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482 - How To Build A Great Team…The Right Way

482. How To Build A Great Team…The Right Way

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The skill set for building an effective team is WAY different than the skills needed for marketing and sales. For one, you have to learn how to become a true LEADER. So the two key questions to ask yourself are 1. Who do you have to become to lead a great team? And 2. What are the critical strategies you need to implement to get your team onboard to follow your vision?

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The other thing is, this is one that helped me. Actually, Julie Story actually was one that taught it to me initially. And I don't remember all the things, but there's these different hats. There's like a black hat and a green hat and a red hat and yellow hat and all these things like that. So I'm a very green hat person, so are you. Put on the green hat and it's like creative ideas and we're flowing. I'm like, we get so excited about sharing stuff. And there's people who have like a black hats, they're the ones who always like ... they look at what could go wrong. What about this? And what about this?


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What's up, everyone? This is Russell, welcome back to the Marketing Secrets Podcast. Today's episode, we're going to be talking about building a team. How do you do it? What are the pitfalls? What are the pros, the cons? And some of the things that I learned along the way. Hopefully this'll help you as you're building out your team to be able to do whatever it is you're trying to do in your life. Whatever your mission, whatever your goal, whatever the business you're trying to build. I hope that this episode will help you as you're thinking through it, to help you to build the team that's going to get you to the finish line. So with that said, I'm going to cue up the theme song. We come back, you have a chance to listen in on a cool interview, talking about how to build your team.

What's up, everybody? Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets Podcast, I'm here today with Josh Forti and we've been having fun today. The last two episodes-

Josh Forti: We have.

Russell: We recorded went longer, but-

Josh: It's been fun.

Russell: I think they've been fun. So today will be a little bit shorter episode, but it's something that, again, Josh brings things that I don't ever really typically talk about. So it's been fun to talk about some of the stuff like I think about, but I've never really verbally shared. So do you want to set up what we were talking about today?

Josh: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, so very specifically here, I want to focus for you specifically. The question is, well, leadership and team building, what are some of the biggest shifts around building a team and becoming a leader? Because as someone who built a team myself that failed miserably, it wasn't that we hated each other, but it's just like, it was chaos. When you're trying to manage like six or seven different people and they're all like contracting everywhere. And now I'm like kind of going back and rebuilding. And I'm building it right and I have full-time people that we're bringing in and going. And it's like, man, the skillset of making money, the skillset of being a marketer is way so totally different-

Russell: Yeah.

Josh: Than building a team. And even being like the attractive character and building a following, like building a following is a completely different skillset than it is of growing a team and being a leader and things like that. And so I guess like two part is number one, who did you have to become? And like, secondly, what are like some of the hacks, tips, or I know you like secrets. So what are some of the secrets that you use to build a team and really like sell them on the vision and like really make sure that they were thriving in that role?

Russell: Cool. So I want to just second what you said, building a team is way different than all the other things. And I've struggled over the years. I have an amazing team, as you guys know, if you've seen everything. And I wouldn't say most of it's because of my own doing, I'll talk about some of the stuff I've learned along the way. But it's a different skillset. And I think making money is an easier skill, I think creating a movement of people that are following you is different. I always tell people, like I'm such a good leader and communicator to like my tribe and I'm not as good to my internal team. It's interesting.

And so a couple things that I'll share again, I don't have this perfect. And if you ask people on my team, like Russell's not perfect at this because I'm not. But I'll share some of the things I've learned because I'm always trying to figure this out and trying to get better at it. One of the biggest lessons I had and I did a podcast on this probably two or three years ago. Was this realization that I had to make a transition. Because I was always like the All Star. Like if you look at basketball, like I was the All Star, like I was really good. I could write copy, I could build a funnel, I could drive traffic, I could sell from stage, I could do all the different things. And so I was like, Michael Jordan out there and I'd be on stage, I'd be doing, I'd be dunking and slamming and three points. And like just amazing and people would tell me how great I was and I loved it.

And then I start building a team. And so I started building a team, but the problem is that as I was building a team, I still thought I was Michael Jordan. So I'd build the team and I'd be in there, all of a sudden, I'd have the person writing copy and they'd be going up with the ball, about to do the layup. And I'm like, "Ah, I could actually do it better." So I grab the ball from my own teammate and rip it out of their hands and I'd go dunk it like, "Ah." And I would get everyone cheering for me again. Or someone would be coming down ... I'm trying to get these analogies working. But basically what's happening is that I was the All Star and-

Josh: That one worked. That analogy worked.

Russell: That one did work? Okay, good.

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: And I was trying to bring in other All Stars. But the problem is I'd bring these All Stars in and then as they were trying to perform, I'd be like, "I can do it better." And I would take the ball from them because I want to be the All Star. And I had this realization, like for me to actually build a team, I cannot continue to be the All Star. And this is hard-

Josh: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Russell: For achievers like us, especially for someone like me. Like I was the achiever, I had done all the roles because I had built the company by myself initially. It was me doing all the roles, so I learned all the roles, I got good at all the roles. And so as I started trying to like bring on these different All Stars, it was tough. It's kind of like if you watch the All Star game or like the dream team. Like all of a sudden you got like the best players on a team and usually they're not the best playing with each other because they're all the All Stars, they all want a ball hog and it gets really, really difficult.

And so I had to make this realization, like if I'm going to be successful growing a team and getting click funnels from hundred million to a billion dollars, like I can't continue to be the All Star. I have to retire and I have to become the coach. That's a hard transition. Because now you're coming back and like you're successful, not now by your skillset, but you're successful by like cultivating other people's skillsets. And that's a different skillset to have, by the way. Like it's way harder.

For me, it's always been easier for me to go and like to do the thing. Like I'm finding it now with I'm coaching my kids wrestling. And I'm watching my kids, I'm watching the team and like, man, I was such a good athlete. I'd go out there, I'd kill myself, I'd work so hard and I was an amazing athlete. But it's way harder for me to coach other athletes because I can't give them desire, I can't give them these different things. And so that was difficult. And so that's the first thing to realize is that if you're going to start growing a team, you have to be willing to like take your Jersey off and say, "I'm no longer the All Star, I am now the coach. And I've got new people." And that's been the hardest thing for me and I still struggle with that, I still like jump back in. I'm like, "Ah." But that's the key, if you want to get a good group people around you.

Because otherwise if you're the one that's taking the ball from him, from the other people on the team, the All Stars are going to leave you. Like they're not going to stick around, they want to be the All Star too, they want the recognition, they want to be doing the thing. So that's the first big shift that you got to have. Any questions on that before I go to kind of-

Josh: No, no. Super good. Yeah, you're good.

Russell: Okay. So the second thing is you have to be good at hiring All Stars. I remember when we first started building ClickFunnels, Todd read an article or something and he was talking about ... in the article was like, there's A players, B players, C player, there's different levels. But what people don't understand, it's not like A players, like 100% and B players like 50%. Like the article said the difference between an A player and a B player is like 2200% difference. So it's like a B player, you can have like one A player going to give you the output of like 50 or 100 or how many B players.

And so what most of us try to do, is try to come in and say, "Okay, I don't want to spend as much money getting the right person. So I'm going to find somebody who's cheaper. Maybe they're not going to be an A player, but they'll be a B player, but I can afford them." And that's like this mindset that most people have. I see it all the time, I see it in Facebook groups, in ClickFunnels Facebook group, like, how do I get a cheap funnel builder? Like, that's the problem, you're looking for a B player. Or you find an A player, you get 2200 times better thing.

And so it's been interesting because we launched ClickFunnels the first time, like I had a couple A players, which is why it grew. We had a couple All Stars, we had some like Todd Dickerson. You guys know our team, like we had A players who were able to go and intergrow. But then from there, we had to hire whoever we could afford. Right now we're building ClickFunnels 2.0 and we're in a unique spot where it's like, we don't have to just hire who we can afford. Like let's hire the best. And so we're going out there trying to figure out who are the A players in each regard.

And it's crazy because I look at the team that's building ClickFunnels 2.0, it's a small team. What they're accomplishing is amazing, but they're all A players. When we started like looking at rolling out Click Funnels 2.0 and our marketing team, we started trying to bring in A players and they're expensive. And so a lot of times the questions like, well, I don't have any money. How do I recruit the A players? Well, I recruited Todd and I was broke. A players aren't necessarily looking for money today. The A players are people who are looking for money in the future. They're the ones who are like, "I want to be part of a team. I want to build something cool, something I believe in. And I want to be able to get paid insane amounts of money over here. And I'm willing to give up that for this over here." The right people will be willing to do that.

So as I come back, if I was to like be building my team over from scratch right now. There's number one, again, taking off the All Star, say I'm going to be the coach. And number two is like, if I'm going to be the coach and I'm out there building the team, like I'm going to try to build the dream team. And to do that, I've got to sell them on the vision of why this is cool and like where it's going to go, and what's the opportunity for them. Because just like you're trying to sell your customers on the opportunity of like funnels are the opportunity or whatever. It's like, you're selling your dreams team, like this is the opportunity. Like if you join the team, you're going to get paid nothing right now or very little right now. But this is how we're going to structure things so that it'll be worth it for you over here.

And the right people will hear that because that's what they're looking for. Someday when I retire from this whole, whatever I'm doing. If I was ever getting a job again, it's not going to be based on money, I could care less about money. Someone's going to sell me someday on the vision. In fact, I just saw Sean Wayland just hired the dude who started Tapout-

Josh: Yeah, I saw that.

Russell: And like how powerful is that? The Tapout dude does not need Sean's money. He sold his company for insane amounts of money. But I'm sure Sean's like, "Hey dude, here's the opportunity. You help me do this thing and flip it like, this is what's possible for you." And now he's got literally like there's no better person that Sean could have hired to run that company-

Josh: Yeah, I know.

Russell: Than this dude.

Josh: When I saw that one, I was like, "Oh my Gosh."

Russell: It's brilliant. So for all of us, we got to start linking more strategically. Not like, who can I afford for this role? It's like, who is the person that's going to be getting a million bucks a year in five years from now in this role? And how do I sell them on the opportunity? How do I create an opportunity where they can grow and they can monetize? Where they can make this kind of money. And that's how you recruit the right people into your world, who are going to help you to actually have success.

And so those are the things ... because you get a good A player, you don't have to be really good at managing, you don't have to be really good at micro-

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: All those kind things. Like you get the right people in place, they're going to do the things and it makes you look like the All Star, the coach of the year that you are. Because you built the right team. Building the team-

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: Is more valuable than all the other pieces, I believe.

Josh: Yeah. Like getting the right people is more important. The systems, the process, like those are all important. But like if you have B players on the team, it's like you're going to get a mediocre result.

Russell: Yeah. And then-

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: And B player, you're going to be one in charge if you know the process. We brought Todd and I didn't have to like sit down with Todd and like, "Okay, how are we going to manage the projects? How are we going to do this?" Like Todd came in, he's like, "All right, I got it." And he just ran and he was able to run and like, all right, he's done.

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: Like we just brought in this guy named Kevin Richards, who we brought him in into like be the CMO of ClickFunnels. And Kevin had worked for a whole bunch of really big companies doing this. And it's crazy because like he came in and we gave him the reins, he started running. And I was like, "Oh my gosh, this is way better than I was running." Like there's structures, organization. Because he's done it before, over and over and over again. He's going to come in and plug in and just do it. And I'm watching it right now, I'm like-

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: "Man, like he's an A player who I could hire." In fact, I have over the last decade, a whole bunch of B players to do this role and no one's been able to hit it. And it's been me being involved so much. Where now it's like literally the first two weeks I was like all nervous because I want to make sure that everything's perfect. And finally like gave him the reins and I stepped back and it's like, "Whoa, this is so much better than when I was running it."

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: And it's easier and less stressed on me and he's loving it and it's just powerful. So those are the key.

Josh: Okay. Couple rapid fire questions here, so that we make time. Number one, have you ever run into challenges or how have you dealt with communication differences inside of a team? Because one of the things that I've noticed is like, I just thought everybody would communicate like I was if we're all part of a team. I'm like the most expressive person, like when I talk. Like I use emojis and exclamation points and like if I'm texting, if I'm going like my voice or whatever. And like someone on my team is like, "Okay." I'm like, "Ah, are you mad? Do you understand? Like what do you mean, okay?"

Do you have systems in place? Or do you typically go and just try to like find people to do that? Or is that something you just learn? Because I'm sure like, Melanie, I mean she was with you for how long? Right before Shelia, I'm sure she had a very unique communication style and I'm sure your next assistant is probably not the same as her.

Russell: Yeah.

Josh: Right. So like how have you learned like how to deal with that?

Russell: Yeah. A couple things. One is like personality profiling is huge. In fact, we're working on a whole project right now and that'll probably be a book and a membership side, bunch of stuff, all based on personality profiling. Because that's how you understand like what motivates people? How do they speak? How do they not speak? How do they understand? Because again, Melanie and Jenny are very different people. But I'm able to work with both of them because I understood their personality types, I understood like, what are the things that would light Melanie up? What are the things that'd get Jenny excited to work? And vice versa.

Like, if you look at Melanie was a very high S, so very faithful. And so like she would like die for you to be able to get something done. Jenny on their hand has very low S, almost no S. And so for her, it's like, man, if she gets bored, she's gone. So I got to make sure that she's got 8,000 projects and she's juggling them all. The more things she's having, the more successful she's going to be. Similar to me. And so I give her tons of projects and she thrives that she's able to juggle all these things. Whereas if I treat her like I taught Melanie, she would've been here for a week and a half, like, I'm out, like this is horrible. So understanding those kind of things.

Like DISC profile's big, Meyers Briggs is big. Those are my two favorites. I'm trying to learn to master all the other ones, but those ones help a ton when you're hiring and all also when you're managing people.

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: The other thing is, this is one that helped me. Actually, Julie Story actually was one that taught it to me initially. And I don't remember all the things, but there's these different hats. There's like a black hat and a green hat and a red hat and yellow hat and all these things like that. So I'm a very green hat person, so are you. Put on the green hat and it's like creative ideas and we're flowing. I'm like, we get so excited about sharing stuff. And there's people who have like a black hats, they're the ones who always like ... they look at what could go wrong. What about this? And what about this?

Josh: They take away all the fun. Oh my God.

Russell: Yeah.

Josh: They ruin it.

Russell: And then like the white hats. So there's all these different hats. The ones I really remember is like green and black because I'm green hat. And like, Jamie Smith's a good example of a black hat. I love Jamie, one of my favorite humans in the world. But when we would do meetings together, I literally wanted jump over the table and strangle him. Because I'm like, "I did, I did, I did." And he's like, "Well, you think about this? You think about this? Think about this?" And like you're sucking the life out of me.

Josh: Yeah.

Russell: My wife's a very black hat person, as well. I'm like, "We should take the kids and like fly around the world and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Like just brainstorming things that are probably never going to happen. She's like, "What about this, this, this?"

And so we started learning like based on this ... this is something that Julie brought that was really powerful. It was like, "Hey, we're in now in a green hat phase. Well, Russell's going to green hat, we're talking about ideas. No one's allowed to black hat this at all. Let's just share ideas." So then everyone's just sharing ideas and like, we have a chance to be excited and creative and get these things out there. And after it's like all the creative steps out, it's like, "Okay, now let's put a black hat on, now it's black hat this." And now we can all look at it objectively you're like, "Okay, we're going to black hat this and go through the black hat things." And then we put on a different colored hat and go through those things.

Josh: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Russell: And we go through different hats, but they're separately, they're not all happening at the same time. Because if it happens at the same time, it destroys my creativity and excitement and energy. I want to like strangle the person. But like, man, I need those people. I need Jamie to look at this and be like, "Here's 40 ways why this isn't going to work." Like, oh crap, I didn't think about that, that or that. We stack the different hats as opposed to doing them all at the same time and making us all want to kill each other. And that has been-

Josh: That's so helpful.

Russell: Huge for us. Like for me, it's huge. I always tell people like when I start brainstorming, like, "Okay, green hat time, no negative, no what ifs. Let's go." And then we just do that. And you see like the black hat people are like twitching and they're like, don't worry, you’re going to get your shot, but not yet. Until everything's out and it's like, "Okay, black hat's on. What do you guys got?" And then they can go do their thing.

Josh: You need some anxiety medication over there.

Russell: Yeah. We can do a whole, like two day training on that, too. Because it's such a powerful thing. But conceptually, it's breaking those things in that way.

Josh: All right, Russell. Well, in your other life, we'll just have an entire podcast where all we do is just do deep dives all day long. But in this life, we have to stick with constraints of where we're at. So anyway, thank you for sharing that. Super, super helpful. I appreciate it.

Russell: No worries. Thank you, Josh. Appreciate you guys. Hopefully you enjoyed this episode. As you guys are building your teams, remember the principles we talked about. You've got to become the coach, you've got to attract A players, you got to put them in the right spots, figure out ways to make it profitable for them in the long term, figure out personality types, you can serve them the right way. Black hat, green hat, red hats. We should do an episode on just on all hat ... I have to go back to remember all the other colored hats. But anyway-

Josh: All right, our next-

Russell: There you go.

Josh: Go around, I'll be like you have homework for this.

Russell: Russell, prepare for this and we'll go.

Josh: Prepare for this one. That'd be awesome.

Russell: That'd be awesome. Thanks everyone for listening. Thank you, Josh. And we'll see you guys on the next episode.


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