How to grow and work with a team

Created by Joanna Love Mojares Panizales, Modified on Wed, 08 Mar 2023 at 11:09 PM by Joanna Love Mojares Panizales


Right. Sorry, this question won't necessarily be directed at the software, but it's more of a higher level question, I guess. But you guys have a huge team now, and my team is not nearly as big as yours. But how are you guys internally keeping the morale up? And I'm glad that you're here too, Ebony, because you can probably speak on this. But how are you guys holding team meetings internally through Zoom? Because I know we're all on different parts of the world. So I'm just trying to figure out what is the best way to keep team morale up and keep it up and not just be like...

What a great question. What a great question. So I'm going to actually throw this over to Ebony, but I'm going to preface it a little bit. So one of the things that's made a massive difference to our company is Ms. Ebony James, who's right here. We were fortunate enough to have Ebony come into our world. And Ebony is actually a speaker, a teacher about a process called Agile and Scrum. And so one of the things that she's brought to our team is how to run small teams with fast projects called sprints and to keep everybody on path and moving forward. And she's taught us a lot about that. Chris and I talk about this all the time. One of the things that we focus on is get the best people. Number one, if you ever want to build a business... He's going to show you good to great. I already know he's going to. Yeah, I knew it. All right. One of the most important books that we've ever collectively read. And the three of us as founders, I read this maybe five years ago and yeah, great. It made some impact, but I put it back on the shelf.

And I was recommending it at some point. And Chris picked it up and was like, put it on A udible, went through it. He's like, Guys, you've got to go and read this. So we all got together, we all went back through it. It's one of the most important things that we've ever done as a company, Voltaire. So do this, read this, put it on A udible, go for a walk in the morning. I actually said to the boys when I was halfway through this, with all of our busy schedules, and we're working 18 hours days, each of us, with all of our busy schedules, one of the most important things we can do collectively is put half an hour a day aside to get more of this into our brain. And the very first thing that it talks about is the right people and the massive domino effect that that's had in our company. So that being said, Ebony is the right person for us. She's an incredible person and we're super fortunate to have her on our team. And along with that, she brought some skills which is all about sprints, agile, and scrums.

And that's keeping those small teams motivated and on path. Ebony, do you want to talk about that for a sec?

Yeah. I think one of the biggest thing is understanding your team skills and helping them become comfortable with voicing that. And with utilizing small teams, allow them to do the work, create a nimble organization, one that is super flat. With self managing teams, they know what they have to do. You create an accountability process where they know what they have to do. They own it and step back and you will start to see a lot of traction, a lot of things getting done and holding daily stand ups. I love it. I love the fact that I get to... I talk to my team all the time and to the guys all the time. Communication is the best thing in any relationship.

Amazing. It so changes things. The daily stand up for us is like, we do have that big team, but now we have what we call a stand up meeting. So with our key people, Ebony, Chris, myself, and Yohan, we have that daily stand up. And what that is is a 30 minute, no more 30 minute, fast paced meeting. What have you got on? What have you been working on? What's happened in the last 24 hours? What do you need a hand with? And then it's trust to move that along. There's another book that I'm trying to see, I might have lent it out. It's called Extreme Ownership, and it's written by Navy Seals special commander. Really awesome book. What it actually talks about is... Jocko Whilling. Say that again.

His name is Jockel Willey. Jockel Willey.

The man who sends Twitter photos. The only tweets he makes all day are his 403 alarm clock. I love it.

He's awesome.

Absolutely awesome. Jimmy, what did you learn from that book in terms of running teams?

Start from the top down and from the bottom up. So one of the key points that he makes is it's just as important to work from the bottom up as it is to work from the top down. So that's number one. And then number two, obviously, the preface of that book and also his follow up book to that one, which is also amazing, by the way, is essentially that there's certainly a big weight when you think of taking extreme ownership. And he talks about it in the book, right? But the reality is that the way you should approach it is by taking extreme ownership over everything that happens in your life. And I mean everything that happens in your life, really what it does, it does the opposite. It gives you the complete authority and the power for you to actually be able to have the capacity to actually change everything that is happening because now that you've said to yourself, hey, I am responsible for everything, that now gives you the ability to then change everything based on what is happening in your life and so forth and so on. And I know that's a scary proposition because then all of a sudden you're like, Oh, yikes.

You mean I'm responsible for everything good and bad? Yeah, you're responsible for everything good and bad.

And it changes things.

Enormous power because now you're able to then say, Well, if I'm 100 % in charge and I'm responsible for everything, that means I can change it. And that is an uber powerful message.

Anyway, sorry. No, that's great. Thank you, Jimmy. And so talking about from the bottom up, make sure your people are skilled. And not just skilled in the area they're coming in from. How many times have we all been... I started off in the hospitality industry and our training went something like this. Hi, welcome aboard. Look, we've got a really great training program, but unfortunately, we're slammed right now. We're really getting hit. So the training today goes like this. It's called deep end training. I'm going to throw you in and then we'll talk about it at the end of the day. How many of us do that in our own businesses? We hire when we're busy because we're busy, right? So we need somebody and our training goes something like that. Look, I really want to train you right now, but I'm so freaked out and stressed that I can't even spend 10 minutes with you. So if you could just go over there and answer some customer's questions, I'd be super grateful and maybe we'll catch up in a couple of weeks. And then you get a couple of weeks and you go, Oh, yeah, that new employee, how are they going?

And they haven't checked their emails in three days and they're off to the next place. So making sure that the team are trained. When you come on board, you've been stressed and bothered and busy all the way up until that person joined your team. Three more days is not going to make a difference. So stop. They don't get to speak to clients until they've been through your induction. They don't go out into the world until they know their role, their jobs, their responsibilities, that stuff. But again, from Jocker Willick's stuff, this concept where they completely changed the military's formula based on feedback on the field. And it was very much about the general gave the instructions and everybody just went out. And then what they found is if one person is trying to be across any more than about six people in their direct command, then mistakes happen. So the other thing with that Voltaire is that everybody needs to be in charge of a really small team. Six is the military standard of high achievers. Inside of those teams of six, they actually had two team leads. So one person was in charge of two, and one person was in charge of two.

And then the six commander was in charge of the team leads only. I spoke to a guy named nick who was an incredibly successful multi billionaire businessman. And I said to him, Man, our team leader is here. So great. Fantastic. I said, How big is your team now? And he's like, I don't know, three and a half thousand, something like that. I was like, Holy shit, man, how do you keep on top of that surfaceware? How do you keep on top of all those people? And he's like, oh, dude, I speak to six people. I was like, Mmhmm. Voltaire, to answer your question, bring the absolute best people on board that you possibly can. Alexing Gallo, I was having a conversation with him last year, and he said he used to hire based on, Oh, man, this guy is awesome. He's got so much energy. I love this guy. Come on in and run my paid media ads thing. And then wondered why the guy failed. But he said, and specifically, the paid media was one that he was talking about Voltaire. He was like, I want to take my company from 10 million to 100 million.

If I go and get a guy who's currently running a $10 million paid media account, he hasn't got the skills to take me up. So he deliberately... And this is Anick who was doing 10 million, so he had some funds to back himself. But he went looking for the guy that had already run a 100 million paid media department and poached him. And actually, Anick, again, tells that story where he's like, now that guy came in, he's like, Okay, Artic, we got to do this. We got to do this. We got to do this. And Anick said, I found myself pushing back. No, that doesn't work, man. And the guy actually said to him, Dude, you brought me in. And Anick went, ding, scoreboard, run the show, man. And he went from 10 million to 30 million in one year, which is heavy. So number one, I cannot stress it enough, get the best person that you possibly can afford to run that department. Now, again, that Instagram Reel that we looked at yesterday, Chris, don't go and hire a COO when what you really need is someone to manage your calendar and your inbox.

Hire for where your stress is right now. My stress is I can't keep up with my emails. My customer supports are going nuts and my freaking calendar is a mess. You need a $500 VA part time. You don't need a COO at this stage. Get your calendar and your email stuff sorted so you can be the COO for now. Now I've got a cool VA running and I've got a support person running. Now I need somebody in paid media. Cool. Go and get somebody in paid media to take the ads off so that, again, you can step back. Hire for where your stress is and hire the best person you can at the point in time. Voltaire, does that help? Yeah.

I mean, through all of that, the thing that I got out of it basically was I need to go see Ebony and try to poach her from you guys.

Great. Traction, EOS, the entrepreneur system. Best book ever. Better than Big 3.

I'm just kidding. Yeah, come see.

What was it called? The EOS system?

The EOS system, yeah. That's where I had you guys take the little quiz. The little quiz, the EOS.


Perfect. I'm in trying to get the guys to finish that list, too. So this is a really great accountability call.

I promised you it's on my list. I thought we finished it. Didn't we finish it? No, you're talking about the final time. She's pointing at me, brother. She's pointing at me. It's not done yet. So talking about poaching ebony, right? I used to have an employer, one of my mentors in sales, and I came back from a sales job, and he said, How did you go? A demo. I came back and he was like, How did you go? And I was pretty chuffed that the guy offered me a job. I was like, Oh, it was good, man. He actually tried to poach me. And my boss said to me, If you don't get at least three job offers a week, you're fired. I want you to be so freaking good that other people just line up. So if you're not getting job offers, you're not doing it good enough and I'll be mad at you. And I was like, Yeah, sweet. I stayed with that guy for six years. Everybody's a free agent. Everyone's a free agent. The reality is what you provide in your workplace is a lot more than money, and it should be.

But everybody's a free agent. So it's like, go and get the best people you possibly can. And I will kick you out of the group if you approach everything. No, I won't. I love you, man. But the reality is that there are people highly skilled, highly talented, motivated and driven who would love to hear from you right now. They're on LinkedIn and you can just literally hit them up and say, Hey, how's life over there at X, Y, Z media? It's good, man, it's great. Yeah, wow, you guys are doing some really cool stuff. Do you want to have a coffee next week? Let's chat. There are millions of people that would love to hear from you. All right, cool. Awesome. And do sprints. Sprints are small series of tasks towards a specific objective that where deadline is not movable, we must get it done by this day. These are the people that are involved in it. Everybody understands their responsibilities and the end result. Sprint, go for it. Everybody run in and then those daily stand ups are like, All right, guys, where are we up on the sprint? What are you having troubles with?

Your only job then becomes removing the obstacles out of their way. Cool. Amazing question. Voltaire, thank you so much.

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