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 create content that resonates with your audience. Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients and let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clients care about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience will care about it too. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve 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 be growth show. Today we are joined by Chris Mefford. Chris is the former VP of events at a Ramsey. He is the current CMO for the Rock Church in San Diego. He is the author of hiring and firing, not to mention the host of the four leaders in a hurry, podcast. Chris, welcome to the show. Hey, I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me. With that sort of resume and break next schedule, you've got to be having I am so thrilled that you were able to carve a little time out to you to join us here on the be tob growth show today. So sincerely thank you for that. And we're going to be talking today about something I think it's very cool, how to hire, fire and create an amazing team culture, and I think that this is going to be an episode that are listeners sort of across the board are going to get a lot of value out of, because we do, of course, have a lot of leaders in our audience in one capacity or another. So I am excited to do to sort of talk about today's topic. But before we get into that, Chris, maybe you can tell us and our listeners a little about 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, but I like helping entrepreneurs, I like helping...

...leaders and show individual entrepreneurs rather how to 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 ability to 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 influence that plays and their ability to get promoted and make more money. And so I 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 would imagine people listening also like making more money. So I think that again, this is going to be a great episode. I'm going to just kind of let you take it away. I mean, I think you you had some stories to kick things off with. Yeah, I'll tell you. You know. Thanks nothing. The one of the things I get asked a lot about is, hey, why hiring? Why? Fire and wine, amazing team culture, etc. And I was reply with this if every time I've asked any audience, I've spoken to, anybody have coach, anybody have consulting with corporation? Wise, Hey, what kind of company do you want to have? What kind of team members you want to hire? They always tell me the 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 think you have that? And so if almost exclusively, one hundred percent of the people I talked to and work with want that, why do you so few organizations actually have it? And I think it's because it comes down to sort of behavioral change. Common Sense is easy to kind of spell. We want this great stuff. You know, I worked for Dave Ramsey and we made a 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 want right now. Jenny Craig made a whole...

...industry on this, on consume less calories 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 we have this mission but they can't figure out how to sort of get the ship going, and I believe it has everything to do with the fact that there is the sense that people want to be great but they one have never seen it happen, and so they're confused is how to get there or to they settle for good. Jim Collins or a book good to great, where he said good is the enemy of great, and what he really means they're is that we settle for good. We think that's great. We don't really know what great looks like. Sometimes, sometimes we do, but we're just willing to settle because to get to great you have to work hard. Sometimes you have to be willing to take some flak and take the heat from the team because they can't necessarily see the vision of where you're headed or what this project needs to be and and how to turn it in and what it needs to look like, and so that becomes difficult and people struggle with that. I like 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 stake fan. I hope that doesn't turn off the right now I'll use Nick Saban as well. It's another great example. But you take urban Meyer, you take Nick Saban. Both of these coaches won the national title and their second year at their university, and so what stands out to me there is that they came in to replace a coach, a leader who was so bad that he got fired or got asked to leave, and yet a year or two later they're winning the national championship, essentially with somebody else's team. And so what was it that they were able to do? How were they able to motivate? 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've seen greatness, they've achieved greatness and they can come in and tell people trust me, I can take you to trust me, things can be different. Trust me, this process works. But...

...also I think they stay in in the gap and say we're not compromising here. You may have done that in the past and compromise, but we will not be doing that any longer. That will not take us to greatness. And I feel like a lot of companies, a lot of individuals, corporations, that's where they fall flat, is they're willing to compromise on the core values, the things that make them successful. So, Jonathan, essentially what happens is people settle for the good lifestyle. 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, because this stuff to get to great is hard. You know, sometimes people want to hire people really fast because they have positions they need to fill. So the hire and fast and then the person comes in and they're not what they presented to be, they're not really working out. It's frustrating. You have to start all over and you save yourself. Whether the easy route was to hire somebody quick the hard route was to take your time. The hard route was to put them through five or six different interview processes. The easy route was to add somebody in quickly to kind of help stop the gap, or stop 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 when you bring people on to the team that don't have a mission and vision and passion and for what you do and what they do every day, you're not going to be great. You're not going to build a team who loves working hard and working alongside one another. HMM. Well, and so, Chris, let me, I mean just sort of interject quickly, because I've read a little about about your message and you're sort of here taking the stance that you know, with a little bit more time and efforts and sort of waiting until you find that that perfect fit through more interviews, a longer process, you can, you can find the right...

...people. But you've also, I think, made the point that being a perfectionist can also kill leadership. Are Those two ideas in in opposition to one another or are did? CAN THEY COEXIST? Well, I think that's probably the the misnomer is a lot of times we'll say, oh, my boss wants me to be perfect. Expect to be perfect, and the way I would translate is hand only to be perfect, but I want you to be excellent. M You know, to keep with our football metaphor is I want you to keep trying to move the ball forward. Sometimes you get tackled behind a line of scrimmage. Sometimes you throw a passion only it's only good for a couple of yards, but that's okay. Where I got frustrated was if you were trying to run the ball left and right over and over again, meaning that we're making the same mistakes over and over again. And so I wasn't frustrated with you because you're not perfect. I'm frustrate with you because you make the mistakes that aren't advancing as forward. I'm okay with you taking some risk, as long as it was for the right reasons. You know, I'm never going to be upset that you made a call to move this program to the back burner and push this one 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 not going to take any action, I'm paralyzed by fear because I'm afraid of I'm not perfect, I won't get ahead. You Know Seth Goden in his book Lynchpin, he said if you ask a leader what kind of team member they want, 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 are afraid. They're just expecting perfection from themselves and think that their leaders are expecting perfection. 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'm in, your boss would be blown away,...

...right. But no one ever asked that. So you've over here and you work really, really hard, doing what you think is important, without really having the conversation about what helps your boss, your leader, advance. And so people get stuck in these rots and these positions and they wonder why, when they're working so hard, no one 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 and not what the team does. Yeah, I like that and certainly coming back to 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 you know 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 there is no secret process. There never was. There's only a thorough process and that's not a cop out. The reality is if someone is difficult to hire, that means that you've put in the right amount of effort onto the team. And so you know, where I used to work, we had a really long hiring process. We called out, we did a thorough vetting and it didn't include background checks and stuff. We really just wanted to get to know you, what you were like the first interview us. The people are nervous either. You never going to meet the true personality in the first or 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 go to the coffee shop, you know, and ask questions that were outside the box, 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've had? What's the biggest disappointment you've had? Tell me about a time you were broken. Walk me through the process it took you to sort of come to these conclusions. Things like that. The kind of go much, much deeper and I like to kind of throw the experience into a little bit more of a stressful place, because if the role you're going to take on is going 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 it comes to great culture, I think probably people misunderstand hiring and firing in the sense of you you're not necessarily looking for the right players, are you're looking for the right players rather, but the most expensive team members aren't easily the ones 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 going to help you achieve great things, they're not going to help you build great culture, they're not gonna be passionate. You know, I'll say apathy makes excuses, but passion finds a way. Here's an example. You we'll talk back about Steve Jobs or look back at Steve Jobs and you know, let's go 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 to ask yourself how was Steve Jobs able to convince the music industry, who pretty much had given up hope they would ever make money again because everyone was going to steal music forever? How was he able to convince them to give him the ability, the authority and the capacity to price things out and set this up 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 have never pulled that off. Steve Jobs was smart and he was innovative, but he had passion. When you get a team around you that has that passion for what you're doing, in the culture you want to create and the services you provide or the products you provide, you can do amazing things. And that's what these football coaches have found and they get them on board and they say 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, they don't care about it, they've just started to report in day and a day out for their job, you're never going to achieve greatness. Well, and I think that's a sort of a beautiful segue because I do want to at least touch on this idea of okay, you know how how to fire I mean it is a it is a fact of leadership. It except for some people. 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 stake than just removing somebody from the team. First off, it should never be a 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 supposed to 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 for it, why should I ever be surprised that I got let go? If there are certain nonnegotiable things in the company, what we call core value, that we don't ever compromise on, and I violate one of those, I go. And you need to let your team know that those principles can't be violated, because that's what makes you special. Those are the core things. And so, first off, when you fire someone, it never should be a 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 of the team is looking at because they are saying, how will I be treated if this ever happens to me? And so you need to make your team feel safe, like, Hey, we're we just don't cut people loose willy nilly 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 feel safe over here knowing that when we remove somebody from the team, we did it in a way that was honorable, respectful and and and didn't have kind of a lack of integrity. And you can trust us that if, God forbid, something were to happen over here with you, which we don't ever 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 about the team itself, and I think a lot of corporations are companies, ignore that aspect of it and they get themselves...

...sort of in this environment where people are Aunty and there's a high anxiety because they're not quite sure what what triggers the point where someone might get removed. And so it's a fail failure to lack and a lack of communication that really drives that home. HMM. Yeah, well, and I think I you know, I read something that you had, you had written about that. Firing also should never give you should never be a just sense of empowerment or control. Right. Yeah, that's bad, because then your team is afraid of you, and so they're not really going to work with you out of a sense of passion and desire to accomplish 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 seen and 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 your team fearful, though, if the timer ever come and you needed them to do something for you, you need to count on them. Fee'll probably not see that happen. Yeah, well, Chris, we've I mean we've gotten to cover so much incredible content during this interview, talking about some of the things that the qualities to make for an effective leader, how to how to start finding the right team, how to eventually, you know, if it, if it comes to it, how to let those those members of your team 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. So if 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 find out 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 way for them to go about doing that? Well, they can go to my website, Chris me effordcom. Actually, if they go to Chrismafforcom B Tob with a podcast, they'll kind of see your stuff there. But they can download the book, they can download the Kendle, they can get the audio book as well. It's like a fifty dollar value that's on Amazon that they get 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 doing this because I want to see other companies and people succeed. If they want to sign up for some coaching, I'm happy to do that as well for a free lesson, and it's a very valuable lesson. It's not a cheap e where we don't discuss anything like I really want to help people and so that's my goal and my passion in life and I want to see people succeed and I get excited when I'm able to do that well. It's fantastic and and again, for anyone listening, check out the for leaders in a hurry podcast hosted by Chris. Chris, thank you again so much for your time today. It was an absolute pleasure having you on the show. Thank you, Jonathan. If you've been getting valued from this podcast, you can help us reach more people by reviewing the show on itunes. Here's how you can leave a review in less than a minute. Open your podcast APP and tap the search icon in the bottom right corner. Type in fee to be growth, then select our show. Once you're there, tap the reviews tab and tell 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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