86. Creating a Culture of Winning

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/86. Creating a Culture of Winning

86. Creating a Culture of Winning


What is the importance of creating a winning culture in an organization?

In this episode, I discuss different strategies that I’ve seen work in multiple organizations.

Drawing parallels from sports, we talk about how winning is contagious and leads to more wins.

We also talked about why we should caution against unrealistic goals and instead advocate for setting goals that can be met and exceeded.

We also discuss scaling KPIs, motivating employees, and building momentum.

Learn about how creating a winning culture is essential for any organization to thrive and succeed.

Learn more at https://www.adamliette.com

Discover how to work with me: https://www.adamliette.com/work-with-me

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What's going on smooth operators, welcome to today's episode, thank you so much for joining me, my name is Adam Liette. As you already know that I'm sure, but let's dive into something today I want to talk about the culture recruiting on our team, specifically a culture of winning. So I'm a big fan of sports and team sport activities. And it's, you know, at the time I was putting this together, it's like right at the tail end of the NFL season. So as you can tell I I record a little bit in advance, but that's, you know, part of my workflow, and part of how I run a business, is I always like to be ahead of things now. Why am I talking about sports teams? Why am I talking about football? A football is awesome be because we see what happens when a team learns to win. You often hear coaches talk about, we just need to realize how to win. We need to put those pieces together and what happens, teams go on streaks, you know, the most dangerous team in the playoffs, I might be eating my words, when this actually comes out. The most dangerous team in the playoffs is the team that comes in with a winning streak. Because they've learned how to win, they've learned what it is that puts that together those pieces that come in place.

So winning is contagious, it leads to more wins. So in our own organizations, we can also work to create a winning culture. There are very deliberate steps that we can do. And so I want to go over some ideas that I've had that I've implemented both in my business and just things I've seen work with clients, and all around the ecosphere. Let's really just dive into that today. Because I think we can all agree, when we're winning are companies doing better, we're getting more revenue, we're seeing bigger results, ultimately, then that position, position, it's us to grow and scale. And that's really what we end up seeing with growing and scaling companies is they figured out their formula, they figured out what it takes, and boom, it just kind of takes off. And kind of has its own volition to it. So let's go over a couple of key things that I noticed. The first thing, and this is arguably the most dangerous thing if done incorrectly. And that's our goal setting. You know, our annual goals, our quarterly goals, especially anything monetary based. Now, there are plenty of coaches and programs that you'll go through that we'll talk about creating that big, hairy, audacious goal, I think is the way I've, I've heard it phrase before, but it's that super goal, that idea that you're gonna go from 100,000, a quarter to a million a quarter, and you're gonna do that in one quarter. Okay, enhance how, here's the problem.

Here's why I'm going to just take, I'm going to caution you to take a more realistic approach to your annual and quarterly goals. Because what happens if we set that humongous goal for myself, you know, I could easily come out and say, you know, smooth operations, I'm gonna grow to $10 million this year. That'd be amazing. Like, I'd be seriously thrilled with that. And that would indeed, create a culture of winning for myself. But there's also a danger to that. Because what happens if I don't reach that? What happens if my goal is so audacious? That there's no realistic way I can reach it? Do I just excuse the fact that we didn't reach our goal? And what am I actually then telling myself as a boss, as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, I'm telling myself, it's okay to make big awesome goals and not reach them. Like, that's not what we want to do. We want to make goals that we do have an actual expectation of hitting. And if you hit that goal, hey, more power to you, you now have more winning on your side, right? You actually have more momentum, because you set a goal, you beat it, and now you get to move on to your next one. So this is like a really fine line between between playing to things too close and too cautious and swinging for the fences. You know, there's definitely that fine line there. But I just recommend you actually make realistic goals so that we can meet them and beat them. And what that does for not only yourself but for your team. I mean, it's it's just amazing what it can do for you. Because there's nothing worse than not meeting your Big Hairy Audacious Goal. It, it's disheartening, so make realistic goals.

Another thing I'd just recommend is scaling your KPIs. We talked about this a couple of episodes ago about the employees aren't meeting KPIs. Well think about how we can take that kind of realistic KPI and start to increase it incrementally. So if you're bringing someone new onto the team, especially if you're bringing someone new onto their team, you give them very realistic KPIs to start. And then you increase that over time, using that opportunity to inspire, motivate them to continue to build upon that what they've already created. And you're gonna see like a month over month over month, increase in their capabilities. And just don't try to jump up too quickly. Let them scale their own KPIs. Because we're going to have that effect of that ball rolling down the hill, picking up momentum. So with what your team is doing with their outputs, scale that as well think of these things, as far as steps to getting to our ultimate goal, have our ultimate goal in mind, of course. But let our team reach that goal in a incremental fashion. And then you get to do all sorts of fun stuff with them, which we'll get to here in a second, which is one of my last ones. A third is the idea of challenges and rewards.

You know, I've worked off several performance based incentives before where I was given a goal. And when I achieved that goal, a cash bonus was paid out. How often can we do that within our own business? You know, the entrepreneur lifestyle is a such like cashflow is a real thing, guys, we all know that it is. And it's really hard to increase our employees pay even if they might deserve it based upon what they're doing in the organization, because we're trying to be cautious about our cash situations. But what happens if we attach monetary incentives to performance based goals that we know we know if they meet those those KPIs or are putting in front of them, that means the monetary side is caught up with an expected ability to pay them further. Pretty powerful, I mean, gives them that extra motivation to reach that goal, because that's when their bonus kicks in. Right? We can also do challenges like let's say we have several sales team members, can we do a monthly challenge with a bonus attached on the back end, best person this week gets this best person this month gets this all these little incentives that we can build in, it creates that little bit of competition amongst the team, which can be very healthy if it's done in the right way.

So you want to be careful about this. But healthy competition can go a long way to creating that culture of winning. I'm also a super big advocate to celebrating together. When we meet goals when we come to this tail end of a big promotion, or a launch. How are we taking the time to celebrate as a team? Is it a dedicated time on this on the team call where we can recount what we just went through together? Are we doing virtual happy hour? I mean, how cool would it be if you sent everyone on your team, a bottle of about something something. And you all sat together and enjoyed just your time. It's not a whole lot of time that you have to give to get a whole lot out of that. But celebrating together is such a clear way of letting your team know we did good. Thank you. You were a big part in this. Let's move forward. There's also I mean, those are largely for big things aren't talking about that. But what about the idea of victory in small things? You know, there's so many things are happening within our businesses every day. A lot of times it's not stuff that we're necessarily involved with. But what if, as an example, you have a customer service rep who developed a new protocol for a refund rescue and it ended up saving two employee or two clients that week.

Why wouldn't we celebrate that? It's a small thing, right? It's not a big launch. It's not a big promotion. But it's a big step in the right direction. What if you one of our customers sent an email to us praising one of our team members?

How are we going to celebrate the small things? There's so much we can do with that, I really recommend that we, that's where we utilize our CEO. That's where we utilize our operator, let them be the one to call out that person and congratulate them. Because it's not always coming from the top and the small things, sometimes it's coming from, you know, more middle management, let the boss make that big pronouncement. What does that do for us, not only does that person who achieved that, you know, quote, unquote, small thing. Take that moment to revel in their accomplishment. But then they also know who the boss is paying attention to what's going on here. They're not just up in the clouds doing their visionary stuff. The operator is not just over there, just making new projects. For the next thing, he's getting excited about what's happening in my level two. That gives them importance, it's reiterating the fact that what they're doing every single day does make a difference, we do notice, and we wanted to take the time out, to congratulate them on that. Little things, none of these things are humongous. But they're all just equally important to that overall culture. So like none of these things like do this or do that, like I'd recommend doing all of these things. The final thing is really calling out excellence on your team. And this does not come from you necessarily, but this is part of the overall culture. So one thing that I implemented in our weekly reports, because we do a report every week of what's going on inside our lane in the company.

But there's a section of that weekly report just called simply high fives. And it's an opportunity for everyone on the team to recognize each other. To recognize how someone else either did something well, or it's someone else helped them in something. There's two things that come out of this A, the person who's getting called out for being excellent gets that nice, warm feeling. But be everyone on the team is looking for victories all around them. At all times, they're consciously or subconsciously, looking for victory. So they know what to put into their high five section. I know me personally, I went through an exercise when that went through. It's part of my daily exercise. In my daily journal, there's a section called Where did I win today? And I have to list out different ways that I won. Here's the funny thing. I did this a couple of times, right? Sit down at the end of the day and think, okay, where the heck did I win today? Where did I win? I think this happened. Yeah, I did that for a little bit. But then I noticed over time, I started looking for those victories all day, I started looking for where I won so that you know that where your attention is, you know, that's the results you'll you'll achieve. That what you gaze upon, right? You probably heard that quote. So when you spend your whole day looking for victories, looking for wins, what is your mind oriented to?

It's oriented towards winning. These are the small adjustments we can make on our way of thinking, and our way of managing our team and our way of communicating with our team that overall builds together to create that massive winning culture that can accomplish anything and accomplish it together, not as individuals. So just to restate from the top different ways to create a winning culture, we have realistic annual and quarterly goals. The idea that we can scale KPIs using challenges and performance based or war rewards or bonuses, taking the time to celebrate the big victories together, acknowledging that victory can come in small things, and providing our team the ability to call out excellence as they see all around them. All of these things will help in a big way and you're gonna see, it's not going to happen right away. But you're going to see this slow ball, start to pick up momentum where the team realizes they can win, they will win and by God, they're going to win. So I hope that helps get on creating a culture of winning I'm telling You, when you're in that environment, there's nothing like it. And you feel like, you know, just tackling mountains together because you know, you can do it.

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