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BUILDING TEAMS with Allen Fahden (Part 1 of 2)

Building a team is always difficult.  It’s even worse when you don’t know who you need. In this episode of The People Catalysts Podcast, we talk about building a balanced team.

Listen to the podcast here:

BUILDING TEAMS with Allen Fahden

Karla Nelson:                And welcome to the People Catalysts podcast Allen.

Allen Fahden:                Hello Karla.

Karla Nelson:                Hey there my friend. How are you today?

Allen Fahden:                It’s a wonderful day.

Karla Nelson:                It’s always a wonderful day to do a podcast.

Allen Fahden:                It’s a podcast day.

Karla Nelson:                Well I’m really excited about this particular podcast. Gosh, I think all of them have been fantastic and we’ve had some incredible interviews here recently. And in working with one of our clients, Allen and I started discussing some of the obstacles that they were facing, and it actually had us look at what kind of a podcast that we could create since a lot of clients then utilize that as reinforcement or how to continue to utilize the WHO-DO Method. And we all know how critical the who is both on your team and then when you’re facilitating your team it’s the doing part. And we’re going to break both recruiting in part one, how to recruit the right team. And that could even be internally by the way depending on the size of your organization and what it is you’re trying to get accomplished.

                                    And then in part two we’re going to talk about how to get the most out of your team. And by the way that’s even if you’re a solopreneur. Most people think “Oh, I’m a solopreneur. I have to do it all.” And it’s one of the biggest misnomers that we often are facing. Everybody knows building the right team is important, but why is it really so critical? And one of the things that business owners, business leaders, jump over and they get right to focusing on finding a client. Most people know the quote in a wonderful book “Good to Great.” “Get the right people on the bus, get them in the right seat on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus, and then figure out where the bus is going.” The challenge with this is how do you know what seat to put your team in? I really love the book “Good to Great.” I think Jim Collins did a great job in it. However, there’s this big hole which is they’re missing the when. It’s when both in ideation and implementation. And we’ll get back to that in just a minute.

                                    There was a study that the McKinsey Global Institute revealed that, and I think this was in 2017, productivity improves by 20% to 25% in organizations with connected employees. And we’re not talking connected any other way except for that they have access and can interact with each other. 20% to 25%.

Allen Fahden:                Yeah and imagine this. Imagine if you had them connected and doing the right parts of the work. One of the things that people don’t realize with statements like being connected is that people are different. That’s sort of become our mantra. Remember these three words, people are different. And when they’re different it’s not just connecting them. There are many ways to do that. But how and when you connect them. And if you can do that, connect somebody who’s just finished with their strength part of the work and the part they love and now they’re starting to slow down and struggle a little bit, if they can hand off at that moment, at that second, to the next person who has just the right input so that they can take that work and do it in their strength and their joy, do the next part and then you can take 20% to 25% improvement and you can crush that. And we have been continually crushing it in the themes with 300% to 800% increases.

Karla Nelson:                Yeah, I love that. And I love the input and output. That is so critical, and we should probably, now that I think about it, do a whole podcast just on input and output and why that’s so critical in working with the relay team. And the energy that I feel when I get the input as a Mover from the Shaker gives me energy and handing it off to a Prover gives me energy. Both sides then you get to do … You’re so happy to let it go. You want the input. You want to do the part that you’re good at and then you want to send it on out the door.

Allen Fahden:                And somebody you trust to move it on down the road in a great way.

Karla Nelson:                Absolutely. Another pitfall that’s really challenging in recruiting your team is that people will interview somebody, and they’ll hire somebody because they’re like them. So, you get these organizations that have a whole bunch of one type of people, are so heavy on one type of an individual, that it’s challenging. Because you don’t need a whole bunch of the same people. You need different people.

Allen Fahden:                That’s right. The ideal team is a balance of Movers, Shakers, Provers, and Makers. We need all of us and we need all the four different strengths. Because you don’t want to duplicate yourself. You’re a Shaker. Don’t hire a Shaker just because you know you’re going to like them. Why do you like them? Because they’re just the same as you. Then what happens is once you’ve got them on board, they’re just like you but you’re the boss so you get them to do the work you hate and then they’re miserable and they do a bad job and then you’re unhappy with them. I see that all the time. It’s called paying your dues.

Karla Nelson:                It’s really not funny but I just have seen it … We’ve seen it. It’s everywhere.

Allen Fahden:                It’s funny on the other side of tragic. You hire somebody who’s a Shaker and they … We used to do this in the advertising business. We’d hire an aspiring copywriter and then we’d make an admin out of them and so they were a bad admin. All they’d want to do is come in and whine about why they weren’t getting any creative work to do even though they had signed on as an admin. And it gets worse. I’m a Shaker. I’m an idea person. I go to lunch with another Shaker and by the end of the lunch we’d have formed a new business and guess what happened?

Karla Nelson:                I know. Nothing.

Allen Fahden:                Nothing. Well it was a good idea.

Karla Nelson:                It almost reminds me too of, in meetings that will happen where the Shaker’s like idea, idea, idea and how that at the right time works really well, but it disengages everyone else and it’s almost like two individuals in a room that are the same are so much more likely to find each other. But you think of what that does on the disengagement of everybody else. And then to that person’s … Three different emotions in business that are the worst, one being disappointment. Can you imagine how disappointed and then disengaged you’d be? That was just horrible.

                                    There’s a quote on this and I don’t recall exactly how it goes, but it’s something like if we both always agree, one of us is unnecessary. So, you want a balanced team for the work in its entirety. Not just because it’s who you like or because they like to do the same part of the work that you do. Or like you said hire a creative person and have them be doing admin work.

Allen Fahden:                Yeah. And every piece of work, every project, even every task has a beginning, a middle, and an end. So, Shakers, idea people, ideas are at the beginning. What are we going to do? Unfortunately, you’ve got to get all the way through the project. So, you want to think about what exactly are you hiring this person for? And we can give you a correlation are here’s the ideal person for that kind of work. People are natural starters, they’re natural finishers. Everybody always doesn’t pay attention to it. Always doesn’t, that’s a good word. So, what they wind up doing is hiring starters to do finisher work or finishers to do starter work, and everything slows down and gets miserable too.

Karla Nelson:                And I think breaking down this, we could take some time to break it down from ideation and implementation as well. Because it’s completely different. Knowing what to do, doing it, and repeating it. First you have to figure out what you’re going to do. That’s the ideation. And then you have to do it and repeat it and that’s implementation. And your team dynamics are completely different and the process that you use is completely different between those two and understanding who to go to is, and who you need at which time of both ideation and implementation. So, Allen do you want to take a little bit of time there and just briefly go through with each of the four core natures of work? And of course, we’re not talking about Oners here. We love the 1% of the population. We’ll get to that in a little bit. But just move through the four core natures of work and how you can look where you would plug and play a Mover, Shaker, Prover, or Maker on the ideation and implementation.

Allen Fahden:                Yeah. Know this, of course, that the Movers and Shakers are the early adopters who are the natural starters and the Provers and Makers are the later adopters. They want to wait till things are more tried-and-true. They’re more patient. So, they want to come in at the end of the project. Now the way to make the handoff work is that you’ve got a leader in the ideation phase and that’s the Mover who is great at setting priorities and selecting which idea ought to go and then getting everybody going, getting a schedule down and so forth. That Mover stands in between the Shaker who comes up with the ideas and the Prover who tells you what’s going to go wrong. So, it’s a perfect balance. And the Maker who’s the latest of adopters does the details. They don’t even want to be there.

So that’s the ideation phase and that’s a great way to begin a project. And you’ve got the Prover on board because the Prover and the Mover are a great linkage between the old and the new. They both appreciate what the other does and they can work things out. So ultimately, once you get your idea down and your strategy and you know what you’re going to do, you have a plan, then you move to implementation. And when you get to implementation then that leadership shifts and now it’s the Prover. And the Prover is the person who can see around corners and tell you what’s going to go wrong. They’re a person who’s going to take the lead and they’re going to stand in between the Mover and the Maker. So, the Mover will help keep big picture-

Karla Nelson:                Thank goodness. Somebody needs to.

Allen Fahden:                Yeah, that’s right. And by the way, there’s a good reason. Because Movers and Makers are naturally conflicted. And if you go back to the ideation part, Shakers and Provers are always arguing so you’ve got a Mover in between them. You’ve always got a moderating person between the antagonists. So, what you do is hand over that leadership from the Mover to the Prover when shifting from ideation to implementation. And that’s the time that the Shaker doesn’t want to be involved. You can imagine how boring it is looking at all the details of an implementation plan and has nothing to do with ideas. So, you take your least enthusiastic person and remove them and only bring them in periodically when you need something. For example, if in implementation they get a little off track or they come up with an obstacle that they can’t get over, well you need an idea, then you temporarily bring the Shaker back in and say we got a big problem, give me some ideas to solve it. Then you run that through the ideation phase until the idea’s agreed upon. You’ve gotten all the obstacles out of it and then you can go back into implementation with the Prover standing in between the Mover and the Maker.

So, it’s a nice little back and forth dance. It’s like a pendulum swinging but you wind up doing it way faster because you don’t need to waste all your time with useless arguing and ego posturing.

Karla Nelson:                Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely. And you get everybody’s thumbprint on it. Because in ideation everybody agrees and you spend 20% of your time doing, 80% of your time making sure that you have the team on board, figuring it out, planning it out, and using the WHO-DO Method to make sure you’ve got something clean, something that’s going to work. And then I love my Provers. I mean, the yellow light relationship. You guys can go back and look at the podcast that we go through each of the green-light, yellow-light, and red-light relationships and why that is.

                                    And it’s so funny because you appreciate everybody for what they are. And if you can keep everybody staying in their own lanes, everybody’s agreed to it. And by the time the Maker finally gets a completed checklist that is just repeatable they’re happy too because you didn’t come in and mess everything up. You gave them a very specific step by step implementation plan and they like it that way. Because we always see that with Makers when we do the training. It says who doesn’t want to be in the room? And everybody laughs because they’re being honest in the fact that it’s harmful to them in their work environment. They can’t stand it.

Allen Fahden:                It sucks their will to live.

Karla Nelson:                Yeah. I think another thing here that if you’re a solopreneur, if you have a smaller team, or if you don’t have a say in the team that you’re working with and you might be heavier on early adopters or late adopters, or doers and thinkers, remember there’s a million different ways to have someone on your team. There’s outsources, there’s full … You might need a full-time person. But think about what part of the work it is. You might have a part-time person, or you might have two people that are already in your organization that you can share. It can be a contracted individual. If you’re in the real estate industry it could be your title rep.

                                    I mean, Allen, heck sometimes it’s just a friend at Starbucks, right?

Allen Fahden:                Oh yeah. It’s like hiring somebody in a way is sort of like getting married. And a lot of little businesses can’t afford to do that because there’s such a variability in the amount of work. So, it’s like why get married when you can speed date? I’ve got this whole group of people at Starbucks that I know exactly what their strengths are. Mover, Shaker, Prover, Maker. So, depending on, for example, what phase I’m in and maybe I’m testing ideas, it’s very different to test an idea with a Mover than it is with a Prover. Looking for two different things. The Mover, you want the best idea. A Prover, you want to know what’s going to go wrong.

So, Starbucks is my office and it’s-

Karla Nelson:                That’s just because you prefer it.

Allen Fahden:                Yes, and I’ve got an enormous-

Karla Nelson:                You’ve got two other ones.

Allen Fahden:                I got an enormous staff there and besides that nobody ever complains about having to make coffee.

Karla Nelson:                Oh, there you go. And it tastes good usually.

Allen Fahden:                Yeah, pretty good.

Karla Nelson:                Yeah. And a part of that is … Another pitfall that we see frequently is, and we’ve called this role management versus function management, we’ll get a little bit deeper into that in a second, but hiring people because of how much knowledge or experience or education. But your core nature of work is still overall paramount when the object of the exercise is to execute something, get something done. And so, they put these job descriptions together and then they throw in all these different types of work that they’re just putting and plus the kitchen sink, instead of really looking at how much knowledge do they really need to have? How much education in that area do they really need to have? Because your core nature of work is your core nature of work.

                                    So, let’s take a little bit of time and talk about that Allen, when you can have somebody that doesn’t know a lot about the topic and all that stuff and then they could still fill in that blank. When the receptionist for goodness sake is the only Mover in the room and she still, naturally, knowing nothing about insurance … I was sweating on that one. I know I’ve told this story a couple of times. I was like oh my gosh, out of all these people we’re training, there was like 60, the only Mover they had in this company, it was a later adopter insurance company, was the person answering the phone. But can you share with that in regard to, I think there’s a preconceived notion that you have to have a PhD on something?

Allen Fahden:                And that’s ironic because here we live in an age where there has never been more available information.

Karla Nelson:                Yeah, just search Google.

Allen Fahden:                A whole body of knowledge is growing like it’s doubling every day and a half or something like that. I don’t know what the number is now, but it just keeps meteorically expanding.

Karla Nelson:                Guess what? I heard a stat on this. Real quick. You’ll love this Allen. Guess how many on average individual in the US Google searches 38 times in one day.

Allen Fahden:                Oh yeah. I believe that.

Karla Nelson:                Isn’t that crazy? And now all the YouTube … And like you were saying all that information is doubling and so finding the information … But I wanted to share that with you. I know you like your stats.

Allen Fahden:                Yeah, that’s great. This is an ancient thought, is hiring somebody for knowledge and academic credentials when you’re really just trying to get the work done and you’re trying to get it in a way that’s really superb. And knowledge is a very small part about it. You can get a really smart person but if they’re in the wrong part of the work and their brain is going dead and they’re an emotional wreck because they’re feeling less than because they’re struggling, then you’re worse off than when you started.

Here’s another idea too, is like, for example, Shakers are great people at producing ideas and it’s actually an advantage for a Shaker to not know very much. It’s sort of like the power of naivete. The power of innocence. And that’s where the genius comes because they’re not all stuck in their old preconceptions and they can come up with something that’s a crazy idea that somebody says “Oh, wait a minute. That could work. We wouldn’t dare do this but it’s great that you said it because we could do this. We could make it work.” So there’s a place where the Shaker … Ideation, oftentimes if you know less about a topic you can reach outside and bring some other experience to it. And that can make very powerful ideas. The Mover-

Karla Nelson:                And it is critical … Go ahead.

Allen Fahden:                Well then, the Mover is somebody who is able to, just on a gut instinct, set priorities, know what should be done next. They’re great at knowing what should be done next. And when you’re highly educated you’ve got so many considerations. Well what about this? Well that may work. No, but then it didn’t then. You know, you get caught up.

A Prover, there’s somebody you probably want more education on because they’re going to tell you what’s going to go wrong and so you want them to have more knowledge in that particular case. But one of the things that you want a Prover to do that is it’s their nature to see the glass as half empty. To want details so they can pick it apart. There’s a talent going there too. So, they naturally grab information. Anything that’ll debunk any theory, they’re going to want to know it anyway.

Karla Nelson:                Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s why I see a lot of scientists, engineers, that kind of … I bet you a lot of doctors are Provers as well.

Allen Fahden:                Oh absolutely. If you want Provers there’s a place that you would hire, I would think, for more education, more stories. And they’ll tend to remember them. They’ll tend to save them. Also, school is for Provers and Makers. So, the whole academic criteria, you’re either memorizing information and regurgitating it or you are trying to learn critical thinking perhaps.

Karla Nelson:                Mm-hmm (affirmative). Or have a model applied to something. So true. And it’s so critical that you have to have each of these on your team. Because if you’re missing one strength the team’s in trouble. No idea, nobody to be the glue and to keep everyone together, nobody to poke all the wholes so you’re doing something halfcocked, or the Maker to do it over again. But if you’re missing two or more of these it’s a complete disaster. And that’s where you get too much time, you’re not in your budget, it’s a mess, everybody’s frustrated. So, if you don’t have all of these individual core strengths with your team what you can do is look for some combination core natures of work.

                                    For instance, I’m a Mover Shaker. Now I can tap in … I’m not as good as a pure Shaker or that has a higher amount of Shaker in them, but you can utilize that secondary strength. Shaker-Prover, Mover-Maker, Prover-Mover. You can plug and play if you find yourself in this scenario. But the one thing you have to realize is they have to be handed that and they have to stay in that lane. You can’t jump back and forth. You could if you were super, super, super advanced. Like me, I can move pretty good between Mover and Shaker. But I’ve been doing this for freaking ever.

                                    Allen’s such a Shaker he has no secondary. So, he’s just a Shaker.

Allen Fahden:                My secondary is brain dead. So yeah, it’s really important that they stay in their lane. So, let’s say that you’re on this team. We have a bunch of Movers so Karla I’m going to ask you to be a Shaker. So, I’m going to get an agreement from you front end that you will stay in your Shaker and if you’ve got a notion as a Mover, fine, write it down but don’t say anything about it. Because that’s what derails teams more than anything. Now if you’re really lucky you have a oner. We call that person a oner because, this is so ridiculous, but they’re the 1% of the people who can do 100% of any project. Other words they’re a Mover, a Shaker, a Prover, and a Maker and they keep handing off to themselves. This is a person who can work alone better than anybody else and it’s also a great person to be a facilitator, moderator, because they’re not really locked in to anything. They can understand each of the phases of the WHO-DO Method.

And like a utility infielder because they’re balanced, they can fill in wherever you need them. So, they’re a great asset to have around. And again, like you said earlier Karla, you don’t have to hire people to recruit an ideal team. It could be like my Starbucks people. It could be someone you trade favors with to help you out with their part of the work where you’re missing a strength. And how long you need the help with what part of the work you need them for and then you can reciprocate. The next time they are working on something where they need you then you owe them, and you pay them back. It works really well and it’s so fast that nobody’s put out. When you ask me for a favor, and you tell me to do what I love to do and I’m great at-

Karla Nelson:                I was just going to say that.

Allen Fahden:                I’d be happy.

Karla Nelson:                So, you know that question that you always got, what would you do if you didn’t even get any money being paid for it? That is the magic question. And as long as you’re [crosstalk 00:25:06] it’s awesome but people will do what they love for free. I see it every day. Especially Movers. They’re the connectors usually. They like connecting people. There’re books all over it. And they do it why? Because it’s easy for them and they like it. So, once you have all of these individuals, all these core natures of strength, on your team, now you’re ready to get this team and get it figuring out where it’s going, where this bus is going. And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss on part two of this two-part series.

And what’s interesting is we’re going to tap into when you have a balanced team that it’s kind of a paradox because the solution is to have a balanced team and a lot of times this creates bigger issues if you don’t have … Actually, I would say 100% of the time it creates bigger issues if you don’t have the method then to … Because now everybody’s different and then you are trying to get something done and you’ve got everyone that’s different.

Allen Fahden:               Yeah, so what do you do with that?

Karla Nelson:    So we’ll have fun with that one. Well awesome. Thank you so much for your time here today Allen and we will see you again on part two of the series next week.