Back to Basics!

The story goes that famous NFL coach Vince Lombardi thought that football was getting too focused on confusing strategies and plays, and that players were losing an understanding of the fundamentals of the game.

So, he gathered his team together to get them back to basics.  He sat everyone down, held up a football and said,

“Gentlemen, this is a football.  Am I going too fast?”

So let’s get back to basics about how to build a strong culture.  Here’s what you do:

Find the best possible people for your team

Of course the best people are attracted, not recruited.  And they’re attracted to strong cultures!

When they hear about amazing people working at a company, they want to work there too.

The corollary of this is that you have to offboard people who don’t care, don’t contribute, and who bring the team average down.  Because they keep you from attracting the best people.

Companies who have the best people get more amazing people.  Businesses that tolerate brilliant jerks find they can’t ever attract anybody.  Word gets around.

Use my (free) Star Chart tool to assess your people and follow the recipe to make them stars, or help them find work elsewhere.  Check that out here:

Tell them exactly what you want them to get done

In measurable, easy-to-understand terms.  Everyone should understand the purpose of their job in a simple phrase.  Be really clear about the (up to) 5 key results you expect them to achieve for the year and the quarter.

Simplicity = focus, complexity = chaos.

Here’s a free template you can use to build a simple job score card:

Give them regular feedback and coaching

Not to hammer them, but to build their self confidence, grow their skills, and see them win.  Focusing on positives, not negatives.  Focusing on the future and getting better, not on the past and what went wrong that can longer be changed.

After a coaching session, the person you’re coaching should be thinking, “I’m so glad I work here.  My leader cares about me.”

And here’s a free cheat you can use to have a great coaching session with a team member:

Even when you talk about hard stuff, encourage them  Help them see a way forward.

This has been the focus of my entire career.  Helping you build a work environment that encourages people, builds leaders, gets stuff done, and is a joy to lead and be part of.

Getting ahead is about getting started.  Implement something today!

Trevor head shot in office 1

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here:

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