Tuesday With Terry

Crossing all your “t’s” and Dotting All Your “i’s”: People, Planning and the Process

Welcome to Tuesday with Terry, the podcast for getting your mind business and life in shape hosted by Terry Blachek, one of the original area developers for Orange theory fitness, who helped launch the brand from the very beginning. I use my years of experience to help you shape up your mind, build strong relationships with your teams, revamp your business processes and set down the path towards success in all aspects of your life.

Good morning, everybody. It’s a great day here in Austin, Texas. I mean, it’s absolutely a beautiful day. And you know, I say that to myself every day I get up, “It’s a great day, every day is a new day, it’s a fresh start, it’s a chance to change somebody’s life, it’s a chance to do good, it’s a chance to be positive, it’s a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.” 

I talk a lot about getting MAD. When things aren’t going the way you want them to go, you need to get MAD. M-A-D, which means Make A Difference. 

My name is Terry, welcome to Tuesday with Terry, I’m talking to you live from Austin, Texas, where the sun is hot, the barbecue is sweet. And all the drinks are free over here, come on over and be our guests at any time. 

I wanted to just share a couple thoughts with you about getting started in your business and people management. A lot of times I get the opportunity to work with young managers who were very good at what they did before managing. They were super-doers, but they aren’t necessarily great supervisors. 

If you’re just getting into a supervisory position where you’ve got to manage a team, or manage people, or have other people report to you, this might be an episode that you want to listen to. 

Your success is directly proportional to your daily agenda. I know for a fact that how you spend your time determines your success. A lot of people say to me, “Terry, what’s been your secret sauce?” 

I got involved with a company called Orangetheory Fitness and built the company. I started early with some of the very best guys in Orangetheory. We built a business and had some stores in Florida, stores in Austin, Texas and Arizona, Kansas. Anyway, the bottom line to what people ask about the secret sauce, that secret to success? I gotta tell you, it’s always been for me the ability to put good people around me and teach and coach them to become better themselves. 

When you think about the people that are around you, ask yourself some things: 

  • Do you have the right people around you in order to get where you want to go? 
  • If you do what I would suggest if you have five direct reports, if you have 10 direct reports or your team, what I would do is I would rank them top to bottom. Who’s number one? who’s number two? Number three? Number four? I know nobody likes to have a pecking order. But in essence, if there was a pecking order, what would yours look like for the people that report to you? 
  • What do the people at the top of the list have that the people at the bottom of the list do not have? 
  • Can you clearly identify that? Sometimes, you know, we talked about the “IT”, man, they just have ”IT”, what is the “IT” that everybody’s talking about? 

If you can identify that and put that on a piece of paper, then you can coach, you can teach, you can mentor the people at the lower levels, to have those same skills. That’s really what you want to do. You want to transfer those skills so that you can get the people around you so that you can win. And everybody defines winning a little bit differently. 

  • How do you define winning for your business? 

You need to have people around you so you do not climb the high mountain alone. It’s always with a team of people. It’s always more fun with a team of people. You’ve heard that right? Half the fun is, is getting there. But are you actively interviewing and looking for new people to come into your organization and into your business to improve the team? 

So if you have a ranking of top to bottom and you look at the bottom two people on that list, maybe there’s two people that you should be interviewing and trying to replace or coach them. 

I say this a lot, train them or trim them. People either need to get trained, or if they’ve been trained and they don’t want to do it, you know, it’s probably time to trim them, right? So you have to train them or trim them. 

You see, people usually fall into three different categories. They’re either winning or the opposite of that is losing. And then those in between. The ones you hope work out. Right? You hope that they will work out. That group of people that you’re hoping are going to work out. You’re hoping and you’re hoping and you’re hoping. You have to train them or trim them. And if you’re just getting involved in management, you have to take a look at your people and ask, ”Is this person helping or is this person hurting me in my endeavors?”

And a lot of times, we don’t pay close enough attention to that. We hang on to people, and we hang on to people, and we say, “well, this is their month, I mean, this is their month! I spent time training them, this is going to happen, I really believe they’re gonna get it!”  And they’re good people, you do believe in them, and you give them the benefit of the doubt. But you know, another 30 days goes by and it doesn’t happen. I want to remind you to take your time in the interview process. You can have that candidate meet multiple people within your organization so they understand the fit, they understand the culture, you get to know them and get different perspectives on that person. Be long to hire, but be quick to fire. Because if people aren’t getting the things done that they need to get done, it’s probably time to move them along, leave your emotions at the door. If your gut says to move on from someone, it’s probably time to move on. 

Now I just wanted to talk a little bit about the people management side of the business. If you’re starting in management or a supervisory position. The second part of it is systems. There’s really two key pieces in business. You have to have good people and you have good processes or good systems. If you have great people and bad systems, you don’t have success. If you have poor people or not very good people and great systems, you don’t have success. You need good people with good systems to give you the success that you want.

Here’s some questions about your processes:

  • Do you have a process for a desired outcome or a process in place to follow? 

So I’ll just use the sales, you know, in sales, if you sell if you have sales in your business, I’m sure you do. What’s that sales process? What’s the first thing you got to do? What’s the second thing you got to do? What’s the third thing? I’m starting a new business called The Bounce House party, our tagline is, “ain’t no party like the bounce house party.” But we just sat down, me and my partner sat down just the other day. And we were going through these processes. And you know, one of the processes is the selling process. And another process is the ordering process. And another process is the setup process. And we go through this process. And we’re writing a manual writing a book on how to handle all these processes. But it’s as simple as saying, this is the first thing you do this is the second thing you do. If this goes this way we go we do this, if it goes that way. We do that. But you got to have good systems, and you got to have good processes, and they need to be documented. 

  • Does the team understand the process? Do they know what to do? 

If you want to give yourself a checkup from the neck up? All you have to do is simply pick a system in your business. Put your people in a room, take out a blank sheet of paper, everybody takes out a blank sheet of paper and you simply say, “I want to talk about the sales process. What are the six steps or the 10 steps or the 12 steps to the sales process?” Does everybody write down the same 10 things? Does everybody write down the same 12 things or same six things? A lot of times what you find out is everybody has their own interpretation of that. And all of those processes are a little bit different. When that happens, it means you need to do more training so that there’s consistency in that process. The team needs to understand the process. 

  • What are the ways to inspect the process? Do you have a plan to inspect that process?

We have an audit that we do in our business. We go into a facility and we do an audit. This includes a lot of different things. It includes an audit of the sale system and includes an audit of the cleanliness and includes an audit of some of the operational things that are supposed to be happening. When you look at that process and that audit, if you have multiple stores or you have multiple businesses or multiple people, you can simply audit that process and then you can rank it based on scoring. Right, this guy got an 89 This guy got an 83 This girl got a 79 or a 76. And you can just put everybody in a ranking and say hey, this is how well they did on completing and knowing the process. 

  • Do you think your systems are easy and your processes are easy or complicated? 

Man, I gotta tell you if there’s something you could do to help improve your business, simplify, simplify, simplify. If it takes 15 steps to get to the end of the process, figure out how to do it in 12 steps or even do it in 10 steps. Do you really need to say all of those things? Do you really need to do every single detail in order to make a transaction happen? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But you need to look at that.

  • What’s the best practice? 

I like this one! Find somebody in your organization that’s really doing it well. And most of the time you can find ways to improve your systems by talking to the people on the frontline, they’ll tell you how to fix things very quickly. 

I have talked about people and I’ve talked about processes and systems. Now I just want to talk about a game plan. 

If you have good people, and they have good systems, then the last piece is this. 

How can you have a good game plan to move the needle?

Every football coach goes into the game with a game plan. Every basketball coach goes in with a game plan. You don’t go into business and you don’t start your day without a game plan. You have to have a schedule and you have to know the things that you want to accomplish. And you have to have a game plan for the day, for the week, for the month, for the quarter. And yes, for the year. Take a look at your business and take a look at your team. Who needs you the most? Who needs who needs you to help them the most? Who should you be training and for how long? What are you doing this morning? What are you doing this afternoon? What are the things that you want to accomplish? 

You have three main objectives. You can’t do it all. But you have three main objectives that you want to get done today. 

I once worked for a gentleman named Eric Long with Hilton Hotels. This was 20 some years ago at a five diamond property resort style property. And one of the things that Eric used to say was, “Don’t do, get done.” So a lot of you have a to-do list and yeah, you know, you’re doing it. But Eric would say don’t get a “to-do” list, get a “get-done” list where you put fewer things on the list and you know, in fact, that you’re going to get them done. And you keep chipping away and chipping away. How do you eat an apple? One bite at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you handle business and projects? One day at a time, one hour at a time. 

Are you showing? Or are you telling? 

Last piece that I want to share with you is about explaining your game plan to your team or in training. 

A lot of people do a lot of telling. And that’s a lot of talking and talking and they’re talking and their lips are moving and they’re talking and they’re talking in their lips are moving and they’re talking. And they just keep going on and on. And they got all the advice and all the counsel. Just listen to them talk. 

There’s a difference between listening to somebody talk. And somebody grabbing you by the arm saying, “Come on, let me show you how to do this.” They do it. Then they do it together with a trainee. And then the trainee demonstrates and does it back to you. Right? I do it. We do it. Now you do it. And that’s the philosophy of showing versus telling. 

And the last piece is just some general comments about management and working with people as I like to do this i 

I like to do a short performance review with my folks. And it’s three questions. And the three questions you can insert your name, I’m going to use my name here, but you can insert your own name. When I start working with people, or I’ve been with them for 30/60/90 days, I’ll simply say, “I want you to fill in the blank, John.” 

  • I like it when Terry does ________. 
  • I wish Terry would do more of __________.
  • I wish Terry would do less of __________.

That’s three ways three questions to give you some feedback about what do they really like that you do? What do they want you to do more of? And what would they appreciate if you did a little bit less? 

Hopefully those are some good tips for you today. 

My name is Terry. I’m your friend. Have a wonderful day. We’ll see you next Tuesday.

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