This is the Eighteenth Episode of our series #BKOT: Build a KickAss Offshore team. Watch this podcast about having a good team dynamic for growing your business and how it helps in building a good team. Good team line focus is always on hunting, if you'll hunt, if you'll grow. Meet our experts Shawn, Sia,Chris and Mike in a conversation about "How to built a good team dynamic for your business". Listen the podcast to know more.
#BKOT 18 BUILD A KICKASS OFFSHORE TEAM
THE IMPACT OF GOOD TEAM DYNAMIC ON YOUR BUSINESS
Chris Rivera, Director Client Relations, Entigrity
Sia Kal, President, FY USA
Shawn Parikh, CEO, Entigrity Offshore Staffing
Mike, Vice President, Entigrity Offshore Staffing
Shawn: Hello everyone, Welcomes to our Friday happy hour podcast we call it #BKOT build a kick ass offshore team for a new episode with the same old faces who are really looking forward to the weekend. Are you guys wanting to do the podcast or just close it before your announcement.
Sia: No I appreciate the comment about how old we look but we look forward to this podcast and we want to do it.
Shawn: That sounded very positive and enthusiastic. So today's podcast is the impact of a good team dynamic on your business. I'm definitely not the expert on the panel but probably the viewer this time and the learner because we have Sia and Mike which is you know in their coaching business and in their coaching career have really great experience and really great advice and tips to share on this, so well honestly speaking when I was actually thinking about this topic before starting this podcast, what came to my mind while growing up, while running this business I lost few people on my way in this five years and honestly it was a natural progression of the business through which I lost them but some of them probably I thought that I could have kind of avoided those situations, so that was the first thought probably which came to my mind while I started thinking about this topic and this podcast. So honestly as I said, I am learning about this topic and today after building a company and building this team together with our managers and senior managers and everyone together I genuinely feel this is very relevant to run not just a ten people company, but even a thousand or ten thousand people company.
So yes Mike, Sia anyone can come in and then join in and can add value. One thing for any growing firm where the focus is on business development, new clients, adding new service, this is definitely something that goes on the back burner.
So yes Sia your thoughts I mean this probably comes to you in every coaching business coaching client or every you know every client that you work with.
Sia: Yeah it's you know it's such a relevant topic in business or in your personal life and really that when we're talking about team dynamic Shawn that has to do with how you manage relationships and relationships are managed either on one-on-one basis or in group settings and in business you need to have a healthy dose of both of those things.
One thing as I was thinking about today's topic, one thing really stands out for me is that if you really think about this particular you probably heard this, that enemies become best of friends when they find common enemy between them. So when you have two people that are just at odds they're butting heads and they're each other's enemies the moment they have the same common enemy the same thing that they want to fight against they joined forces even though they were just about killing each other about five minutes ago but the moment they have something else and that reveals something very significant.
If enemies can find ways to work together because there's a common cause imagine what you can do with your team who are not each other's enemies hopefully at least not to that extent right depending on what you're talking about. So for me having the right team dynamic begins with whether there's an existence of a greater cause beyond just we're going to conquer the world, we're going to be the most profitable, the most revenue, the most, the best, the number one dot dot dot you can complete the rest of the sentence there.
There's got to be a very common cause that the team cares about then and then you have something to work with in terms of dynamic, without that you don't have the glue that holds it together and everything else. In my opinion if you do it's sort of a superficial endeavor to just band-aid some of the issues with the team. What are your thoughts on that Mike and what do you think about that?
Mike: Well I don't agree with you because you're such a smart guy but when I think about it when it comes to high performance or well-run teams within an organization it starts with the organization's vision, the organizational culture, the organization's reason for being and then every team within the larger organization within the big organization are doing things in a way that helps support the big mission.
So each cross-functional team with organization also has to have a design a charter, a relationship or a way they communicate can like a model of what is the reason for that team how does that team support the big picture or the big goal of the organization and how are those members going to relate to each other and to the other teams in the organization because you have. You know no corporation of 10 people or more has only one team, they have subsets and as long as the subsets are working towards the same big picture goal like in Shawn's case I just I'm out hunting, I'm out growing the business, my teams that are back home. If you will need to be supporting the same mission that the leader has otherwise it goes in different directions and although they might be the most dynamic team ever.
The corporation suffers because they're going their own direction, so commonality of purpose and goals are necessary for teams to be high performing and then when you bring a team down what is a high performing team you find that they're organized around what your core process is for your company, you find out the kind of self-governed organ they're self-governed team and they're making decisions at the point of connection with the customer at the point of where the rubber hits the road if you will they're not waiting for a higher up to make the decision for them or to support their decision. So decisions I guess are a better way of saying decisions are made at a point of action so it's kind of like a well-performing team is organized so they're passionate, they share their leadership, they have principled governance, they're another way of saying they view each other as partners. You know those types of things are all characteristics of a dynamic team.
Shawn: Well my probably one of the things you know when we talk with firms and when we internally also think that whatever objective or larger goal that you are running, a team should be on the same page and if a team member is being asked he should be able to describe, he should be able to articulate.
There is a concept of rationality:
- Individual rationality and,
- Collective rationality
and we always tend to believe that if a group of people behave rationally together even though I mean if they're individually rational they necessarily will be rational as a group too.
There is a concept called prisoners phobia I was reading to professors where they said that,
So now common rationality is they both will betray each other they both would be charged for three years. The reason is they both would think that we would be free so the individual rationality in aggregate somewhere is not a common rationality or not a collective rationality, so this is a prisoner's mentality. So the idea is to break the confinement so that they know what is the common good so again an analogy from finance which which I say where the choices are always where you think what is rational for you might not be rational for you, and might not be collective rationality so sometimes people do think I mean this is what I feel as an organization when we when you lay out the purpose and the collective goals, we always think and this is my thinking process this is where I think I was wrong. I always thought that if i'm trying to do something which is okay for an individual it should be okay for the business as a whole too but, that's where I kind of know somewhere I thought that it has it is different because individuals sometimes think but the individual does not behave rationally.
Chris: It starts though you have a goal, you have a direction, you have your vision, you have everything in place, but if you don't have the right management team none of this will be implemented.
So I've always been in client relations and sales and marketing for 15 years and I never looked at a manager or boss as a manager or boss. I always wanted to be a leader or follow a leader right a leader somebody that leads from from the front leads by example you could bark orders and tell and direct all day long and give ideas and then disappear but if you're there with your team and you're working with them and you're showing them and you're celebrating everything, it's all about celebration and if something goes wrong you just coach, you give feedback, you don't make any negativity but you need to have the right management team in place, then everyone will what's this thing eat the cake or drink the kool-aid and and and it just to foster that type of environment and it just keeps going and going and going.
But if you have somebody that's like doesn't agree with it or goes their own way then you have you know weeds in there per se so you got to have not managers or bosses but leaders somebody that you want to work for, you want to go to work you don't treat it like a job you're excited you just can't wait to do it needs to get done with it.
Sia: Yeah you're spot on Chris, people are a lot smarter than we give them credit for they can sense when there's a leader that actually cares for them right. There's a leader that is instead is exploiting the team for business profit and I think a lot of people can sense that very easily very quickly and they know what's fake and what's real, and the reason for that is because frankly we spend with people we work with more time with them than we do with our own family, just if you think about how much time during the day you spend with them well now it's on zoom of course through email through this and we have a lot of criticism is that we have a lot of we connect but there's not a lot of connection if that makes sense.
So I mean one thing that I always think about in terms of team dynamic is I think of the military I think about how there's this huge organization that is so big with millions of soldiers and somehow there's a dynamic there that holds them together, so they can accomplish goals right so what do they do that works well and when I did some research on this and study them in depth I realized well one they have a way to simplify and clarify what the standards are, and by standards I mean the values what are the values you talk to someone who's been in the navy and they'll tell you specifically there's five things or three things or four things anyone here a veteran Mike are you a veteran by any chance or you know I would ask Chris the same question just by the the about his appearance alone I would think that you are part of these special operations. I still think you're in some kind of a position that you're not allowed to discuss in public which that's fine if you want to but if you want to deny it this moment we could do that.
So when you look at the military you look at the fact that they simplify things they standardize things and it's very clear across the board what the standards are, now the as long as in terms of leadership, Chris talked about you know it matters what kind of a leadership you have to create that team dynamic and what I've seen this I've seen this war time and time again. You've heard this probably if you watch any of the one and one for all we lost your sound though for a second say that again to yourself okay.
If you remember the movie the three musketeers the thing that they would say is all for one in one for all okay and because one it was simple easy to remember and what does it really mean what does it really mean all for one and one for all that one could be the leader one for all or vice versa right.
So I think simplification is quite important and one thing I've realized that it works really well guys is when leaders create accountability and transparency without the standards you cannot have any kind of accountability so you simplify what the standards are you put yourself on the chopping block like the rest of your team and you are transparent in what you're trying to do and by the way if you're not upholding those standards you give you empower your team to hold you accountable and that will earn you respect for your team that tells you that you actually care about a bigger cause than putting yourself here and putting your team under you.
This stuff really gets me passionate because it's you know it's about relationships, it's not about you know what most well. I'll tell you this is very important if you had a few children, let's say you had two children three children and let's say you wanted to adopt a child and add that child into your family what would you go through before you pick and say yes to a child coming in would you consider, how that child would fit within your current family dynamic would you consider the personalities and where your children are right now in life in relation to what that new child will add or take away or what would be that dynamic look like for most of us if we were in that position we would actually take the time to make to consider those things however time and time again I see when people go to hire new employees they don't consider those things instead it is so fixated on whether the employee has a technical capabilities whether the employee can, they answer the questions in a way that is pleasing to the ears and if you've been watching politics for any time during of your life you'll know how you can always give an answer that is pleasing to the ear but it's not necessarily a good reflection of what the truth is, so the point of it is that it begins at the hiring stage if you actually pay attention to how that person can fit in in your current team you know I had someone I don't know what I want to mention a name I had someone who justified someone I was working with justified hiring a new person that was at odds with the rest of the team and the the reasoning the logic behind it was that when that person comes in he or she will challenge the rest of the team and somehow we're going to get better because of it.
Shawn: Sia I have a question for you so see I think what you're saying is absolutely bang on that the new person who wants to come in wants to prove his point so the only way to prove the point is you challenge the current normal whether it is right for the business or the wrong. For the business sometimes you don't evaluate however my question is this let us take our example we are a fast growing company I mean we are not a regular growing company growing like 20% year or year right so in matter of six seven years we have become you know so we are we grow like 100% year on year right so we are not the same every year so the challenge is uh sometimes so because there are people working with me right now who has been the first 20 employees or first 15 team members of the company about you know that evolution because some some somehow what happens is you don't have those people who are good for one to fifty sometimes they become really misfit from 50 to 250 and the one good from 250 50 to 250 are really not you know they somehow are not able to evolve from the 250 to 1000 journey so what you're saying is right but now the demands of the business we're not there so for let me give you an example and this was happening just right you know this was yesterday's discussion we never had customer relationship position in our business i mean two three years back right but now as business was growing me and my brother and you know we cannot manage those relationships so we have to organically bring in a customer relationship manager so now those managers who were working you know the team associates there is a layer in between yeah yeah so yeah what happens how to deal with that.
Sia: Well I think you brought up a very uh good point here Shawn what you are really referring to is roles change responsibilities change what doesn't change is principles and values no matter how big the company gets as a matter of fact some of the most successful organizations in the world they have had their values and principles since they were just a small business before they became multinational fortune 500s, however you are right in that when your business evolves roles and responsibilities change one of the very one of the a very interesting exercises that I know that you guys will go through at our accountable 2020 event is the team rules and responsibilities checkup and that checkup is basically consists of undress you know you hire someone, I mean forget about the growth for just a moment just put the growth thing aside for just a moment let's say there is no growth but the chances are when you hire someone a year later when you look at what they actually do their role and responsibilities it has evolved.
I mean just by the virtue of time and and circumstances let alone if you have growth and you have opportunity and you have different market changes and you add people that even makes it even more complex so i think we just need to have a real honest assessment about the fact that some of the people that we've hired under certain titles and roles no longer fit in those categories and we need to evaluate that and make the proper changes in order to make sure that person is still a good fit and under that role and in your example you have customer relations managers as an example new title coming in. I think that you could have you can change roles you can add delete roles from your organization without impacting the dynamic as a matter of fact the more you proactively watch what how the how the roles are that specific exercise. I just mentioned, it reveals where are some of the overlaps are between roles and so what happens is that when you have a role and I have a role let's say we're working for the same company but all roles overlap that actually negatively impacts the dynamic between us. We could outside of work we could be very very much compatible but because we overlap with our roles and responsibilities you may get upset that why did i take on that particular project when it was yours to take or why I get upset why did you handle or made a decision on this particular thing when it was really my decision or you should have discussed with me first and the issue in that example it's not you or me it's the fact that the role hasn't really clearly been defined between the boundaries of what i do in what you do and if we were to fix that then we'll have a better team dynamic i don't know if i answered your question but that's what i think well I understood uh it in a way yeah yeah in a way in a way in Shawn's language you were kind of there.
Shawn: But I'm still not convinced or still this is my dilemma that you know sometimes when you work closely and when you know things starts evolving how to manage that evolution when in a group company which is growing you know adding 150-200 employees every year. So there are multiple titles which come in you know all the time which previously there were just hierarchy if you start there was me and then when there were one layer so this was a two and then thing starts coming in things start adding up and the hierarchy gets bigger not that we want to compromise on agility of the company no yeah still our managers are super empowered still our team is super empowered and i would like to keep it that way uh yeah but still uh yeah the challenge is sometimes that uh the acceptability of the evolution so I believe that the people who have been working with us should naturally progress on the higher roles but as the business progresses you know this new roles demand newer faces and is not available in your existing spectrum.
Sia: Yeah ideally in an ideal world I think that makes sense but what happens in real time is that you have people that are not ready yet to be placed in that higher responsibility, you have others who don't have aspirations to move up in there they may be ready in terms of you know talent and he'll say they don't want to do it but they just don't want they they're more comfortable. I can't tell you how many times in interviews of existing teams I find out that people I ask them about their career path where would you want to go where would you how would you like to see this. They say I am good where I'm at. If I do what I'm doing right now for the next 10-20 years I'll be happy I don't want any more of that why because it gives me flexibility I can spend more time with my children I can do this this is where I want to be now personally knowing you Shawn knowing me to us we're like why would you that doesn't make sense let me sit down and talk to you and tell you how you are missing out on was that mike I say you might tell them how they're wrong oh they're wrong how you know don't discount yourself like that don't think small think big and all that blah blah blah blah that's a recipe to disaster.
Chris: I have a quick story so your there was a long story short I was a 32 or 33-year-old manager taking over a team where the top rep was 61 years old and so I had one-on-ones with him and I met with him I was like you're doubled my age why are we in this different spots here he goes I would never take your job I've been doing this for 31 years and I'm extremely happy I'm good at what I do and that's all I want to do so you have to also keep that in mind and ages throw that out the window uh nowadays it doesn't matter as long as it did and then when he actually when I left the company he goes you were one of the best managers I've ever worked for and it made me feel good because I was nervous that he was just going to not respect me because of the age factor but you have to leave by example lead by the uh from the front and walk the walk and talk the talk which I did and he respected me that's all that matters.
Sia: Yeah and going back to Chris what what Shawn was saying is that as long as i think there's planning ahead and as long as the organization understands where not just where the company wants to go and what the business needs but how that correlates with each individual in terms of their own aspirations because a lot of times you talk to them and the person thinks like if i don't come out and say i want that role and i should have it i'm gonna get fired because they're gonna think i'm complacent uh when in fact if i think a smart organization thinks about hey we have a place for you if this is all you want and you're good with it for the next 30 years we can still use you you're not disposable you're not we we have a place for you and we can thrive with you in our organization now those who are looking to grow and looking to move up the ladder we have a place for you too but that doesn't happen with just title change and salary change we want to make sure that when you get to that position in that role you're happy with it therefore we need to see what is it a good fit for you do you really want it because then you have the younger team members that haven't really thought this through because all they're thinking about with those new roles coming with your org chart changing all they're thinking about is more salary more power more money more power you know those are the and and my goodness the whole world is breaking apart because people are chasing money and power instead of thinking of what's my talent what what what specific thing do i do that when i do it it doesn't feel like work in as an employer as a business owner of either a thousand ten thousand hundred thousand or two if you can make that connection you're gonna find people working for your organization that will you know put their neck on their line on the line to make sure that you succeed if that makes sense.
Shawn: One of the things probably because we're discussing this I always wanted to you know because we are evolving faster and growing fast I always wish to you know to address problems quickly because you know when know you are you're adding layers in your hierarchy problems are going to crop up yep one of the mantras or one of the things I always believe that should have such agility that you should be addressing problems quickly as you said transparently and clarifying everything but at the same time you should act upon in such a way that you address everything in a very quick manner.
Sia: You're So right Shawn and I can't tell you how many times I've seen in good faith you have people accounting firms go ahead and conduct employee surveys they surveyed their employees and then nothing happens because yeah and so when you say agility is addressing things quickly it's even worse when you do a survey and you don't do anything that means that you know it's like you know getting someone to sit down and talk to you and you say great and then you don't respond you don't make any changes you don't follow through I mean it's just it's a having the door shut in their face so what you're saying is is very important and I always tell people if you're not going to follow through with the next steps after making your team take a survey don't have them take one don't do the survey don't do that.
Mike: I've come across this in my work with companies of all stripes not just CPA firms although there is a recent example of a CPA firm, but the communication breakdown typically with organization is with the ownership or the higher level employers or personnel individuals responsible for the decisions that are not necessarily the day-to-day decisions but the big corporate decisions where people give them suggestions they say thank you for the suggestion and they think that by just doing that part it's done.
And even though in their minds a few days later they've already answered the question and they know the answer but they don't tell anybody or it doesn't get that circle doesn't get complete in the communication that breaks down the dynamics of a well-run machine because even if the answer is No, Shawn even if you don't want them to do or if their request is unreasonable they need to know and be told timely so that they can accept it otherwise all they do is wonder why and wonderment doesn't know anything especially going fast like you are Shawn.
Sia: Yeah that's communication Mike you know it reminds me of years ago I did some consulting for a major hospital chain nationwide hospital chain and talking about agility and communication and how do you close that gap when you're talking about you know 100000 employees right and so just in the one building one the headquarters the one floor had about 3000 employees right and because things were changing, this is before the pandemic obviously years ago but because things were changing rapidly what we end up doing is that we have these huddles and it's interesting.
We do we promote huddles for inside of the firms and people sometimes say well what do we do if we're like 50 you should have been there when this hospital would have huddles thousands of employees there would be literally a horn and you would come out of your office and everywhere and we would have everyone join up the VP would literally I'm standing up and I'm not going to do it because this has wheels under it go stand up on top of a chair and then on top of a desk and she would speak not through a microphone not through anything but yell at everyone.
Here's what we've done here's what we're going to do and here's why it's important for us to do it and why I'm asking you to help us make sure we we do this and we're successful at this is why this matters and it was so silent you wouldn't hear a pin drop because people were trying to pay attention now what you know the reason why that happened is one the reason why there was no microphone is because we wanted to make sure that people actually make an effort to listen right and it was quick it wasn't an email we could do it in an email it would have been super fast and you know but it brought everyone to just physically bringing everyone together.
So now in terms of when you're looking at a a company like entigrity that is growing at a rapid speed you have that same opportunity and it's just you know when everything if we can't think of how what's the best way to communicate here's one everyone get on a zoom meeting we can have 2000 people, we're going to have a talk here's what's happening just keep bringing you up to speed here's what we've done here's where we're going and the other last thing I want to mention about this is that it's important to remind the team that we're not perfect, we're going to struggle we're going to make some mistakes you know but we got to work together to make it happen and I just can't wait to see all the great things that entigrity is going to do with your growth and undoubtedly I think you're going to share a lot of those experiences with firms that are looking to grow in the same speed well I think we have we have a lot of things to talk and we can talk probably for another two three hours on this but yes important announcement for accountable2020 see I'm going to go ahead and do that sure thank you for bringing that up.
So yes so if you are listening and you're looking to upgrade your accounting business and you want to do it one ethically two you don't want any shortcuts you want the real deal you are willing to put the time effort and energy into it to make sure you have sustainable growth for the right reasons and developing your team and the dynamic of your team and your operations efficiencies everything related to your business marketing sales offshoring you name, we have this workshop designed specifically for you. It's unlike any other ones you've been to, you can find out more about it it's a virtual workshop at accountablefirms.com it is held on november 12th and 13th so please feel free to check it out and if you have any questions about it reach out to and we're doing it in partnership with entigrity and also mycpe.
We couldn't done it without this partnership so we're quite proud of it and we can't wait to wow you with the real deal it's a it's a filet mignon of workshops it's not a fast food let's just make you a lot of quick money and send you your way let me show you with the silver bullet none of that if you're looking for a silver bullet this is not the right workshop for you if you're looking for mature solutions then this is something that Entigrity, myCPE and FYUSA put together in accountable 2020 we look forward seeing you there.
Shawn: Absolutely we are honored to be part of this event and we have already invited a lot of our existing clients and the clients who are potentially looking to work with you and the idea is to you know give the right perspective of operating business, of course, we always wanted to show better ways and approaches to run the show but yes definitely as Sia mentioned it would be with a purpose behind it. It would not be just the regular conversation talking about optimizing and making profits and you know working yes it is something that we all are passionate about and we all are working only with accountants so that's where we thought this working together would be fun and real excitement so we are all excited to see you there so please join if you're watching this podcast.
Sia: Yeah and for those are those of you who are existing clients of entigrity and myCPE you know if there's a lot of benefits you know already of being uh clients of entigrity in my CPE but here's another one as if you needed another one but why not um that there is a code that you can use if you are existing client that will give you um a great discount if you're not a client of entigrity and my CPE this should motivate you to do to become one it's 65 it's the only discount at this large rate right now that we're doing it is only specifically reserved for the clientele of entigrity and my CPE and if you are an existing client for entigrity you can use ent that's e as an Edward in as a nancy as in tom 2020 for your discount at our registration page and if you are myCPE account holder you can use myCPE 2020 at the registration page you will also receive your special discount.
Shawn: Thank you so much, everyone, Mike you want to do your closing thoughts.
Mike: When it comes to teamwork one of my favorite examples of teamwork is geese, you're all familiar with how geese travel in the V form for great distances and not everyone knows why maybe they were created that way I don't know maybe they just like to look good but the reason is based on that formation every geese further back in the line works less than the person in the front and so they're able to go 70 percent further if they fly in a V than if they float flew individually just because of this flow of air and as they take as the one the guy in the front gets started he falls back and the other one moves forward and so forth and that creates this ability for geese so the same thing in a team or a company when you're all working together towards the same goal and things you know the first guy gets a little tired or things go the next guy comes up and helps out and then the next guy and or get whatever the case and over time you're you're building a team that can sustain great success for a long period of time so when you're trying to work together remember the geese.
Shawn: Thank you so much that wasn't building thought thank you so much, everyone, thank you, Sia, thank you mike for today's podcast and we'll be closing this podcast will be available on our social media handles too so please do watch it and share it to the like-minded people around you, thank you so much, happy weekend, thank you, everyone, enjoys your weekend thank you.
Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 500+ accountants, CPAs and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.