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4 Keys to High Performance [Podcast]

Episode 72: Michael and Kathryn cover 4 keys to high performance by Chick-fil-A®'s Mark Miller. If you want 4 simple ways to improve performance and tips for better leadership in your company, then this podcast episode is for you!

team looking at performance graph

In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover the 4 Keys to a High Performing Company (Bet on leadership; Act as one; Win the heart; Excel at execution).
  • Find out why a clear company vision will help unify your team.
  • Learn why Americans are disengaged at work and what it looks like to win the heart of your employees.
  • Discover why understanding minimum competency is a must for excelling at execution.
"One of the great things about everyone being on the same page when it comes to moving toward goals is that it gives you opportunities to celebrate when that movement happens."– Kathryn Redman

Take the Leadership Blindspot Quiz

References:

  1. Donald Miller (Business Made Simple Daily)
  2. Chick-Fil-A®
  3. Mark Miller
  4. Jim Collins

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Michael:
              Hello everyone and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And we're really glad you're here today. This is a podcast built to help leaders build passion and provision companies full of more profit and joy, full of more money and more fulfillment, for you and the people that you work with and employ.


Kathryn:
               Cash and creativity and curiosity.


Michael:
              I don't know about all those words.


Kathryn:
               And culture.


Michael:
              You just got out of control there. Today we're talking about four keys for high performance organizations that Kathryn saw on a short little 10 minute video cast, because when you're out being a leader one of the things that you're doing is you're studying. You're listening, you're being exposed to other leaders, you're getting coached hopefully and things like that, and you're just trying to learn regularly. That's usually what great leaders are doing and one of the sources that we have that we have been paying attention to lately in the office is Donald Miller, his story brand and his entire suite of different tools and stuff and he has a little five minute a day video that we recommend.


Kathryn:
               I think it's called Business Made Simple.


Michael:
              Just great little tips and stuff. If you like Donald Miller and you like his perspective, he's sharing a lot of great truths that a lot of us have looked at and kind of given his perspective on it. And he had a gentlemen from Chick-fil-A leadership, Mark Miller on there.


Kathryn:
               Donald Miller interviewed Mark Miller.


Michael:
              How about that.


Kathryn:
               They didn't even mention it was the Miller twins. In fact, I thought I'd written it down wrong.


Michael:
              It would have been like the Miller hour or something but they didn't talk for a whole hour.


Kathryn:
               Miller squared.


Michael:
              So what we're going to do is we're going to talk about, Kathryn and I were talking and we thought this would be a great thing to talk about on our podcast because it's really four really good points that he's in the middle of writing his book and bringing that out, and these are just really good ways of looking at leadership.


Kathryn:
               So just to put in context, the guy being interviewed was Mark Miller. He's the Vice President of, what is it? High Performance Leadership I think is what they call it. The VP of High Performance Leadership for Chick-fil-A.


Michael:
              Very fancy title.


Kathryn:
               Obviously, very significantly sized organization. One of the things that's really fun about Chick-fil-A is they are values driven.


Michael:
              Very values driven.


Kathryn:
               So I would say from at least a cursory outside perspective that they are a really decent example potential of a passion provision company.


Michael:
              I was going to say the same thing. I think they are. that's the funny thing about Passion and Provision, there's a lot of great companies out there that have never used the term. I was thinking about it actually earlier today after we had talked this morning, this whole idea of passion provision is so that we can put a title that works for us, and if it works for others that's great, on high performing companies, companies that are doing well and succeeding, and have a certain set of values. They actually value community, they value respect, they value enjoyment at work, the idea that work is good and that people deserve to work in places that are inspiring and healthy and encouraging to others and yet the business also needs to be profitable and succeeding. Chick-fil-A is a great example of a passion provision company and they've done things that if you're not a Chick-fil-A fan or if you don't have a Chick-fil-A in your area, matter of fact, we don't have a Chick-fil-A in our town.


Kathryn:
               We do not.


Michael:
              Which many people think is very sad.


Kathryn:
               Yes, our daughter included, because she had one up in Seattle and now she doesn't. She's very sad.


Michael:
              I mean it's fast food but on the fast food scale it can be very healthy. There's healthy things there. You can get breaded fried chicken, that type of thing.


Kathryn:
               Or you can get un-breaded, un-fried chicken.


Michael:
              You can, they've got salads and things like that, but one of the things that's really unique about the company that they said, everybody against them. I forget the word I'm looking for.


Kathryn:
               Haters.


Michael:
              The haters basically said at one point you can't keep your business model up. And the big thing about their business model was to be in an extremely competitive environment in the fast food industry, serve decent food and close on Sundays, which is really one of their values. And I love it when I run across an article because when they come up in those articles you're like, this is this thing. They literally shut down one seventh of their potential revenue driving time, right? They just shut down one whole day because of their values and the belief in a Sabbath, an idea of we're going to take one day a week off, we're not going to work all seven days and they not only are squeaking by but they're a thriving successful food chain, right?


Kathryn:
               The other thing that has always been true about them and has always attracted to me Chick-fil-A is that they are just funny.


Michael:
              Oh, their advertising.


Kathryn:
               Right? So I can remember five, six years ago my brother ...


Michael:
              Oh, ten, 12 years ago.


Kathryn:
               ... my brother sent me a calendar and if you've seen any of their ads that are all about it's kind of like the cows versus the chicken and the cows are trying to encourage you to eat more chicken, is essentially the whole thresh of their campaign. And so, they created this calendar one year, and I think they did it for several years, I'm not sure if they are anymore, but every month was some different famous person in history who was basically a cow representing that person. Anyway, it was super, super funny stuff.


Michael:
              It's harder to describe. It's losing some of its luster as you're describing it.


Kathryn:
               You know what? I'm going to send pictures.


Michael:
              Yes, over the podcast. Why don't we jump into the four things? So let me read the four characteristics and then we're going to go back and we just thought it would be really fun today to actually talk about these and how they impact and our key attributes of a Passion and Provision company. So the first one is bet on leadership, hire and build leaders. The second is act as one. The third is win the heart and the fourth, excel at execution. So, Kathryn, why don't we jump in and talk about a bet on leadership, hire and build leaders, thoughts? What were they saying about that and how does that apply to Passion and Provision?


Kathryn:
               So Mark was being super brief, this is a super short podcast.


Michael:
              It's like seven minutes long.


Kathryn:
               The thing's almost five. Super short, but basically what he said was, if you're going to grow and become a high performing organization, you really need to hire people who have leadership qualities and then you need to bet on them. So you need to pour into them, you need to equip them, you need to train them, you need to hand things off to them. You really need to bet on the people that you hire and you really need to hire people who maybe they don't want to run a company but they have leadership skills. So that's what he was saying, hire really, really well and then absolutely bet on those people.


Michael:
              And the leaders we hire in our companies are not just somebody who's the senior leader, who's going to be running the entire company. You've got teams, you've got divisions, depending on the size of your company you may have multiple locations and what you're looking for is, you really are looking for those leaders. Now I think one of the caveats on that, that happens a lot, if you haven't ever been able to successfully hire or even hired leaders yet, one of the things that comes along with that is making sure that you don't hire them and then just abandon them. Coaching, actually leading leaders, is a whole other skillset we've had to encounter over the last 7, 10 ten years of different things and realizing that, that's a whole process in itself.


Michael:
              How do you lead leaders? Because it's different and you don't want to micro manage. You want to make sure that they have an idea and, quite frankly, in a passion provision company, you want to make sure that you have your core values, your core purpose, and have that vision that we talk about in the four elements of a vision in place. I think that helps leaders immensely because when you're saying go, instead of saying, "Do it however you want. Do whatever you think, I'm just hiring a leader to take on," once you have those values in place, can you leader within this construct?


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              Can you move us closer towards our vision and can you move us closer that way within our values?


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              So that's one of the tricks. Hire those folks, don't abandon them, invest in them, build into them, coach them. We believe coaching is huge and leaders really thrive under coaching, coaching and mentoring.


Kathryn:
               Definitely.


Michael:
              So that's number one, bet on leadership. Two, act as one. What do we mean by act as one?


Kathryn:
               So one of the points that he made is that high performing organizations, the people within them, they become unified around something, and he suggested there were several things you could get unified around. It could be around the vision, right? The core purpose, it could be around a specific strategic initiative that's happening, like this quarter we are going to do X and you rally the team around the achievement of that objective, so everybody understands what role they're playing and how they're contributing to the achievement of that particular objective or strategy or whatever. So you've got kind of the larger, longer term rallying around sort of the future goals and the direction that we're going but then there's also the opportunity to really, rally around short terms initiatives.


Kathryn:
               And we've seen this at our company, like when we began building the Passion and Provision course and our team, everybody had a role to play. And there was such a unity as our team together and everybody did their part and everybody felt very invested in it and as a result feels very invested in the outcome of that. So there's an incredible power and as you work together as a team and you rally around a single important piece of the puzzle or a single objective, or a larger purpose, as you do that, you begin to see I think the different members of the team really raising their level of contribution and excitement about the entire package. So it's just to get your people to act in unity, to act as one, to realize we're all going after the same thing is super exciting.


Michael:
              And how do you do that? I mean we talk about it periodically. Let's share a couple thoughts and ideas because somebody's sitting here saying, "Okay, that's great. I totally get it."


Kathryn:
               Mark didn't tell me how, he said I'd have to buy his book.


Michael:
              I don't know how to lead unless I read Mark's book.


Kathryn:
               I need to read Mark's book, which isn't out yet so I'm going to have to hold.


Michael:
              Basically, all of us that are leaders are totally toast. I mean, I don't want to keep beating a dead horse but I want to beat a live horse.


Kathryn:
               Okay.


Michael:
              I don't know, that sounds bad.


Kathryn:
               So it goes faster?


Michael:
              No animals were hurt in the making of this podcast. What I want to go back to is a vision. I mean, we so believe a vision is important and how do you bring people together? I mean, the first thing is making sure the overall general expectation of everybody is rallying around a central main core purpose of our organization, core values within and right there, if everything I'm doing is about the core purpose of a company and ours is to help build and resource Passion and Provision leaders or help leaders build Passion and Provision companies and resourcing the ways they need it, Disney's was to make people happy, okay, at least I know what I'm doing. At least I know that that's the main goal, the main purpose, that everything I do needs to do that and then later on core values, okay, everything needs to be within those core values. There's roles within that I can play.


Kathryn:
               How we do this.


Michael:
              And the BHAG is, where are we heading? Where's the big, far out vision of what that really looks like for us when we make people happy? And, for Disney, it's have theme parks and have movies and have entertainment. This is one of those things to bring people together and act as one and I believe there's a lot of other things that need to happen. You need to have common goals and your management styles and techniques have to be good, there's some real basic simple things. Be clear about what you expect of people, but it starts with having those foundational pieces of, is everybody on the same game board, is everybody playing by the same rules and going after that? And it's amazing, folks, how many companies do not actually do this. In fact, we were reading last night and there was a quote from one of the folks, Jim Collins, that has done a lot of research on that, they research companies on the stock exchange going back to 1925. And the companies that had this complete and compelling vision operated 12 times more profitably, had 12 times more revenue.


Kathryn:
               Not 12%? 12 times?


Michael:
              12X.


Kathryn:
               12X. That's big.


Michael:
              It's big.


Kathryn:
               I was half asleep when you read that to me, I'm sorry. I was thinking 12% [inaudible 00:12:46].


Michael:
              Hey, we're 12% better.


Kathryn:
               Well then.


Michael:
              No, they're 12X.


Kathryn:
               There's your incentive people, it's not 12%, it's 12X.


Michael:
              So this idea of acting as one, you've got to give people, as a leader, you can do a lot of things by just giving them a common vision, common purpose and all that kind of stuff.


Kathryn:
               And, again, if you have something specific that you're trying to achieve that's short term, really figuring out what role each person plays in that and how they're contributing and then allowing them to kind of celebrate along the way as elements of that thing come to fruition, because I think one of the things that's really cool about everybody being on the same page and moving towards goals is that it gives you opportunities to celebrate when movement happens, when initial pieces of goals are hit along the way and those are just really cool things to build your team.


Michael:
              Well, then we hire, train and fire to our core values.


Kathryn:
               That we do.


Michael:
              Right? So that also helps the alignment of a team. You're hiring people that can actually fit in your team and have the ability to act within the cohesive group as well as bringing their unique skills. Number three, win the heart.


Kathryn:
               This is always right up there with my favorite. So it's always fun when you're listening to somebody else talk about what they see as being keys to good leadership, really well run organizations, and they say something and reference something that you talk about all the time, so as Mark Miller was sharing this.


Michael:
              Who says something? I say something?


Kathryn:
               I love it when another leader says something that we say all the time.


Michael:
              Oh yeah. It makes us sound smart.


Kathryn:
               That too. So when Mark brought up this point win the heart, the first things he did, the first thing he referenced which we talk about often, is the Gallup study that basically identified that, he said 70, I'm pretty sure it was 74, but we won't diss him too much, 74% of American workers are disengaged at work. And by disengaged, it means they're sleep walking through the day. So winning the heart is about engagement, it's about how do we get people excited about being here and about what they're doing and what their contribution is. Having them feel like they are in a position where they have the skills and the resources to get done what they need to get done, they understand why they're doing it, we're communicating with them, building into them as people, we're engaging them. So there's nothing that delights Michael and I more than when we do an employee review and we're asking questions like, do you feel like you have an important mission and purpose here at work? And the answer is, scale of 1 to 10? 10.


Kathryn:
               Like, okay, this is an engaged person. So as we're building culture and as we're sorting out through all the different pieces and parts of what it takes to create a workplace that's full of Passion and Provision where people aren't just getting a paycheck but they feel like they're actually contributing to something that matters, that's the key thing in engaging the heart. And they're doing that, obviously, wining the heart of people who are working in chicken fast food restaurants. So it doesn't have to be doing your dream job but even in those places where you're serving fast food, there's a stage in your life where maybe you're doing that and how do you win the hearts of the people that are doing that so that they're bought in and excited to serve in the way that you want them to serve?


Michael:
              It's interesting because you think about how to bring dignity to a job and I get stuck in the place where I think about fast food as a place where there's really not a lot of dignity.


Kathryn:
               I worked at Burger King when I was 16, 17. I liked it.


Michael:
              And your point?


Kathryn:
               I didn't feel undignified.


Michael:
              So I do think a lot of people look down on it and I've been guilty of that and I look down on it so much I said I would never work in a fast food restaurant.


Kathryn:
               Snob.


Michael:
              I was. I did a lot of horrible jobs, we've talked about some of them in this podcast.


Kathryn:
               I know. He wouldn't work in a fast food restaurant but he would work in a shrimp factory. I don't know, I think that's way worse.


Michael:
              Well, it probably was but I find that when you create an environment that has healthy leadership and just has work, then you can bring a lot of dignity and honor and just while you were talking I'm thinking, okay so, here's this fast food restaurant company where there's senior leadership that is career jobs. There are people who are managing and running these individual places at a high level management, that's a career job, and then there's lots of part-time jobs that are really good for everything from high school students to students who are at college or haven't quite figured who they want to be at or what they're going to career wise and it gives them an opportunity to make a living and have a job. And I've actually heard good things from people around the country that supposedly if nothing else infers that Chick-fil-A has a good reputation for being a good place to work.


Michael:
              I don't know if they are or not but they have a good reputation and quite frankly employee turn over training and all that kind of stuff is one aspect of profitability and they're doing well. They have a reputation of doing well. So I think it's great. Win the heart and people will do amazing things and we've seen it in our company and the other Passion and Provision companies we've been exposed to as clients. They do phenomenal things where people stick around because they love the company, they love the people and that's a lot. I mean, the study that was done, actually multiple studies that was quoted in the book Drive, talks about that idea that once somebody's making enough money the best thing you can do is to basically win their heart and all the things that come into engagement and that's what turns average performing people into high performing people. And it turns out that actually paying money to them, once they have a minimum amount except for very unique positions like a sales position or something like that, paying somebody a lot of money actually pushes it over and they become less effective and less performing.


Kathryn:
               If that's the only incentive that you're giving them is increasing their pay all the time.


Michael:
              If that's the only variable. Okay, number four, excel at execution. This is important.


Kathryn:
               First of all, if you have a team that's rallied around a single unifying theme, if you've got good leaders that you're building into, if you've won their hearts, they're engaged, part of excelling just flows out of that, right? So there are strategies for how you execute effectively but if you've got the right people in the right places doing what they're good at then in some ways being excellent and executing with excellence that just begins to come naturally.


Michael:
              Well, let's talk about something that's plain and simple as baseball. The old baseball analogy. No, but I think about that. I think about just being a kid going out and working and playing ball, just playing a pick up game of baseball or playing in school or something like that, and that warm up period and the exercises and working on your fundamentals. One of the things you're doing is okay, how well and how accurate can you catch but then how fast can you get the ball? If you're at first base how fast can you get it to second or short stop pick it up and control the ball and do it? There's an execution to the basic, I caught the ball, I hit the ball, but then there's that execution of how well did I throw it to who needed it. How well did I make the judgment? Where does the ball need to go, then how fast do I get there and what is that routine that the teams doing?


Michael:
              That's a really simple analogy to how well are we executing the pieces and parts not only of our own jobs? We talk about competence and as we talk about building trust we talk about that one half is, how competent are you and are you reaching minimum competency? And we want to get our people to minimum competency, which means folks, you've got to assess them and you have to define what you need as minimum competency, which means you have to kind of do some thinking and break some things down and look at the fundamentals of a particular job or a position or anything else and then how does that interact with others and what are the minimum competencies in the interaction of the folks that you have on your team? Because that execution, that builds into execution and you can save a tremendous amount of time and money and resources plus it's amazing when you really pick up that execution, that clock work, the machines moving well and people are integrating and sharing ideas back and fourth and stuff's getting done in a timely manner, there's a morale that picks up too.


Kathryn:
               Well yeah, I was thinking as you were using the team analogy earlier, we've said these things kind of tie together and a team, a sport, is a really good picture of what that looks like because if there's one player on the team who's phenomenal and the rest just suck, how motivated is that phenomenal player going to be to do their best? Right?


Michael:
              It happens with you all the time, right? You're just frustrated with the rest of us.


Kathryn:
               I just can't. Why bother? So you take that to a team and it really does matter, that whole acting as one, everybody sort of contributing their best, it raises the entire level because your expectation that that person's going to perform is there. So, if you're playing catcher at home plate and you know that your shortstop has a freaking phenomenal arm, then you are ready when somebody's running home or you are ready when somebody goes when they shouldn't and they have to come back. I mean, all of those pieces and parts matter and you raise your level in order to respond to the excellence that's coming at you. So that analogy actually works really well as you think about building a team and how hard it is if you have a weak link on the team. Like okay, we can play this ball game as long as nobody ...


Michael:
              You are the weakest link.


Kathryn:
               ... hits it into center field, we're golden, right? And if it goes out there, we're screwed. So that piece of just everybody being where they need to be and knowing what to do and being able to perform with minimum competency and then ever increasing levels of just excelling is just a great way to look at it.


Michael:
              No, I think it really is. And so, you have this execution, important to work on, which again, they all work synergistically with each other, right? Bet on leadership knowing where everybody's going, how to spot the challenges and fix the problems and lead towards a common thing. Act as one, any team's going to do that. Win the heart and then excel at execution. I mean, those are four great ways at looking at just kind of taking the whole big picture of it's a big thing and there's a lot of things that get involved in helping people to perform well, perform at high performance levels. And, quite frankly, I love high performance leadership. I think it's kind of a neat title and I also sort of on the inside think it's a dorky title because it can be such gobbley-gook. It's like, ah, yeah, yeah, yeah. High performance, blah, blah, blah because it's a lot of fuzzy words but when you start breaking it down and you're going, look, our goal and our job is to help the company perform well and we want to help individuals perform well, provide them what they need, find good people, put them in the right places, give them what they need when it comes to resources and training and encouragement and build them up. It's just like putting a plant in the most ideal environment so that it can yield the most fruit.


Kathryn:
               I mean, again, it is fun to listen to different high level leaders, people who have had a lot of success in leadership talk about how they would phrase things because sometimes just how they phrase it turns an angle a little bit differently and allows you to see sort of a different aspect of it. And we are interpreting what Mark might say if we were interviewing him about all of these things. I'm sure there's a whole lot of other things he would say.


Michael:
              Absolutely.


Kathryn:
               And I believe, because I want to promo people, he's writing a book that I think is going to be Chestnut Checkers on leadership, which is a great title.


Michael:
              It's the working title right now, right?


Kathryn:
               I don't know when that's coming out but I think that when it does it'll be fun read to kind of see him flush out these four pieces of how he's framing leadership.


Michael:
              Absolutely. So when you talk about that, this is good stuff. If you're thinking about how do you continue to improve your leadership gain working in your organization, building a company that you're really proud of, that's really got a lot of life in it, that your employees enjoy and your customers are responding to by buying and buying regularly and that you're seeing that growth and that result in that Passion Provision company, here's four great ways that you can look at leadership and what you can do to tune up your company and really create more passion and more provision because when you work on this you get both.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              So we want to just say thanks today. This has been the Michael and Kathryn.


Kathryn:
               It's the Michael and Kathryn.


Michael:
              The Michael and Kathryn.


Kathryn:
               I don't know what that means.


Michael:
              I don't know. That really sounded dumb, but this has been great podcast today because I really like the idea of continuing to talk about leadership and having really four great easy ways to wrap your arms around it. And if you have enjoyed this, we would love it if you would hit subscribe in iTunes. If you would go to iTunes and leave us a review and go to our show page at halfabubbleout.com, actually no.


Kathryn:
               No, soon to be HaBOVillage.com.


Michael:
              Soon to be HaBOVillage.com.


Kathryn:
               Launching on the inter-web near you.


Michael:
              On the inter-webs near you.


Kathryn:
               Inter-webs near you.


Michael:
              In July 2019, depending on what time you listen to this, and we're excited about that.


Kathryn:
               So it's actually HaBOVillage.com.


Michael:
              HaBOvillage.com and go to the show notes and leave a comment there too, we'd love to hear it. So thank you so much, come back again and visit us. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman, we're the Michael and Kathryn.


Michael:
              We're so glad. Thanks for joining HaBO Village podcast today, we'll talk to you later.


Kathryn:
               Bye-bye.