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Build a Highly Cohesive, Culturally Strong Team - 5 Steps to Create an Empowering Culture

Posted by Douglas Wick on Mon, Apr 26, 2021

3HAG WAY Growth System Framework_Page_02The CEO owns culture.

If you constructed your business like a framework of a house, the foundation would be your culture.

Culture is often given less attention than the productivity/process aspects of your business.

Culture is the soft edge of the business. It includes your Human, Cohesive, and Cultural systems. Strategy is the hard edge, including Strategy, Execution, and your Cash Systems.

To achieve your strategy, your team/culture must feel safe.

Most CEOs and organizations fail to understand you need to get the soft side of your business right, for your team to feel vulnerable enough to share how they feel. By feeling safe they’re willing to contribute ideas on what you need to correct. Only by listening to them, responding, and executing better can you make your strategy work.

A highly cohesive, culturally strong team, married to clear, simple strategy goals and metrics provides consistent year-over-year performance.  

Perhaps it’s why Monty Moran was so successful at Chipotle.

Monty got his culture right at the start, and the results flowed from there.

Monty Moran asks great questions. He’s an expert on empowering people. He’s great at listening, perhaps the key to helping your team feel empowered.

Too many leaders once they are in a leadership position invest their time in getting everyone to follow their agenda.

Instead, Monty invested time learning from his people, asking questions, listening, and discovering where the true strength of Chipotle was, its front-end workers.

Love Is Free. Guac is Extra, Monty MoranIn Love is Free. Guac is Extra.: How Vulnerability, Empowerment, and Curiosity Built an Unstoppable Team Monty Moran shares, “as a leader, you must work every day to empower your employees.”

5 Steps to Create an Empowering Culture.

I recommend you read all Chapter 11 of Love is Free. Guac is Extra.: How Vulnerability, Empowerment, and Curiosity Built an Unstoppable Team.

Here are some ideas:

Connect with your people: “No matter what style of person a leader is confronted with, the leader’s mere effort to really connect is powerful and important. Above all, it must be a genuine and sincere effort. It can’t be rushed, and it can’t be just another project on the leader’s to-do list. Real connections are born out of creating space—creating a moment in time that is devoted to another person.”

Inspire them with a vision: Leaders need to make sure their people have a vision they can relate to. One that they can realistically achieve, and which will change their lives.

Instill confidence in your people: “Few things instill confidence more than being given a challenge and succeeding. The best leaders continually look for ways to push their people and teams to the next level. Confidence is a virtuous cycle. Confidence begets more confidence.”

Greatest-Legacy-Others-Monty-Moran-QuoteTeach them to make each other better: ”You must teach every person on the team how to make the people around them better. The best way to do this is to identify what people’s strengths are and then challenge them to teach this to others. Constantly look for opportunities to help your people help the people around them.”

Share what is going on: “Have you ever discovered that someone had a party, and you were not invited? As a leader, sharing with your people what is going on in the workplace means making sure no one ever has that feeling. But it’s more than that. When people are empowered, they feel like they are a critical part of the organization. They feel like an owner. It is essential to treat your people like owners, so they will feel and act like owners.

12 Ways to Create a Feeling of Empowerment

Here are his twelve things he learned to contribute to empowerment, his “holy grail of leadership”:

  1. Be quick to take responsibility for your failures.
  2. Reveal your weaknesses to others but let them discover your strengths.
  3. Make HR everyone’s job.
  4. Watch how you spend your time; everyone else is!
  5. Teach that all satisfaction comes from helping others.
  6. Bond through hard work.
  7. Follow up on all requests, especially from junior employees.
  8. Be there for your team.
  9. Connect deeply with everyone you work with.
  10. Understand the power of sitting down.
  11. Embrace fear and conflict head-on.
  12. Keep it simple.

Leadership-highest-calling-helping-others-become-best-version-Monty-Moran-QuotesTo illustrate #6, Monty shares Chipotle’s E. coli incident in October of 2015, their biggest challenge which reinforced the bonding power of hard work. “More than fifty of our customers contracted E. coli after eating at Chipotle restaurants. This event was extremely unfortunate, and I took this failure to protect our customers extremely seriously. The event was widely publicized and led to a sharp decline in sales for the first time in our history.

Once Chipotle took all the required measures to ensure customer safety, and despite a hiring freeze, Monty found the team resilient.

“The company kept right on ticking along and none of our teams reported feeling put out or overworked. Our Restaurateur culture had already created strong teams. It was the perfect foundation and example of how teams could face adversity together and rise above it to prevail. The result was fantastic. Even though many departments had far fewer employees than they had planned for, they drew together and got more work done than ever.”

When you look at company’s that managed the COVID Crisis well, in almost every instance they had a strong culture to support them.

To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact us today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Disciplined People Thought Action Chapter06-01-1To build an enduring great organization, requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, to produce superior results, and make a distinctive impact in the world.

Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

3 Disciplines of Execution (Strategic Discipline)-2A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics, and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

Knowing what you dont know is Wisdom - Think Again Adam GrantNEXT BLOG – THINK AGAIN

You may agree the world is more divisive than ever. A perfect book to read which buoys many of the same principles of asking questions Monty Moran shares, is Adam Grant’s Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. Ideas on how to win someone to your way of thinking next blog.


Topics: Culture of Discipline, Business Culture, Harmonious Culture of Accountability, Culture, Monty Moran, Love is Free. Gauc is Extra, Empowerment

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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

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