On October 20, 2011, I was asked to speak at a board meeting for the Boys & Girls Club of America. Our local Club (Venice) has been on the radar screen as a pace setter for attracting and involving local companies to participate in serving and donating to our 4000 kids.
Team TAG has been a leader in this department. Team TAG opened it’s doors on November 2nd, 1998. The staff consisted of 5 people – of which I was the ring leader. We had no money, no track record, and no draw for sharp, ambitious people to join our firm other than the big talk and dreaming that one day we would be living great lives because of our hard work.
I was at a seminar in my younger years of business when I had an opportunity to listen to Jim Collins speak (author of “Good to Great”). The premise of his book was to explore the differences between successful companies and not-so-successful companies. Collins asked, “Why does one restaurant open up in San Bernardino in 1940 (McDonald’s) and go on to become the largest restaurant chain in the world, and another restaurant opens the same year on the same street and goes out of business? Why does one discount retailer open up in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962 (Walmart) and go on to become the largest retailer in the world, and another discount retailer opens the same year right down the street and goes out of of business?” Collins completely peaked my interest and my passion to learn the difference between good and great was on its way.
Stephen Covey is another one of my favorite authors. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People had a tremendous amount of influence on me. I became more efficient with my time, I worked very hard at listening, I focused on sharpening my personal saw, etc. Around two years after reading the 7 Habits, I decided to read Covey’s follow up book: The 8th Habit – Effectiveness to Greatness. Covey made a pretty bold statement in that book. In a nutshell, he stated that he best companies in the 21st century will be those that create a whole person in a whole position. In other words, companies that enhance the well being of their employees, and develop all 4 major human needs, will be the most sought after companies in the world. Sharp people will want to work with these companies and customers will want to do business with these companies. Stephen Covey says that every person has 4 human needs:
- To live (physical needs)
- To learn (mental needs)
- To love (social and emotional needs)
- To leave a legacy (spiritual needs)
Here are a few companies in my mind that do a great job of trying to create a whole person in a whole position:
- Patagonia – They donate 1% of their gross earnings to cleaning up the environment. I have to believe that the employees in that firm feel some kind of spiritual need being met
- Google – They have vending machines on their campus that give you free celery, apples, etc, but if you want a chocolate bar, it’ll cost you $5. They make a statement to their people that their physical health is important to the company.
- Zappos – In the lobby of their head office in Henderson, NV they have a “Dance, Dance Revolution” machine. They are telling their employees that you can have a lot of fun at what would normally be a boring call center job. Their people are getting their social/emotional needs met.
Team TAG does an excellent job creating a whole person in a whole position. We promote eating healthy and working out (basketball every Tuesday as an office). We promote great relationships inside and outside of the office (Team Night every Wednesday). We promote stretching your mind (Book Club reading all kinds of great literature). And lastly, we want spiritually healthy people. This is where service kicks in. Over the years, over 300 employees of Team TAG have participated in serving the community. Some of our most memorable events have been:
- Serving hundreds of families for Thanksgiving Dinners
- Magic Mountain roller coasters
- High Ropes Challenge
- Bowling competitions
- Resume building
- Ice skating
- Tour of fire department
- Team TAG Super Sales
- Silent Auctions
- Dodgeball tournaments
- 3-on-3 basketball tournaments
The board meeting that I attended on October 20th had some heavyweights in the room. CEO’s and top executives from companies like Oracle, Skype, Wells Fargo, Taco Bell, Toyota Financial Services,and Morgan Stanley were in attendance. Also, the president and CEO of The Boys & Girls Club of America was in attendance. I was very impressed with the genuine hearts of these highly influential people. There are over 4 million kids involved with the Boys & Girls Club of America. These youngsters are given a safe place to learn, grow, and get mentored after school. No question in my mind, the board is contributing to society and making this country a better place because of their interest and work serving kids.
I hope they enjoyed my presentation – “Why do companies need to serve their communities? What ‘best practices’ can Clubs follow for corporate engagement.”
Team TAG is an established company today (unlike the day we opened our doors in 1998), and we are recognized as one of the best places for young professionals to work in Los Angeles. I think our commitment to creating a whole person in a whole position has been one of the key factors for our success. Every person that works with our firm experiences personal and professional development.