Episode: How to Create a Collaborative Team Culture

Michael Hyatt: Hi, I’m Michael Hyatt.

Megan Hyatt Miller: And I’m Megan Hyatt Miller.

Michael: And this is Lead to Win, our weekly podcast to help you win at work and succeed at life. Today we’re going to show you how to create a culture of collaboration.

Megan: This is not so easy. In fact, sometimes it feels easier to create a dysfunctional culture than a functional one. Right? I mean, everybody has their own horror story of a negative culture, whether it was gossipy teammates and an atmosphere of suspicion or a top-down authoritarian management style or departments or teams working in silos. Lots of blame and mistrust. The worst part is that nothing gets done. When you have a dysfunctional culture, there’s so much sideways energy, and it keeps you from doing the things that matter the most. It’s so tough to break the habit once you’ve gone down that rabbit hole.

Michael: But today we’re going to show you how to change all that. You can help to create a highly collaborative culture in your workplace, and we’re going to show you exactly how to do that. But first, we have to bring on Larry. Hey, Larry.

Larry Wilson: Hey, guys. How are you?

Michael: Great. Great to hear from you.

Larry: I’m great too. Still up here working remotely, working from home. Not exactly a new experience for Michael Hyatt & Company.

Michael: The new normal.

Larry: Good to see you guys. We’re talking about how to create a collaborative culture. Can I just brag on you guys for a second?

Michael: Sure.

Larry: You have really hit a home run on that in creating this company. Some people may have heard that Michael Hyatt & Company has made the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies for three years running. It has grown by over 157 percent. The team is a huge part of the reason. I think it’s the best team I’ve ever been on.

This year, 2020, we were named one of Inc.’s best places to work with not quite 100 percent full engagement, but 96.88 percent of employees are fully engaged, and that compares to 30 percent for the average company. This is just a fun place to work, and it’s the most collaborative environment I’ve ever been a part of. So, I think the big question is: How did you do that?

Michael: Well, the key word is intentionality. None of it happened by accident. We designed it. I’ve said before many times… In my book Living Forward, Daniel Harkavy and I first set up this framework of there are two approaches to life, both individually and organizationally: either you drift into the future or you design the future.

Drift is that posture of being passive, of blaming others, of feeling helpless and just drifting, coasting, kind of moving through life without any intention. But design is being proactive, taking ownership, having agency. We’re going to get into specific steps in a minute, but the foundation of creating culture is to be intentional. It’s not something that happens by accident. You don’t drift into it. You have to create it.

Megan: That’s a really important point, Dad. Most often, when we hear clients tell us they have a productivity problem in their organization or we hear from you guys, as listeners, it’s really a cultural problem. You often say, Dad, that culture is the unseen force that drives operating results. That’s kind of a paradigm shift for most of us. That’s not the way we grew up in business, but it’s really, really true. The reason is humans are culture-creating creatures. We live inside systems of thought and belief and behavior.

Your workplace has a culture. Whether you know it or not, it does. As a leader, you are the key to setting that culture. Larry Bossidy said that culture is nothing more and nothing less than the behavior of its leaders. If you want to change an organization’s culture, you have to change the behavior of its leaders. That requires sometimes a long hard look in the mirror, because sometimes we’re the problem we have to fix.

Michael: Absolutely. That’s kind of “good news, bad news.” The good news is you can change it. All you have to do is change your behavior. And the bad news is sometimes the most difficult behavior of all to change is your own. For you guys listening, you can start by describing your current culture. For most of us, it’s invisible. We don’t pay attention to it. It’s kind of like fish to water. It’s just the environment we swim in.

Begin by listing the attributes of your current culture that you don’t like. Then list the attributes of a culture you would love, usually the direct opposite of that. For example, when I came to Thomas Nelson Publishers back in the late 90s, there were many things in the culture that I felt like were toxic things that I didn’t like. For example, I thought the culture (this was in the left-hand column of my own list) was hierarchical. It was opaque. There was a lack of transparency. We didn’t know anything that was going on above us. It was very competitive to the point of dysfunctional, and there was a lot of gossip.

So, I wrote down that list, and I said, “What do I want to turn this into? How do I want to transform it?” I said, “Instead of hierarchical, I want it to be collegial. Instead of it being opaque, I want it to be transparent. Instead of it being competitive…” Some competition is okay, but I wanted a collaborative environment. Instead of gossip, I wanted an environment of loyalty. Here’s the point: as a leader, you can create a collaborative culture, but you have to get clear on what it is you’re trying to create, what kind of culture you’re trying to make.

Larry: Today, we’re saying that you can create a culture of collaboration, and we have three steps to help you do that. Let’s get to step one: embrace your unique working style.

Michael: One of the things I like to do with our business coaching clients is take them through an exercise where I have them draw a picture of a house with their dominant hand. I’m right-handed, so I would draw it right-handed. Most people aren’t artists. Some are better than others. Then I have them draw the same picture with their non-dominant hand and describe the difference. They usually say, “Oh my gosh! It was so frustrating. It was a lot slower.” They weren’t very good at it. They had to be super focused.

Many of us have unknowingly adopted a work style that just doesn’t fit us. We’re trying to operate from a style that’s just not us. When I grew up, my dad had been injured in the Korean War. It affected his life thereafter. He was only 17 when he enlisted in the Marines. He took some shrapnel to the head, and he was in a coma for about six months, and then, thereafter, for the rest of his life, he limped severely.

From childhood, all of us are looking for examples to follow, and our natural instinct is to find the people we respect, usually the grown-ups around us, and follow in their footsteps. In my case, quite literally, I started limping like my dad. My mom called me aside one day when I was probably 4 or 5 years old, and she said, “Michael, you don’t need to limp. Your dad limps because he was hurt in the war, but look at all of these other men you look up to. They don’t limp. You don’t need to limp.”

This is important, because sometimes we’re in a work environment where we look up to people we respect, and we unconsciously adopt their style, but if it’s not us, then it becomes very awkward. We’re not going to show up as the best version of ourselves because we’re trying to be someone else. There’s a big difference between influence and imitation.

We can learn from all kinds of people. We can be influenced by their approach, but when we believe we can’t win as ourselves (and this is important), that we have to become like someone else in order to succeed, we’ve slipped into a very dangerous delusion. Any leadership style can be a strength if you’re aware of it and if you use it intentionally. So, now we want to tackle how you can stop trying to be the leader you think you should be and start appreciating and embracing the leader you are.

Megan: I love this conversation, because I think sometimes finding your leadership style can feel like a black box, that it’s something you have to find and then decode, and it sort of holds all of the secrets. But how do we access that? Fortunately, we have a practical tool we have been using for a number of years inside Michael Hyatt & Company (we didn’t develop it, but it’s something we learned about and have since implemented) that really helps to give leaders insight into their own style, and also, this can be something you can use with your team that would help them understand themselves better.

It’s called the Kolbe A Index, and it measures the way you instinctively approach your work. If you think about it, there are really three functions to your brain. There’s your cognitive function (that’s your intelligence), your affective function (your feelings), and your conative function, which is the way you work. This is the one we’re the least familiar with. The Kolbe A Index measures how you go about a task. Believe it or not, there are actually four different ways people initiate work, and that’s what the Kolbe measures.

When you take the Kolbe A Index (it’s an assessment you take online; it probably takes 15, maybe 20 minutes, depending on how thoughtful and deliberate you are), what you’re going to get back is a report, and it’s going to give you four numbers. You’re going to have a score in each one of these four areas: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start, and Implementor. That’s going to tell you how you initiate work and kind of interpret, when those are all put together, how you engage with your work and how other people can successfully engage with you.

For example, my Kolbe score is a 7-3-8-2. That means my longest number, they would say, is my Quick Start. I’m an 8 Quick Start. That’s how I initiate. Then I’m a 7 Fact Finder. The first number is your Fact Finder, and that’s a 7. So, I like to take action, but I also like information, especially to back up the action I take. That’s unique to me. But then my other two numbers, my Follow Thru and my Implementor, are very low, and that means I don’t have a lot of energy for Follow Thru. I don’t have a lot of energy for planning or details or logistics. That’s really draining to me, and I don’t want to do a lot of hands-on work.

Now, it’s important to remember none of these numbers, whether they’re short or long, as Kolbe would say, are bad or good. There’s no right score. There’s no best way to initiate work. It’s totally just descriptive of who you are. There’s no value attached to it except if you were to have a score that’s unsuited for the kind of work you’re doing.

For example, if my primary job was to plan and do detail-oriented work or repetitive work, it would be very draining for me and I would probably not be very successful. So, that’s really what you’re looking for: How does the fit line up between the kind of work you’re doing every day and what energy is required of that work and what you’re naturally predisposed to do based on your Kolbe score?

So, you can initiate work in one of four ways. The first is called Fact Finder, which deals with information. This is someone who, before they initiate work, really wants to do their research. They really want to understand everything. They’re probably searching for things, for articles online. They’re reading books. They’re talking to people. They really want to have as much information as possible so they can take confident initiation of their work.

My husband Joel is an initiating Fact Finder, so he engages the world through information first. He wants to have a lot of information. Lately, he has been doing a lot of personal writing, and every day we get probably four to five books from Amazon. I’m like, “When is it going to stop? When will you have enough information to start writing this project?”

For him, he really wants to get all the information in front of him. He literally has it spread out on a table and categorized, and at a certain point, he will have enough information where he’s going to feel confident taking action on a new book project he’s going to be working on. That’s an example of how someone who is an initiating Fact Finder exists in the world.

Then there is another way of initiating work called Follow Thru. This deals with the energy for perpetuating and maintaining existing systems. Or another way we like to think of this is planning. People who are what Kolbe would say are long on Follow Thru or initiating Follow Thrus are going to want to have a really thoughtful plan before they take action.

This is a person, if you’re going on a road trip, who has the whole trip mapped out. They know exactly where they’re going to stay along the way. They know what restaurants they’re going to stop at. They know where the rest stops are. They know how long a tank of gas is going to last. They have a whole plan before they ever get started. That’s a really unique way of working and initiating work.

Someone who initiates through Follow Thru… I feel like these people are sort of unicorns in a way, and that’s probably just the makeup of our company. These people are really good at seeing all of the steps that need to be accomplished as part of a plan. We’ll get into this in a minute, but some people can just see a little bit as they start to go down the road, and that’s fine for them, but these people see all of the steps.

For example, Michele Cushatt on our team, who is our chief training officer, has a long Follow Thru, so, as we were developing our one-on-one coaching program for BusinessAccelerator, she was able to foresee things like we needed a coaching manual and all of the things it needed to include. It’s like 80 pages long. It has instructions for every part of the process…standards. She thought through all of that. She thought through contracts. She thought through scheduling.

I mean, she sees all of the components of that, where some of the rest of us on our executive team would just think, “It’s great. Let’s start a coaching program, and how great it’s going to be when it’s all finished,” but we don’t really see the middle. If you are an initiating Follow Thru, you have the ability to see the middle and everything it’s going to take to accomplish a big goal, for example.

Michael: Thank God for these kinds of people, by the way.

Megan: Oh my gosh! We’d be in such trouble without them.

Michael: If we didn’t have them, I would be getting us into all kinds of trouble, and so would you, Megan.

Megan: I know. Every day.

Larry: Not to make this confessional, or whatever, but some of these Follow Thru people will sit in meetings and hear the new products that are announced at Michael Hyatt & Company and think, “Oh my gosh! How are we going to make that?”

Megan: It’s true. Because they see everything that has to be done. It’s good. So then, on the total other end of the spectrum is a Quick Start. So, you have a Fact Finder, you have a Follow Thru, and then you have a Quick Start. This is a person with a high tolerance for risk. It’s kind of like they are “ready, fire, aim.” They just want to take action right now. They’ll figure it out along the way. They love to start things. They don’t have a lot of energy for finishing things. This is your classic entrepreneurial type that has a lot of vision and a lot of bang at the beginning but struggles to follow through on things. Dad, that’s the two of us all day, every day.

Michael: Guilty as charged.

Megan: A million ideas, a million new businesses all the time. This is definitely, again, going to be your most familiar entrepreneurial type. But not all. Interestingly, when we look at our clients in BusinessAccelerator, I would say probably the majority of them are initiating Quick Starts, but then we have quite a few people who are in these other categories. So, it’s important to not pigeonhole people or stereotype, because there are entrepreneurs and leaders in each of these four ways of initiating work.

Larry: If you happen to be a high Fact Finder and/or a high Follow Thru, which I am, and you work with a Quick Start, here’s what it’s like. A few years ago, I got a dog and decided to build a fence around my backyard. I asked my son-in-law to help me, and he was very excited about the project. This was on a Sunday afternoon. He was over for dinner, and I mentioned it to him.

After we ate, he’s walking over to the neighbor’s house to borrow a post hole digger, and I’m like, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I have weeks of research to do here on exactly what type of fence to build, how deep to set the posts, whether to put them in concrete or just put them in the ground, the wire, all of that. And I’m going to rent a power auger to dig these post holes. I’m not doing it by hand.” But he was ready to go. “Build a fence? Yep, let’s start this afternoon.”

Michael: I get it.

Megan: That sounds very familiar. Although I don’t want to build fences, I’ve had my own version of that many times. Okay. The last way of initiating work is someone who’s called an Implementor. This person has a lot of energy for tangible, hands-on projects. This is the kind of person who wants to physically touch something in order to move it along and initiate work. This would be someone who maybe is an artist, a designer, a builder, an engineer…someone who is physically engaging with the work they’re doing on a daily basis.

This is the rarest type within Michael Hyatt & Company because so much of what we do is digital or non-tangible, but it’s a really interesting and important type. If you think about it, these all have a natural energy for certain ways of initiating work. Maybe you have a natural energy for research and information or you have a natural energy for planning or a natural energy for starting things and just getting up and going or a natural energy for building and making things.

These are four equally valuable, non-hierarchical ways of engaging the world, and you naturally have energy for one, maybe two, but not necessarily the others. Most people have one that’s dominant, maybe a secondary one, and then a pretty distant third and fourth. The idea here is that when your work matches your natural way of engaging work, you have a lot less stress, it’s easier, it’s more satisfying, and you feel more successful.

Larry: I think there’s a huge relief in discovering this about yourself.

Michael: Totally.

Larry: Realizing that you felt like a square peg all of these years, but, hey, it’s just another way to do things.

Michael: One of the mistakes leaders make is they tend to think that whatever their style is, particularly if they’re successful, that that is the thing that made them successful, and if you want to be successful, you have to be like them. No, actually not. You need to be like yourself. The more congruent you can be with your natural style, the more you can work within the framework of that, the more successful you’re going to be.

So, if you’re not a high Quick Start, you’re not going to be successful by following all of my examples. I initiate work in a specific kind of way. If you’re a high Follow Thru, you need to follow that particular form of initiating. That’s going to lead you to success, not imitating me.

Larry: So, step one in creating a collaborative work culture is to embrace your unique working style. Step two, not surprisingly, is appreciate your teammates’ unique working styles.

Michael: This is important because the best, most innovative teams, the most engaged teams, the most productive teams, are those with the most diversity. We have to start with the assumption that different is good. The thing you want to avoid at all costs is what Kolbe calls conative cloning, where you try to hire people who are just like you. That’s a recipe for disaster. We kind of did it unconsciously initially, and thank God we came across the Kolbe assessment, because it helped us avoid that as we went forward.

Let me give you an example. Gail and I are exact opposites when it comes to almost every kind of personality test we’ve taken. Initially, opposites attract. We were attracted to one another, probably unconsciously, because we realized the other person offered what we lacked. But over time, opposites usually annoy. We got on each other’s last nerve, because Gail thought and initiated work so much differently than I did.

For example, she’s very high on Fact Finder, so she can never have too much information. I’m very high on Quick Start, so I’m ready to get started. Left to my own devices, I would end up being very impulsive, taking action before I had all the information, and that wasn’t a good thing. Left to Gail’s own devices, she would just procrastinate and never take action. So, you can see how the friction would occur and why we would annoy each other. But eventually, opposites must learn to appreciate. So, attract, annoy, and then they must learn to appreciate their differences.

Thank God that I have Gail in my life. We’ve been married for 42 years. She makes me less impulsive, because she insists on getting more information. On the other hand, I keep her from procrastinating, because I’m ready to get into the game and take action as soon as we have enough information. So, that’s the way we work together. You have to ask yourself the question, “How is the fact that this person is different a gift to me and to the team?”

Megan: This is a really fun thing to do with your team and to start thinking about with your team. For example, you could bring to mind someone on your team who you really get along with, who you just have natural affinity with, you love to work with, and then ask yourself this question: “Is this primarily because we think alike?” Dad, I think you and I have a lot of fun together because it’s just so easy. Our brains work so similarly.

Our Kolbe scores are almost identical. It makes it so easy to communicate, to think of ideas together, and all that. Probably our team is trembling a little bit when we come in together with an idea, because it’s like double trouble, literally. However, to that point, we also have some of the same weaknesses and blind spots. The two of us are not enough together because we’re so similar. We make our strengths stronger, but we also make our weaknesses worse.

Now I want you to think of somebody on your team who you find maybe frustrating to work with or you’ve had some friction with or you just feel like there’s not a lot of natural affinity. I wonder if that could be partly because you just work differently. Maybe you want to take action and they always want to take a little bit more time to make a decision or maybe you want to wait and they want to take action.

Regardless, this could be attributable to one of these four aspects of the Kolbe Index: the Fact Finder, the Follow Thru, the Quick Start, or Implementor. How do you think they maybe initiate work? You’re not trying to diagnose them, per se, but it can be a helpful lens to look through. Then ask yourself this question: How might they complement you? For example, my executive assistant Jamie is an initiating Follow Thru. Her Follow Thru number, I think, is a 9. Mine is a 2, hers is a 9.

I have no energy for details. If I were keeping my own calendar, for example… I mean, I have a pretty complicated life with five kids and our whole company and all that. She can keep it all straight because she thinks through every contingency, every detail. She makes sure everything works together. If I were trying to do that, I would be horrible at it. It would be an utter and total disaster.

Similarly, Courtney Baker, who’s our chief marketing officer, initiates as a Quick Start and as a Follow Thru, which is really interesting. It’s a little bit of a “one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake” kind of experience, as Kolbe says. What’s cool about that in marketing… We run really complicated marketing promotions, many simultaneously, and there’s a whole way that has to work on the back end.

Courtney can see all that. She can see exactly how to make it work, how all of the details fit together so that nothing runs into anything else, and how to arrange it all so it works. Thank goodness, because I think someone without that Follow Thru component wouldn’t be able to keep the details straight.

Larry: Well, I can tell you that it really is helpful to know this about your teammates, what their Kolbe is and how they initiate work. As an example, I was having a conversation last week with Danielle Rodgers, who has been on the show. She’s our HR director. She asked me a question, so I told her. It took about 10 minutes to give her all the information, because she did ask. Right? I said, “Well, I’m sorry. I guess that got a little long.” She said, “That’s okay, Larry. I’ve read your Kolbe score, and I know never to expect a short answer from you.”

Megan: Ah, interesting. Danielle does a great job of appreciating how everybody is different and necessary, and she doesn’t try to encourage or force people to adopt a way of being in the workplace that is unnatural to them. What we try to do is position people where they naturally have that energy so there’s not a lot of friction.

Michael: By the way, one pro tip. I just started doing this, and I requested all of our team to begin doing this: to start using their Kolbe profile, those four numbers, as a part of their display name in Zoom. So, as we’re having our virtual meetings, we can see, kind of like a symphony conductor, which instruments we need to call up for which problem we’re trying to solve, which kind of leads us to the next point.

Larry: Well, let’s move on to step three in creating a collaborative work culture: hire people who are uniquely wired for their work and who balance out your team.

Michael: Let me go back to the symphony illustration. If you were the conductor of a symphony and all you had were… I don’t know how many people are in a symphony. Let’s say 100 people. If everybody played woodwinds, you wouldn’t have much music you could play. Your versatility, your repertoire would be very narrow.

On the other hand, if you have a little bit of this and a little bit of that…you have some strings, you have some brass, you have the woodwinds, you have percussion, you have all of these different instruments…then you can make all kinds of music because you have all of the instruments at your command. That’s what you want inside of your company.

You don’t have to be good at everything. That’s the thing I want to say to you as a leader: you don’t have to be good at everything. As it turns out, I’m only good at a few things, and that’s fine, because the secret is to build a team that complements one another. The ideal mix, based on Kolbe’s research, is to have 25 percent of your team who are long in each of the four areas, 50 percent who are midrange (these are kind of your interpreters who can interpret the long people to the short people), and then 25 percent who are short in a particular area.

That’s more technical than probably we want to get into, so we’ll have a link in the show notes to Kolbe. We are an affiliate, so we get paid a small commission if you engage with the company, but we’ve been using and recommending Kolbe for years, long before we were an affiliate.

Larry: So, how have you used this tool to create a more balanced workforce?

Megan: Well, I love using this in the hiring process. When we started integrating this into our hiring process, our success of matching the right candidate to the right job description went through the roof. It made our current employees more satisfied in their work, and it made the new employees better suited to the work we were going to be asking them to do.

We do a couple of things. First of all, we have our candidates for new positions take the assessment. This index has been shown to have no bias for race, gender, etcetera. So, we begin by knowing what the candidate’s strengths are. Normally, we would send this out once we have reviewed résumés, kind of narrowed it down to maybe 6 to 10 candidates. We’re not at our final candidates yet, but we feel like, based on résumés, and so forth, that we have a good idea that they would be qualified for the position.

Now we want to know if they’re a fit for the position. The way you know that is when you’re creating a job description for a position, Kolbe has a separate assessment you take called the Kolbe C where you, as the hiring manager, take this assessment and, basically, are answering questions about what is going to be needed for that person to succeed in their new role.

So then, they also have taken the assessment (the same one you took, the Kolbe A, that’s all about themselves), and Kolbe takes their personal results and the ideal results for the job (what’s going to be required to succeed) and runs those through an algorithm and tells you what their score is, basically. You get a letter score back, a grade, basically.

In our company, we try to never hire anybody who’s not an A or better. I think Kolbe’s official stance on that is they should be a B or better. We’ve found that to be very, very helpful, because then what you know is they have a natural energy for doing the work you’re going to be asking them to do.

I tell you what. Like I said, this has really changed our hiring process and our ability to be successful. However, every so often, we get a little full of ourselves and we think we are smarter than the assessment and that it has missed something and that we’re going to just go with our instincts. I can tell you, without exception, that has proven to be a real problem.

I can think of an example of someone we hired who I was just convinced was the right cultural fit. I really appreciated her background and what she had done professionally and had been very impressed by that and her people skills, etcetera, and I thought, “You know what? This assessment is just way off. I know I’m right on this.” Well, it was a disaster. She was not able to produce any of the results that were required in her role. It was a marketing role.

Unfortunately, that relationship ended. It did not work out long-term at all. It was, honestly, an astounding failure that, at the end of the day, I’m responsible for because I decided I could override the assessment. I think this is one of the great things about using an objective measure like this in your hiring process. It keeps your own feelings and assumptions from getting in the way of something more objective, like someone’s way of initiating work.

Michael: The reason that’s so important is when you have a hiring fail, it is so expensive.

Megan: Oh, so expensive.

Michael: Just the recruiting process is expensive, and then the onboarding process and the investment, the time lost, the opportunity cost, all of that. In this particular case you were mentioning, this person was on board for about six months, and it didn’t work out. We basically lost six months, we lost the investment, and then we had to start all over. We had to start over from ground level zero, but now we were even more desperate to fill that position.

Megan: Yep. It was an expensive lesson, and I’ve kind of vowed to myself ever since then, “Don’t ignore the test.” The results don’t lie. It’s very, very, very consistent, and we’ve had some amazing hires using this process. So, lesson learned.

Michael: I think I need to put a disclaimer in here real quick. Kolbe is one lens through which we look at our colleagues or look at potential colleagues. We’re also going to look at their experience. We’re going to look at their education. We’re going to look at their skills, their work history. All that stuff is important. This is one lens, but it’s a critically important lens, and it’s the one that’s missing from most organizations.

Larry: I think the secret sauce here, to use an expression we like around here, is when you share these results with a team. We all know what each other’s Kolbe scores are, so we know who we’re dealing with and how they initiate work. To me, it does two things. First, you have a very high tolerance for people who are different from you because you understand why they’re coming at a problem from a different angle. Secondly, it gives you incredible respect for your teammates because you realize they’ve been vetted and chosen carefully for the role and bring a lot to the table. It really ups the collaboration.

Well, today we’ve learned that you can create a collaborative culture by taking three actions:

  1. Embrace your own unique working style.
  2. Appreciate your teammates’ unique working styles.
  3. Hire people who are uniquely wired for their work and who balance out your team.

When you do that, you’re going to find you’ll be in a highly collaborative environment and feel very confident of your team’s ability to take on challenges, and they may actually start loving coming to work again. So, final thoughts for our listeners today.

Megan: I think there’s nothing like working in a highly collaborative team where everybody feels respected and appreciated and like they have a unique contribution to make. This is the difference between… You’ve probably heard a lot of people talk about this: a strengths-based culture versus whatever the alternative to that is, where you’re constantly trying to improve people’s weaknesses. Like, in my case, trying to help somebody become a better planner, better with details.

It’s so much more rewarding to have a company that you can work in and that your employees or teammates can work in where everybody is working from a natural point of energy, a natural place of strength, than trying to work so hard to get better at things you’re not naturally good at. That’s not to discount any kind of leadership development, of course, but we’re just talking about how you initiate work.

So, I love this tool so much, the Kolbe Index. I think it is a huge shortcut for leaders to develop your people. It’s a huge shortcut for yourself to know where you need to be spending your time and where you’re going to be tempted to kind of waste your time rather than leverage the strengths of others. I really hope you’ll check it out. I think, like us, once you discover it, it’ll become one of your favorite tools.

Michael: I’d like to give my final thought by quoting Dr. Seuss. He says, “Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you.” To know that you can be you and still succeed is an awesome truth. You don’t have to try to be somebody else. You don’t have to imitate somebody else. All you have to do is to embrace who God has made you to be. If you do that, you can be successful as a leader.

Larry: Michael and Megan, thanks for sharing this tool and this process. I know it’s going to help a lot of companies to create just the kind of collaborative culture you’ve been able to produce around here. So thank you.

Michael: Thank you, Larry. Thanks, Megan. And thanks to all of you for joining us today. We’ll see you right here next week. Until then, lead to win.