Want to know how to build a great corporate culture? It starts with this mission…
Work hard – play hard.
It’s the foundation of everything we do at MultiView. And 9 months ago I had the opportunity to put this into action in our brand new sales office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We had just opened a new sales floor in Canada and I, along with Richard Hagen, and John Howser, was tasked with the responsibility of training new sales representatives to sell our product in this new office. The first class came through in January – and they did an outstanding job grasping the classroom material and applying it to real-world selling in short order. Richard and John went on to train and run an outstanding group in February. From all indications we had transferred our knowledge and experience into this new fledgling MultiView office and we were going to be successful in our endeavors to grow the company into another country.
My March class would put this to the test. And I don’t blame them for this – for whatever reason this group was slower to get started, and as any great professional, I placed the blame on my shoulders for them not being as responsive and interactive in the classroom as I would like. They were passively engaged and seemed less talkative and focused as my January class. I would put on my usual ‘bravado’ and best joke telling to make the classroom time as enjoyable as possible, but the results were just not coming in as much as I would like. I was worried that perhaps I may have failed this group of sales trainees before they ever got out of the gate!
Back up to the January class. After I returned home from my first adventure in the “Winter Wonderland” of Canada, I recalled a very specific event that took place the first night I was home in Dallas. My wife loves watching Tosh 2.0 and because of one particular segment that was featured on this program I had the tools I needed to re-energize this March class, and I didn’t even know it yet.
Introducing the Toronto Batman! This character is an actor and stand-up comic who relishes in the “shock” humor of dressing up as the Dark Knight of the Christopher Nolan Batman film series and scaring local Toronto-ites as he quotes lines from the movies. Tosh had a great segment on his show, all centered on this video:
As the segment aired, and as I was cooking dinner, my wife called me into our den to see the clip. I only managed to catch the tail end of it, but I was rolling. She then said, “This guy was cruising downtown Toronto – did you see him when you were there?” Of course I didn’t have the privilege of running into him during my stay there, but I remembered this moment, saved it for when I may need to use it to create the right atmosphere for the Toronto office. I found that moment in my March class.
Preceding my trip to Toronto in March I asked the General Manager Frank Humada, and the Sales Floor Manager Joseph Gonzales, if they had heard of the Toronto Batman. I asked them to find this guy and get a picture or cell phone video of him saying something about MultiView. Granted, his appearances are not very frequent so it made tracking him down a little difficult. But Frank and Joseph accepted the challenge. Upon my return in March they were talking with him via e-mail. Now I had a way to really get that March class going – to demonstrate that while we do work VERY hard at MultiView, we play JUST AS HARD when we have reason to celebrate. With MultiView that reason comes quite often. And that if we introduced the right amount of fun into the classroom, that perhaps this March class would work hard to be a part of this great company.
Now it was time to make it pay off. We could get the Toronto Batman into our Toronto office, and I had to setup the perfect scenario to engage my class. At a good breaking point I showed his original video and joked about how crazy Canadians seemed to be – they had Toronto Batman after all! Surprisingly very few people in the class had heard of him or had seen the video. By Tuesday afternoon they were engaged in class, having fun, working hard to learn their pitch and the tools they would use to be successful in their careers as sales pros. But the best was yet to come – Frank, Joseph, and I were set to surprise them and have them fully engaged in being a part of the MultiView culture in ways we had never anticipated. On that Wednesday, Toronto Batman invaded the Canadian office. The rest, as they say, is history. Here is the video documentation of what took place with his visit:
I never again had any concerns with the March class. They were engaged in the classroom, responsive, and eager to learn. They were eager to be a part of MultiView and share with others just how special MultiView is to those of us who believe in the mantra “WE WORK HARD, WE PLAY HARD”.
By creating a fun, strange, and high energy environment I not only won the class over, but I had a group of trainees that now had the potential to become great sales pros at MultiView. It’s that willingness to be creative – to think outside the box – that helped secure this victory for everyone involved. It was introducing a really wild element of fun into the mix that tipped the scales in everyones favor.
If you are willing to work hard and make great things happen, then the fun is certain to follow. That is the foundation of an incredible business that I am privileged to be a part of. That is what we are all about at MultiView. Thanks to our efforts to put some real fun into it the hard work followed. Now, is that fearless or what?