Two Guys, A Ginormous Study, and Recipe for Massive Results
When the Advice Works, Ask for More
By Todd R. Nordstrom with Adrian Gostic and Chester Elton
One is seemingly reserved - with a dry wit that always is unexpected.
The other is a powerhouse of energy - the funniest and most relevant workplace expert bouncing around global conference stages.
Together, the pair are seemingly unstoppable thought leaders-producing a string of bestselling books and notoriety as "game-changers" in the business realm.
Who are these guys? Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. You may know them as the bestselling authors of The Carrot Principle and The Orange Revolution. Maybe you saw them on CBS recently, when 60 Minutes featured them flinging stuffed carrots at audience members during their keynotes.
I've been lucky enough to know the author-duo for a handful of years now. And, each time we speak, I'm always amazed by the fact that they continue to raise the bar on their own work.
So, when I heard that Gostick and Elton, founders of the consulting and training company The Culture Works, were preparing to launch a new book titled All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results. I couldn't help but ask for an interview.
"Is Chester joining us on the call today," I asked Adrian Gostick.
"No, he sends his apologies," said Adrian. "He's working with clients today."
"Where is he?"
"He's in the UK working with the Hard Rock Café," said Adrian. "But when I talked to him this morning, he was laughing so hard at a joke he'd just heard, that he could barely speak."
Typical Chester Elton.
"Well, let's talk about your new book," I said. "Tell me about the inspiration."
"Sure," replied Adrian. He paused and then asked me this question, "Todd, what makes you believe in something?"
Ha? I sat quietly for a second assuming that Adrian would just give me the answer. But, when he didn't, I stumbled for answers. Then, I took a few generic guesses. And, when I finally resorted to long "Ummmms" to fill the dead silence, Adrian began humming the Jeopardy theme song. And then I heard him chuckle.
"To have any hope of succeeding as a manager, you need to get your people all in," said Adrian. "That means they need to believe in you, in what you're doing, and in the organization. We've spent decades working with managers. And we realized that the best managers understand they are the owners of a work culture, and they hold the responsibility of getting people to believe in their goals and values."
That's interesting. Why are some managers able to get their employees to commit wholeheartedly to their culture and give that extra push that leads to outstanding results? And how can managers at any level build and sustain a culture of belief?
"We had theories, but didn't have the statistical foundation to answers our own questions when we started writing this book," confessed Adrian. "We had studied major pieces of the puzzle-like employee engagement and teamwork. But we knew there was more, so we teamed up with Towers Watson (a.k.a. "Research Giant") to analyze an unprecedented 300,000-person study, and we made a groundbreaking finding: managers of the highest-performing work groups create a 'culture of belief'-a place where people believe they are making a difference. That's when we realized this would truly be our biggest and most comprehensive book to date."
Adrian continued, "The research showed that within a 'culture of belief,' people believe in their leaders and in the company's vision, values, and goals. But, here's the kicker: Employees are not only Engaged in these cultures but are also Enabled and Energized. In other words, people not only gave discretionary effort, but they felt supported and empowered, and felt as if someone cared about their well-being and energy level. These ideas had never been studied before. The cumulative effect is a game-changer in the discussion on employee engagement."
"And the bottom-line business results?" I asked.
Adrian chuckled. "Well, if you're wondering if this is fluffy, feel good, do the right thing even if it doesn't create results type of strategy...?"
"I'm just thinking about the average CEO - what's the first question out of their mouth?"
"Ready?" Adrian asked. "Average annual revenues were three times higher in companies that displayed attributes of a 'culture of belief' than in organizations lacking such a positive culture. And this was true during a period that included this most recent recession."
With that, I asked Adrian to send me an advance copy. I received it days later. Like Gostick and Elton's previous books, you'll find All In easy to read and highly entertaining. You'll find the research backs the great stories (this time spotlighting companies like American Express, Cigna, Avis Budget, Pepsi Bottling, and Hard Rock. You'll also find some cool mind-bending stories that expose the reasons for and the powers of believe-from a French tightrope walker to a Hong Kong martial artist are just a few that come to mind.
Most importantly, Gostick and Elton provide a clear and simple "seven-step road map that any manager can use to create a culture of belief."
- Define a burning platform
- Create a customer focus
- Develop agility
- Share everything
- Partner with your talent
- Root for each other
- Establish clear accountability
Once again Adrian and Chester have proven why they consistently knock their previous accomplishments out of the park-because their books provide insight, education and application that works, and that keeps book buyers coming back for more.
"Any parting words for this interview Adrian?"
"I'm torn between leaving you with a classic quote from Friedrich Nietzsche or maybe one from Buzz Lightyear. Let me get back to you on that."
Typical Adrian Gostick.
Don't delay. Get your copy today of All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results.
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