Team Growth article

3 Ways to Give to Your Team This Holiday Season

Do the sounds of Christmas make you giddy? Are you so full of holiday cheer that you could give Clark Griswold a run for his money? Well, there’s good reason for it. In study after study, it’s been proven that it is more blessed to give than receive. Simple acts of kindness and generosity can help your heart, relieve pain and pump up your immune system.

They’re also good business. By having a generous spirit toward those who help you win, success will naturally follow. You’ll be attracting and keeping extremely passionate, talented people who are willing to slay dragons right alongside you.

So in the spirit of Christmas—the ultimate time of giving—we’re offering some ideas on how you can spread your blessings and help your heart, too! 

  1. Get Your Party On

With our economy still nearly as sluggish as grandpa after a holiday dinner, companies are continuing to slash their budgets, including the office Christmas party. While understandable, you can still host a seasonal celebration while avoiding—with no offense to Santa Claus— going into the red.

When Dave first started his company, he couldn’t afford a massive shindig. Instead, his team gathered at his house for a potluck dinner. During the party, Dave called up each team member and shared what he liked most about them. It was touching and something everyone looked forward to each year. Today, the company Christmas party is legendary, with lavish gifts and five-star dining. But no matter how much time has passed, the early celebrations are still held in incredibly high regard and can move the longtime veterans to tears.

  1. A Spirit of Generosity

If you ask almost any super successful business leader what they like most about running their own company, you might be surprised at the answer. It’s almost never about the money. Instead, it’s their ability to serve. “Being generous is the hallmark of people who live successful lives and who operate business with soul,” Dave says.

So how can you help? Make sure your team is properly taken care of, including generous pay, incentives to win and sharing your products and services. Do you make the best spaghetti sauce in the country? Then your staff should have eaten so much, they’re sick of it.

  1. Lending a Helping Hand

Want to make your team members passionate about their jobs? Let them know they are doing work that matters. And one of the easiest ways to do it is by getting involved in your community. Hold a fund-raiser for a local school or charity, give you team paid time off to lend a helping hand or offer your products and services to those in need.

With the new year close at hand, it’s time to make new goals, including putting in your budget line items of “generosity” for the next holiday season and throughout the year. Although it is an investment, it will be returned ten-fold. In other words, don’t be a Scrooge because you’ll only lose. 

Give your team the gift of better leadership. Join us on December 4 at 1 p.m. CST for a free webinar, 8 Core Principles Dave Uses to Run His Business. Our EntreLeadership coach is discussing Dave’s steps to success, plus he’ll be providing an action plan you can implement today. Reserve your spot now.

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Profit Growth article

4 Ways to Build an Extraordinary Company Culture

If you were to ask any of Dave’s team members what they like best about their jobs, you might be surprised at their answers. Salary and vacation time are way down on the list, often not mentioned at all. Instead, they talk about the company’s culture and the family-like atmosphere.

That’s no accident. Dave has intentionally created a workplace where team members thrive and winning is as common as church picnics in the summer. Each and every one of his team members is a rock star who is given the opportunity to soar.

As a small-business owner, you probably feel that creating this type of culture is impossible—but it’s not. No matter the size of your operation, you can develop your own group of Steven Tylers. Okay, that’s probably taking it a bit too far, but you can create a team who is willing to share your dream and take your business to the next level. Here are a few ways to empower your team.

  1. Share Your Vision

The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV) The same holds true for your business. Let your team know where you want your organization to go, and share that vision often. They’ll become excited about hitting goals and reaching for the stars alongside you. As with anything in life, there will be changes to your vision, so keep your team constantly updated as you adjust where you want to go.

Action Step: Share your vision with your team early and as often as possible. In fact, make it formal by slating a recurring meeting on your calendar for your whole team to specifically talk about where your company is headed. Keep in mind that it’s impossible to talk about your vision too much. “When you cast a big vision, the team sees what part they play, and you are pulling people into goals instead of pushing them,” Dave says.

Related: Commit to Communicate

  1. Stop Micromanaging

What’s the quickest way to stifle creativity, lower morale and generally make your team members miserable? Hover over everything they do. “A micromanager is the person who does not have enough self-confidence to release tasks or concepts when integrity and competency have been proven repeatedly,” Dave says.

There is only one good time to micromanage: when someone first joins your team. After they have been trained—and they have proven their integrity and competency—it’s time to let them fly.

Action Step: When it comes to delegation, you, as a leader, need to set the tone with integrity, work ethic and speed. Don’t delegate to your team then hang out at the golf course.

Related: Delegation Is a Two-Way Street

  1. Enhance Their Skills

As a business owner, one of the greatest investments you can make is in your team, especially when it comes to personal development. If possible, pay for additional training or education. Dave reimburses a certain amount each year for the cost of a class a team member passes. He values education and the positive impact it has on his team, even if it allows them to move on to another job.

Action Step: If you are not to that point financially, you can still help your team improve themselves. Try:

  • Offering “lunch and learn” classes and inviting guest speakers to talk with your team over a brown bag lunch
  • Developing a mentorship program, where team members can work with leaders to improve their skills

Related: Let People Fail

  1. Brag On Them

Every individual around you, from your closest leaders to the person answering the phone, yearns to be appreciated. So brag on them every chance you get. It can launch even the most educated, sophisticated, high-level person into the stratosphere and send confidence levels through the roof.

Action Step: It’s hard to recognize anyone if you don’t step away from your desk. Schedule time to walk around your business and check out what’s happening with your team. If someone is doing a good job, let them know about it.

One of the first steps in becoming a true EntreLeader is recognizing that your team is your most valuable resource. With them, the sky’s the limit.

Want to build a team of high-performing go-getters that are loyal, creative and passionate about their jobs? Then  mark your calendars for Nov. 20 at 1 pm. CST for our next FREE webinar: The Five Fixes to Get Your Team to Act Like Owners. Our team will share the steps to creating an amazing company culture. Register now! Only a limited number of spots are available.

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Profit Growth article

6 Keys to a Killer Culture

At the Las Vegas headquarters of online retailer Zappos, team members are allowed to stay on the line with customers as long as needed, even if the call lasts 10 hours and 29 minutes—the company record. Travel 500 miles northwest, and you’ll find Googlers deep in a sand volleyball match in the middle of the workday. Yes, we said in the middle of the workday. And right here in Nashville, Dave’s Battle of the Bands competition is legendary. His team members spend months eagerly anticipating the annual event.

What Dave and the CEOs of companies like Zappos and Google have learned is that if you intentionally create a culture that’s fun and values people over the bottom line, you’ll beat the competition every time. Why? Because building a company that cares leads to fanatically loyal team members and customers. In fact, according to a study by Deloitte, 83% of managers and 84% of team members said that an engaged and motivated work force is the top contributor to a company’s success.

So how do you create this kind of culture, especially if you’ve already been in business for a number of years and have gone down the traditional business-as-usual route? That’s what EntreLeadership is all about. As we teach at our events and All Access, it’s never too late to make your company anything but usual. Here are some steps how.

  1. People Matter

If you were only allowed one core value to follow, it should be this: Put other people first. And that’s everyone—your family, your team, your customers. Heck, even your competition. Every single person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart. At Dave’s company, everything he and his team do is based on this simple idea.

Related: Why You Need to Pastor Your Flock

  1. Find the Why

As best-selling business author Simon Sinek says, every organization knows what they do, but very few can say why. That why—your purpose—is the foundation of your culture, and it is what will make your team passionate about their jobs. Let them know that it’s not all about the money and teach them that their work matters. It makes all the difference in the world. Find your why and share it with your team as often as possible.

Related: Your Mission Statement

  1. Hire Smart

Creating a team of talented rock stars who deeply care for each other starts at the hire. From leadership to an administrative assistant, take your time filling every position. And hold out—no matter how much you need the job filled—until you find the absolutely perfect person. “We hire and keep only people who are sold-out passionate about our cause,” Dave says. “You cannot work on my team if you are simply looking for a J-O-B.”

Related: Download 12 Steps to a Good Hire

  1. Stay Out of the Ivory Tower

At Dave’s company, it’s not unusual to see one of his leaders pick up a piece of trash, set up tables, or do whatever is needed to get a job done. They look for every chance to let their team know that although they’re in charge, everyone is in it together.

  1. Recognize and Reward

Part of letting people know they matter is to brag on them. Why? Because every individual around you yearns to be appreciated. Recognize your team early and often, and watch them strive to achieve more and more.

Related: 10 Easy Ways to Recognize Your Team

  1. Schedule Some Play Time

Ugly-Christmas-sweater contests, a battle of the bands, a few potlucks, some victory celebrations, a softball tournament … It doesn’t matter what activities you schedule—it’s worth the extra effort to set aside the time. Why? Because those who play together will bond. There is something magical about meals too. When you break bread with your team, you get to know them on a different level.

As a business owner, it’s up to you to decide if you want a building full of mindless drones or happy, fulfilled team members who will do anything to help you win. And it all begins with culture. When you create a culture that cares, anything is possible. So what are you waiting for? Start yours today.

Want to create an amazing culture at your company? Join us on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. CDT for our next FREE webinar: The Five Fixes to Get Your Team to Act Like Owners. Our EntreLeadership coach will take you through the steps to build a business full of passionate, loyal, talented people. Plus, he’ll be providing an action plan you can implement today. Reserve your spot now.

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Personal Growth article

3 Steps to Greater Servant Leadership

Imagine your team members happy, dedicated and passionate about their jobs. They can’t wait to get to work in the morning and are always striving to do their best. It’s the perfect scenario, but impossible to achieve, right?

Actually, no! Being able to have a dream team working right alongside you is highly attainable. And it all begins with servant leadership. It’s the way Dave has run his company for more than 20 years. In fact, it is so important to him, he’ll be teaching small-business owners the principles at the EntreLeadership Summit in May. And he’s not alone. Well-known leadership experts, like John C. Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Dr. Henry Cloud and Rabbi Daniel Lapin, are all huge proponents of servant leadership too.

To get you started on your own journey, we’ve listed a few of the principles that you can put in place today. Give them a try!

1. Follow the Golden Rule

Servant leadership is as simple as following the golden rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Handle all interactions with your team by putting yourself in their shoes, and then act the way you’d want to be treated.

“Put every decision through the Golden Rule paradigm,” Dave says. “That in itself will cause you to serve. All I’m talking about is loving on your people well. You can change your entire workplace culture just by doing that one thing.”

2. Act With Grace

The best way to handle any negative situation is to act with grace. For example, if you have to reprimand a team member, never embarrass the person or talk to them when you are still mad—even when you think you are hiding how you feel.

“Anger is a signal that there is a problem,” Cloud says. “It is usually not a good tool to fix the problem. People hear our tone much more than our words.”

3. Give Praise

For the majority of your team members, money isn’t the chief motivator; they just want a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. People, no matter what age, yearn for approval, and the best way to make them feel appreciated is sincere praise.

“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement,” Maxwell says. “And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it.

By serving your team members with respect, dignity and a caring heart, success will naturally follow, and you’ll become a true EntreLeader. It’s the best way to grow your business. In fact, in the long run, it’s the only way. It’s like Lencioni says, “I’m tired of hearing about servant leadership . . . because there is not any other kind.”

Want to learn more about lead servant leadership from Dave, John C. Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Dr. Henry Cloud and Rabbi Daniel Lapin? Then join us at the EntreLeadership Summit. This once-in-a-lifetime leadership conference at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in San Diego, May 11–14, features personal lessons from all five speakers listed above, plus our own Chris Hogan and Christy Wright. Seating is limited. Reserve your space today.

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Team Growth video

Quick Start: Creating a Winning Culture

(Each Monday, we are debuting a quick lesson from Dave from EntreLeadership Master Series. The clip and the homework below are designed to help our recent graduates learn to apply the principles they learned at the event. Feel free to join in the process. We would love your participation.)

Part of creating a winning culture is building loyalty. And there is no better way to do it than showing your people that you truly care. That's why you never shoot your wounded. When someone has a family emergency, sickness or tragedy, be there to provide support. The last thing they need to worry about is losing their job or not being able to pay the utility bill because they've used all of their sick days. As a member of your team, they deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart.

When you love people like that, you don't just win the team member for life. You win every team member who watches it happen. So look for those opportunities. Handling these situations well isn't just the right thing to do; it can also change your company's whole culture.

YOUR HOMEWORK

  1. Watch Benjamin Zander speak on leadership. Make the time. The video is only 20 minutes long! 
  2. Schedule a 30-minute meeting with each team or department to discuss creating a winning culture. Topics on your agenda should include:
  • Implementation of a company-wide no-gossip policy
  • Ideas for unusual but easy-to-execute benefits
  1. Put your no-gossip policy into place. Gossip is poison to your company. It creates a negative atmosphere and kills unity. Before the policy goes into effect, make sure every person on your team knows:
  • The definition of gossip
  • When the policy goes into effect
  • Actions that will be taken if a team member gossips

Dave defines gossip as delivering negative information—any negative information about anyone or anything—to someone who cannot do something about it. Negatives go up. Positives come down. Gossip is taken so seriously at Dave's office that there's only one consequence: The person is immediately fired.

DO THIS!

If you want to be a better leader the only way to do that is to spend time with people that are already leading well. EntreLeadership offers you that opportunity. This May Dave will be joined by some of the biggest names in leadership with the sole purpose of sharing their life lessons with you. The EntreLeadership Summit features not only Dave, but John C Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Dr Henry Cloud, Chris Hogan and Christy Wright. This three day conference will make you better. Stop wishing. Start acting. Get your seat today.

Profit Growth article

6 Ways to Create an Incredible Company Culture

At the Las Vegas headquarters of online retailer Zappos, team members are allowed to stay on the line with customers as long as needed, even if the call lasts 10 hours and 29 minutes—the company record. Travel 500 miles northwest and you’ll find Google employees deep in a sand volleyball match in the middle of the workday. Yes, we said in the middle of the workday. And right here in Nashville, Dave’s Christmastime generosity is legendary. His team members spend months eagerly anticipating the annual holiday party.

What Dave and the CEOs of companies like Zappos and Google have learned is that if you intentionally create a culture that’s fun and values people over the bottom line, you’ll beat the competition every time. Why? Because building a company that cares leads to fanatically loyal team members and customers. In fact, according to a study by Deloitte, 83% of managers and 84% of team members said that an engaged and motivated workforce is the top contributor to a company’s success.

So how do you create this kind of culture, especially if you’ve already been in business for a number of years and have gone down the traditional business-as-usual route? As Dave teaches in EntreLeadership Master Series, it’s never too late to make your company anything but usual. Here are some steps how.

#1: People Matter

If you were only allowed one core value to follow, it should be this: Put other people first. And that’s everyone—your family, your team, your customers. Heck, even your competition. Every single person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart. At Dave’s company, everything he and his team do is based on this simple idea.

#2: Find the Why

As best-selling business author Simon Sinek says, every organization knows what they do, but very few can say why. That why—your purpose—is the foundation of your culture, and it is what will make your team passionate about their jobs. Let them know that it’s not all about the money and teach them that their work matters. It makes all the difference in the world. Find your why and share it with your team as often as possible.

#3: Hire Smart

Creating a team of talented rock stars who deeply care for each other starts at the hire. From leadership to an administrative assistant, take your time filling every position. And hold out—no matter how much you need the job filled—until you find the absolutely perfect person.

“We hire and keep only people who are sold-out passionate about our cause,” Dave says. “You cannot work on my team if you are simply looking for a J-O-B.”

#4: Stay Out of the Ivory Tower

At Dave’s company, it’s not unusual to see one of his leaders pick up a piece of trash, set up tables, or do whatever is needed to get a job done. They look for every chance to let their team know that although they’re in charge, everyone is in it together.

#5: Recognize and Reward

Part of letting people know they matter is to brag on them. Why? Because every individual around you yearns to be appreciated. Recognize your team early and often, and watch them strive to achieve more and more.

#6: Schedule Some Play Time

It doesn’t matter what activities you schedule. You could plan ugly-Christmas-sweater contests, a battle of the bands ( above), a few potlucks, some victory celebrations, or a softball tournament. It’s worth the extra effort to set aside the time. Why? Because those who play together will bond. There is something magical about meals too. When you break bread with your team, you get to know them on a different level.

As a business owner, it’s up to you to decide if you want a building full of mindless drones or happy, fulfilled team members who will do anything to help you win. And it all begins with culture. When you create a culture that cares, anything is possible. So what are you waiting for? Start yours today. 

read more
Profit Growth article

Creating Culture Is Easier Than You Think

We all marvel at companies like Google and Facebook for celebrating creativity and challenging the status quo of mundane corporate cubicles. Company culture? They have it in spades. But as a small business owner, is it possible to do the same without a Microsoft-size budget? Absolutely.

You don’t have to install playground slides between the floors or add Ping-Pong tables, although they’re awesome. And even though it’s good to post company values on walls and in hallways for visitors and team members to see, they’re not absolutely necessary either. Even working on systems and processes to secure culture through control by leadership is no guarantee. Because none of these ideas are enough if you miss what matters the most—the people.

People Matter

Culture is more than just a few actions. It’s the living, breathing human beings who make your company what it is. It’s their pains and their victories, their strengths and weaknesses, their motivations and frustrations, their families (yes, families!) and lives outside of work.

Your team members are not units of production. They are real people with real stories who bring their whole selves to your office every single day. They will make or break your organization. And changing the environment or the stated corporate values on the wall doesn’t matter if the people don’t.

So how do you show your team that you care? By basing everything you do on one simple rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Following The Golden Rule at our company started with Dave, and it has been adopted and protected by every person since. It’s a stated value and a cornerstone of our culture that we live out in all circumstances. It’s how we treat our people in every situation.

Creating an unbelievable culture is easier than you think (and cheaper and safer than installing zip lines across the building). Treat everyone with respect, honor and dignity and watch your company be transformed.

As an experienced Certified Business Coach, Christy Wright works with business owners nationwide teaching leadership principles and instructing them how to develop team members and grow their companies. To learn more about Christy, visit Dave Ramsey's Speakers Group and follow her on Twitter @christybwright.

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Team Growth article

Four Ways to Keep Your Team Happy

One of the favorite activities during EntreLeadership Master Series is a special behind-the-scenes tour of Dave’s company. And on nearly every walk-through, we hear the same comment: “Everyone seems so happy.” That’s no surprise to us. Dave and his leaders have intentionally built a culture where happiness, laughter and hard work thrive.

And there is good reason for it. When your team is happy, turnover is low and customer satisfaction and loyalty are high. These lead to an even more jubilant bottom line. Plus, an awesome workplace atmosphere is just a lot more productive, creative and fun for everyone.

So how do you achieve such a culture? Here are a few ways to keep your team feeling happier than Pharrell Williams.

  1. Be the Example

Have you ever been in a great mood ready to take on the world, and then Debbie Downer walks into the room and ruins your day? As a leader, you set the tone for your team. When you are miserable, your team is too. When you don’t work, your team doesn’t feel like working either.

The Solution: Each morning, check your attitude and make sure it’s an optimistic one. And how about a true smile or a bit of genuine laughter? They’re both instant mood elevators for everyone around you.

  1. Share the Why

According to a recent Gallup poll, one of the key ways to keep your team engaged and happy is doing work that matters. It creates “employees who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company,” the poll says.

The Solution: When you and your team play for something bigger than yourselves, everyone plays much harder and smarter. Find your why and share it with your team as often as possible. Let them know what you do is important. Like Dave says, “There is not much of anything that lifts people more than believing in a dream, vision and mission bigger than them.”

  1. Treat Them Like Family

Dave’s friend, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, wrote a wonderful book called Thou Shall Prosper. In it, he says God is inordinately pleased when we are obsessively, compulsively consumed with the needs of others. That’s an easy one to understand as far as your family, but do you apply this principle to your team members? Are you looking for what’s best for them?

The Solution: Treat you team like family—with respect, dignity and a caring heart—and they’ll act like family.

  1. Create a Culture of Communication

One of the keys to an awesome culture is communication. Lack of it creates distrust, fear and anger, and you end up with employees who think the worst instead of a team that’s united.

The Solution: Always let your team know what’s going on, whether good news or bad. Talk it up, share your stories, and be transparent. And when in doubt, overshare.

Creating a culture of happiness is not just some distant dream for when your company gets huge and you have a ton of money to spend on your team. In fact, the majority of it has nothing to do with big paychecks or rewards. By simply being grateful, open, honest and caring, you’ll be well on your way to creating a team that can’t wait to get to work each day. And when that happens, everyone wins. 

Join hundreds of other EntreLeaders as they grow together in All Access. All Access includes EntreLeadership Master Series Online, eCoaching, Mastermind Groups, Networking and much more! There’s no contract so you can cancel at any time.   

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