Innovation Junkies Podcast

Building Supportive Teams

In part two of their conversation, Jeff S. & Glenn Crockett talk about teamwork they discuss why you need core values, the importance of being outward focused and making sure you have the right people in the right seats.

Jeff Standridge (Intro):
Are you ready to change the trajectory of your business and see massive improvements? Each week, we’ll share strategies and practices to generate sustained results and long lasting success in your organization. Welcome to the Innovation Junkies Podcast.

Jeff Standridge:
Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Innovation Junkies Podcast. My name’s Jeff Standridge, and I am joined again by Glenn Crockett. Glenn joined us a couple of episodes ago and we talked about leadership. Glenn is the CEO, as you’ll remember, of Dave Creek Media, one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies in this part of the country. We had a fabulous conversation on leadership. I encourage you to go back and listen to that episode if you missed it. And today we’re going to be talking about teamwork. Glenn, thank you for joining us.

Glenn Crockett:
It’s my pleasure. I’m excited to be back.

Jeff Standridge:
Very good, very good. Well, a few episodes ago, it might have even been last episode, Jeff Amerine and I talked about the characteristics of world class teamwork, and we talked about the fact that first and foremost, to have teamwork, you have to have a group of people that are committed to a common mission, that’s the first characteristic. The other two characteristics, they start to go yin and yang. You got to have one with the other. We talked about individual competency. So you have to have a team of people, all of whom have individual competency. But if you just have a team of people with individual competency, but without clearly defined and accepted roles, then you have competent people stepping all over each other. So with that individual competency, we also have to have clearly defined and accepted roles. We have to have mutual respect and encouragement, but it goes beyond just respecting and encouraging each other.

We move to this concept of win-win cooperation. So we just really don’t have win-lose situations. We sit down, we work through whatever the issues are to establish win-win cooperation. And then we want folks who have a winning attitude, but they go beyond having just a winning attitude to actually communicating with people in a very empowering fashion. And we defined empowering communication as something that gives someone strength and confidence, a communication style that gives people strength and confidence in tackling whatever it is that they’re tackling at the present time. So commitment to a mission, individual competency, clearly defined and accepted roles, mutual respect and encouragement, coupled with win-win cooperation, a winning attitude, and empowering communication. So I’d like to maybe just talk with you a little bit today about how you ensure that you’ve got the appropriate levels of teamwork happening within your organization.

Glenn Crockett:
Yeah, and that’s a great point. So what we do, we very much have an outward focus, and others focused. And what I mean by that is, and I don’t recall who had the quote, but they said it’s amazing what you can get done when nobody cares about who gets credit. So that outward focus is, as a CEO, I’m focused on my leaders, I want to help them be successful. And then that leadership team is focused on the team leaders. And if the team leaders are successful, if they focus on them, they’ll be successful. And then the team leaders are focused on their team and then the team on the client. And if it’s a constant outward focus, you’re trying to help others, you’re focused on them, not making yourself look better, then at least it’s my opinion that when you do that, then everybody feels supported.

Like you said, they feel like that you have their back and they’ll be more willing. And it’s a culture. In the last episode, we talked about franchising a little bit. When we talk to a potential franchisee, if they tell us that they’re just focused on making a lot of money and will do whatever they have to, to get it done, then they’re not the right fit. We want franchisees that are focused on helping the business to be successful. So I believe it’s all of the things you mentioned, but it’s a constant mindset that we need to be outward focused. We need to help others, instead of focusing on ourselves.

Jeff Standridge:
You talk about the fit of franchisees and the fit of employees and potential employees. Talk a little bit about the core values of Dave Creek Media and how you use those in selecting the right people, whether they be franchisees or employees, and actually then building that culture that you want to build.

Glenn Crockett:
Well, and a lot of those are, again, outward focused. So the first one is, G, give all you have. That means going in 100% every day. And I think Nike had the motto at one point, finish empty. So we want to make sure that we’re doing the best that we can. The R is, remember the client. So again, it’s the outward focus of the client. We need to put ourselves on their side of the table to see how they feel about things. So making sure it’s outward focus there. The O is, own what you do. So accountability, you talked about that. There are, don’t point fingers, own what you do. Make sure that… We used to refer to it as being willing to sign your name to everything you did. And in fact, I had somebody that I asked the question, “Are you willing to sign your name?” And they said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you willing to sign my name?” And then that changed the whole complexity of what they were doing, so they changed it up. And then the last one is, win together. Again, outward focus. This is not a, I won, it’s a, we won or we lost. If we lose, we lose together, we’ll figure it out together. So the core values are something that we try to talk about on a regular basis, but really we shouldn’t have to talk about it. It should be something that’s just ingrained in our culture and our mind and things like that. But it also helps us when we’re, I mentioned using that as a screening option for franchisees, but also when we interview people, do they seem very selfish? Are they going to deflect things versus owning, and are they thinking about others?

So we do that. And then even within our team, how is this person doing in each of those areas? When you have core values, you can actually set up a scoring model where you can grade everybody based on how they fit within the core values. And some companies have even said, it’s a scale one from 10, how are they doing in this one? How are they doing in this one? And if they get below a certain number, you either have to figure out how to get them above it, or maybe they’re just not the right fit. So core values are critical in having a good, high performance team.

Jeff Standridge:
Yeah. And just to connect the dots for folks, your core values spell out the word GROW. And I also happen to know that your brand promise is, “we help businesses grow”. So you’ve been able to connect the dots there. We talk about core values being that behavioral compass that helps you keep it between the guardrails, so to speak, when you’re growing your company. And so, you’ve tied all that together with your brand promise. And again, that outward focus that you describe.

Glenn Crockett:
Yeah. Even our website, if you go to our website, if you look at our business card, you look at our LinkedIn profile, it’s the way our businesses grow. Not we have 25 people, and here’s the degrees that everybody has. It’s not an inward focus. We do have to talk about some of the things we’ve accomplished, but we’ve accomplished on behalf of our clients. And you have a great quote as it relates to how people, I’ll let you say it, on how people focus on, “we”.

Jeff Standridge:
Yeah. Unfortunately, they end up “we”ing all over their clients.

Glenn Crockett:
That’s right. That’s right.

Jeff Standridge:
We do this, and we do that, and we do this versus… Yeah, so appreciate you putting me on the spot there.

Glenn Crockett:
Yeah, you got it. You got it.

Jeff Standridge:
Well, let’s shift a little bit. And we’ve used our core values to maybe screen potential candidates, and you make a decision to hire someone. Now you’ve grown very, very rapidly from a single person company when you started. Now you’ve got over two dozen, and adding people almost every week, it seems like. How do you ensure that you’ve got the right people in the right place, doing the right things?

Glenn Crockett:
It’s hard, and we’ve not done that every time. I don’t think anybody’s perfect. But I spoke to somebody that was with, I think it was Chick-Fil-A corporate, and they said, “Before we hire somebody, we make sure that we’re 100% sure that they’re the right person.” And that doesn’t mean that they are 100% the right person, but they’ve checked all the boxes, they’ve asked all the questions, that kind of thing. They believe that they are. So when we talk to people, I like to ask the questions, “What is it you’re really good at?” And then, “What do you love to do?” And if you can find someone who’s really good at something, also loves to do it, and it fits within what you have or whatever needs you have, then that’s when the magic happens. That’s when they love it, they’re excited about coming in every day, all of those things.

And we’ve gotten more structure around the interview process, some screening, and we try to do everything we can. It’s not perfect. We feel really good about our team, but over the years, we’ve had some that just were not the right fit, and shame on us. Maybe there was something we didn’t do that we should have done. And Jeff, you’ve heard, we talked about leadership before, but one of the things I do as a leader, there are two pieces of glass that I look at whenever there’s an issue. The first piece of glass is a mirror. I look in the mirror to see, did I do something wrong? Did I train them properly? Did I give them the tools to be successful? I really, really, really focus on what could I have done better. And then sometimes, the second piece of glass is the window. Sometimes it’s not what you did, maybe it’s just not the right fit. And the best thing to do for the company and for them, is to get them in a position where they can excel. And it may not be with you.

Jeff Standridge:
Yeah. Jack Welch once said that if you’ve got somebody who’s struggling to perform and they’re a cultural match for the organization, in other words, they embody those core values and culture of the organization, and they’re struggling to perform, then it’s probably because you have the wrong mix of responsibilities, and so shuffle the responsibilities around to see if you can get the right mix of responsibilities. But then he says, if you have somebody and they’re performing, no matter how well they’re performing, but they’re not a cultural match, in other words, they sacrifice those core values on a regular basis, you’re not going to fix that. And you need to do the difficult thing and invite them to pursue opportunities somewhere else. And so that’s harsh at times, but I found that to be pretty true.

Glenn Crockett:
Right. And unfortunately, I’ve had my share of laying people off or firing people. It’s something that just eats me up inside, I hate to do it. But also know that if they’re in the wrong position, it’s not good for them. I’ve had many people that have said, “Yeah, I knew it just was not right”, and you help them go find something else. And I always, if that happens to take place, I always want to make sure that I take the high road and not… What I mean by that is, make sure that it’s not a surprise to them, that you’ve had conversations. By the time you get to that point, they should already know that it’s probably not the right fit. And oftentimes, they’ll recognize it and go do something anyway.

Jeff Standridge:
Well, what do you think your biggest challenge is as CEO in ensuring that you’ve got consistent world class teamwork happening in your company?

Glenn Crockett:
That’s a really great question. I think it comes down to consistency on, you hire people from, we’ve got a really good mix of different ages, different experience levels, things like that, but making sure that we’re all consistent on our attitude, that outward focus. And I know I talk a lot about that, but that’s a big, big deal, because if somebody comes in and they don’t have that mindset, then they can disrupt the entire company. So making sure that we have the right people, I’m a huge fan of Good to Great, and making sure that we have the right people on the bus and then in the right seat. And sometimes we move them around to make sure that they are in the right seat, but we put them in the seat we believe that they would best perform, and then we give them as much training as we can to help them be successful.

Jeff Standridge:
Yeah. Very good. Very good. Well, we’re with Glenn Crockett, CEO of Dave Creek Media. We’re talking about world class teamwork. As I said, Glenn was with us a while back to talk about leadership. I encourage you to listen to that episode as well. Glenn, always a pleasure. We appreciate you spending time with us today.

Glenn Crockett:
I really appreciate it and look forward to coming back at some point. Thank you.

Jeff Standridge:
This has been another episode of the Innovation Junkies Podcast. Thank you for joining.

Jeff Amerine (Outro):
Feedback from listeners like you, helps us create outstanding content. So if you like this episode, be sure to rate us or leave a review. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest growth and innovation strategies. Thanks for tuning in to the Innovation Junkies Podcast.

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