Teamwork That Makes The Dreamwork-The Power Of Core Values!
by DARRELL ANDREWS
Darrell “Coach D” Andrews is an internationally-recognized motivational speaker, strategist, author and career-life coach. His presentations have transformed thousands of corporations, schools, colleges, and associations worldwide for close to two decades. His story, “5 Garbage Bags and a Dream,”is one of the top stories in the national best seller Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul. As a speaker, career-life coach and trainer, he has been invited to speak to some of the nation’s top corporations, education institutions and non-profit associations. He has shared the stage with some of the foremost thought leaders in the world.
Coach D received his CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation from the National Speakers Association and the Global Federation of Speakers. Less than 500 speakers worldwide have received this special accreditation. Thousands of corporations, schools and colleges, associations and workforce development organizations have contacted Coach D to share his expertise.
Announcer: Darrell "Coach D" Andrews is an internationally recognized motivational strategist, author, accountability coach, and founder of Darrell Andrews Enterprises. Coach D is a regular speaker and trainer at conferences, businesses, academic institutions, and organizations worldwide. Coach D is a certified speaking professional who helps corporations, academic institutions, and workforce development agencies enhance workplace and organizational outcomes via motivational training, speaking, and coaching systems. He is a regular media guest and has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, The Tavis Smiley Show, and multiple Comcast Cable Vision News and Fox Shows. Most importantly, he's been happily married for 20 years, and he's the proud father of four beautiful children.
Darrell: Hello, everyone. This is Darrell "Coach D" Andrews, and welcome to the presentation 'Teamwork That Makes The Dream Work: The Power Of Organizational Core Values'. And it's my hope in conducting this presentation for the Bamboo HR Conference that you, as an HR director or leader of your organization, will learn some specific information that could be helpful as it relates to building effective teams within your organization, be it corporate, nonprofit, or whatever type of entity that you are. I've been working with organizations now for over 18 years, and for a number of years, I ran successful organizations and businesses. I recall a specific organization we ran at Workforce Development that became one of the top workforce development initiatives in the United States. But the primary reason why was the team that we put together. So I know personally firsthand the big importance of developing a successful team and the process behind it. So what I'm going to do today is share some information that could be helpful to you, again, achieving that specific goal.
I want to start off by sharing a few words with you when we think about establishing an effective team, a few words that I think that are critical in the process of doing so. The first word I want to share with you is the word 'perception'. And as you can see by the slide statement, and that is, "Collective perceptions within an organizational construct determines organizational outcomes." Bottom line is, and many of us have heard this before, but that is perception is reality. So the reality we have individually, organizationally, often collectively, when we look at it collectively, impacts the overall goals of our organization. And as an HR professional, I know that's important to you because you're trying, in your hiring practices, to build successful teams and successful organizations. So having the right people with the right perception is of critical importance.
The second word I want to share with you is a word that many people would know me by. And that is the word 'passion'. And I like the statement that is, "Passion is the fuel that lights the fire of all workplace creativity." That's a powerful statement when you think about building a dream team because bottom line is, when you have a team of passionate people in the workplace, it helps in areas of innovation, productivity, workplace climate, and the like. I remember one time, you can see in this picture, I met Earvin "Magic" Johnson, one of the greatest basketball players that ever lived. And a statement he made to me I'll never forget is, I asked him, "So what's the key to your success?" And he said this to me, and right now, a lot of you may not know, he's a very successful business owner, one of the most successful business owners in our country, had a great lucrative, a successful career in basketball, but his statement was very clear. He said, "Coach, bottom line is, the reason why I'm successful is because nobody," and now, maybe he was a little bit...I don't want to say arrogant in saying this. But this is the way he feels. He said, "I may not be the smartest person on the world, on the planet, but nobody has more passion than me. And I'm passionate about what I do."
And I hear what he's saying. You know, in an organizational setting, again, an organizational construct, it's important to have people with passion because that helps with creativity within our organization. So keeping that in mind, I just wanna share a few of the learning objectives for this session basically to the point, basic and clear. Really it's...I want to discuss the power of teamwork and core values to change your corporate or organizational climate. One of the number one things I hear from my customers and people I work with is, "We're doing some things, we're doing some neat things. But our climate sometimes can be a little bit challenging." One of the keys to HR success or leadership success or ownership success across the board is having a team of people within the organization that know how to work together. And teamwork and core values can help with that, to analyze building team synergy.
And synergy is really taking two entities working together to achieve a specific outcome; it's the energy that's in the middle of that, synergy. And so we're going to talk a little bit about that in the team building process. And then to communicate the importance of creating what I started saying a long time ago. Even though there's a sports side, I've been saying for organizations and corporations, building organizational dream teams. I believe that just like the sports teams if they can create sports dream teams, we can create organizational dream teams, and produce the same outcomes that the sports teams have achieved over the years. So it's important to think about...then we're going to be talking about that.
One of the challenges we've face, of course, in any leadership capacity is just people. I know this is a strange looking picture but sometimes I think some of the managers I work with and some of the coaching consultants, even some presidents of organizations, sometimes they look like this because how do we deal with this people stuff? Getting people to work together, getting people to adhere to the organizational expectations, that's the cry of a lot of people in corporate America, and again, in organizations throughout the country. I often joke in some of our presentations is that if we didn't have the people element, then we wouldn't have any problems. But the challenge comes from dealing with people and trying to get people to come together under one umbrella for a specific outcome.
So we got to look at that. And so I just want to share a quick story about some lessons learned from working with the world's largest company. I was invited to speak to all of the Walmart senior managers worldwide. They actually flew me down. As you see, this jet here picked me up in my area, flew me down there to speak to all the senior managers. They had them satellite in from all over the world, and this is a picture when I was there with Mike Duke, who was the then-president since retired, but president of Walmart. And I remember asking Mike, Mr. Duke, a question, and just to get a feel from his perspective when it comes to dealing with the people element. And I wanted to get some thoughts from him. And I asked him the question, I said, "Mr. Duke, what do you think your greatest challenge is as it relates to what you're trying to accomplish within the Walmart organization? What's one of your greatest challenges?"
And he went down with a laundry list of different things. He shared all kinds of different challenges that they face. And I said, "Let me give you my thoughts, I think, on what one of the greatest challenges is, for you and for anyone. And that is when you hire people, and particularly in the case of Walmart who's hired millions of people, you're bringing a lot of people together who have different perspectives, different perceptions. And the key for any leader in any capacity is how do you get all those different perceptions, ideas, concepts, life experiences to come together under one accord to achieve an outcome." And he had to agree, that was a good analysis. Now he had some other things as well.
I think that's the challenge with a lot of organizations. But I did learn a lot working with Walmart Corporation, as far as the way they operate. And it tells you, I guess, it could lead to why they're one of the largest corporations in the world. I was there actually talking about what they call one of their core values, 'striving for excellence', during my presentation. But commitment to core values is the root of organizational effectiveness. I always say this. I've done consulting and training, and I take people to locations and we do all kinds of trainings, pull the managers out, pull the leaders out. And we go to a location, and we go through the process. But I said if the organizational core values aren't driving your company, it's going to be very difficult to have a successful company. It's going to be very difficult. The core values define who you are, and I'll go to that in just a few moments, but it's important to understand how significant this is in the onset of this.
Continuous improvement via values has to be ingrained in the organizational mission. So now we have the core values, but then you have this mission. And we can't just have a mission. People put mission statements on the wall and think that's it. But no, we have to analyze the mission, the core values. Are we adhering to them? What are the measurements that we have in place to know that we're adhering to them? Because keep in mind what I told Mr. Duke. You have all of these different people coming from different backgrounds to achieve a specific outcome. So we have to make sure it's important that we measure this and look at it. Empowerment of people at local level creates workplace ownership. So again, this is, again, things I learned working with Walmart, that at the local level if you're a large corporation, you have people all over the world, how do you empower them at the local level to take ownership? I think that's steeped in core values as well. And then bringing synergy to millions of individualized perceptions can take powerful leadership. I just mentioned that with Mike Duke, what takes powerful leadership. It don't matter if you're a large corporation like a Walmart or a smaller business. It really doesn't matter. It takes great, effective leadership in order to do that.
One of the keys to doing this is change. When I work with organizations, sometimes I find that many times they become very comfortable in their way of operating. And I say, you know, particularly in this generation, it's critical to realize that change is just a part of the process. And I always say change and innovation go hand-in-hand. You need both. Change and innovation. So in order to achieve the outcomes that I want to be talking about in a few moments, really change is important. And change can sometimes be uncomfortable. But in order to advance, it's necessary. Change is necessary to build a successful team that advances year after year. You look at sports teams. That's one thing they look at. They look at sometimes bringing in new players, free agents, different people to help their team win. A corporate team has to do the same thing. An organizational team has to do the same thing. What is it going to take in order for us to advance? Sometimes it's change. Not just change in people, but change in mindsets, change in processes and systems, as well.
Hiring for individuality over possible team continuity has the potential to harm organizational success. That number two is important because, and I share this at many conferences, and that is that it's important to understand you want to build a team, not an individual. If you have one superstar and everybody else, no. You want a team that's willing to work together. I work with a lot of sales teams, and I tell them what you want is people with great skill sets, but people who are willing to use those skill sets to better the team as a whole. Not just self but team. And so change is a critical part of this process, a critical part.
So that leads me to talking about teamwork. And I kind of came up with a teamwork acrostic. And that is Totally Exceptional Attitudes Meshing. In other words, totally exceptional attitudes who are coming together for the betterment of the organizational team and the outcomes of the organization. I was just recently in Texas, and I had the chance to meet a HR leader for a company called Charming Charlie. And when she shared with me what the goals of the company are over the next year, a new company that's an upstart, they have well over 350 retail outlets, and they're looking at advancing to...they want a thousand or so by the time, I don't know, five, six years from now. But what was interesting is to hear her excitement about the potential of the company. And in talking to her, and I wasn't there speaking to her company, I was there speaking to another organization and she just happened to be in that organization during the time I was there, I can see that she had an attitude that was conducive of what their company was all about.
So totally exceptional attitudes meshing is just so important. Coming together, that's how you create a powerful team that produces team outcomes, positive team outcomes. So attitude is one of the keywords in there. And I like what Dr. Eleanor Libby, who was immunologist and Ph.D., what she says about attitude. She's out at Boston University. She says, "Our thoughts affect the way we feel more so than we eat." Researchers throughout the world, including Harvard's Body and Mind Institute, suggest that positive thoughts increase white blood cell count, helping the fight with disease and infection. Positive thoughts also increases the body production of adrenaline and endorphins, which helps with overall vitality and excitement about life. If you want to improve the way you feel and look, begin with you attitude and instantly feel better about life and all that it has to offer for less than the cost of a Big Mac." She's basically is saying it's free.
Dr. William James out of Harvard University made this statement about attitude. He said, "Of all of this research and all of these hypotheses over 50-year period," he basically said this at the end of all of that. He said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a person can change their life by changing their attitudes and mind." If I was with you or your organization right now, I will have us all give a high five and say that attitude is everything. Because it really is. Attitude is truly everything when it comes to team success. So why is that so important? Why is attitude, teamwork, and core values so important? Well when you look at team dynamics, look at it from the positive and negative side. A positive team mindset or paradigm produces energy. Negative produces apathy. That's when it's hard to get people to do things in a proper manner, hard for them to think outside the box because the environment is not conducive of it. Encourages collaboration, positive. Negative creates cynicism. I've been in some workplaces where they've been built on cynicism, negativity, and not necessarily advancing one another but downplaying one another. That does not help the organization grow at all. It actually hinders growth.
Establishes organizational harmony. So when it's positive, we are heading together towards a common goal as an organization. There's some harmony there. There's a sense of...when you're walk in the workplace, there's a sense of, "I'm doing something that's meaningful and I feel good about this." But when it's negative, it limits potential. People don't typically give it their best. Lastly, team dynamics, or from a team dynamic standpoint, long-term...positive impacts long-term success. In the negative, it can be short-term success than failure. So even from a management perspective, one thing I'm always making sure that I'm building my team up in such a way. Because I can push them and I can ride them, and then sometimes we have to be a little bit more assertive in what we're doing, but if I'm not strengthening their leadership skills, strengthen them as being a coach for them, then guess what? We may have quick success, but then it can cause our demise because people start to burn out. So the team dynamics is, they are really, really important.
So the first strategy I want to take a look at today is make core values a team success measurement tool. And look at the statement that we have here. "Show me an organization that has their core values as posters on the wall only, and I will show you an organization that is steeped in individualism." In other words, if I have core values let's say...because some people say we do have core values, my question to that organization is, are you using them? If it's just we go for one-time core values training, put the posters on the wall, you're not adhering to core value. You have posters on the wall. And that's it.
And so what you'll find is each person is operating in their own little...what do you call it? Like little area and not really caring about the bigger...silos, what I was trying to say, and not really caring about the bigger picture. So core values are important to team success. I've done, in the last couple of months, several bringing management teams together and defining 'What is the core value?', because some of these companies are growing, they're seeing financial success, but internally, they are not doing well because they can't work together. So their talent and skills they're bringing things to business or whatever. But as far as the growth of the company, they don't like the direction that it's going. And so we have to sit down and redefine some things with these organizations.
Core values are agreed upon and established statements that define the culture, climate, and expectations of any business or organization. They are the primary tool for effective team building. So core values are statements that are really derived from an organizational mission. So really one of the key things is to work on a mission and from that derive the core values that we're trying to accomplish within our organizations. But what are some hindrances to core value success? Number one is inconsistency in enforcement. In other words, we're not analyzing. We're not looking at are people really adhering to the values that we're trying to ascribe to within this organization? Leadership that lacks confidence. Sometimes you have leaders who don't know how to engage their staff because they really haven't fully understood leadership. Which I learned a long time ago that sometimes leadership just means you're going to have to make people a little uncomfortable to pull the best out of them. I would say one of my greatest joys of being a leader for so many years in organizations and all that is to see people who've worked with me, who no longer work with me excelling in life because of the leadership that I provided for them, stretching them beyond their limitations, engaging them, working together collaboratively, and what you're going to hear in a few moments, coaching them sometimes more so than managing them.
Hiring superstars instead of team players. I think we should go for the best people. I think in our HR practices, we got to find people that can do this and do it effectively. However, that person really needs to be a team player, alright? It can't just be about them. You know, you think about the interview. That's a part of your interviewing process. You want to pull out 'Is this person going to come here and help the organization as a whole get better? Or are they just going to do it themselves, and to the betterment of their own outcomes in life and career?' So those can be some of the hindrances that you experience. Let me go back here. I'm sorry. I jumped ahead a little fast.
So, implementation strategies. Number one, bring your values to life. You have to take time to sit down and go through a think tank model, departmentally or cross-organizationally. This is not something you do overnight. It's a process. Bring your values to life, analyze them. How do we work them? How are we going to analyze each aspect? Like I mentioned with Walmart, they literally took a guy like me and flew me down, even though they have trainers and all these different people that talk specifically about striving for excellence. They realized that it's so important that we sometimes have to invest in bringing in resources to help us drive home these core values. So whatever it takes to bring it alive, bring it alive. Make it a part of everyone's daily thought process within the organization.
Two, hire team players, alright? Hire people that are going to be team players. Ask those questions. Give me an example when you and the team...you know this better than I do because you're HR executives. Ask those questions, because again, they may have talent, but can they bring that talent to the table? And then share your core values during the interview process; see if they're going to align to your core values. That's of critical importance. And then turn managers into coaches. That's one of the things I love. I mean, I do a lot of trainings, but I love that training in particular because a lot of the managers look at management as simply just managing. But true leaders are great coaches, not just managers only. They're taking people and bettering people, and helping them become more effective in their position. And taking the core values and helping these people that we've coached adhere to the core values. So helping turn managers into coaches is another...we talk about core values; it's a critical component. So that's important.
The second strategy is embrace the team development process. And I have to pause with this one because this one is not easy because it's a process within itself. And the process I'm going to share is not mine, but someone else's who did some research on this. And many of you out there may have heard this before but I still think it's very much relevant. One of my mentors is a gentleman named Earl Stafford, and he created the company years ago by the name of Unitech that he sold to Lockheed Martin for half a billion dollars. Now he's involved with venture capital. Venture capital, he has his own firm there. But one thing he told me a long time ago was fall in love with the process and not the dream. If you fall in love with the process, you achieve your goals. It is the process that qualifies you for leadership. And it really is the process.
I like this little statement over here. TEAM. Here's another one. It's not mine, but, 'together everyone achieves more'. So fall in love with the process. And what is the process when it comes to team development? And this is Dr. Bruce Tuckman's process. And he talks about the steps to building group or team systems or building teams. He has his own model of doing this. And what he talks about is these different stages. The first stage, when you talk about team development--and good leaders understand this process; they work through it--is forming. That's pulling the team together. That's hiring. That's finding the right people.
Stage two is storming. Now we've got the team together. We have to take all of our differences and figure out how we're going to work together. Let me tell you something that I've found with a lot of organizations. A lot of organizations and businesses get stuck in the storming stages. And what's evident of that is the way we communicate with each other. We're frustrated. We're angry. We can't even look each other in the eye, all these different things. Because we're storming, not realizing that effective communications help us to get through this phase instead of staying there. Or it can be management styles, understanding styles helps because sometimes people are certain ways because of their style. You find it more of the driver personality is going to be more assertive, where the demonstrative may be different. So understanding styles help, but if it's a person that feels, "I'm only going to things out of people by hammering them," you can stay in the storming stage.
So realistically, there needs to be some communications. As far as advancing beyond that stage into norming [SP]. We have an understanding of each other's styles. We understand how we operate as an organization. Our values are in place, and we are operating like a well-oiled machine. And once we get to that point, now we're performing. We are performing. Again, I can't take credit for this. Dr. Bruce Tuckman, this is his research. I believe he's out of the University of San Diego. And he did this research years ago, but when you're going to develop a team, you can't feel uncomfortable going through this process. It's necessary. It's necessary. And so his insights were important.
Implementation strategies. Take your teams through the process and then stay the course. Don't be discouraged by things that may happen. If you're a startup company, do it the moment...once you get your team together, go through this process. It's so important because you are going to lay your foundation. I've been with companies who have been older companies, but I've been with younger companies. In the first four to five years, I [inaudible 00:25:16] with a company recently went from a zero to a billion dollars in five years. However, their team is hurting. And the reason why is they're making money, team things are going well, but they don't have team continuity. So go through the process. That way, as you grow and your revenue is growing, your profits grow, guess what? Internally, your organization is growing as well, which creates a healthy work environment.
Analyze progress. Look at how your organization is operating based upon core values and your team expectations. And say, "Are we staying the course? Are we staying on point with our goals and objectives?" It's important to analyze. Dr. Benjamin Bloom talks about the three highest levels of critical thinking, and he talks about the three highest levels. Knowledge is not the highest. He said knowledge is number six. The three highest levels are analysis, synthesis, and judgment evaluation. That's all process stuff in there. And so what..team building is necessary. And then allow people to be honest in their team input. There's nothing worse than just being superimposed. "Do this because." No. Teams need to be working together to produce outcomes. So when we talk about this process, we need to talk about forming and developing this team, these three are critical implementations, strategies.
And moving on to the last part of all of this, our strategy number three is create unit-based or cross-functional dream teams. I made the statement here, and it's really on point. That is, accountability is the key to ongoing success. Nothing frustrates me more than a trainer--and don't get me wrong, I get invited to do motivational things. And believe me, I can fire up teams in a minute. I really can. I get invited to speak at conferences, I can do that. That's easy. But nothing frustrates me more than when you do training and it's just a one-time training with no follow-up or no strategic steps. And here's a statement that I use a lot. And that is this: "Motivation without information is simply a good conversation." If you use that, make sure you give me credit. Bottom line is, you got to have accountability in your systems or your systems will continue to not hit the goals that you aspire to. Use, when it comes to dream teams, use...unit-based teams to be broken up into mini support-based dream teams. So if you're departmental, you should take the department, if it's a mid-sized, and maybe break it up into two or three teams that can work together towards creating the organization goals, building the core values, things of that nature.
Now, cross-functional teams, that's various departments taking people from each department and pulling them together. There are dream teams from different departments who can come together to encourage the overall goal. So what's nice about those cross-functional teams is the cross-functional team can get input from different department viewpoint, as far as teamwork that makes the dreamwork in building our organization. That's a nice model that could be used. And then just lastly, again, accountability towards a specific outcome or outcomes is the strength behind dream team development. The key is once you do this, once you train, once you coach, once you can [inaudible 00:28:26]...I often tell people when I come in, don't just have me come in and then we're done. Let me work with somebody, whatever. We need to stay the course with this to produce the long-term outcomes. Because the long-term, the things that you produce and pull together will become the policy. They'll become the mode of operation within your organization. So one-time trainings are nice, but you really need to have something to place to build this beyond that.
Implementation strategy, start with a test group. Work up the kinks. Maybe start with a small group and work up the kinks. Again, analyzing the core values, analyzing the team building strategies. And see how it's working, what's not working, and build from there. Develop dream team leadership. So if you have several dream teams within your organization working out these core values and all these different things, define a leader for each group. And then allow the leaders to come together to analyze what's going on in their groups. Again, keep in mind Dr. Benjamin Bloom's model: analysis, synthesis, judgment, evaluation. Judgment and evaluation being the highest level of critical thinking.
So develop dream team leadership from these individual teams, and then allow them to come together and strategize. Just like a dream team in sports, you have the captains. And they're the ones that really help to drive the team outcome. Alright? Train, motivate, and coach teams. So continue to train them. Once you get the team in place, continue to train them on the core values. Continue to train them on the organizational expectations. And give them a chance to make it happen. And then motivate them because all people from time to time just need motivation. You need information, but you do also need motivation. Just like a car with fuel: you need the car, but you also need the fuel. And they both need each other to operate.
And then make accountability a top priority. Make sure that accountability is critical when it comes to establishment of any teamwork efforts. Because if not, I'mma tell you, you will just do a teamwork initiative. And within a year, you've already forgotten what you've done. The key is long-term success. And that's something I do all...I'm a big proponent of long-term success, not flash-in-the-pan stuff. So that's so important.
So, alright guys. I'm going to wrap this up. I'd like to say thank you for coming out. Thank you for BambooHR for caring about this topic. Your company is a pillar and a leader in the industry, and I appreciate your opportunity to share this. I hope those who listened to it have gotten a lot out of it and help your teams become more effective overall. But it's been my pleasure to work with you today, but a statement I'd like to make is this: Implementation is the key to success. Nothing works unless you are willing to work it. It takes teamwork to make the dream work. If I was with you, again, that'd be another high five. It takes teamwork to make the dream work.
If you'd like to know a little bit more about me, again, I'm Darrell Andrews, "Coach D." Here's my website, there's my email. I do accountability and strategy coaching, professional development training. I do strategic think tanks with leaders, motivational speeches, and strategy sessions, and I do workforce development programs all over the world. I'm primarily in the United States, North America, United States, Canada, and Carribbean, but I do international work as well. And I do this, as I tell people because I love to see individuals and organizations produce passionate outcomes that achieve passionate results. Thank you so much for your time. If you have any questions, feel free to email me, feel free to call me. Again, thank you BambooHR. I hope that the conference goes well and that your attendees learn a lot as a result of these sessions that are taking place. Have a passionate day.