How to Grow an Amazing Company Culture with Dean Hallett

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05/16/2022

Show Notes:

One of the most challenging problems entrepreneurs and business owners have is how to grow an amazing company culture.  In this episode, Dean Hallett shares strategies and tips for building a great culture.

As you likely know, people are the foundation of every company. That’s why it’s critical to build your culture when you want to scale your business.

Dean Hallett is the Founder and the President of Hallett Leadership, a company that provides executive coaching and accelerated leadership programs. He’s a masterful leadership development facilitator and a mission-driven senior executive with a special passion for transforming organizational cultures.

During his 27-year career, Dean personally helped develop young talent into high-performance leaders for major companies and global brands such as 20th Century Fox and Disney.

Now, he leverages his expertise to support companies in transforming their employee cultures from the inside out. Dean published a book recently called The Missing Piece where he talks about the importance of developing talent at all levels of a company.

According to Dean, it’s vital to scale your culture as your company grows.

In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we chat about the importance of connecting your employees with your company’s vision, the importance of supporting employees’ growth, the power of constructive feedback, and why you need to trust your instincts.

If you want to learn more about leadership best practices, tune into this episode to hear what Dean has to say.

Guest-At-A-Glance

 

💡 Name: Dean Hallett

💡 What he does: He’s the President of Hallett Leadership.

💡 Noteworthy: Dean is the author of the book ‘The Missing Piece: How Successful Companies Develop High-Performance Cultures.

💡 Key Quote: “You can hire the best people in the world but if you don’t have a proper org structure, and you don’t have the right processes in place, you’re not going to be very effective either.”

💡 Where to find Dean: LinkedIn

Key Insights

 

Connect your employees with your company’s vision. Your employees are a vital part of your company. And as your business grows, they should grow with it. But it’s not always easy to keep your people aligned with your vision, especially if the company scales fast. That’s why you need to keep your staff connected with your vision at all times. You need to scale together.

Dean explains, “As you grow, you need to build teams, you need to empower your people. There’s so much disruption coming at us in the world today that you have to benefit from everyone’s eyes and ears so they see the opportunities, they see the threats.

And if you’re not keeping those people that you’re bringing into your organization connected to what the vision is, it becomes really challenging. […] It’s communication. It’s giving empowering people and making sure they’re aligned with what the vision is and letting them do their job in their way so that they can grow.”

Develop your leaders and invest in your people. Despite what some people think, good leaders are not born, they are made. So even if you become a leader in your organization early on, get promoted to a manager, or even start your own company, there’s usually a huge piece missing in this journey and that’s adequate leadership training.

Dean says that we need to invest more in employees’ professional development. “I heard a statistic recently and it really resonated with me. The average age of individuals when they start leading a team in business is 32 years old. The average age of their first leadership training is 42 years old. So basically for a decade, they’re winging it.

And so if you invest in your people, you don’t have to be even a leader of teams, leadership skills, developing mutual trust and respect, how to collaborate, how to give and receive feedback in a constructive way so that we all end up being better because we all have blind spots. And if somebody points out a blind spot, we have the opportunity to work on it.”

Feedback is the most effective management tool. One of the most underrated tools for managing and coaching people is constructive feedback. Unfortunately, not enough people do it. There’s a huge stigma around giving and receiving feedback. But unlike what many people believe, feedback is a very effective tool for helping employees grow.

Dean explains, “Feedback to me is the least expensive, most effective management tool we have and people don’t do it. If there’s something about you, Tyler, that I see that is in the way of our relationship and how we work together, or maybe you’re doing something that is creating some other challenge for people downstream and you’re not aware of it, for the company to be its best, I want to bring that up with you and mentioned it to you.”

Follow your instincts. We live in the world of data, yet we still don’t have all the answers. That’s why it’s a good idea to trust your instincts and let them lead the way sometimes. Sometimes those little hunches can help you make the right decision, even when everybody else doesn’t see it. Trust your gut feeling and don’t be afraid to follow it.

Dean says, “Trust your instincts and be courageous enough to act on them. There’s so much data in the world now, it’s easy to become paralyzed. We live in a world where we cannot possibly have certainty that we’re going to be able to make the right decision. So you hear about failing fast. We have to make decisions, learn from them, make the next decision.

That’s why vision is so important because we can take a lot of different actions as long as we’re heading towards our vision, then I think that we’re going to be able to pivot whenever we have to and make adjustments in the action steps that we’re deciding to take. But we have to trust our instincts to fill in the space where we don’t have data.”

Top Quotes

 

“I became a survivor. I can survive anything, but I didn’t trust people. And I didn’t connect with people. So I was head down, do my hard work, and be rewarded. But I was numb, I turned off the pain. And when I turned off the pain, I turned off the joy too.”

“People don’t feel like they’re engaged in what’s happening in the organization and then they just start coming to work, doing what they have to do and going home and you don’t have all of their energy, all of their ideas flowing into the company, so you’re missing out. I always say make sure you create space for the introverts to speak up. Because if you don’t, you’re missing out on all the incredible ideas that they have.”

“It really is about having a vision and enrolling somebody and having them care about where you’re trying to go and then they’re on board. And she didn’t have to tell them how to pick them up and throw them. They all may have they may have thrown them different ways but they knew what they were trying to accomplish.”

“If a CEO doesn’t have that, don’t fake it. Because look at all the companies out there that have had tremendous technology and tremendous ideas and have imploded from within because they don’t have the right culture. And that takes a long time to build a culture. It’s much easier to start when you’re small.”

“Only you can choose how you feel about something. Nobody else can make you feel something.”

“You can hire the best people in the world but if you don’t have a proper org structure, and you don’t have the right processes in place, you’re not going to be very effective either.”

“If it wasn’t expertise and instinct, then what are we hiring the people for? If it was all based on data, let the data just dictate what we should do. There’s still the human element and we have to trust what we bring to it.”

Links

The Missing Piece: How Successful Companies Develop High-Performance Cultures

Hallett Leadership

Email Dean at dch@hallettleadership.com

 

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