Momentum Podcast: 401
Get Your Team In The Zone
by Alex Charfen
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Full Audio Transcript
As entrepreneurs. We want teams with superhuman capabilities. We want teams that can get incredible amounts of things done in a very short period of time. We want teams who create more momentum we ever thought possible. Don't think that it's impossible to get there. In fact, when you do things right your team will naturally become this way.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution sure we pay attention to their rules but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it, we don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we enjoy the vulnerability and exposure, it takes to make it real.
We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution and we always will be. You know, I'm considered by many a very talented entrepreneur. In fact, I've heard people say that about me before. When I was introduced by Robin Sharma, he called me one of the most progressive entrepreneurial minds on the planet.
I remember standing offstage and hearing Robin say that at his Titan summit, and I literally had trouble getting on the stage, 'cause I was emotionally overcome when he said that. Like, it was so amazing to hear Robin Sharma say that, but here's the reality I know about myself. If I can't delegate it and get help with it, it probably isn't going to get done. I'm actually not that good at doing most things. In fact, most things, I'm actually pretty terrible at them. I get overwhelmed by details almost immediately. Whenever I open up a calendar, I get heart palpitations. When it comes to project planning and milestones and details and data, I literally get overwhelmed.
So I've had to build systems my entire life to help me get past these things, and to become more proficient at them. But here's what I know about me running businesses for my entire life. The only way I have been successful is through the efforts of other people. And in my early career, in my 20s I was a tragedy. I was actually terrible at managing leading people. I did what so many entrepreneurs do. I would hire really talented people and then yell and scream at them and give them unrealistic deadlines, and unrealistic goals and outcomes, and I was always frustrated and I was always irritated, and honestly I was always angry. I actually lived in a state of anger back then. Many entrepreneurs live in a state of anger right now, because we have unrealistic expectations, we don't really understand how to manage and motivate people, we feel like we're always let down and we don't appreciate the team that we have. That is a terrible place to be as an entrepreneur.
In fact, it's one of the most exhausting places to be as an entrepreneur. So here's how I've learned how to overcome this, and how to work with a team where I'm absolutely thrilled and excited with every member of my team. Here's what we do. We make sure that every person on our team is working in their strengths and in their zone of genius. And here's how we know. We interview constantly, we talk to our team constantly and we find out, do they love what they're doing? Are they excited about what they're doing? Is it something that they really enjoy doing?
In fact, I can give you a few examples. Karina, who is our designer who is a Venezuelan living in Ireland. She's absolutely amazing. And I've used this example before. A few weeks ago, we were talking about Thanksgiving and the American team was taking Thanksgiving off and Karina, on our daily huddle was like, "Hey, I don't have to take time off do I? You guys can't force me to take time off." She loves what she's doing so much, even though the rest of the team was taking a day off, she didn't. That shows you that she is in her zone of genius, that she loves what she's doing, that she's excited about it. In fact, she'll often come to the team and say, "Hey guys, I need more stuff to do." I've never seen anyone design as fast and as good as she does, because she's absolutely zone of genius.
The same goes for my assistant, Haley. Now Haley's not just my assistant. I call her my executive assistant, but it is almost unfair to call her that, because she's not just my executive assistant. She runs our entire [Cadence 00:04:51] planning system. She runs our company meetings. She does our recruiting and she's helping build our team. She's helping onboard people onto our team. She's absolutely amazing at all of those things. And there's a reason, she loves doing all of them.
In fact, when we first started working together, she would get mad at me when I would put stuff on the calendar, or I would try and do something that was process oriented where I would get in the way of her operational abilities, she would actually send me [inaudible 00:05:15] and messages and say, "Hey Alex. The reason I'm here is to do those things. You don't have to do them anymore." And now she doesn't. She's not even like, she doesn't kid around anymore. She just says, "Hey Alex. Stop doing that." Because she knows she's better at it than I am. She's in her zone of genius. It's easy for her. It's hard for me. And so she's not only contributing to our business in an incredible way, but she also is in momentum and growing as a human being, and developing as a human being. Which is so incredibly fun to watch.
You know, another good example is just a couple nights ago, or just last night. Actually, I thought it was a couple nights ago, and it was just last night. I was on a Zoom call with [Aila 00:05:56] Brooke, who is one of our executives in Australia. And she helps us run all of our content, our marketing. And she mentioned to me, she said, "You know, Alex. I just want you to know I love leading and managing people, so don't worry about ever adding more people for me to lead or to manage. I would love to do that." And it was so interesting, as she said that, I thought to myself, "Gosh, I love having Aila on the team because every single person that she leads or managers, every person who's in her organization on our order chart can't stop talking about how much they love her."
It really, and it's rare that you see that as somebody who manages and leads people, but every team member at least once a week says something like, "I love reporting to Aila, or I had a meeting with Aila, and I feel so much better, or she's so motivating, or so supportive or she so easy to talk to. And she really is all of those things. Which is the opposite of me. I don't love leading and managing people, there's too many details. I get overwhelmed almost right away. I forget the last conversation we had 'cause I'm thinking about bigger things. I'm thinking about like the future vision of the company, and to come back to the present and figure out where we are in a project is so hard for me. It's actually one of my biggest deficits.
But as I sat there on the call with Aila, and I recognized on that call last night. Her zone of genius is leading and managing people, like she is good at it as anybody I've ever worked with. She may be one of the best. She actually may be the best. And when I think about that, it's exactly what Cadey and I need because Cadey is very similar to me. Cadey's good at managing people, but it's not her zone of genius. It's not what she loves. And Cadey, my wife is actually going to start getting more involved in our content. Which I can't tell you how excited I am about, and how much that's going to mean for you when you start hearing her because she's absolutely amazing. Cadey's the real reason our businesses have grown so much over the last 15 years, and if she transitions to content we absolutely have to have a person like Aila. Thank goodness it's her that can lead and manage people, and is in their zone of genius.
And when I look throughout my team, it just repeats over and over again. We just brought on two new coaches. Deanna and [Judita 00:08:07], and bringing on coaches for me was a difficult thing because we've had coaches in the past. Cadey and I had a coaching company in real estate. We had several hundred clients paying us thousands of dollars a month. We had a multimillion dollar coaching product, we had seven coaches and I think two managers, and I can't remember who else in the coaching department. And I came in one day and shut it all down because it just wasn't working. It wasn't what I wanted. It was too frustrating, there was too much noise.
And if I think in a lot of ways, it was because I was out of my zone of genius and the coaches, we had were out of theirs, too. But we've just brought on two new coaches, Deanna and Judita, just in a short period of time, they're still in their 90 days, they're already making a massive contribution to our company. They're taking pressure off of me, they're taking pressure off of Melanie, who is our director of client experience, who also is in her zone if genius. They're making it easier on all of us, and the barely getting started. That indicates that we've brought in people who are immediately in the place that they want to be.
This is how you get your team to operate at their absolute highest and best. Eddie, who was over here yesterday, is our production manager. He manages all of our video, all of our videos that we put out, all of our [inaudible 00:09:17] leadership videos, our advertising videos. Anything that we do that involves a video camera, Eddie's normally involved. And he was over yesterday and I realized after he left, just how much fun it is to work with Eddie. Just how easy it is to work with Eddie, and just how much he motivates me when we're doing stuff, because here's what I know when Eddie's over here, that if he sets up the cameras and he sets up the lighting and I follow his direction and I listened to Eddie, and I do what he says, we are going to have amazing video that makes us look incredible as a company.
And go to YouTube, you can check it out. We don't have a huge YouTube following, but we're putting out some intense content there, and the editing that Eddie does, and the music video adds, and the way that he puts the videos together and the B roll that he uses it's just expert. It's such an incredible level, and it's again because he's doing exactly what he wants to do and what he loves to do.
So if you have a team right now where you don't feel like you're getting enough out of the people, if you have a team right now where you feel like on a daily basis, you're trying to motivate them, which is such a tragedy, because if you have people on your team who are true believers working in their zone of genius, you will never have to motivate them at all. If you have people on your team who are not true believers and are not in their zone of genius. You will never be able to motivate them enough.
So if you feel like you're pushing your team, if you feel like every morning you come in and you're either strapping it on to drag it up a hill or pushing to get it up hill. It's probably because you have an imbalance of where people are on the team and what they're doing. Start asking yourself questions like this. Each person who's on my team really love what they're doing. Does each person who's on my team show up every day excited about what they're going to do at work? Does each person on my team every day love the outcomes that they're creating, and are they motivated to do what they're doing? Because if you can answer yes to those questions, you will have a team that carries you as an entrepreneur.
Let me just repeat that. If you build a team of true believers that are working in their zone of genius, that are excited about what they're doing every day, they will carry you as an entrepreneur. And very few people in business, very few leaders in business, very few entrepreneurs in their careers ever get the feeling of what it's like to have a team around them that fully supports them, understands them and is carrying them as an entrepreneur. Because the way it should really work is that you point the direction you want to go and your team gets you there. You should never feel like you're coming in every morning, and having to motivate everybody. If you feel like you're strapping it on and pulling the business uphill, or pushing your team to get going and get motivated, something is fundamentally wrong.
Start looking at the people around you and asking yourself, how do you put them into a place where they're excited about what they get to do every day? Even the person on our team, Justin Hester, who does our customer service loves what he's doing. In fact, he's been in customer service his entire career. He even had a career in law enforcement, where he wasn't just a police officer. He was a police officer and canine handler, and he had a massive territory that he handled, but he used his time as a police officer as just an extension of his customer service career.
And you know, I said it on the Huddle just a few days ago that Justin Hester's the kind of customer service person where you never hear anything about what he's doing, because there's never a problem in customer service. Like, no news is the best news, but I had to actually bring that up and proactively say, "I'm so proud and so impressed of Justin and so excited to have him on our team." Because I can't remember, I literally can't remember the last time we had a customer service issue. He just handles at all. And does it in a way that makes every one of our clients feel like they're getting concierge service, even though we have one person in customer service.
And just recently on our team, Aila has an assistant, Rachel, who I have incredible amounts of respect for. She's so awesome. Rachel's so good at getting stuff done. And so organized and gets things to happen faster than than most people ever could. And recently I've been watching her because, first I watched how she was writing emails to us and how she was writing summaries of podcasts and I started realizing that Rachel has this intense talent for writing, for actually the written word. And I started talking to her about it and saying, "Hey Rachel, do you want to do more writing? Is this something that interests you?"
Well, this week we bought several books, we bought a course, we're sending them over to Australia to Rachel so that she can learn how to write better and we're going to develop her as a writer. So even though she came in as an assistant, even though she came in and she's in operations, we recognized talent there. And when I asked her, "Is this something you want to develop. Is this something want to do more of?" She was enthusiastically excited about it. So sometimes you have to like watch for and look for a zone of genius to develop, and I am thrilled to be working with Rachel as a writer moving forward, and bringing her into writing more and more for the company. And I think you will be too. Watch our emails, watch our social media posts. Rachel is helping us make them so much more connected, writing in our voice and having them be way more motivating than they have been in the past.
See, when you build a team where every person is doing something that they love every day, something that motivates them, something that they really believe that they're good at, you have a team of people that never feel like they are working. And when you have a team of people that never feels like they're working, you can't help but create momentum. And when your team is in momentum, just like every entrepreneurial personality type in the history of the world, just like every evolutionary hunter out there, when we are in momentum, on the hunt, achieving, moving forward, creating and making things happen, that is when as human beings we develop the fastest. And the most exciting thing about leading and being a member of a team is watching the team around you develop and grow, and become even more talented as human beings.
That is exactly where I find myself today. And that's where I want you to be. So take a look at your team, ask yourself is every one of them motivated excited driven and doing something that they love? Is every one of them have a clear outcome and know exactly how to get there, and is every one of them doing something that every day puts them in momentum? When you can answer yes to all of those questions, you will have a team that takes you to destinations, you never thought you were capable of. You will have a team that puts you at a level of success you've only dreamed of. And you will finally create the momentum, you've always know you were capable of as an entrepreneur.
If you're ready to start building that team, if you want to understand the systems, the processes, the exact step-by-step to go out, create a strategic plan, recruit around that plan, build a team around you so that you can grow faster than you ever thought possible, reach out to us. That's exactly what we help entrepreneurs do. Go to billionaire code dot com, forward slash apply, answer a few questions for me and my team and you'll get on a call with either me or one of my team members so that we can show you how we can help you create more momentum than you ever thought possible. If you've created the opportunity, and it's now all about getting the team and the organization around you so that you can take advantage of everything that's there. Don't hesitate. Go to billionaire code dot com, forward slash apply, get us your information now.
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