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At Greenlight Guru, David and his team spend a lot of time focusing on culture. He calls the company culture unique, but he says that culture doesn’t fall down on you like rain. You don’t experience culture; you participate in it.
Leaders can think about culture and work to create culture, but leaders can’t execute culture. It’s like a plant that will grow the way that it grows, and if everyone isn’t on board with the culture, the culture won’t grow the way leaders want it to. [4:51]
As a result, David’s team looks to everyone on the team to get involved and participate in the culture.
People will work how they feel, and if they feel great, they’ll bring an entirely different energy to their efforts.
David’s team intentionally calls work your profession. He points to the fact that the leaders in every industry, (think Tiger Woods, Warren Buffet, Jimi Hendrix) have devoted themselves to their work. Their work is their profession. [6:35]
Listeners of this podcast have devoted their lives to sales and it’s their profession. Your profession isn’t just what you do; it’s what you believe. David’s team has worked to bring all of those aspects into the culture.
Companies tend to focus on results, and by focusing on results you can miss the one thing you desire the most, which is the people, culture, and execution.
David became immediately aware of the “it” factor when he subbed as a coach for a little league baseball team. As soon as he encountered the players on the team, he could tell who the natural athletes were.
They moved naturally. They were confident. The true players were like fish in water.
David took the lessons he learned from that sports experience and moved them into his business. He prioritizes where people aim in order to find leaders.
Setting the bar high for yourself can create a lot of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. People with the “it” factor know how to set the bar high because they understand that the vision they create is more exciting than the fear they experience as a result of setting it there. [9:46]
You can feel the “it” factor when you meet people. They have reached high levels in everything they’ve done and they have a lot of swagger. They’ve survived a lot of hardship.
One of the company’s core values is something it calls “alligator blood,” which refers to those people who are resistant to the endless psychological blows, and competitive enough to keep pounding away on others when they are ahead.
Not everyone is wired that way. You can coach it and build it, but when you find the “it” factor, you’re in the right place.
The people who love the struggle and who set the bar really high for themselves exude an energy that spreads to the people around them. [12:21]
David’s team focuses on the medical device industry. It’s a tough industry with a complicated product and a complicated regulatory environment, and the rules are constantly changing.
Instead of spending time talking about how hard the work is, the company focuses on true quality and being great. They take a one-game-at-a-time mentality, knowing that you can’t win the Super Bowl in week 1. [17:09]
Because the team understands that there’s a long way to go, it’s able to focus on execution.
David’s hiring process strives to bring people to the team who naturally fit that culture. Some personalities might work really well in other industries, but not in David’s industry.
It’s not in the company’s DNA to have a bad actor in the company.
The best way to destroy a company is from the inside. The same is true of building it. David’s team measures its success partly by whether the entire team is living the core values.
If you discover that your culture isn’t exactly where you’d like it to be, begin inside the organization. [19:50]
People who have had to perform in the past and really put themselves out there for the good of the team (like authors, musicians, and athletes) often make great recruits.
If a person doesn’t fit your core values, no matter how talented he is, you will have to unravel a huge mess if you hire him.
Raising the level of play
People with the “it” factor have a combination of God-given ability, work ethic, fun, and what David calls bounce. [20:57]
They win battles, they win games, they overcome odds, they win championships, and along the way, they raise the energy and the level of play for the people around them.
The team gets better, and the players respond and get better. When that happens, you’ve got something really special.
“It Factor” episode resources
David’s team is always hiring people who want to play at the highest level. If you’re interested in figuring out whether you’re a good fit, you can connect with David’s team at www.greenlight.guru on the careers page. [21:55]
You can also connect with David on his LinkedIn page.
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