I recently did an interview for SOUP and thought that these questions and answers would be useful to those interested in building a winning team. I hope they make you think about the way you lead, work and live.
1.) What drove you to write a book about SOUP?
I had been thinking, speaking and writing a lot about building a culture of greatness and on the way back from speaking at Campbell’s Soup’s annual sales meeting the idea came to me. The book has no connection with Campbell’s at all and it’s a fictional story but the inspiration came to me after speaking to them.
2.) How can someone in a lower level position, use your book to help make a difference in their culture?
Everyone contributes to the culture of their organization. Leadership is responsible for determining the kind of culture they want but it is brought to life by everyone in the organization. So, the ingredients, principles and habits found in the book can be applied by anyone at any level. I wrote this book with the mindset that it would be read by leaders and their teams. My hope is that people will also use it develop themselves and their careers and enhance their own performance as well.
3.) Explain what you mean by “Leadership is a transfer of belief.”
As a leader you are not just managing people, you are managing their beliefs. Beliefs are contagious. As a leader if you don’t believe you can build a great team or organization then your people won’t believe. To win in the marketplace you must first believe you can win in the marketplace and this belief must be transferred to the people in your organization. Great coaches inspire their teams to believe they can win. Great sales managers get their sales people to believe in their product or service. Great teachers inspire their students to believe in themselves.
4.) There is a fine line between business and love. In Chapter 26, you explain the importance of treating employees with love, as if they were your own family. Explain how best to approach this idea.
Yes, you often don’t hear love and business in the same sentence. It all comes down to showing people you care about them. When employees know they can trust you and that you care about them then they will be more loyal and engaged at work. This is demonstrated in numerous engagement studies and surveys. To me it’s about treating people like family. Let me clarify. Treat them like the family that you actually like. : ) Treat them like a functional family. Functional families have great communication. They have strong bonds of trust. And they care about one another. Sure the fight and have disagreements but their trust and love keeps them together. Also sometimes you need to treat them with tough love. You have to push them to be their best. You don’t settle for anything less than excellence. You make them better. I do this with my kids often. I see a lot of similarities between parenting and leadership.
5.) Leaders are often too busy or stressed to make time for their employees, how can they kick this habit?
They must remind themselves every day that it’s not the numbers that drive their people but their people and relationships that drive their numbers. Leaders get so busy trying to achieve success that they forget to take the time to develop the relationships that lead to success. I often encourage leaders to slow down and make time to meet with their people. Schedule to have lunch with an employee/team member a few times a week. Make “relationship building” a habit. Create an open door policy. Let people know you’re available to talk. Get out of your office and walk the halls. Ask questions. Host town hall meetings. The ideas are endless and many are shared in the book.
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