explains.
For Sascha, one of the key factors that drew him back to the firm is the team’s passionate approach to their work. “Passionate service is the most fundamental building block of a consulting firm,” he insists. “It directly relates to why, as a firm, we are often seen as different from the competition.” Sascha explains that, in practice, passionate service means espousing clients’ questions and owning them – “finding the answers that are objectively the best in our clients’ context,” as he puts it. But it’s more than that. To the Booz Allen Principal, passionate service means – before anything else – selfless service. “When individuals and teams relegate their own agendas to second place and rally behind the mission, the most wonderful things happen, that lead to amazing accomplishments for our clients and for us as a company,” he explains.
Sascha is the first to point out that many organizations have well-thought-out values, but he stresses that what really matters, is how seriously those values are taken in the organizational culture. To support his point, the former military man explains that some of the leadership problems now faced by the US Army can be attributed – at least in part – to a gradual reduction in the influence of its values on organizational culture. “The lesson for us at Booz Allen in this example is to always give our values the influence they are meant to have on our individual and corporate behavior.”
For Sascha and his team, this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. After all, at Booz Allen Hamilton, when the going gets tough, the tough get passionate.