The relationships we build with our teams, the brands we work with, and the companies we partner with all form an ecosystem of influence that can either add to the industry’s growth or slow deterioration. It’s something we were vividly aware of when we started ingredient brothers, the fact that our actions and decisions can have a rippling effect on the ingredient market.
As buyers, we often saw how negativity and uncertainty spread through supply chains. That’s why we decided to inject our company with a better approach from day one, a positive approach through which we wanted to start influencing our teams and clients and the industry as a whole.
And it’s a change that starts on a small scale.
Olé, olé, olé, olé – that infectious World Cup spirit
Soccer fans around the world sat on the edge of their seats in what can rightfully be called a historic World Cup final. As CNN put it, it was a game filled with “superstar rivalries, penalties, iconic goals, and goalkeeping masterclasses.” It was an all-around staggering performance led by one of soccer’s favorite sons, Lionel Messi, as Argentina won their third World Cup, the first in 36 years.
Everyone knew something special was unfurling in front of them, no matter who they supported. You couldn’t help but get sucked in by the contagious spirit of the game.
When Gonzalo Ariel Montiel scored that final penalty for Argentina, I was cheering for them. I was ecstatic. And I’m not even an Argentina supporter.
Though the win was far closer to home for two individuals of the Ingredient Brothers team, Pedro José Diller and Emilce Arroyo, as Argentinian nationals, the impact of the victory and the journey toward the final carried far greater weight.
But we were there with them on Slack, talking out the game and celebrating with them when that final penalty was scored. Because in that final, we’d all become Argentinian supporters at heart. And our team won.
We shared in someone else’s victory, but the emotional high felt like our own. Being able to share in that joy made me realize just how vital shared victories are and how valuable these contagious emotions are in what we do as a company.
Creating a positive journey at every level
Emotional contagion, when one person’s emotions and behaviors rub off on others, is one of the critical things that makes ingredient brothers what we are. Our approach to a more positive, person-centered way of doing business is built on the knowledge that we can change the experience for everyone by doing things differently.
Just consider the power of mirror neurons for a moment. If someone approaches you with a smile, on average, we return that smile. If they approach us with a frown, we return a frown. It’s an almost involuntary reaction that occurs within milliseconds.
When we zoom out, it’s clear in company cultures as well. The behavior of leaders, from their actions to their words and moods, affects the employees of a company. And once that culture establishes itself, it can also affect business relationships and contracts. In that way, a company’s reputation can easily become either a positive or negative force.
With that in mind, we decided long ago to make a positive outlook work for us and help our clients overcome the challenges that will always be a part of the ingredient supply chain.
But it’s a decision that takes commitment.
Making the positive choice
In Brandon Smith’s TED Talk “Are Emotions Contagious in the Workplace?“, he makes it clear that negativity spreads far easier and more quickly than positivity. So it’s essential to remain aware of the small instances that can start snowballing so quickly.
The excitement that spread through our Slack chat happened in a matter of minutes. And we were on that high for days. But after that high, you always realize, “Hey, wait, I’m still kind of bummed out about Portugal falling out in the Quarter Finals.” (I’m a Ronaldo fan, myself, you see.)
Just look at the negativity spreading around Emi Martinez’s conduct when he received the Golden Glove trophy for best goalkeeper of the tournament. The negativity is infectious. And often even more so than positive emotions.
But if you have that reminder of Messi holding up the trophy to pull you back, or the experience of a shared victory with a teammate, everything else seems a little more trivial and manageable.
So it’s an essential reminder that positivity doesn’t cancel out the bad that comes our way, but it does help us to handle it with a more productive and healthy mindset.
Keeping our sights on the ongoing journey
The simple truth is that building positivity takes work. Fortunately, there’s an infectious nature to positivity and shared victories that we’ve learned to embrace at Ingredient Brothers.
It’s the journey that matters, the small acts of service we can provide, and the small wins we celebrate along the way.
And when the proverbial S&%* does hit the fan, it’s because we’re focused on that journey that we’re able to weather the storm with you (our clients, our partners, and our suppliers), making sure we get back to port knowing the journey isn’t over yet.
And while we’re at it, why not take a moment to explore our product catalog? Dive in to find inspiration and elevate your business with us. Who knows? Your next sourcing breakthrough could be just a click away.