What is your company BRAND type?

By Jernavis Draughn

Jeff Bezos once said your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re NOT in the room. Over the last year and a half, our company “Athletes Global” has become more focused on what we want our brand to stand for. We want to align our “what”, with our “why” and our “how”. So our teammates echo and behave consistently with our mission and culture. Your brand is your BUSINESS. The operations of a company will impact the culture, by shaping how people work. The culture also impacts operations by making it work effectively and efficiently. Your culture defines your leadership. It actually affects how you provide your services, even down to the packaging of your products. It also affects customer service, how you win, and how you respond to failure and conflict. All of this defines your BRAND.

In the book “Fusion”, by Denise Lee Yohn, it introduces how integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies. Here’s nine different brand types that companies are defined by.

  1. Disruptive Brands. Completely changes the entire industry. Examples: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Walmart
  2. Conscious Brands. Mission to make a positive impact on society. Examples:  American Red Cross, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, and LinkedIn
  3. Service Brands. Deliver high quality customer care and service. Examples: Chic-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and BMW
  4. Value Brands. Offer low prices for basic quality products or services. Examples: Walmart, Subway, Amazon
  5. Innovative Brands. Consistently introducing advanced and breakthrough products and services. Examples: Tesla, Disney, Apple
  6. Performance Brands. Produce and deliver superior performance and dependability. Examples: Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Cisco
  7. Luxury Brands. Higher quality at higher prices. Examples: Mercedes, Hermes, Louis Vutton
  8. Style Brands. Differentiated by the products or services look and feel. Examples: Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks
  9. Experience Brands. Differentiated by the experience they provide. Examples: Disney, AMC, Hilton, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks

What is your company brand type? What is your employee and customer experiences? How would they rate them? Your organizational culture is largely shaped by its purpose and values. Becoming clear on how you want you’re Brand to be defined, will help build a clear vision, mission and a company culture that is committed to success.

Quote of the Day: “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”-Walter Landor

Seven Habits of a Successful LEADER

By Jernavis Draughn

Leadership is not a title; it is a choice. You make the decision to become a leader. I believe everyone has leadership qualities, even if they don’t hold the title of a leader. The best leaders have mastered the art of doing these two things, inspiring and impacting people lives. We live in a world with over 7 billion people and we are consistently meeting, listening, and conversating with people daily. The impact or how we inspire people with our words and actions leave a lasting impression on them. Maya Angelou once said, people don’t remember what you say, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them FEEL.” Leadership is influence. You must lead with your life. Your words must match your actions. The reason why Leadership is a lifestyle.

Athletes Global is a leadership development organization. Our mission is to develop future leaders through our services we provide. We consistently preach this to our teammates to help create a clear vision and the purpose of our organization. It takes a leader to build another leader. You must lead with purpose, be open minded, understanding, calm, positive, give praise, affirm, provide clarity, reinforce, and consistently repeat the purpose and vision of our organization. I’ve failed so many times as leader, that I’ve fell in love with learning everything I can to improve my leadership skills in all facets of my life. Learning is the foundation to self-improvement. Leaders are readers. New information can change your current situation. You first must commit to growing as leader and seeing the value of doing it.

In the book The Ultimate Competitive Advantage, by Shawn D. Moon and Sue Dathe-Douglass, they discuss the seven habits of a successful leader.

  1. Proactive. They take initiative and responsibility for results.
  2. Purpose. They begin with the end in mind. By having a sense of mission and vision that is clear, compelling and infectious.
  3. Put First Things First. Focus on getting the right things done. There’s a difference between important task vs. urgent task.
  4. Think Win/Win. Provide mutual benefit by respectfully seeking to benefit others as well as yourself. Givers Gain!
  5. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Empathize in order to understand people and their perspectives before sharing your own. “You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand.”
  6. Synergize. Leverage the gifts and resources of other people. Give autonomy and allow risk taking and creativity.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Keep getting better and more capable, never standing still. Commit to lifelong learning.

Winston Churchill, once said, “Leadership is the ability to go from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm.” It’s an infinite game that you commit to improving on for life. You lead by example, learn to speak last, listen more than you speak, be transparent, support and help people grow. They say there’s no success without a successor. What leaders have you created, helped, impacted or inspired? I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou that will help summarize the purpose of this blog, which says, your legacy is every life you touch.”

Quote of the Day: ” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”-John Quincy Adams

Why CULTURE eats strategy for BREAKFAST…!

By Jernavis Draughn

We hear the term culture used often in the world of business, sports, school and the military. Studies show the best companies that provide the best services and products have a great culture that everyone believes in. Same for the sports teams that consistently make playoffs and win championships. We live in a world where many companies are selling a five-step process to losing weight, dieting, working out, and getting rich. Online marketing is prominent for selling quick fix products or services that lead to broken promises. The longest road to success is a shortcut. These quick tactics and strategies will help create success, but not sustain it. In the book Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, he defines “Culture as a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal.” A great culture creates an environment where everyone feels safe and connected.

Here’s some questions you can ask for creating a culture:

  1. Are we connected?
  2. Do we share a future?
  3. Are we safe?

Daniel Coyle, discusses five keys to creating a successful team:

  1. Name and rank your priorities. Ex: Targets, Goals, Purpose, Vision and Mission
  2. Be 10x clear about your priorities as you think you should be. Know your why for any product or service you provide in the marketplace.
  3. Figure out where your team aims for proficiency and where it aims for creativity. Give autonomy and hold people accountable for providing or creating excellence in every area.
  4. Embrace the use of catchphrases. Our organization has its own mantras that defines our purpose, vision, mission and beliefs. Ex: Make Success a routine, Good is the enemy to great, Success leaves clues.
  5. Measure what really matters. Figure out what actions, behaviors, and your ideal teammate you need to create lasting success in your organization.
  6. Use Artifacts. Use anything that can create success mindsets, behaviors and inspire your teammates to take action.
  7. Focus on bar-setting behaviors. Praise behaviors that embody your organizations culture, beliefs and core values.

Peter Drucker was the one who coined the adage that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We are in a day and time where people truly care about the mission and purpose your organization is providing. Potential employees really read your mission and vision statement to see if it aligns with their personal purpose before applying for the position. There’s no hiding what you truly stand for and your beliefs since social media has made it impossible to have any privacy. The one thing I’ve learned from reading the book “Culture Code”, is where people feel safe and connected to one another, amazing things can happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s an organization, family, sports team, school, charity, or relationship; the culture will reflect your leadership and create the positive or negative results.  

Quote of the Day: “Your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re not in the room.” -Jeff Bezos

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

Quality speaks, without saying a word. Your product or service solves a customer problem the moment it’s used or purchased. Quality builds credibility. It either creates or destroys your brand. Jeff Besos once said, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Quality is a direct reflection of your culture you’ve created for your organization. Your teammates must believe providing quality is the foundation to their personal success. I’ve learned some people innately hold themselves to a higher standard, so teaching them the level of excellence we want to provide our customers comes second nature. It’s part of there character. It’s who they are. They’ve seen it, experienced the success from providing quality products or services, and now it’s a habitual behavior.

The largest organizations don’t always provide the best quality products, but they have created an efficient system that has allowed them to scale exponentially. For example, McDonalds doesn’t have the best burger or the healthiest meals in the fast food industry. Here’s how Mcdonalds provides great quality for their customers. First, McDonalds now has over 36,000 restaurants and the second largest chain in the world. Some of their restaurants are open 24hours. Sauce on the side is FREE. Breakfast is available all day. They serve almost any type of food you have a taste to eat; burgers, fries, chicken, coffee, cookies, ice cream, salads and ribs, to name a few. They offer a play area for kids to enjoy. All of these products and services add value to the customer. The largest organizations today provide array of services or products for their customers to choose from. It’s a buffet business model. It’s one of the reasons Amazon, Starbucks and Walmart are dominating their markets. They have cornered the market by selling a slew of products, while keeping their price point feasible and providing quality customer service.

In the book, People over profit by Dale Partridge, he explains 4 key aspects that create quality products and services for you’re organization.

  1. Physical Quality. Anything a customer or team member can touch should be excellence.
  2. Experiential Quality. Customers don’t only purchase products; they also buy experience.
  3. Visual Quality. Your design must be a core value of your organization.
  4. Personal Quality. It must tell a story that your customers want to be a part of. Stay innovative. Give out surveys. Ask for feedback. Respond quickly to any issues and constantly improve your services and products.

Providing greatness must be your foundation when creating any service or product for your organization. Consistency must be a core value if you want to sustain lasting success. Focus on the few and experiment to see what product or service provides the most value. Quality is birthed by a decision to only create moments that your customers will always remember. Disney World is the most visited theme park in the world, based off the quality of the services they provide and the memorable moments the families create by visiting their park. If you do decide to embark on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, create quality products and services that make your customers heart sing.

Quote of the Day: “Quality creates credibility!”

The 6 PURPOSES that all companies fall underneath!

Your purpose will produce your profit. When you find your why, you will find your way. Michael Hyatt, says people loose there way, when they loose there why. The reason why you do anything will always determine the outcome. Your reasons will reap the results your trying to achieve. Tony Robbins discusses we all have six core human needs that drive us to do what we do in life; Love/connection, certainty, uncertainty/variety, growth, significance and contribution. When we learn what intrinsically motivates us, only then we can continue to ignite that fire to keep going. Learning what makes you feel fulfilled and happy eternally will help discover your purpose.

Here’s a few questions to help you discover your purpose. What service would you do for free? What does your dream job look like? What would you be doing? If you could design and create your life today for what you would be doing in the next 24 months, what would it be?

In the book The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni he examines the six purposes that every company will fall underneath.

  1. Customer. This purpose is directly related to serving the needs of an organization’s customer or primary constituent.
  2. Industry. This purpose is all about being immersed in a given industry.
  3. Greater Cause. This kind of purpose is not necessarily about what the organization does, but about something connected to it.
  4. Community. This purpose is about doing something that makes a specific geographical place better.
  5. Employees. This purpose is not about serving the customer in the industry, or the region, but rather about the employees.
  6. Wealth. This purpose is about wealth for owners.

As the leader of Athletes Global, I’ve learned that your purpose will drive the team forward. Over the last year, we’ve became maniacal focus on what our mission and intent is for delivering our services and products. Our purpose is to develop future leaders through educational, sports and fitness services. We fall underneath the greater cause and providing a great customer experience. Clarity is power, and purpose trumps strategy. When everyone is clear on the organizations mission, everyone grows in the right direction.

Quote of the Day: “Your purpose defines your priorities.”