Momentum Podcast: 498

Create a Performance Culture

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

There’s a way to build a company culture that builds the company itself; I like to call it performance culture. A real culture for entrepreneurial personality types has an environment where they can win daily. It’s not the parties, games, or fluff like you may think. Your team will have a real entrepreneurial culture when everyone is performing and in momentum. A team that wins together stays, grows, evolves, and creates bigger outcomes together.

You can create a performance culture in your team with three simple elements: clear outcomes, transparency, and accountability. When you have these elements, you will create a performance culture where people grow like crazy and overperform. Going forward, create a real company culture around growth, performance, outcomes, and making things happen!  

Full Audio Transcript

If you go out and listen to information about business or business growth enough, you will hear the term company culture or growing a company culture. And these days, let's be honest, that means ping pong tables, beer kegs and parties. But the reality is there is a way to build a company culture that builds the company itself. There is a way to build the culture that grows the people within the business and there's a way to build a culture that will help you beat your competition, grow like crazy and protect your business. I don't want you to create a company culture, I want you to create a performance culture.

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 endure 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.

This morning was a pretty cool huddle that we had with our team. You know, we have a remote team all over the place and this morning, Nicole, who's a new writer on our team, started sharing how excited she is to be on this team. She's only been with us a little over a week, she's already performing at a really high level. She's writing content and putting it out there for us to use. It's been incredible having her on the team. But what she was saying is, "You know, I've never been this productive so fast. I've never had a team support me like this, I've never had a team surround me with, you know, so much love and care." And that's really what she was saying. And she even got a little misty eyed. We pretend like or we joke about having allergies on our huddle because it happens often that people get emotional. When you have a performance culture, when you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, when you're helping your team grow, people will get emotional.

They will feel the contribution that the business is giving them by allowing them to perform. We've created a performance culture and I want you to as well, because here's the challenge. You know, when we see people try to create "Cultures" and they do all kinds of stuff that's just window dressing and noisy, but the reality is a real culture for entrepreneurial personality types like you and me is being in a situation where they can win on a daily basis. Let me say that again. For people like you and I, the culture we want, the environment we want, the situation we want to be in is we want to be in a place where we can win. Win as part of a team, win as part of a tribe. We are evolutionary hunters. Our entire life is about winning, about momentum, about forward progress, about making things happen, and here's the challenge. This is the discovery I made or I've made in the past like 20 or 30 years of working with entrepreneurial businesses, culturepreneurial. Culture, entrepreneurial culture is not the stuff.

It's not the ping pong table. It's not the open bar, it's not the beer kegs, it's not the parties, it's not the concerts, it's not all that stuff. Here's what is real entrepreneurial culture, it's a culture where everyone is performing and everyone is in momentum. When you have people who are in momentum or excited about their lives, who are moving forward, it actually creates massive cultural growth and it creates team growth. It creates individual growth. When people like you and I are winning, that's when we grow the most. In fact, I'm willing to go back to every period of momentum in your life. Think back through your life. Every period of momentum you've ever had has had three things there, has had three conditions present. One, you had a hyper clear outcome. You knew where you were headed to. Two, you had clear accountability. You knew what your role was and what the role was of the people around you and three, you had a scoreboard. You had perspective. You had a way to know whether you were moving forward or not.

That is how you create a real culture. You make sure you have those conditions present, present. Because kegs, parties, ping pong table, let's get real, those are all window dressing that are trying to hide a lack of culture. Those are what people put to pretend like they have a culture. But when your team's performing and growing and becoming who they're supposed to be, that's a real culture. Now, here's the reality, people grow when they are performing. People grow when they're winning. Teams grow together and they become tighter together when they win. How often have you heard about the incredible culture of a losing sports team? Never. Nobody ever talks about it because it doesn't exist. Incredible cultures are on the teams that win, the teams where they pull together, the teams where they care about each other, the teams where they support each other.

So when you are in a company that has a performance culture, here's what that means. Everyone is in momentum and here's what you know that feels like. Think back to any period of momentum in your life. Anytime you felt like you were in momentum, where you're making forward progress, where the world is following in your wake, when you're making things happen, when you're excited about the progress you're making, you think back to those times in your life. If we zeroed in on those times, here's what we would see. We would see that they were difficult and chaotic and overwhelming, but you recognize them as a period of momentum now, why? Because you grew like crazy. If we go back to any period of momentum in your life and we go to the beginning of that period and the end of that period, I guarantee you, you are two different people. You grew, you developed, you evolved when you were in momentum. That's what we want your team to do. That's why we want you to create a performance culture.

So here's what you need to know. The three elements of performance cultures are clear outcomes, transparency and accountability. So what does that mean? One, clear outcomes. Everyone knows where you're going. Everyone knows where you're going as a company, in each department and project, and in their individual role. The second part, transparency means that there are clear scoreboards. We know the score for the business, what the critical number is and is the business moving forward? We know departmental scores, are we moving forward in marketing, in sales, in delivery? And we know individual roles, salespeople, member services people, coaches, whatever you have on your team, I'm naming what I have on mine. We have measurement there, so everyone has a scoreboard. And last, is accountability. Every person on the team knows the role they play and the people around them play. When you have those elements, outcome, transparency and accountability, you will create a performance culture where people grow like crazy and over-perform. You will create hyper-growth, not normal growth, hyper-growth where everyone in the team is growing, your departments are growing and that makes the business grow.

So here's what you need, you need to have a strategic plan, because you cannot have clear outcomes in a business until you have a clear strategic plan. And here's a big challenge with businesses, this is why there's so many beer kegs and parties and ping pong tables and foosball and all that other stuff that is supposed to create a culture is because so few companies have a strategic plan of any kind. So they're distracting from the fact that they don't know where they're going by putting up a bunch of window dressing, do not be that company. Have a clear strategic plan that you can communicate to your entire team. That's the next step. You have to have a communication system so that your team hears from you when they expect to hear from you, they know that it's coming, they understand the plan, and they know their role. With the communication system, everyone knows where they're going.

And then third, is not just a strategic plan, not just a communication system so that everyone understands their role, their accountability. You have to build the infrastructure, so you have to have the right processes documented, the right projects executed and the right people hired. If you can do that, you will create a consistent performance culture, because here's what I want you to know, a team that wins together stays together. A team that wins together, grows together. A team that wins together creates bigger outcomes together and a team that consistently wins together, evolves. And that's what we want every person working with us to do. We want to hire them at one level and then help them get to the next and the next and the next as they contribute to our business in a higher and more dynamic way. So here's what I want you to understand, don't ever use window dressing to create a fake culture.

In our business, in our team, I'm proud to say we have people that are growing like crazy. We have people that are emotionally vested in our business. We have a team of true believers and we don't have a ping pong table, a foosball table, a open bar, beer kegs, parties, any of those things. Here's what we have. We have an environment where incredible can sign up to win every day and be part of a winning tribe, part of a winning team. We have an environment where people can excel and people can grow if they want to. They can move into even more important positions. They can do more if they want to. And we have an environment where people perform together, they grow together and that's what creates a real company culture. Not window dressing, but a real culture where people are emotional and they have each other's backs and they protect each other and they make sure that everyone on the team is okay and moving forward. That will create the company you want.

Beer kegs, window dressing, having parties, ping pong tables, you can do it if you want, but here's what I want you to know, it's not necessary in a lot of cases it's a liability. And I know for most entrepreneurs, the day you walked by the ping pong table at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday and there's 25 people lined up to play, you're going to be annoyed that they're not actually doing something and making it happen. And here's a fact, if you have people who are in momentum and you show them how to create progress and how to win and how to move forward and how to make things happen every day, it doesn't matter if you did put in the ping pong table, they would ignore it because people in momentum don't play ping pong. So I want you to create a real company culture. I want you to create a culture around growth, performance, outcomes, and making things happen because that is a culture you'll not only be happy about, you'll be proud of.

If you're ready to do this, if you want to have a clear strategic plan, a communication system and a plan to build the infrastructure around the success you're creating, reach out to my team. Let us show you how to build a performance culture where you can call your shots and have your team help you get there. Go to, answer a few questions from my team. Jump on a call with a member of my team and let us help you determine exactly what you need right now and let us see if we can help you grow and scale a business so that you can leave your dent in the universe. You do not have to do this all on your own. Let us help you build a performance culture and you will see your business, your goals, your outcomes, and even what you believe you're capable of grow like crazy., apply today, we look forward to talking to you. And create a performance culture, it will change not just this month or this year, it'll change your life.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,


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