5 Steps to Creating a Company Mission that Your Employees Will Rally Behind

Can you recite your company’s mission and/or vision? Go ahead. Right now. Say it out loud (ignore the strange stares from the other customers in line for their coconut milk mocha macchiato at Starbucks). Seriously, do it. If you can.

recite-1rkfj5sCan you stand behind the mission of the company you work for or the company you founded? Hell, do you even know what it is?

There is all sorts of information out there about casting a big vision, creating an aspirational mission, and internally and externally communicating your values and beliefs. But is it all just rhetoric? How do you get your mission, vision, and values to stick? During the grit, the grind, the dark days of building a business, and the challenges associated with growing pains, how do you create a company mission and vision that your team will rally behind?

Last week I re-read Salim Ismail’s book Exponential Organizations. In his book, he calls this mission/vision statement a Massive Transformative Purpose or MTP. An MTP is more than just a standard mission statement. It is a clearly defined declaration of your company’s intention to positively impact the world. A single sentence that others will understand, remember, aspire to, and follow.

Standard Mission Statement (Aflac): To combine aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers.

Massive Transformative Purpose (Google): Organize the World’s information.

Can you hear, see, and feel the difference?

One of my companies recently went through this exercise. My leadership team all had a vague understanding of what we were trying to accomplish and knew the kinds of customers and employees that we wanted to attract. But we didn’t have anything in writing and we weren’t communicating it consistently, concisely, and clearly to our internal team or externally to our customers and prospects. As we worked on crafting a Mission, Vision, and Beliefs that we could all stand behind, I learned a few things about creating a mission.

  1. Keep it Short and Sweet None of these paragraph-long mission and vision statements, please! Make is short enough so that your team can remember it, recite it, and incorporate it seamlessly into their conversations with current and potential clients.
  2. Make It Bigger Than You Your mission and vision statement should speak to the impact you are going to have on the world. What legacy are you going to leave for your company and your customers?
  3. Make Sure It Gives You Chills Is your mission and vision powerful enough to get you and your entire team out of bed in the morning? Can you viscerally feel the impact your words are going to have on your community, your state, the country, the world? Do you get excited just thinking about your mission and the contribution you are going to make? If not, go back to the drawing board and find a mission that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
  4. Stay True to You and Your Culture  Is your company culture more like Olivia Pope’s team of gladiators or Michael Scott’s office full of misfits? Or somewhere in between? Does your company believe in nap pods, jeans, free lunches, three-piece suits, results, birthday parties, volunteering, or eighty hour work weeks? Perhaps it’s some unique combination of the above. Whatever it is, make sure you don’t preach caviar and vodka business dinners, when you’re more of a flatbread and craft beer kind of organization.
  5. Have Fun Make sure your mission and vision statements not only inspire your team to drive hard and push through challenges, but makes them smile! If you’re not having at least a little fun, then what’s the point!?

Here’s the finished product:

MissionGraphic_NoB

Buying a home is one of the ten most transformative decisions a person will make in their life, which is why our team has made it our mission to be a part of this transformation. We are real estate consultants, not just real estate agents. Whether we are helping a family buy their first home or helping agents build an incredible career as a real estate consultant our team – either way, we are transforming lives through homeownership and helping others leave a legacy! Pretty powerful stuff.

Does your company have a MTP? Share it in the comments! If not, get on it!

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Double Your Business With This One Habit

zig ziglar quote“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

I love that quote by Zig Ziglar. It’s true, isn’t it? Your success is directly related to the success of the people around you.  So what if you spent your time pouring into the top 20% of your organization and watching them grow and achieve everything they want? I would like to say that I’m completely altruistic, but I’m not. Do I want my leadership team and staff to accomplish all of their goals? Absolutely. But I also know that by them accomplishing their goals (whether that’s financial or simply a personal accomplishment like a marathon or a dream vacation), they will be more fulfilled personally and professionally and that benefits us all.

Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Surround yourself with the best in life and business and make sure your top five people are doing the same. I make sure that just as I am pouring into my top 20%, I am teaching them how to do the same with their top 20%. For example, my leadership team knows that they must coach, train, and mentor their team members to ensure that the circle isn’t broken. By hiring leaders and empire builders and pouring into them, they will in turn hire more leaders and empire builders and you will all win! Do not be afraid to hire someone better than you. In fact, if you are the smartest person in the room than you have failed.

If you are not where you want to be, it’s because you are making it about yourself.

So you want to grow your business? Make it about others. Make it about creating a world large enough for your employees to exceed their wealthiest and wildest goals. Make it about providing an incredible experience to your clients – every time. Make it about your family. Make it about your ability to give back. Make it about anything other than YOU and your business will grow.

I challenge you to take some time to work on your personal mission statement. This will be a guiding document as you consider new opportunities and make decisions for yourself and your business. Creating a personal mission statement is a sure-fire way to solidify who you are and who you want to be.

My personal mission statement:

My mission is to grow spiritually through all of life’s experiences in order to create a world large enough for everyone who enters my life to exceed their wealthiest/biggest/wildest goals.

See? It’s about other people. And I know that through people I will be able to accomplish my big WHY – FREEDOM. Financial freedom, freedom to give freedom to richly bless other’s lives, physical freedom, spiritual freedom to truly embrace other people’s growth and success, social freedom to experience the journey of life with other people when and where I choose. Freedom drives me to wake up every day at 4:45am. It’s what keeps me up late into the night. It’s what keeps me going through all the ups and downs and twists and turns. Freedom. And it ain’t going to happen without people.

Make it a habit to help others get what you want (not at the expense of the bottom line, but in support of it). By giving others opportunities and helping them grow and achieve their goals, you will both win.

Share your personal mission statement in the comments below!

Here are a few other examples to get the juices flowing:

Oprah – To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they though they could be.

Richard Branson – To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.

Standards + Models + Coaching = Success

I’ve been working with Adam Bornstein of Born Fitness for a couple of years now and his system works. He has a virtual fitness coaching company and even though he’s not in the gym with me every day, he still kicks my ass. I go to the gym religiously (ya’ll know how important exercise is to me) and you might think I would get bored or plateau going to the gym 6 days a week working with the same coach. Not so! Every month I’m given a new model of workouts to follow, so that I keep growing.

Here’s a sample workout:

Explosive Weight Training Circuit
1) Dumbbell High pull 5, 5, 3, 3
2) Dumbbell Push Press 5, 5, 3, 3
3) Dumbbell squat and Press (sometimes called thrusters) 3, 3, 3

Plyometric Circuit
4A) Box Jump 4 x 5
4B) Lateral Bound 4 right/4 left x 5
4C) Plyo Pushup 4 x 5

Strength Training Circuit
5A) Dumbbell Get Up 4 on the right/4 on the left x 5 sets
5B) Weighted Pullup 6 sets x 3 reps
5C) Dumbbell bench press 6 sets x 3 reps
5D) Dumbbell Front Squat 6 sets x 3 reps

Metabolic Conditioning Circuit
6A) Squat Thrust 30 seconds
6B) Mountain Climber 30 seconds
6C) Rope Waves 30 seconds

Okay, so we know models are crucial to massive and duplicable success. Couple that with standards which I talked about a few weeks ago (check out blog here) and add in a coach who is holding you accountable and pushing you to continue to grow through additional models and systems? Boom! You’ve just created a virtuous cycle of success.I talk a lot about models and systems. Why? Because I attribute much of my success to the fact that I implement models better and faster than the majority of the population. I’m not reinventing the wheel. I’m not creating a new technology or service. But I am taking the models I learn from the very best people across several industries and applying them to my life – quickly and consistently. And here’s the kicker – I am constantly tweaking and updating the models and systems I use (or having someone update them for me – like Adam Bornstein). I don’t adopt one model for the rest of my life. I may find a framework, say, a fitness philosophy or business model that I follow, but then every so often I’ll update that model, tweak it, or bring a complimentary system into my life so that I never stop growing. Mediocrity = death.

Standards + Models + Coaching = Success

paulo coeho confidenceSo, models, systems, and coaches are great. If you don’t have them for your business or your personal life – get them in place as soon as possible. But those will only take you so far. As the wise Miss Britney Spears has said, “You want a hot body? You wanna live fancy? You better work bitch.” My fitness coach can give me the workouts, I can get a gym membership, and I can buy the newest pair of Nikes and cute shorts, but no one can do the work out for me. That’s all on me. You must take action and implement! That virtuous cycle of success you created builds confidence and the more confidence you have the more action (and bigger actions) you’re going to take. Turn your should’s into MUST’s. 

I have a standard in my life that my health and fitness comes first. Because of that standard, I have built models and systems into my life, like getting a coach and time blocking work outs in my calendar. I believe fitness is the most important element in building confidence, gaining clarity, increasing energy, and ultimately finding inner peace. Why wouldn’t I make it a priority and put the best person in the industry in my life to guide me? Coaches find your blind spots. And a lot of us don’t want those blind spots revealed or to be held accountable. Wake up, people! Success leaves clues and the most successful people have coaches – usually more than one. Golfers have a swing coach, a putting coach, a personal development coach, etc. who are all designed to give them an incremental edge. Don’t over look those small gains. Every time you increase by just 1%, you grow.

What are your standards for life and business? Do you have models and systems in place to support your goals? Do you have a coach who is holding you accountable to the results and helping you grow?

 

Top 5 Qualities of Kick-Ass Employees and 3 Things to Look for When Interviewing

This week I taught a class in New Hampshire about how to recruit and hire talent. We covered topics ranging from behavior and personality, to thinking patterns, to interviewing questions, to reference checks, to building a bench of talent.

I’ve hired some pretty incredible people over my ten years in business and I have also made some almost catastrophic mistakes, that left me asking, “Why do I attract sociopaths?” (That self-dissection is best left to another blog.) But I will tell you this, by adopting a proven method and system for finding and hiring talent, along with studying behavior, and with a whole lot of failing forward, I’ve found a few things to be true: a confident handshake and eye contact go a long way, honesty is always the best policy (I’m a trained salesman, I can see right through your facade!), and always wear sunscreen.

As CEO and Chairman of the Board, I really have two jobs – cast the vision wide and often, and bring amazing people into my world and find the right seat for them.

Four candidates competing for one position. Having CV in his hand

Here are the 3 things I look for when hunting for talent:

  1. Track record of success. Is the person you are interviewing moving from job to job? Or are they looking for their next opportunity because they need to be challenged? Have they proven themselves at some point in their career, either with a major sales coup or a promotion? Has each job they have taken been a step up or some sort of strategic side step in order to position themselves for their next opportunity? This stuff is important. Success breeds success. While I don’t always hire proven talent (I prefer emerging talent plus), even emerging talent should have a record of success (captain of sports teams in high school, starting a non-profit, self-funding an Ivy League education, volunteer work, etc.).
  2. Self awareness and vulnerability. Nothing gets to me more than when someone refuses to admit their faults or mistakes. Vulnerability is a virtue, not a vice. One of my favorite questions to ask in an interview is, “Why wouldn’t I hire you?” The worst answers are the non-answers. “There is no reason not to hire me.” “I’ve never worked in the real estate industry before.” Ugh! You know what I want to hear? That you move too fast and may take some unapproved risks. That your sales tactics are aggressive and I may be getting some consumer complaints. That you have a lot of new ideas and can sometimes unknowingly piss off the higher ups. This is self-awareness. And it goes a hell of a lot further in my book. I want to know you – the good and the bad. So give it to me straight.
  3. Intelligence. This is one thing I can’t teach. (Just to be clear, I also can’t teach basket weaving, chemistry, or gymnastics. But that’s it.) My goal is always to be hiring people who are smarter than me. If I’m the smartest person in the room, than I have failed as a leader.

So you’ve hired amazing people. Check. Now what? Pour into them with everything you’ve got! Focus on your top 5 empire builders. Talent is talent, but talent is not always an empire builder. An empire builder will take your company or division and run with it. And your empire builders should be trained to hire other empire builders. Continue to communicate your vision and standards. Remove roadblocks. Hold them accountable. Challenge them. The rockstar employees will rise to the challenge and thrive. And if you realize you made a few mistakes along the way – fix them quickly.

With over 30 staff members and hundreds of independent contractors under my preview I know what talent looks like.

Here are the top 5 qualities of kick-ass employees:

  1. Loyalty. Loyalty has nothing to do with the length of time an employee is with you. Look for other signs. Are they just as committed to the success of the company as you are? Do they often put the company’s interest before their own? Are they willing to disagree and challenge you (see point 4)? Do they make sure to disagree with you in private? Do they have your back and support you in public? Do they want what is best for the not just the company, but for YOU too? You can’t pay for loyalty. It is earned and it can sometimes be rare. You must absolutely make sure your top 5 empire builders/inner circle is loyal.
  2. Resourcefulness. I’m not big on excuses or stories (okay, I don’t tolerate them at all). This means that my team must be resourceful. Our company motto is “There is always a way.” For a very good reason. My team knows they must get results and sometimes there is a whole lot of resourcefulness needed to make things happen. Creative solutions to problems is a must. With all of the challenges that get thrown at you and your staff every day while building a huge business, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who will get. shit. done.
  3. Extraordinary Work Ethic. You’re not going to get where you want to go if you don’t have a team of employees who are going to work hard. Extremely hard. This means going above and beyond – daily (and not just between the hours of 9am and 5pm). This means owning their role and having a tremendous sense of responsibility to contribute quality work for you and the company. This means having a sense of urgency, having integrity, and being a great team player.
  4. They Piss You Off Daily.  If your team is not challenging your thinking, then you may not have the right people on your bus. Loyal employees want what is best for you and the company and that often means respectfully disagreeing with you and playing Devil’s Advocate. You want a black hat at the table! Kick-ass employees know what they are doing and will bring a different perspective to the table. Controversy is your friend. Yes-men and order-takers may make you feel like you are God’s greatest gift to mankind, but they not going to help you build your empire.
  5. Learning-Based and Growth-Minded.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I can’t have people in my organization who are not growth-minded. We move fast, we’re disrupting multiple industries, and we’re failing forward. If I didn’t have a team who was constantly moving and constantly on a quest for more and more growth, then I would never be able to accomplish my goals. Look for life-long learners and people who are fueled by progress.

I challenge you to answer this question the next time you are about to make a hire: “Would this person be able to survive in Elon Musk’s (insert comparable industry icon) world?” 

Now go find your five empire builders – it will change your world and theirs.
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