The ICONIC Mindset

Building an ICONIC Culture that Stands the Test of Time

October 06, 2020 Calvin Stovall | John Avola
The ICONIC Mindset
Building an ICONIC Culture that Stands the Test of Time
Chapters
3:19
Intro: Building an ICONIC Culture
7:45
Own It
19:51
Live It
27:28
Love It
32:11
ICONIC Points
The ICONIC Mindset
Building an ICONIC Culture that Stands the Test of Time
Oct 06, 2020
Calvin Stovall | John Avola

Building an ICONIC Culture that Stands the Test of Time
Episode #7

Own it! Live it! Love it! There’s nothing more important than your company's culture. In this podcast episode, John and Calvin discuss how to build an ICONIC culture that stands the test of time. They'll leverage one of the four ICONIC Framework quadrants as the foundation for defining your culture, developing values and beliefs and defending what you've built. 

Whether your company has been operating for years or you're opening your doors for the first time, you'll want to tune in as they share how to establish a culture today that will last far beyond tomorrow.

  • 0:03:19 - Intro: Building an ICONIC Culture
  • 0:07:45 - Own It
  • 0:19:15 - Live It
  • 0:27:28 - Love It
  • 0:32:11 - ICONIC Points

To learn more about John Avola and Calvin Stovall, visit iconicpresentations.net. All The ICONIC Mindset episodes can be downloaded at theiconicmindset.com. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, please subscribe to our show.  Remember to select a star rating and/or write a review for The ICONIC Mindset podcast.

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  1. Open your podcast app and search/navigate to The ICONIC Mindset
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  3. Tap to give a rating and/or select "Write a Review"
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Don't just be, Be ICONIC!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Building an ICONIC Culture that Stands the Test of Time
Episode #7

Own it! Live it! Love it! There’s nothing more important than your company's culture. In this podcast episode, John and Calvin discuss how to build an ICONIC culture that stands the test of time. They'll leverage one of the four ICONIC Framework quadrants as the foundation for defining your culture, developing values and beliefs and defending what you've built. 

Whether your company has been operating for years or you're opening your doors for the first time, you'll want to tune in as they share how to establish a culture today that will last far beyond tomorrow.

  • 0:03:19 - Intro: Building an ICONIC Culture
  • 0:07:45 - Own It
  • 0:19:15 - Live It
  • 0:27:28 - Love It
  • 0:32:11 - ICONIC Points

To learn more about John Avola and Calvin Stovall, visit iconicpresentations.net. All The ICONIC Mindset episodes can be downloaded at theiconicmindset.com. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, please subscribe to our show.  Remember to select a star rating and/or write a review for The ICONIC Mindset podcast.

Connect with us!

To leave a podcast review:

  1. Open your podcast app and search/navigate to The ICONIC Mindset
  2. Scroll to the subhead titled "Ratings & Reviews" 
  3. Tap to give a rating and/or select "Write a Review"
  4. Once you've finished, select "Send" or "Save" (top-right corner)

Thank you for listening! We value our listeners and subscribers.

Don't just be, Be ICONIC!

Introduction:

Welcome to the iconic mindset podcast with John Avola and Calvin Stovall. This is the only place that uncovers the multiple levels of iconic businesses and brands. Every episode reveals the secrets behind what it takes to make your business, idea, or movement iconic. Now here are John and Calvin.

John Avola:

Hey Calvin, how are you doing?

Calvin Stovall:

I'm doing great. John, excited to be here to chat with you today. How are you?

John Avola:

Hey, it's great to be here. I get more excited about these podcasts every single time. I am pumped about today's episode.

Calvin Stovall:

I am too. So what you've been up to?

John Avola:

I've been doing well. I've been asked to lead a diversity and inclusion committee, and the idea is to focus more efforts on how we can integrate diversity and inclusion, equity, belonging, all into the FedEx mission. So it's been an awesome, awesome experience. I've met with so many people from different organizations. We're pulling together under one umbrella, which we will talk more about today. But like I said, I'm excited about this episode because it ties in so nicely to some of the work I'm doing in my day job.

Calvin Stovall:

That's awesome. I'm glad to hear that. That's wonderful that FedEx is continuing the conversation and making some changes internally to continue to push that initiative forward. And it's very cool to have my cohost as a part of that movement. That is very iconic.

John Avola:

How about yourself? I know you've been busy. I've been seeing you everywhere.

Calvin Stovall:

I've been actually spending a lot of time on other people's podcasts, spreading the word of the iconic framework or the four P's, either way. I did a webinar for White Stone Marketing ...

John Avola:

Let's go back to the White Stone for a minute. I had the pleasure to attend that. And let me just tell the audience real quick. I saw Calvin Stovall in action! Now, given it's a virtual environment, it's extremely hard to keep your audience engaged. Not for Calvin. He had us going for an hour. We were laughing. The audience was great. Chat rooms were blowing up and I think there's still communications after two or three weeks of some of the work that you've done. People are still talking about you,

Calvin Stovall:

John, it's been great. Thank you for that compliment. Actually, one of my dear friends, Toni Jacaruso, runs an organization called Jacaruso Enterprises, and she invited me to come join her team meetings . She has about a hundred plus sales team members, and she said that she would love for me to come on there for about 20 minutes and inspire them. And the cool thing about their team is they love sending out thank you notes, John. I have probably about 15 or 20 thank you notes that were sent to me, handwritten . I'm all about the handwritten note . So it was absolutely phenomenal. I've actually been a guest on one called the MOD Report and TribalHub. It has been wonderful. Just sharing everything about the iconic framework and the work that we're doing here has been wonderful.

John Avola:

Calvin, so let's jump in today. What are we going to be talking about?

Calvin Stovall:

John, today, we're going to be talking about building an iconic culture that stands the test of time.

John Avola:

So important today. Culture now more than ever is so important to continue to stay focused on and make sure it's relevant within your organization.

Calvin Stovall:

Company culture is kind of hard to define really, but it's woven into everything a company does. I like to say it's the soul of an organization, right? It's the reason employees either love or they hate their jobs, or customers, they feel valued or ignored. And I think the last podcast we had , we talked about the importance of reputation. This is the same thing, culture. It takes years to build a good culture, but it can only take a few missteps to mess it all up. I think that's why smart leaders focus on developing company culture from day one and they work like crazy to protect it because it's so important.

John Avola:

You have to work toward it. It's something that is always evolving. It must be nurtured all the time. And you're right. It's absolutely one of the most important things a company can have. It starts right there with your mission, your vision, and your culture. It's the establishing principle of any organization.

Calvin Stovall:

Many companies think building a culture, you have to load up on perks and benefits and a great company culture is going to form, but the great work cultures are not built on having free snacks, flexible hours, or office happy hours alone. I believe a great culture is one built on purpose and values. Like you just mentioned, where everybody is rallied around or aligned on not only what they have to do, but also why and how they have to do it. When you integrate your values and all of your work processes, how you hire people, how you reward them, how you inspire, how you promote your employees, you're naturally going to create a work environment where your team can thrive and that's all about culture.

John Avola:

It's most important, right? It sustains the employee enthusiasm, attracts talent, improves productivity.

Calvin Stovall:

I've been fortunate enough to work for organizations that had strong cultures. I've worked for Hilton Worldwide for many years. And we both worked at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which I applaud, of course, for the work they do, but they do a fantastic job building that culture. You know why you're there. They do certain things to make sure you always are reminded of why you're there. Regardless of the role that you have, you know you're there to help save children's lives. From eating in the cafeteria, that same cafeteria that they had, even to the employee meetings, having families come up, sharing a story, all of those things help cultivate that culture that St. Jude has. And so some of the companies that we're going to talk about today, like the Disneys, the Southwest Airlines, and Chick-fil-A's of the world, they understand how culture can drive performance and how every single employee plays a role in that. Just super critical.

John Avola:

Absolutely, Calvin. You made such a good point there with identifying a clear mission that correlates directly to the culture. St. Jude, an exc000ellent example, No child should die in the dawn of life. And anyone that works there knows it, and they're working toward it.

Calvin Stovall:

The management guru, Peter Drucker said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Have you ever heard that? And it does. You can put the best strategy in place, but if your culture isn't strong enough to bring that strategy to life or if it's in disarray, it's not going to happen. And because culture is an equal player in the game, it's not to be underestimated or overlooked because it is just so critical to the success of an organization. Without culture, you cannot be iconic.

John Avola:

So today, as we go through kind of setting up for the audience, Calvin, do you want to explain how we're going to tie in the iconic framework with our message today?

Calvin Stovall:

Actually, we're going to live in one of the quadrants, which is the be passionate one. There is a piece in there that says own it, live it, love it. And today we're going to talk about culture and define culture through the own it, live it, love it, parable. All right, here we go. Let's start with owning it. When we say own it, you've got to define what it is. What is your culture? Define your values, because really I'm sure you will agree with me. Culture is all about the values that you instill in your organization, and they have to be realistic. Can't be superficial. We always talk about being authentic and those values have to be authentic. They shouldn't be something selected simply because they sound good or were featured in a textbook. Only way to avoid that superficial definition of values is to look for the values that actually exist, I believe, within your best employees. And you look at them, perhaps it's their unwavering positivity, and optimism, or their diligence and eye for detail that makes them excel. These are traits that you want to look for and you select three to five core values. That's going to be your DNA. That's going to be what I like to call your blue diamonds. Right? That's how you could define it.

John Avola:

What's also important about defining your culture is, don't wait. Get out and start early. If you're a new business or a small business entrepreneur, and you're just getting things started, mission, vision, culture should go simultaneously upfront. It's most important. Don't wait.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes, absolutely. Because if you wait, John, what happens? You're going to be at the risk of somebody else defining it for you. And that's exactly what you don't want to do. There's a company called Box, Inc. I know you live in this space. They're actually an internet company based in Redwood City, California, and the company focuses on cloud content management and file sharing for businesses. They've been around, I think for around 15 years. They were founded in 2005. Aaron Levie cofounded the company while he was in college and it's taken different forms from an idea. They started in a garage and now they're just a big, huge company. And he really wanted to focus on keeping that small business culture alive, and they've been able to do that through every stage of growth. They focus on seven fundamental values or core values. Some of them are really cool. Be candid and assume good intent. Blow our customer's minds. And one of my personal favorite is , make mom proud. And I'm sure he is, right, but those values unite an organization . Like you mentioned earlier, they've also got behaviors and actions. And he said that that's been critical to Box's success.

John Avola:

So in a company like that, where you've established a culture from the beginning, and he's worked toward that, I think we also should mention those that may already have an established culture. And the fact that there's still an opportunity there to make connections, alignments, and just look through. Ask your employees. Get a feel for their attributes, their attitudes. And if you see some inconsistencies, you've got the opportunity to change those as well.

Calvin Stovall:

Define it.

John Avola:

Define it, and then communicate it. Right?

Calvin Stovall:

Yes, you've got to talk about it. Talk about it, talk about it. One of the things that's cool is that you can actually integrate it into your employee programs. I'll give you an example. If you're a company that says you value employee empowerment and trust, you can communicate it through your programs. Nordstrom's department stores, they talk about empowerment and they're known for delivering exceptional customer service all the time. And they're just given one rule in their employee handbook. Use best judgment in all situations. There are no additional rules. I know that's way to the extreme. However, they are not focused on being bogged down with corporate guidance and all of that jargon . They focus on translating and making sure that their employees feel like they are empowered to create that memorable experience. And it's in their handbook. And that's great. That's a large reason why the Nordstrom way of doing business is why it's so well-respected out there in the retail space. Ritz Carlton actually does something similar as well. You probably have heard this too. And of course we already know Ritz is top notch. You might not know this though. They're the only hotel brand to win a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Twice.

John Avola:

Wow. Twice.

Calvin Stovall:

Twice. And their co-founder Horst Schulze has a book called Excellence Wins, and he actually explained how he implemented a policy empowering every employee to spend up to $2,000 to make guests happy. So imagine the customer service stories that were created as a result of their policy. I'm sure there's stuff of legend. They're about empowerment and creating those memorable experiences. They put it in their programs so it's clear. They're communicating it through the policies that they create. And I think that's strong.

John Avola:

I think also what you're saying, Calvin, is how important it is to create a culture where all team members are valued, treated respectfully, and have equal access to opportunities for professional and personal advancement or growth. Your team needs to feel comfortable sharing ideas. They need to feel comfortable openly communicating without any type of repercussion. Even more important than that though, is your employees not only want to know their voices are being heard, but it's being acted upon. And I think the second half of that sentence seems to be left out a lot of the time, especially with large organizations where your voice is one of many. You may be thinking you're being treated more as a number versus an individual. And you want that opportunity not only to speak up, but then to actually see action being taken place based on the idea or the voice of concern you may have had. So showing your employees you care, asking them often, again, COVID pandemic, how are you feeling? And then, listen. Keeping that open dialogue., Every employee must understand the culture and why it's important that it all leads back to you as the leader.

Calvin Stovall:

That's very important. I think a lot of organizations, they'll say that we're people first, employee first. And if you're saying you're people first or employee first, you've got to make sure that you focus on that. My big thing is, there's no customer experience without employee experience.

John Avola:

That's right. And if you're saying those things, you need to live those things.

Calvin Stovall:

Absolutely. That's right. You're so on point about that. You want to make sure that you're hearing from your people and make sure that whatever this culture is that you've created, that people believe in it and they're living it every single day. So we've got, define it, communicate it, train to it, train employees on the values that build your organization. And I mean, train them from the beginning.

John Avola:

That's right. Day one.

Calvin Stovall:

Day one from onboarding.

John Avola:

I think it might even be before onboarding, Calvin. I'm going to challenge that to the interview process, right ? You walk into a new organization for the very first time. You're instantly immersed in the culture the minute you walk in the door, whether you know it or not, and you haven't even accepted the job. The employer needs to be aware of that, that your actions sitting across the table may define whether or not the employee is even engaged with working with you regardless of whether they're the best hire or not.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes. I do agree with that, because you want to make sure whoever you're bringing in the organization is going to embrace those values. You absolutely want to make sure you ask them the right questions.

John Avola:

You've got to ask the right questions and you've got to make sure that people you're employing or thinking of hiring will add value to your team, but not only value as far as skills and experience, but are they going to be a culture add? Are they going to bring diversity, thought, leadership, experience, background? What does that entail, from an attitude over experience perspective.

Calvin Stovall:

That's right, if you say you're going to be an organization focused on delivering a memorable customer experience, you've got to make sure your team members are trained to be able to do that. Give them the tools and the resources so they can do that effectively. If you say your employees go the extra mile, share a story about an employee who made a mistake, but put in overtime to ensure the mistake was corrected. You want to make sure that you are telling stories that help new hires learn, and even current employees learn, and absorb and embrace your culture more quickly. And training is an ongoing event. I'm going to say that one more time. Training is an ongoing event. It's not a one time occasion, ladies and gentlemen. A customer service guru, Shep Hyken, says training is not what you did. It's what you do. You have to constantly train, just like you have to constantly focus on culture. You constantly have to keep training people. Don't train and say, oh, they've got it now. I'm good. No, that doesn't work like that.

John Avola:

I think we need to plug Iconic Presentations in here real quick, because we've got the workshops. We've got EQ, we've got customer service, we've got the workshops that continually can train your employees.

Calvin Stovall:

One of the great things, since we're talking about training, I did a summer internship at Disney World.

John Avola:

I actually worked there as well. I was an Animal Kingdom Lodge employee .

Calvin Stovall:

What did you do at Animal Kingdom?

John Avola:

I was on the hotel side. I was a valet and bellman attendant. Went into work with the Safari outfit, the hat, but I was so into the valet, that I would be running as fast as I could to get these cars pulled up for the guests. My hat would be falling off. I'd lose it. I was that guy just trying to get your car.

Calvin Stovall:

Awesome. And I was actually a desk clerk at the Caribbean beach resort. So I was in the nice, cool air in the lobby.

John Avola:

I was outside.

Calvin Stovall:

But the great thing, why I brought that up, was the training part of it. They're so about culture. But do you recall the training that you went through?

John Avola:

Oh, absolutely. I'll never forget it.

Calvin Stovall:

Did you go in that trailer? It was a trailer that you were in for I don't know how many weeks before they even let you out on the floor because they wanted to make sure you loved it, lived it, the whole culture. And I thought that was just a fabulous way to make sure you were immersed in the culture of Disney before you went out there. That was great.

John Avola:

It was awesome. And then after you were immersed, they still don't let you just go out on your own, right? No. You're shadowing another employee for another several weeks until you can actually run your own spot. There's a tremendous amount of training that goes into Disney. And, while we're talking about Disney, I think it's also important to call out how focused they are on creating a culture of genuine care and safety. You probably remember this in your training. If a child spills the popcorn, get them a new popcorn, right? If they lose their balloon, grab another balloon. It's that genuine care. But also that safety component that's so important for Disney and all of their guests.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes. I loved that whole internship. So here we go. We talked about own it, but you have to define culture. You have to talk about the culture and you have to train people to deliver the culture and what you're about. Now we're going to move to the next phase, which is the live it.

John Avola:

Live it. Every day.

Calvin Stovall:

Live it. And when I say live it, you've got to walk the talk. Let's throw out the notion of hiring for cultural fit. And I know that's probably controversial what I just said, but when you tell a manager, I want you to hire for cultural fit, what happens is it often encourages hiring managers to seek out people with similar backgrounds, experiences, and ideologies, just like them.

John Avola:

Not the mini me scenario?

Calvin Stovall:

The mini me scenario. That's what happens. That's why they focus on hiring people just like them. And you can't do that. Instead you need to use your values as your litmus test for whether or not a candidate would thrive in your workplace. And right now, particularly, you want to make sure you have an inclusive environment. You want to make sure you're hiring for diversity, just like FedEx, what you guys are doing. That's important because you don't want to have people that are just like you with the same thought process, same thinking processes. You can't continue to move forward and be iconic if everybody thinks the same.

John Avola:

You need a diverse and inclusive culture in order to differentiate yourselves . In addition to that hiring process, as you're looking for that individual, what I've always kind of found interesting is, who would you rather coach. Do you want the player that has the grit, the determination, the willingness to never give up? Or do you want the player that was fortunately gifted with some amazing abilities? The player that has the grit, right? The trainable, the coachable, the one that's never going to give up. The determined, you can put them in the fourth quarter after playing three straight quarters and they're going to finish the game and you know it and you trust them. And you're confident in that. And that's the team we're looking for, right?

Calvin Stovall:

Yes. Because they're going to always give more than what's expected. That's the whole passion thing. There's something you can't train for, John. We talk about that. You can't train for that. But if you're looking for people to join your organization, you want to make sure you have questions in your applications or even during the interview, you want to look for those soft skills and the values that match your culture.

John Avola:

Because ultimately you're looking for those cultural ambassadors, right? You want the people who love your company as much as you do. They live it, emphasizing live it. since we're in that category. They live it every day. And they also help people understand what the company stands for. They're your most valuable assets. And you're going to have to reach out to them. You're going to have to ask them what they like, what they don't like and continue to evolve the culture based on a lot of their perspectives.

Calvin Stovall:

It's all about demonstrating what kind of culture you want to have. They said when Walt Disney used to go out with you, of course, in the earlier years, when he would go out and walk the grounds, if he saw a piece of paper on the ground, he would bend over, pick it up, throw it away. That's a live it right there because he's demonstrating what this culture is all about. So if the CEO or the creator of the world of Disney can bend over and pick up a piece of paper, of course any employee should be able to do the same. And that's the mindset you want to create.

John Avola:

And to add to that, not just the fact that he's picking up the trash or something he's seen on the ground and putting it in the trash can , but he's out in the parks meeting with people, he's living it. He's walking the parks. He's getting feedback, firsthand feedback from the guests that are there and he's not behind his desk and he's not the CEO that's never seen. He's the guy that's out in front of the audience and the customers.

Calvin Stovall:

I've got another story, John. When I was working for Hilton, in my earlier years, I was an assistant general manager at an Embassy Suites in Memphis, Tennessee. And we had a regional VP. His name was Rick Schultz . Rick was very focused on cleanliness and appearance and making sure everything was pristine so when a guest came, they were impressed. He would walk the parking lot and look for trash. He would be, "Stovall, I found some paper out here on the lot. Make sure you have somebody come out here and pick up this lot." What that did was it instilled in me to make sure that lot stayed clean. And it also went inside of the hotel as well. So the whole thing was about making sure that the hotel looked good all the time, even the entrance. That made me come up with a new philosophy, walk the parking lot. That's going to be my new term. Walk the parking lot, which means as a manager or a leader, you've got to be out there doing what you expect your team to do.

John Avola:

Ties in perfectly to the point we made earlier on how culture starts with you. It's your values and beliefs that dictate the initial or current corporate culture.

Calvin Stovall:

And speaking of that, since we're going to move on to the next one, you've got to defend it. You've got to stand up for what your culture is. This whole thing about culture, so much of it is driven top down. Management has an immense power to influence work culture. That's just the way it is. And the more mindful you are of your role as a leader within your company culture, the more positive your influence can be. Think of culture as a garden, okay? If you want it to flourish, you'll not only need to have to plant the right seeds , but you have to water it, but sometimes you'll need to prune it. You have to see yourself as a gardener .

John Avola:

When you prune it, right? It's always better the next season.

Calvin Stovall:

That's what you hope. Sometimes you're cutting out any bad weeds and nurturing the sprouts. I love this quote that says, since we're talking about gardens, that "when a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower." Really what it's saying, it's going to bloom in the right soil. It's going to bloom in the right culture. Sometimes I think we focus on the person. Fix the person. Now maybe it might be the soil that's created or the culture that's not quite allowed that employee to reach their best potential or, as we say, bloom. If somebody is not supporting the culture or somebody's behaviors are not aligned with who you are, you might have to prune.

John Avola:

This is what I'm getting from that as well, especially with the garden analogy is that if the culture or the analogy, the garden, is not seen as your priority, then it's not going to be anyone else's priority. However, if it's seen as your priority, then it becomes everyone's priority, right?

Calvin Stovall:

Culture is a team sport. You can't do it alone. One of us is all of us and that's the truth. It doesn't matter what your role is. You want to discourage behavior that does not align with your culture. If you're allowing a bad behavior to persist, it sends mixed messages to your team. For example, if excellent service or delivering memorable experiences is one of your core values, you can't allow employees to bad mouth customers behind their backs. It's not going to work. This is a negative attitude. It can eventually seep into the service you provide. It doesn't matter what role you have. If you see somebody or witness somebody doing something that's not aligned with who you are as an organization, it is your responsibility to say something. We've got to move on to the third one. Love it.

John Avola:

Love it.

Calvin Stovall:

I know you probably know Salesforce. They're known for having a great culture.

John Avola:

Awesome culture. We have a bunch of people we work with who work for Salesforce. Amazing group of people.

Calvin Stovall:

They do something that I think is pretty cool. They have some kind of aloha Fridays , where they wear these Hawaiian shirts. Have you heard anything about that?

John Avola:

Heard it? I've seen it! If you're on a conference call on a Friday with a Salesforce rep, he's doing the luau, waiting for the call to start.

Calvin Stovall:

I think they've been doing that since like 2002. It's evolved into a concept of Ohana, or family, that provides for employees, customers, and stakeholders. And you know what? I think that is so awesome. I did not expect you to have witnessed it.

John Avola:

Witnessed. I've lived it!

Calvin Stovall:

So you experienced it. You've experienced their culture. That's great.

John Avola:

I'll be honest, I'm an owner of a single Hawaiian shirt. It makes me want to put mine on.

Calvin Stovall:

Awesome . The CEO said that once you're out of the garage and you have hundreds and thousands of employees, the game changes. And soon enough you won't be the one championing culture. Employees will make it their own and show others the way. So I just want to recommend to our listeners, if you are a leader within an organization, from time to time, you might want to make sure you are experiencing your company. And what I mean by that is seeing it through the eyes of your customer. Call your call center, visit your business, your hotel, restaurant, whatever, and see things through the customer's eyes and make sure that they are delivering exactly what you want them to deliver, what your brand promise is, because that's important. So we're still in love it. We talked about experiencing it. Last one is you're going to celebrate it. Celebrate. Make sure that you're celebrating your team's successes. Even the small ones.

John Avola:

Everything. Everything needs to be celebrated. Taking the time to reinforce your core values, recognition, awards, promotions of those who exemplify culture, team events. You've got the virtual happy hours, virtual team activities, and enjoying the time with your team.

Calvin Stovall:

You really have to view your team as your internal customers. Just like your external customers, people just want to be recognized and feel appreciated. No one likes to be an assumption, John, saying, well, I just assumed you knew how much I appreciate you. That's just not going to motivate anyone to high levels of performance. Not expressing gratitude and appreciation to others is the same as making them disappear. And I think we, as leaders, have to accept and acknowledge the fact that nothing great is ever going to be achieved unless people feel appreciated, right? Take care of your own like that, John. It's infectious. The whole team feels important, cared for, and valued. That's going to bleed into the customer experience. So all of these things we talk about today...

John Avola:

It takes work, right?

Calvin Stovall:

It takes work. This is not easy.

John Avola:

It's not easy. It needs to be constantly nurtured, going back to the garden. You've got to attend to it. Calvin. There's one thing I did want to mention that I want to caution our audience, too . And that's the difference between loving it and smothering it. Did you ever watch the Tiny Toon adventures with Porky Pig, with that's all folks, Bugs Bunny, and all those classics like Sylvester? So you don't want to be Elmyra from the tiny toons, right? The little girl that smothers this sweet little cat. She's a little red head girl, cartoon character. And her cat is Sylvester, Sylvester the pussy cat . And that poor cat gets abuse from the little girl who has nothing but good intentions. She over smothers Sylvester to the point where he'd rather take his chances with a bulldog than jump into Elmyra's arms. So I just want to throw that out there that there is a line there between loving your culture and overdoing it or crossing the line or, in Elmyra's case, smothering poor S ylvester.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes . John, I think we've covered them all. I think we're good.

John Avola:

Own it. Live it. Love it.

Calvin Stovall:

Own it. Live it. Love it. Define it. Talk about it. Communicate it. Training people to deliver on those core values. Live it. You want to show it, demonstrate it, walk the talk, and you want to make sure you defend it, stand up for it. If people are not delivering or are not aligned with who you are as an organization, you want to address it. And last but not least, you want to love it, experience it, and celebrate.

John Avola:

Experience, evolve, grow, but don't smother it.

Calvin Stovall:

There you go. Now in this environment with the pandemic and everything that's going on, it's probably quite challenging with people working remotely and things of that nature, and it is hard to probably maintain the culture that you initially started out with in this current environment. But it's going to take even more effort on leadership's part to maintain that culture and continue to get people to still be connected to who they are and that why, and keeping them engaged and all of that. But again, it can be done. It just takes more time. It's just a little bit more challenging to do, but it can be done.

John Avola:

It can be done. That's why you need to have those culture ambassadors. Especially now, get them out there and get them to boost morale and get the company as high on the mood elevator as you can.

Calvin Stovall:

Well, John, I think we can wrap it up.

John Avola:

I think so, too , Calvin, it's always a pleasure meeting with you and being with you , going through our podcasts and our episodes. This is episode seven.

Calvin Stovall:

Yes. I know! I can't wait till we get to about a hundred.

John Avola:

We're going to get there. We're going to get there. That's right. 93 episodes to go.

Calvin Stovall:

There we go. Well, thank you, John. It's been a pleasure, as always, chatting with you. Any closing words for you?

John Avola:

Just as always, you can find Calvin or myself at iconicpresentations.net. We've got plenty of opportunity there for you to learn more about our keynotes, our workshops. And if you'd like to get in touch with us, we've got a contact form as well as our contact information. So with that, Calvin don't just be , BeICONIC.

Intro: Building an ICONIC Culture
Own It
Live It
Love It
ICONIC Points