540: How to Hire, Fire, and Create an Amazing Team Culture w/ Chris Mefford

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Chris Mefford, Chief Marketing Officer at The Rock Church.

podcast link: http://chrismefford.com/podcast/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-mefford-8049a42/

Looking for a guaranteed way to createcontent that resonates with your audience. Start a podcast, interview your ideal clientsand let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clientscare about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience willcare about it too. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening tothe be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executivesachieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carbury. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to the be to begrowth show. Today we are joined by Chris Mefford. Chris is the formerVP of events at a Ramsey. He is the current CMO for the RockChurch in San Diego. He is the author of hiring and firing, notto mention the host of the four leaders in a hurry, podcast. Chris, welcome to the show. Hey, I'm glad to be here. Thanksfor having me. With that sort of resume and break next schedule, you'vegot to be having I am so thrilled that you were able to carve alittle time out to you to join us here on the be tob growth showtoday. So sincerely thank you for that. And we're going to be talking todayabout something I think it's very cool, how to hire, fire and createan amazing team culture, and I think that this is going to bean episode that are listeners sort of across the board are going to get alot of value out of, because we do, of course, have alot of leaders in our audience in one capacity or another. So I amexcited to do to sort of talk about today's topic. But before we getinto that, Chris, maybe you can tell us and our listeners a littleabout what you just have been up too lately. Well, you know,I've written a book, so that's taken a lot of my time, butI like helping entrepreneurs, I like helping...

...leaders and show individual entrepreneurs rather howto leverage your ability to communicate and get promoted and make money. You know, I feel like a lot of people put so much emphasis on their abilityto manage the analytical side of life that they ignore sort of the soft skills, and so that's something that I've excelled at, been blessed at, fortunately, and I think a lot of people don't realize how much of an influencethat plays and their ability to get promoted and make more money. And soI like helping people do that and that's kind of what I've been doing lately, in conjunction with my day job, if you will. Yeah, well, you know, I know I certainly like making more money. I wouldimagine people listening also like making more money. So I think that again, thisis going to be a great episode. I'm going to just kind of letyou take it away. I mean, I think you you had some storiesto kick things off with. Yeah, I'll tell you. You know.Thanks nothing. The one of the things I get asked a lot aboutis, hey, why hiring? Why? Fire and wine, amazing team culture, etc. And I was reply with this if every time I've askedany audience, I've spoken to, anybody have coach, anybody have consulting withcorporation? Wise, Hey, what kind of company do you want to have? What kind of team members you want to hire? They always tell methe same thing. We want an amazing team, we want an amazing culture. We went great people, Rock Stars, to worked with day and day out, and I think to myself and laugh. How many of you thinkyou have that? And so if almost exclusively, one hundred percent of thepeople I talked to and work with want that, why do you so feworganizations actually have it? And I think it's because it comes down to sortof behavioral change. Common Sense is easy to kind of spell. We wantthis great stuff. You know, I worked for Dave Ramsey and we madea whole business on live on less than you make. That sounds real simple, and so you sort of understand that money has some emotional aspects to it. Money has this desire of maturity and withholding some of the things you wantright now. Jenny Craig made a whole...

...industry on this, on consume lesscalories than you burn. That seems easy to say and very difficult to enact. And I believe that when it comes to work, culture and communication,the same thing as it play. You know a lot of people say wehave this mission but they can't figure out how to sort of get the shipgoing, and I believe it has everything to do with the fact that thereis the sense that people want to be great but they one have never seenit happen, and so they're confused is how to get there or to theysettle for good. Jim Collins or a book good to great, where hesaid good is the enemy of great, and what he really means they're isthat we settle for good. We think that's great. We don't really knowwhat great looks like. Sometimes, sometimes we do, but we're just willingto settle because to get to great you have to work hard. Sometimes youhave to be willing to take some flak and take the heat from the teambecause they can't necessarily see the vision of where you're headed or what this projectneeds to be and and how to turn it in and what it needs tolook like, and so that becomes difficult and people struggle with that. Ilike to tell a story of you know, I'm a big college football fan.I grew up just outside of Columbus Ohio. I'm a big hot stakefan. I hope that doesn't turn off the right now I'll use Nick Sabanas well. It's another great example. But you take urban Meyer, youtake Nick Saban. Both of these coaches won the national title and their secondyear at their university, and so what stands out to me there is thatthey came in to replace a coach, a leader who was so bad thathe got fired or got asked to leave, and yet a year or two laterthey're winning the national championship, essentially with somebody else's team. And sowhat was it that they were able to do? How were they able tomotivate? What did they experience that the other coaches and so many other,you know, college football coaches out there can't achieve? And I believe they'veseen greatness, they've achieved greatness and they can come in and tell people trustme, I can take you to trust me, things can be different.Trust me, this process works. But...

...also I think they stay in inthe gap and say we're not compromising here. You may have done that in thepast and compromise, but we will not be doing that any longer.That will not take us to greatness. And I feel like a lot ofcompanies, a lot of individuals, corporations, that's where they fall flat, isthey're willing to compromise on the core values, the things that make themsuccessful. So, Jonathan, essentially what happens is people settle for the goodlifestyle. It's essentially you could transplant that word good and just put easy.I'm okay with the good lifestyle. I'm okay with the easy laughstyle, becausethis stuff to get to great is hard. You know, sometimes people want tohire people really fast because they have positions they need to fill. Sothe hire and fast and then the person comes in and they're not what theypresented to be, they're not really working out. It's frustrating. You haveto start all over and you save yourself. Whether the easy route was to hiresomebody quick the hard route was to take your time. The hard routewas to put them through five or six different interview processes. The easy routewas to add somebody in quickly to kind of help stop the gap, orstop the bleeding, if you will, and that never takes you to greatness. Is simply never works. People need to line up with your culture,believe. Do they believe similar to you? Do they believe in what you're selling, what you're doing, what your services you're offering? And so whenyou bring people on to the team that don't have a mission and vision andpassion and for what you do and what they do every day, you're notgoing to be great. You're not going to build a team who loves workinghard and working alongside one another. HMM. Well, and so, Chris,let me, I mean just sort of interject quickly, because I've reada little about about your message and you're sort of here taking the stance thatyou know, with a little bit more time and efforts and sort of waitinguntil you find that that perfect fit through more interviews, a longer process,you can, you can find the right...

...people. But you've also, Ithink, made the point that being a perfectionist can also kill leadership. AreThose two ideas in in opposition to one another or are did? CAN THEYCOEXIST? Well, I think that's probably the the misnomer is a lot oftimes we'll say, oh, my boss wants me to be perfect. Expectto be perfect, and the way I would translate is hand only to beperfect, but I want you to be excellent. M You know, tokeep with our football metaphor is I want you to keep trying to move theball forward. Sometimes you get tackled behind a line of scrimmage. Sometimes youthrow a passion only it's only good for a couple of yards, but that'sokay. Where I got frustrated was if you were trying to run the ballleft and right over and over again, meaning that we're making the same mistakesover and over again. And so I wasn't frustrated with you because you're notperfect. I'm frustrate with you because you make the mistakes that aren't advancing asforward. I'm okay with you taking some risk, as long as it wasfor the right reasons. You know, I'm never going to be upset thatyou made a call to move this program to the back burner and push thisone ahead because you thought it would make us more money faster. Right.Who's going to argue that without logic? But sometimes the logic is I'm notgoing to take any action, I'm paralyzed by fear because I'm afraid of I'mnot perfect, I won't get ahead. You Know Seth Goden in his bookLynchpin, he said if you ask a leader what kind of team member theywant, they often say I just want someone who shows up on time,someone who doesn't cause any drama and someone who just does their job and eat. He said, look around, none of those people get promoted. Right. Those are the safe people that are going back and right, that areafraid. They're just expecting perfection from themselves and think that their leaders are expectingperfection. Now, we want excellence. We want you to work hard,want you to try hard, want you to help us advance. I mean, imagine this. If you walked into your leader's office, your boss's office, and he said Hey, how to help you win and the position I'min, your boss would be blown away,...

...right. But no one ever askedthat. So you've over here and you work really, really hard,doing what you think is important, without really having the conversation about what helpsyour boss, your leader, advance. And so people get stuck in theserots and these positions and they wonder why, when they're working so hard, noone notices. It's because you're never doing anything that helps the team advanced. AINST the ball. Your often times doing what you think is important andnot what the team does. Yeah, I like that and certainly coming backto that idea of perfection versus excellence and which is more important. So,Chris, let's let's pivot a little bit and talk about okay, so youknow hiring and firing effectively, like where how do you find these people,and what does that process look like for you? Well, I tell you, I wish there was a secret process, Jonathan, but the reality is thereis no secret process. There never was. There's only a thorough processand that's not a cop out. The reality is if someone is difficult tohire, that means that you've put in the right amount of effort onto theteam. And so you know, where I used to work, we hada really long hiring process. We called out, we did a thorough vettingand it didn't include background checks and stuff. We really just wanted to get toknow you, what you were like the first interview us. The peopleare nervous either. You never going to meet the true personality in the firstor even sometimes a second or third interviews. I like to switch it up.Or were in a conference room, let's take a walk, let's goto the coffee shop, you know, and ask questions that were outside thebox, kind of complex, you know. Don't tell me about your shrinks.Tell me about when you use your strinks. What's the biggest failure you'vehad? What's the biggest disappointment you've had? Tell me about a time you werebroken. Walk me through the process it took you to sort of cometo these conclusions. Things like that. The kind of go much, muchdeeper and I like to kind of throw the experience into a little bit moreof a stressful place, because if the role you're going to take on isgoing to be stressful, I want to see how you react and stressful environments, and sometimes an interview can be a...

...very stressful environment you. When itcomes to great culture, I think probably people misunderstand hiring and firing in thesense of you you're not necessarily looking for the right players, are you're lookingfor the right players rather, but the most expensive team members aren't easily theones you pay the most. They're the people that are the least productive.And so you have people in the team who aren't productive, they're not goingto help you achieve great things, they're not going to help you build greatculture, they're not gonna be passionate. You know, I'll say apathy makesexcuses, but passion finds a way. Here's an example. You we'll talkback about Steve Jobs or look back at Steve Jobs and you know, let'sgo to itunes. Itunes is such a normal part of all our lives today. Everybody has it. Most all computers come with it and you have toask yourself how was Steve Jobs able to convince the music industry, who prettymuch had given up hope they would ever make money again because everyone was goingto steal music forever? How was he able to convince them to give himthe ability, the authority and the capacity to price things out and set thisup and a way that he can make them be successful with once again?And if you he didn't have the passion to do that, he would havenever pulled that off. Steve Jobs was smart and he was innovative, buthe had passion. When you get a team around you that has that passionfor what you're doing, in the culture you want to create and the servicesyou provide or the products you provide, you can do amazing things. Andthat's what these football coaches have found and they get them on board and theysay hey, let's find a passion and let's all get on the same mission. But when you have people in the team who are mixed up, theydon't care about it, they've just started to report in day and a dayout for their job, you're never going to achieve greatness. Well, andI think that's a sort of a beautiful segue because I do want to atleast touch on this idea of okay, you know how how to fire Imean it is a it is a fact of leadership. It except for somepeople. They will do anything that they...

...can do to avoid firing someone.What is what is that process look like to you, Chris? Well,I'll tell you one thing. When you fire someone, there's more at stakethan just removing somebody from the team. First off, it should never bea surprise. No one should never be surprised because if it's a surprise,you've done a poor job as a leader of communicating what the expectations are.Meaning, if I know exactly what I'm supposed to do, what I'm supposedto achieve, and I've been having regular communication with my team or my leadership, and we're not doing it and we we don't have a good reason forit, why should I ever be surprised that I got let go? Ifthere are certain nonnegotiable things in the company, what we call core value, thatwe don't ever compromise on, and I violate one of those, Igo. And you need to let your team know that those principles can't beviolated, because that's what makes you special. Those are the core things. Andso, first off, when you fire someone, it never should bea surprise. Second you need to look around at the team because oftentimes,how you handle the situation with removing somebody from the team, the rest ofthe team is looking at because they are saying, how will I be treatedif this ever happens to me? And so you need to make your teamfeel safe, like, Hey, we're we just don't cut people loose willynilly because I didn't like the color of shirt that they had on today.That's not how we do this whole process. And so I want you to feelsafe over here knowing that when we remove somebody from the team, wedid it in a way that was honorable, respectful and and and didn't have kindof a lack of integrity. And you can trust us that if,God forbid, something were to happen over here with you, which we don'tever want to do. We don't ever want to have you leave the team, but if it does, will treat you with the same level respect.And so firing is about removing somebody from the team, but also it's aboutthe team itself, and I think a lot of corporations are companies, ignorethat aspect of it and they get themselves...

...sort of in this environment where peopleare Aunty and there's a high anxiety because they're not quite sure what what triggersthe point where someone might get removed. And so it's a fail failure tolack and a lack of communication that really drives that home. HMM. Yeah, well, and I think I you know, I read something that youhad, you had written about that. Firing also should never give you shouldnever be a just sense of empowerment or control. Right. Yeah, that'sbad, because then your team is afraid of you, and so they're notreally going to work with you out of a sense of passion and desire toaccomplish great things together. They're going to do it because they're afraid of you. And people who have teams that are afraid of them, what I've seenand discovered is when that leader falls, they fall hard and they fall fast. Yeah, so you might be able to bully your team and make yourteam fearful, though, if the timer ever come and you needed them todo something for you, you need to count on them. Fee'll probably notsee that happen. Yeah, well, Chris, we've I mean we've gottento cover so much incredible content during this interview, talking about some of thethings that the qualities to make for an effective leader, how to how tostart finding the right team, how to eventually, you know, if it, if it comes to it, how to let those those members of yourteam go. What makes for a successful company culture. There's so much content. I know you are an obvious you're obviously an expert in this. Soif any in anyone on our audience wants to connect with you after the show, they want to find out more about today's episode, they want to findout more about what you and your team at the Rock Church or up to. They just want to reach out and say hi. What's the best wayfor them to go about doing that? Well, they can go to mywebsite, Chris me effordcom. Actually, if they go to Chrismafforcom B Tobwith a podcast, they'll kind of see your stuff there. But they candownload the book, they can download the Kendle, they can get the audiobook as well. It's like a fifty dollar value that's on Amazon that theyget for free by just registering, and...

I'll give it to your podcast listeners, because I'm not doing this like obviously have a day job. I'm doingthis because I want to see other companies and people succeed. If they wantto sign up for some coaching, I'm happy to do that as well fora free lesson, and it's a very valuable lesson. It's not a cheape where we don't discuss anything like I really want to help people and sothat's my goal and my passion in life and I want to see people succeedand I get excited when I'm able to do that well. It's fantastic andand again, for anyone listening, check out the for leaders in a hurrypodcast hosted by Chris. Chris, thank you again so much for your timetoday. It was an absolute pleasure having you on the show. Thank you, Jonathan. If you've been getting valued from this podcast, you can helpus reach more people by reviewing the show on itunes. Here's how you canleave a review in less than a minute. Open your podcast APP and tap thesearch icon in the bottom right corner. Type in fee to be growth,then select our show. Once you're there, tap the reviews tab andtell us what you think of the show. These reviews help us out of time. Thank you, so much for listening until next time.

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