By mick | June 24, 2021

EPISODE 51 | How to Build & Maintain A High Performance Team

Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!

If you’ve never, participated, listened to, watched, engaged in the Builders Business Success podcast, its whole purpose is to address the common, often costly, and frustrating problems, that most builders experience in their building business.

The stuff that we talk about in this podcast, isn’t theory. It’s it’s something that has been implemented. It’s been broken. It’s been talked about and refined, and re-implemented and measured. Until we find something that absolutely works.

So in Builders Business Blackbelt that membership, we have a conversation every single day of the week except for Friday. And talk about the wins, the lessons, answer questions, share resources, share experiences. And it just makes the whole gang, the whole tribe move forward faster.

And being in a group like that is is a lot of fun. But it also allows us to get information that we can pass on through platforms like this podcast. That we’ve got a tremendous amount of confidence in because not only does it work, it works in, wherever you are.

Like we have got members all over the country, in big cities, in in regional areas, builders that that you know, do big multi-million dollar jobs, and builders that that specialize in kitchens and bathrooms and outdoor entertaining areas and everything in between.

So the idea’s that we share with each other and refine with each other. We’re pretty much for any building business anywhere. And yeah I get excited about sharing stuff with you.

What we’re sharing today is, how to build and maintain a high performance team.

In the Q and A we’re gonna talk about, which sort of fits in nicely as well. How to recruit good team members. Like where do we find the the great people for our business?

Of course we’re gonna do a personal productivity hack as well.

*Transcription of the show*

The topic of this conversation of this podcast episode, is how to build and maintain a high performance team.

The first bit of advice if you really want this, and I’m sure you do. Because, the the deal is, the the reason that you started your business in the first place is to, have something that will give you freedom in your lifestyle.

So you’ll be able to earn more money than working for somebody else. You’ll be able to have more choice and time freedom than working for somebody else.

It’s very rarely the case for people who start their own business. That dream never becomes a reality. They earn less than the people that they have in their team. They have less time freedom than the people in their team.

They have a lot more stress and pressure than the people in their team. So we need to build a team, that can perform at a high level. That can fundamentally run your business for you in your absence without you.

In fact, wouldn’t it be great to have a team that can do everything better than you can? That’s that’s really the secret. But we’ve gotta get over a few things first.

So my first suggestion is if you wanna build a high performance team, you’ve gotta get over yourself. And that means that, there actually are people in the world that can do all sorts of things even in your business better than you.

And here’s a secret folk so, just sort of come closer to the speaker so you can hear me. Cause this is a secret.

They’re probably already in your business. Probably already there. And it’s just your ego that gets in the way. So you can kind of jump on Facebook and attack me for that.

Or you can take it on the chin and go, hmm maybe what I need to do, is become better at spotting talent, better at being a coach, better at being a facilitator, better at being a leader, bettering better at being an an inspiration and a communicator, than a doer.

Because the the short end of the stick with when you’re a doer, and you get up early and stay up late and work your off, is there are only so many hours in the day and it doesn’t matter how great you are and how hard you work, there’s going to be a ceiling that you’re gonna hit. You just can’t keep working at that frenetic pace to get what you want.

So the secret is, is to build a team, and be able to expand that team. And even within your team, build leaders within your team. So your team start to build the team.

So first thing you’ve got to get out of the way. And that’s just a mindset shift. And be able to take a hit to the ego and have people come in that can do things better than you. That’s the secret to it. So surround yourself with people.

You need to be the most useless person in the business. That’s that’s the secret to this. Don’t purposely become useful. No that’s not what I’m saying. Oh sorry useless. Don’t purposely become useless. That’s not what I’m intending by this.

But be the most useless. Which means surround yourself with people that can do everything better than you. And I don’t mean one person that can do everything. I mean a person that can do that better than you. That can can do the administration and all of that better than you.

A person that can do all of the the the attract strategy implementation. The you know the the video editing and blah blah blah blah. Need someone who does that better than you. You need someone who can run your sites better than you.

You need someone on the tools better than you. And you might think well, who am I gonna get you know? That that’s gonna be impossible.

No one can do this, as good as I can. No one cares as much as I do. And you’re probably right in the current situation. But if you can get out of the way, and and open yourself up to the possibility that people could do things better than me.

And you start to have those conversations with your existing people, and start to do training, and start to get them involved in contributing to the improvement of how you do things.

You will be amazed, at how many people that you already have in your circle. And and I say that because they could be direct employees they could be subbies.

But they’re given the right support and the right environment, and the right training, and the right resources you’ll find people all over the place that can pretty much do everything better than you.

The other thing you’ve gotta realize to be able to build a team that is a high performance team, is the team needs support. And when we get our blackbelt members to build a map of the business.

So if you if you look at, hierarchical charts, flow charts of how a business is structured, and you’ve got the sort of, the bottom level people here, that are that are doing the basic work. And then you’ve got some some senior people that are above them. And then you’ve got some supervisors that are above them.

And then you’ve got managers that are above them. And then the owner sits on top. That’s how traditionally people draw their map of the business. And they draw the map of the business because that is a reflection of how they think it is.

In blackbelt we get people to turn that map completely upside down. So now the owner is on the bottom. So you’re now responsible for everyone. So you’ve gotta hit the gym.

You’ve gotta learn how to support. And you running around banging nails into timber, isn’t supporting the people. You’ve gotta put some of your time, into learning how to support people, how to communicate, how to coach, how to encourage, how to inspire, how to lead. And that takes a bit of time and effort. But the investment in that activity will pay massive dividends. Because you will see people really enjoying themselves.

Taking on more responsibility. Learning, growing, contributing. Becoming, a a meaningful member of a team that is doing something that has meaning. That is significant.

It’s very very powerful. And that gives you a lot of freedom. But it also gives you a lot of meaning. You feel a lot more significant. Helping all of these people become more successful. And I think that’s the number one purpose.

For you if you wanna take this on. If if you genuinely wanna build a business, that is run by a high performance team, your number one purpose every day when you get up, is to help your team to become more successful.

Help the individuals in your team to become more successful. And there’s many ways you can do that.

By changing the environment, by introducing training, by becoming a better leader and a better communicator. Reading things like The Carrot Principle.

Like if you haven’t read that book go get yourself a copy of The Carrot Principle. Chester Elton was was one of the, the authors. I remember buying it in the Hobart in the Hobart airport.

And back in the days when we were allowed to get on planes and go places. I bought it and I read it. I just couldn’t put it down. I read it between Hobart and Sydney. And it’s just become, a highly highly recommended book in relation to building great teams.

Because it’s all about recognizing excellence. And and, people just do better when they’re being told that they’re already doing a great job. And they’re being rewarded commensurately for that. And and generally the best rewards aren’t financial.

So you need to know what they are, how to implement them, what to look for. And how to implement this whole carrot principle philosophy. It’s great stuff. Now the things that will make the biggest difference.

That I would suggest you do, is start three different types of meetings in your business.

The first meeting is, a weekly team meeting. Now these aren’t in order of importance. I’ve just put them in order so they kind of make sense to be able to implement. In fact, if I were to say which one is the most important it’s the next one that I’m about to talk about. After the weekly team meeting.

But you need the the weekly team meetings so you’ve got fodder, you’ve got information, you’ve got direction, for the daily meetings. So the weekly team meeting is super important. Your number one focus for the weekly team meeting is to create an environment, conducive for team.

So bringing the people together and having them feel like they’re part of something special. Having them giving them the opportunity to contribute to how we do things and how we can improve things, and having a safe space to be listened to. And I don’t wanna sound all you know, tree huggy, wishy washy, politically correct.

But the safe place that I’m talking about, is a safe place where I can, if I’m one of the team members I can go, I hate doing that crap. That it’s just so boring. And being able to put that on the table for discussion, is is a really powerful thing.

Number one, I feel okay I’m not gonna get berated and be told that I’m a whinger by saying I hate doing that it’s boring. Or you know this is frustrating. Or any any, part of the process.

Any of the ways that we do things that we just don’t like. Because there’s so many ways we can do things that are more fun. More exciting. And therefore become more productive.

But we’ve gotta create a place where we can have a chat and put those things on the table, for discussion as to how to make them better. And the weekly team meeting is a great place for that. And you encourage the team to bring their problems, their frustrations, their gripes, and it doesn’t become a whinge fest.

It’s really exciting when we can put something on the table and go that me. And then we throw it open to some ideas about how it can be not so crappy.

How it can be more fun. Like even if things can’t be fixed completely, at least we can put music to it and dance while we’re doing it.

That would be a whole lot more fun. It’d be a better energy about the place. But when things are allowed, to be put on the table for discussion for improvement, you will find that the ideas will come flooding in if you’re consistent with these meetings.

So you’ve gotta have your weekly team meetings. It doesn’t have to be for a long time, but it it needs to have a purpose. And that is to bring the team together. And again, you don’t need to be together physically. This can be done on zoom now.

So people can be sitting in their cars. They can be sitting on a tin of paint. And and just have their phone and they can participate in a meeting. Face-to-face is obviously better. But I don’t want to, give that to you as an excuse.

So you can you can use zoom and all sorts of things to bring people together. Weekly team meeting very very powerful. The next one and I think the one that is most important because it makes the biggest difference. But when I say that I don’t want you to go, well I’ll just do that one.

I think you need to do all three to have maximum effectiveness. And this is the daily direction meeting. It’s a it’s a first thing of a morning standup meeting. Again it can be done on zoom. Anyone can be anywhere. Five to seven minutes. And it’s all about, what we’re going to do today differently.

So a lot of people make the mistake of thinking the daily direction meeting is all about, what we’re gonna get done today. We gotta get all the roof trusses on today. We gotta get all the today, the windows in today, or whatever it might be. That’s okay.

But the real key to the value of the daily direction meeting is having a discussion as to how we’re gonna do it. What are the ideas, that we should have talked about in the weekly team meeting. That we can implement today, to to test.

So we can see that if we do it a little bit differently, it might be more productive. It might be easier. It might be more fun. It might be a few more laughs. It might get rid of a problem.

The key with this is that, the whole team can get involved in the, the contribution to how we do things. And when you start to get the team involved in creating change in your business, step back and see what happens.

To the level of problems, to the level of productivity, to morale. There are so many benefits for doing this. So I would suggest to you that you invest this five to seven minutes every day, into a daily direction meeting.

It is an absolute game changer. And the final one, is what we call the MOOO. Which stands for monthly one-on-one. M with three zeros. MOOO.

It’s a monthly one-on-one. And, that again this doesn’t have to be war and peace either. This this doesn’t have to be a drawn out hour thing. It can be a 10 or a 15 minute discussion. But it’s all about the individual. How they’re feeling. Where they would like to go.

Like what are the possibilities within this organization for me? And you might be thinking well there aren’t any. We just gotta build what we gotta build.

There are lots of things that people can get involved with. And there are many parts to a business even if it’s just you and an apprentice.

There is still an administration department, a production department, a business development department. Which then splits into, marketing, and sales, and customer experience.

Systems, procedures are all part of administration. Financial management and measurement is all part of administration. Bringing the team together is all part of productivity. And and the way that we do things, and the skills, for the the team members that’s all part.

So there’s all of these areas that different people in the organization would probably have a lot to contribute to. And if you open up the possibilities, then they can start to get excited about their future with your business.

Rather than just turning into a robot and showing up every day for their pay. So you you fundamentally get your employees from the neck down. They’re just robots. And they do the work, and they don’t contribute to the improvement of your business.

But that can all be turned around, with the MOOO. With the monthly one on one. One of the really great tools you can use for a monthly one-on-one it’s called a pathways document. And and it’s just like all of the different areas of your business.

You can set it up like a you are here map. You know when you go into the shopping center and it says, you are here and to get over there here’s how you get there. And one of the things folks, that I would put on your pathways document, is run your own business.

Because here’s the thing, if you have got a talented, skilled person in your business, there’s probably a thought somewhere in their mind, that they wanna run their own business one day. And here’s the thing, there’s no way you’re ever gonna stop it.

So you might as well get on the train. You might as well get on board with them and say, if that is something you’re thinking about, let me help you do it. And here’s what you need to know. Here’s all of the compliance. Here’s all the responsibility.

Here’s all of the challenges, that you need to be prepared for, if you’re gonna run your own business. Let me help you understand them. We’ve done this before with with a number of blackbelt members. And sometimes, more often you think that that person who wanted to run their own business goes, stuff that for a joke.

I’m gonna stay here because I can get all of the the value, the jollies that I would get running my own business, without the risk. Because they can contribute. They can grow. They can learn. They can be part of a team. But they don’t have to take that risk. And you end up getting a really great team member.

A very loyal team member. Because you are open enough, to be able to put that option on the table and discuss it with them. And then they can choose whether they to go in that direction or not. And but even if they do, they are going to end up being an ally.

They’re going to be someone who respects you, and feel still feels loyal to you. And they’re gonna be a great ally for you where you can get together and work on things together and share resources. And you’re not going to be opposition.

You’re going to be competition. And that that means to conspire together. You can work together for the benefit of both businesses. So the monthly one-on-one super super powerful. And just to wind this whole thing up.

One last thing with with any and all of these meetings. Do not start them, if there’s any chance that they’re gonna stop. So what I mean by that, never ever not do a daily direction meeting because I’ve gotta go and speak to a client.

What that says to your team, is the client is more important than you. And that’s not the truth. The truth is the team are far more important than the client. And you need to behave in a manner that communicates that.

So the best thing you can do is when the team know you’re super under the pump and there’s issues and you should be having a meeting with a client but you’re with them instead, that’s powerful stuff. So when you start these meetings do not stop them under any circumstances. Schedule the monthly meetings in.

Give people plenty of notice to be able to prepare. And you make sure you prepare with any of these meetings. The secret is whoever’s running the show, they put in a massive amount of preparation. Don’t show up and do these meetings by the seat of your pants. You’ll be wasting everybody else’s time.

When you turn up to your daily direction meeting, you know you need to know what the the objective was yesterday. You need to know what the performance in relation to that objective was yesterday. So you can you can give out the carrots all right?

The rewards from the carrot principle. You need to know what the agenda is for today. And the the whole of the daily direction meeting is 100% positive.

So you are celebrating the wins or celebrating the lessons. If you didn’t get there there will be a lesson, celebrate that instead. But the daily direction meeting is 100% positive. There’s no negativity in it at all.

You can address the things in the weekly team meetings. And you can support the individual in the monthly one-on-ones. That is an absolute recipe for success right there. Do not start them if you have any chance of stopping them.

Q & A

So Q and A time. The Q and A kind of, suppose fits in some, some way to what we’ve just been talking about with team.

Because it’s how to recruit great team members. And there’s just a few principles you need to be aware of. And the number one principle, that I think gets overlooked so often. People agree with it, but when they go to implement and recruit, they kinda step away from it.

And that is, hire or look for passion, over school. We think that if if we’ve got someone who is, is experienced and skillful, we can just get them in and they can, they can hit the ground running straight away. That might be the case.

But if a person doesn’t have passion, all of the things we talked about before in the in the meetings and the contributing and and growing with the team and all of that sort of stuff, they they won’t be a good team member. A good team member needs to have passion.

They need to want to grow, want to learn, want to contribute, want to be part of a team, all of that sort of stuff. And so, you need somebody with passion. And you can’t teach it. That that’s just, in built in somebody. They’re either passionate enthusiastic open, or they’re not.

They’re closed and they’re old school and they do it their way, and they don’t care about people around them and all that sort of stuff.

And they might be the most skilled person around, but if they’re not a great team member, they’re not you know they’re not great for the team. What always pops into my mind about this, I watched a fantastic in fact I bought a DVD. One DVD cost me two grand about 12 years ago or more.

Lee Matthews created a DVD all about team and building an elite team and the building blocks and blah blah blah blah. And he was talking about this very subject and guess who he used, and if you’re a footy fan from back in the early 2000s you’d know the name Jason Akermanis.

And he used that as, an example of of, you can have a really really skillful team member. And there was no arguing that Jason Akermanis was one of the more skillful talented footballers of that time.

But there was plenty of evidence that, indicated that he wasn’t the best team member. And and the Brisbane Lions while they won three premierships in a row.

Shortly after that, they got rid of Jason Akermanis. And I think he went to the to the Bulldogs. And he only stayed with them a year. And that’s that’s a great example of, what you really need is someone who will contribute to the team. Has has a real team mentality.

Not just that individual skill level. And that’s the same with business. That’s what you’ve gotta look for. The next thing you’ve gotta do, is that you’ve gotta create the perfect avatar.

And so with this process, I want you to write down everything about this person that you want in your business. Be politically incorrect about it. You know what gender and what age and what interests and their marital status and all of that sort of stuff.

It’s a fictitious character. Because all we wanna do, is identify that person and then find out, get into their mind and go what would, attract them to our business? And then the next step is you write a letter to them. And I know this sounds wonky and weird.

But do it and see what happens. Write a personal letter to them as if you’re about to put it in the mail and send it to them as if they existed. And write a letter that says, this is our philosophy. And, we know what sort of person you are.

And and here are the benefits, and the value you will receive by joining our team. And you write that letter. Now then when you get to the point where you’re writing the ad for whoever you want, use that letter as the basis for the content for the ad you’re gonna write.

Don’t do the standard garden variety, plain vanilla, ads that you see all of the time, to try and attract people. Do it differently. Because this will start to tap into the right type of person’s thought process. Because they they feel like this is exactly the right place for them to be.

Now the the crazy thing with this folks is more often than not, more often than you would think, for it to be a coincidence, it’s something to do with the law of attraction I think. If you get into the detail of this person you wanna to attract, more often than not, our blackbelt members have done this. And that person has just showed up.

You know before they’ve got to write the ad. It’s something to do with you know, the reticular activating system in your brain. And all of this sort of stuff to be able to find that exact person. But it’s so such a powerful exercise.

Personal Productivity Hack

Personal productivity hack. I love this personal productivity hack. It’s called the seven column system. Seven. Guess what else has seven, seven days.

So it might be a hint as to what it is. So you create a column for each day. This is super simple. But it’s really really powerful. And what you need to do, is things like your personal success ritual.

Your daily direction meetings. Your weekly team meetings. Any of your professional development. Any administration stuff. Anything that you do on a regular basis that shows up in your to-do list.

Your regular activity each day or each week. I want you to put it into the column. Where you think it’s best to do it. And so the whole idea of the seven column system, is that you build out the perfect week. It would be smart to do this before that. And that would work better if I did that on this day.

Because there are times of days and days a week, when you’re really switched on. And when perhaps you’re not so switched on you’re a bit lethargic or whatever. So you put the appropriate, you put the the the activities in the appropriate day and time, for how you generally operate.

And you can start to massage your week, to be significantly more effective. And you just do it for a week or maybe a couple of weeks, and then you go back to it and go maybe, it might be better if I flip those things over or move this over to that day.

And the seven column system absolutely works a treat. It gets you really really clear on all of the things that you do. It can help you find things that you don’t need to do anymore. And you can delegate or outsource or automate or just not do them anymore because they’re irrelevant.

But it also, gets the right activity at the right time. Because a lot of the time, we will be doing stuff that we really need to be switched on mentally for, at the end of the day. Like a lot of builders will be doing that sort of stuff.

They get up early they go straight to site, and they start working working working, and then they come home and inhale a bit of dinner and talk to the kids for five minutes, and then go back into their office and start to do this cerebral stuff.

This stuff they need to be switched on for, but they are shagged. They are shattered. They’re done. And they’re trying to to put the effort into this activity, and it’s just not working.

So sometimes you might be able to flip that over and do that stuff at the start of the day. And and we’ve found that when that sort of thing happens you start to get more free time.

So you’re not inhaling your food and spending five minutes with the kids. You can spend quality time with the family. You can get your time back by putting the right things in the right place.

So they get done more efficiently and more effectively, and in the appropriate order. So just it’s like a set of plans but you’re just zooming out of your week, and figuring out what would be best at what day and what time.

And then you just look at the results and massage it and move it around. So it’s it’s gets better and better every week.

Takeaway & Jump On A Call

So what’s the takeaway? To me the takeaway is if you want time and financial freedom you must build a team and learn to be the coach.

You can’t be I don’t think effectively, the playing coach anymore. You know if you really wanna build a great team you’ve gotta figure out what you need to do over time.

So you are the full time professional coach of your business, rather than the playing coach. You just don’t see them too much anymore. And the thing is the more you do, okay the more you get involved in the day to day stuff, you’ll find the more learned helplessness, will be created in your business. People will become less useful.

They’ll be asking you for all of the answers. They’ll be waiting for you to fix everything and come up with all of the solutions. If you move away and help them become more successful, everybody wins. So it’s super powerful.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, of Builders Business Success podcast. If you’ve got any questions we’d love to talk to you. So as I’ve said all the way through, just need to jump on a call.

Like we’re not gonna bite. And there’s nothing to buy. Like you don’t need to bring your credit card to this conversation. It is simply a conversation to find out where you are.

What’s in your way. Let us point you in the appropriate direction for where you are right now. What you need right now. What you want right now. And we know where everything is. So we can just point you to the resources and the ideas that are out there, to help you move further faster.

So I hope that’s helpful. I hope we get to talk to you in person real soon. As I said if you’re watching this live, put in hashtag live.

If you’re watching the replay put in hashtag replay and we will be back before you know it. In, about seven days. We’re out about seven days from now. We’ll be back on on a Tuesday. It’ll be about 10:00 a.m in the Builders Business Success forum.

If you wanna participate live make some comments. Disparaging or otherwise I don’t mind. As long as you get in there and have a conversation and start to engage I’d love it. So that is it for this episode of Builders Business Success podcast.

I’m Mick Hawes from Builders Business Blackbelt. Love to be talking to you again real soon on another podcast or on a personal call. That’s it. Bye for now.

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