Clay Staires: All right good deal. This is Clay Staires, with podcasts number 19 with Tulsa Business Leadership. We’ve been talking about how to create and manage a culture in our company, and the importance of the culture in our company. Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines talks about culture is the most important, the most important element of your entire company, so you need to do everything to guard it and protect it. We’ve been talking about – been walking through the ways to create and manage and nurture your culture. We started out with how to hire, how to recruit, how to hire, how to go through interviews through the lens of culture, how to on board through the lens of culture as well as how to train. In session number 19 today we are going to be talking about how to manage through your lens of culture.
As Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, we’ve been finding over and over that working with business speaker Tulsa clients they struggle with managing their company because so often they just get tied into doing the work. There is not enough time to manage because all of their time is filled with doing the work. And then they ask other people to do the work and, “Aaah,” people just don’t do what they tell them to do. What I get to spend most of my time working with business owners across the country is helping them put together managing systems. That’s where we’re going to get today here with Clay Staires of Tulsa Business Leadership, Managing Through The Lens of Culture. A handful of points that I want to make here.
First of all, we want to always tie it all back to the core values of the company. What that means is, I want to manage my core values not just the work. I am going to say that one more time, as a manager I want to make sure that I manage the core values not just manage the work. Because if you just manage the work, then what you will get is employees that are disengaged from the company core, that you will get employees that do the work but they are disengaged from the why, from the purpose, from the meaning, from the deeper love that’s going on inside of your company.
All they are there to do is to do work and they want their paycheck.
I came and gave you time now you need to give me a paycheck. We want to be careful as we step into leadership with our management systems that we put together, that it always comes through the lens of our culture or through the lens of our core values. Number one as a leader, when I am communicating to my employees, to the company to my department, to my division, to my small team. When I am communicating as a leader there are four ways that you always want to make sure that you communicate. Number one is you want to say it. Obviously it’s got to come out of your mouth. The words, the instructions, the leadership, the direction. It must come out of your mouth. You have to be saying it. If you’re not careful you’ll just assume that people get it even though you are not saying it or you may anticipate. Or you may expect for somebody else to say it other than you but if you are the leader, it has to be coming out of your mouth. This is what we’re doing. This is where we’re heading. These are the goals that we are anticipating at the end of this effort. business speaker Tulsa
Number two, not only do we say it but number two we have to make sure that we write it down. It has to be written. There are so many times where I know I’ve been in this place I know you’ve been there too where you have told people to do something but nobody wrote anything down. So later on when you come back and say, “Hey, did you do that?” And they say, “Yes I did it.” Then you’re looking at him and going, “No you didn’t.” And they’re going, “Yes I did.” “No you didn’t.” “Yes I did.” “No I didn’t.” And next thing you know they’re saying, “Well, oh I thought you said this. I was under the – I interpreted it this way.” There is a mess-up, there is a screw up in communication simply because we didn’t write it down. Number one we say it, number two, we write it and it is important to have what you’re saying is what you’re writing. They need to be the same thing. Obviously.
Number three what we need to do is be sure to show it. Now this is where usually, this is where leaders drop the ball. They say it and they write it but they don’t give people a picture of what they are speaking about. They don’t give people the pictures of what the outcome should look like. As a result, when you are saying, “Does everybody understand what I’m saying?’’ Everybody nods their head. “Got it,” Everybody look down, read what I’m put it on put it on the whiteboard or I’d put it on a piece of paper. Everybody looks at it and they say, “Yes, I understand these words and how they fit together.” But the problem is the picture that you have as the leader is very possibly a different picture than your employees have. You need to be sure to show them a picture of what the action looks like, of what the outcome looks like. I’m also a huge fan of having pictures all over the company to show what our culture looks like.
The fulfillment of our core values. This is what it looks like. It’s all over the place so there are not only am I saying it, I’m I writing it, but now I am ensuring that everybody has the same picture in their head. Now when we come back and we’re evaluating, we’re able to say, “Did you do the picture?” Or, “Did you get the outcome that we had envisioned ahead of time?” Number one we say it, number two we write it, number three we show it, and then finally number four on a daily basis we must model that behavior. We must model that activity, we must model the core value that we’re wanting to see reproduced throughout the entire company.
These four pieces as a leader are very important as you step into leadership positions, management positions, to make sure that you are communicating clearly using those four steps. Now that we step into our management pieces and how we are going to manage these core values, how we’re going to manage the work, how we’re going to manage people and the activity on a daily basis. I strongly encourage you. This is what I tell people across the country as I’m traveling as Clay Staires, Tulsa Business Leadership. I am constantly encouraging people to have the daily meeting, the daily touch point. Many times I get eyes rolling and people go, “Oh, my gosh, it’s way too much.” Of course the main objection is, I don’t have time to do that. That is so unfortunate because the most important time that you can spend is planning the work.
If you don’t plan the work, then you can find yourself really easily at the end of the week, at the end of the month, at the end of the quarter, at the end of the year, not having met your goals. Even though you worked really hard, you didn’t plan the work. As a manager, I want to make sure that I avoid, that my company and my employees avoid drift from the vision, or drift from the values, or drift from the goals of what we’re trying to accomplish that day or that week. If you don’t meet on a daily basis, then it’s easy for employees to drift, it’s easy for their behavior to drift, it’s easy for their mindset to drift, for their production to drift. And if I wait a full seven days or a full week before I have addressed the outcomes, I have allowed that drift to go on for seven days. For me and the companies that I own at Clay Staires, Tulsa Business Leadership, I make sure that I have those touch points on a daily basis and you’ll have to figure out what that meeting will look like for you but you want to make sure you’re meeting on a daily basis daily touch points. business speaker Tulsa
Second thing that we want to do with our management is checklist, checklist, checklist.
We are not just putting the activity in the hands of humans to, “Do the best you can.” “Do what you think is best for the company.” That is a bad idea. What you want to do as a manager is provide checklists, provide systems, provide the process. “I want you to do this first, this second, and this third, and this fourth,” where they are actually going to be checking off the work that they do. You have to show them what to do at each step. Now I know this is frustrating I hear this all the time from business leaders. As a matter of fact I was just hearing it about an hour ago as I was having lunch with a brand new client. They were so frustrated with their employees because they were just going to. “How come they can’t think like I think?” It’s because they are not business owners their workers.
Stop expecting your workers to think like you. They do not have that higher level thinking that you were looking for. They are workers. They are in a worker mindset. “Tell me what to do.” As a manager you want to be sure that you give checklist. “Here’s the exact steps that I want you to follow.” And if they can’t follow those, then we talk about terminations. Talk about getting rid of people that can’t follow a checklist. Once again you want to be really careful of just turning the work over to people and expecting them to know how to do it. You have to show them what to do at each step.
Our next step here is, making sure again the value of putting together a procedure or process like this, is now you can put the weight of the business. You put the burden of the business and the work on the backs of a process or a procedure as opposed to putting the burden of the work on the back of people. Great procedures work even with status quo employees. But if you take even a great employee, and do not give them adequate processes, steps, and procedures, that employee will drift. I guarantee you, and you will look at them and they will frustrate you even though they are great people, and great workers, and they love doing what they’re doing. If you don’t give them step-by-step instructions, they will not have the vehicle and will not be equipped to be able to produce the way you want them to produce.
I’m a strong believer in this checklist because I want to make sure that I put the weight, the burden of the work in the business, on the back of the procedure and process rather than on the back of the people. Next of all what we have here, as a manager when we are managing our culture and our core values, here is the key thing. You’ve ever heard this, “You got to think out of the box, get out of the box thinking. Out of the box, you got to get out of the box.” Get rid of the box thing, we got to get out of the box. As a manager, I want my managers to always stay in the box, think in the box, don’t get out. What we are going to do as managers is create the box of success and then stay in it. What I mean by that is, I want you to discover the answer, I want you to find the answer and then reproduce that answer over and over and over. As a leader with a strong leader mindset, and I deal with this a lot, and I have to be careful with it.
I’ll think that the answer to every problem is a new idea. I will try to reinvent the solution every single time. But as a manager what I want you to do is find the solution, write down, say it, show it, and model it. The four step of great communication and I want you to do it over, and over, and over, and over. Put it into a process and make sure that everybody aligns with that process. Everybody’s is on the same sheet music and everybody is following the same procedure. As a manager we think in the box. Finally with management managing our core values, managing our company through the lens of the core values. What we want to do and what I trained all the time through Clay Staires, Tulsa Business Leadership is, we want to do the seven steps of great accountability. If you want to create accountability throughout your entire company, you need to follow these seven steps. business speaker Tulsa
Number one, you want to assign specific tasks to specific people. Do not assign tasks to groups of people because then Johnny is going to point at Susie, who’s going to point over at Hernandez, and they’re going to go, “I thought you were going to do it,” “Well, I thought you said you were going to.” And then there is confusion. Specific tasks to specific people. Number two, you want to make sure that you assign these specific task in each of your meetings. Every meeting people come away with specific action steps. Step number three, you want to make sure that you ensure clear communication at that point of hand off. The way that you want to do that is, again, clear communication. You want to say it, write it, show it, and model it. Here is what I want to see. Then ask your employee that you have given task to, “Can you see it? Can you see what I see? Do you see what I see?” You want to make sure that you are seeing the same picture. From there you ask him a simple question, “Do you have any question?” Give them an opportunity right then to ask the question.
Step number four of creating this culture of accountability is to make sure that you follow up on every specific task in each meeting. “Yesterday, this was the task that you were assigned to do. Did you do it?” If you don’t hold them accountable on a daily basis to completing tasks, then you will find yourself really quickly beginning to drift away from the goals that you’re wanting to achieve. Step number five, we want to make sure that we identify, once again, identify your key performance indicators. The specific picture, the specific outcome that you were looking for. It needs to be measurable. This is what I’m looking for. Step number six in creating this culture of accountability. We want to make sure that we pay people according to their production, not just according to their time. I’ve got an employee that I’ve just brought in in the last two weeks, today I gave him 17 action items. At the end of the day we are going to be getting that they are specific, and they have specific instructions on how to do the things am asking him to do. He has been trained on how to do each one of these things. At the end of the day, we will come to this list and we will look at how many things he got completed. business speaker Tulsa
Depending upon what he got completed, it will either be an $80 day for him, being he gets paid $10 an hour, or it will be $104 a day for him, meaning he got paid $13 an hour depending upon his production. That is huge to hold people accountable. Pay them according to production not just according to time. Finally step number seven that we have in creating a culture of accountability here is, remove low performers. That is huge as a leader, as a business owner. When you have low performers, you need to constantly be calling them from your culture. If you keep the around they will poison your culture. They will frustrate your high performers. The bar will begin to lower to meet the lowest common denominator. What I always want to do is call out those low performers on a consistent basis. This is how we Manage Through The Lens of Culture. These eight different steps that we want to use to help us manage through the lens of culture. This is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, Podcast Number 19, Managing Through The Lens of Culture. business speaker Tulsa

Clay Staires