Ep. 101: Verl Workman on How To Create A Culture of Accountability
In this episode, David sits down with Verl Workman, Founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, to discuss how to create a culture of accountability.
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Verl Workman is the Founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, the premier coaching and consulting solution for real estate teams and brokers. For more than 20 years Verl has been coaching sales professionals to live life at a higher level. His clients are some of the most successful agents and teams in North America and Canada. A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) of the National Speakers Association, Verl has delivered over 1,000 seminars, webinars and keynote addresses around the world. His undying passion infuses a sense of discovery that empowers him to inspire his clients and truly change lives.
LinkedIn (Personal): https://www.linkedin.com/in/verlworkman
LinkedIn (Company): https://www.linkedin.com/company/workman-success-systems
1. “You have to be coachable.”
2. “A great coach has the ability to look at someone’s life plan and help them create a business that supports their lifestyle that they desire.”
3. “Accountability is not something you do to someone.”
4. “Accountability is a culture you create and its a choice that someone makes.”
5. “That which gets measured gets done.”
6. “Accountability is awareness and love.”
7. “Every company has a culture that’s either intentionally created or it’s accidentally created.”
8. “Saying thank you is very different than showing someone gratitude.”
9. “Stop selling and start serving.”
10. “Serve instead of sell and it changes the nature of your interactions with people.”
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Welcome to the trusted leader show. I’m your host David Horsager. Join me as I sit down with influential leaders from around the world to discuss why leaders in organizations fail top tactics for high performance and how you can become an even more trusted leader. Welcome to the trusted leader show it’s David Horsager and I am grateful to have a dear friend as a guest. He’s running an incredibly high impact company today. I was actually just out there in salt lake city yesterday at his corporate headquarters, and we got to have a little fun too, but great family, great business. Great team. Welcome to the show, Mr. Verl Workman.
Thanks for having me glad to be here
Verl you’ve done some great things, but let’s just jump into some things you’re doing these days, this new company. Well first before we get there, actually just tell us a couple things we don’t know about rural the leader, CEO of Workman. Tell us a couple things that everybody can know about you before I jump right into how do we build high trust teams and cultures?
All right. So first I’ll tell you, is that things I’m most proud of in my life, I’m an Eagle scout and I was scout master for many, many years, and I love molding the minds of these young people. Is there at that 12 to 16 age hiking through the mountains, you know, teaching them, you know, Zig Ziegler and Tom Hopkins and Dr. Schuller and great life principles. So those are some my proudest moments. I’m a father. I have been married to my sweetheart for 20, for 36 years. I have six kids, nine grandkids, seven granddaughter. They all live within a couple miles of my house and we feed ’em every Sunday and they’re there a lot. So those are my, those are my greatest accomplishments is that I, I married. Right. And that my kids still like their parents.
That’s so fun. So you had a transition about eight years ago, you had tell us about the transition and then on a napkin, you with your daughter kind of built out this possibility of this company. Tell us about that transition quick, and then we’re gonna jump into what you’re up to.
Yeah. So I’ve been in, I’ve been in the real estate space for a long time as a professional speaker and I speak and train and coach real estate companies and brands. And I was at a conference. We merged a company with a company out of Illinois, and I got off stage one day and I got fired. My partners fired me for no particular reason other than the other partners wanted to have more ownership. And so my daughter and I were stuck in South Carolina on a flight home and I was in the back of the plane. She was in the front and we had a quick prayer and said, all right, let’s figure this out. And in a four and a half hour flight, we built a mind map that became what would become Workman success systems. And it was really interesting for a couple reasons.
Number one is the, you know, at 50 years old to think you’re gonna start over is a little bit intimidating. Like I, I, like I had a great job. I was making great money. I owned the company and we were in a good place in our lives. And then, like in a moment I was told you’re not here anymore. And like, like that freaked me out. But in that, in that plane ride, I guess what happened is I got clarity and a piece that happened that said, you know what, you’ve been through this before. You know how to build, let’s build something special. And we built what would now become Workman success systems and Workman success now has over a hundred coaches and we’re work for some of the biggest brands in real estate. We develop real estate teams, high performing teams at a real high level. And I’ve got all three of my married kids working with me. And it’s been really fun to have a business that my kids are so close to me. They actually had real value. And so we just spent, it’s been a great journey. We did more in the first six months in this business that I did the previous 15 years in the other one. So
So now it’s a multi yeah. Multi, multi multimillion dollar organization. That’s actually doing even more importantly great, incredible impact for those you serve. So let’s jump into that. What do you think? What, what is it that makes good coaching or coaching that’s transformative? How, what, what is that? How, how do you, how, how does coaching actually transform people?
So I would say that there’s, there’s a few key elements. The first one is you have to be coachable. A lot of people will invest in a coach, but they’re not really coachable. They think the coach is gonna give ’em some magic pill and they’re gonna give ’em some brilliance. That’s gonna change their life. And the reality is if you’re not coachable and you’re not willing to do the work, it doesn’t matter. So that’s the first thing is the, is it’s more about the per the client that is about the coach. And then the coach has to be, you know, our philosophy in coaching is tactical. There’s a lot of people that, you know, if you put it out in the universe and you believe it, and you yell affirmations in the mirror and you run around the room, that great things will happen. And I just think that most of that’s bull crap. And so if you want something, you’ve gotta figure out what activities have to happen. And I break ’em down to a daily basis of what those tactile activities are that give us the result that we want. And then we just execute. And so a great, a great coach has the ability to look at someone’s life plan and help them create a business that supports their lifestyle that they desire.
Hmm. That’s interesting. What about, so how do you in that, I think there’s something interesting that you do better than most, at least what I saw one, you have a better track record, number two, how do you hold people accountable? Like they’re paying you, you know, but how, how do you hold people accountable to what they say? What, what works?
So I’ll give you two things. First is accountability is not something you do to someone like David. I like, I’ve known you for a few years now. And I know that if you don’t want to do something, you’re not gonna do it. So the whole concept of accountability is, is kind of crap. So accountability is a culture you create, and it’s a choice that someone makes. And so we create a culture of accountability and accountability in my experience is it happens because of awareness. So I like to say that which gets measured, gets done and we track the right things. And then when you’re tracking the right things, you become aware of whether or not your activities are giving you the result you want. So accountability happens because of the awareness, not because I’m making you do something you don’t wanna do. Like, I think most people get up every day and they wanna succeed, but they don’t have the information to, or the feedback that they need to know whether or not they should make a course correction. So accountability is awareness and accountability is love. It’s, it’s a culture you create, not something that you’re gonna do to someone.
I think this is really interesting because I think, you know, going back to you know, several things, but like in our company right now, if I go outside this door, we have a, we have a a dashboard up for the company what’s that so that people can kind of see, they can see themselves. In fact, we, in fact, we don’t have to talk about so much cause we can see, Hey, if you’re not doing these things, it’s why we’re not getting these results, right. Or this impact. Right. And for me, when I was, you know losing some weight a while back, it was like, I, I measured what I ate every single day. I, me, anything I put in my mouth and I was, became aware like, oh, I didn’t think I did that. And then I looked at, oh, I already filled that spot.
Like I can’t have another one of those or whatever it was. So it’s tracking and measuring, creating accountability. How did let’s go inside your own company? Because you have a significant company, great team. How do you build a culture? We’re all imperfect. But how do you, what I see is is that they’re their, from my limited experience, but being there a few times and seeing what they’re their, their they’re the, the horses are pulling the, the, the, the sleigh the same direction. And there’s a lot of snow sometimes, and it’s hard, but they’re working, they’re going the same direction. How do you kind of create that alignment and, and high performing culture there because they are moving they’re, they’re doing it. Even when it’s hard, they they’re running the same direction. How do you do that?
I’d say first it’s hard. And second, we don’t always get it. Right. So if I, if I told you it was easy and it, we, we had this amazing thing all the time. It just wouldn’t be true. You know, you have to work at it. I’d say that every company has a culture that’s either intentionally created or it’s accidentally created, but either way, it’s created mm-hmm . And we’re very intentional about creating a culture and a place that people wanna work there. You know, one of the, when you and your wife left the other day that afternoon, one of my employees came in and his wife stopped by the office and it was my graphic designer. And she just kinda stood by my door. And I finally said, hi. And she said, Hey, I’m Don’s wife. I don’t, I don’t know if you remember me.
And I said, oh yeah, I, I remember you. And she says, I just wanna, thank you. She says, you know, Don’s your age. And he’s never loved working at a place so much. And you really do a lot to make this a great place to work. And I just wanna say, thank you because he’s happy. And to me, that is like, there is nothing you can say to me that would make me happier. Give me more joy than the spouse of someone who works here taking time to come in and tell me they love it. So we do things like we go, we take the company to soccer games. We do vision boards, like, like the, you know, when you’re doing sales training, it’s easy to teach sales people to build a vision board, to go get their goals, cuz they have variable compensation.
But when you have support staff and graphic designers and tech people, they don’t get to control it as much. It was really interesting to me, David, this year that I dunno, we had eight people on their vision board say they wanted to buy homes and we’ve had five of ’em actually buy houses this year. So by knowing that that’s what they wanted. We started running classes on things like, you know, how to get outta debt and what you need to know about the real estate market and how we would help them get into homes. We have one closing today. As a matter of fact, John, you met John Miller, he’s closing on the house city and he’s so excited. So that’s wow. So culture’s just, you have to decide. And it all starts by building a set of core values and the core values have to be real. They’re not something you put on your wall that you hope people see and think you’re great. The core values are at your core, who you are and who you wanna be as a company. And then how do
You talk about how do you communicate those out? How do people see those? Or notice those? Just take one. What’s an example of this core value. And this is how we make sure that’s because people forget, you can say your core yep.
On every desk, when you get hired, you get a plaque just like this. And the core value is our choose to be happy, communicate openly. And honestly integrity always have and share vision. You know, like I could take have and share vision. A lot of people think that it’s my, the job of the CEO to have and share the vision. I believe it’s my job to create a culture where everybody has and shares their vision because we have amazing people that have different life experiences. And when they share their vision, whether we use it or not, it needs to be a safe place where they share it and then they feel appreciated. And then they come up with other ideas and we’ve got some amazing things we do that I would’ve never thought of. I’m not that smart, but I’ve got some people around me that are, so those are some examples.
another one we focus on from a core values perspective is one of my core values is show gratitude. Now it’s one thing, you know, I’ve seen other people have, have gratitude or gratitude’s a core value saying thank you is very different than showing someone gratitude. And so we, in our Monday morning meetings each week, we take a core value and the company discusses it. An employee gets to talk about what that means to them. And each employee kinda looks at the core values a little bit differently and internally. So showing gratitude’s been interesting. Cause whenever we talk about it, you’ll see these acts of kindness happen around the office where people, you know, will do something for someone to let ’em know that they appreciate them rather than just say, thanks. So those are some small examples.
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Loads more we could get to, Hey we, we, I know you’ve got a, a hard stop coming up. Two. I’m gonna ask you at least three more questions. So we’re gonna do ’em quick. Go for it. One, you are a sales captain. You, you know, at a young age, you sold dishes to not dishes, but the big satellite dishes. Yep. Door to door, you’ve sold you know, all kinds of different things. You’ve started your own companies. What’s at one sales tip for people that, that how we can increase trust faster and sell more. What’s a tip,
Oh, this one’s easy. Stop selling and start serving. We have a serve team, not a sales team. Now don’t don’t mistake. I’m an aggressive closer. I mean, I rejection for breakfast. I get up every day and we want to sell stuff. So I love selling. But our approach to selling over the last couple of years has really changed. COVID really changed for us. You know, we started serving and making a difference in the industry and as a result of that, our company grew. And so now when we call someone to have a consultation about whether they should join our coaching, it’s Hey, tell me where you are and what you need. And let’s see if we’re a fit and I’m gonna give them something during that consultation that they can use, whether they sign up or not. So serve instead of sell. And it changes the nature of your interactions with people.
I’ve noticed that people like you, great, great ideas, serve team, stop telling, start serving people like you that are great leaders on stage or in public or with your team tend to do some things at home or personally that keep them grounded or their habits. What’s a habit or two that helps you that you do personally, that helps you lead. Well publicly.
I read a book a week. I constantly read and I listen to books on tape. I swim laps in the pool. When I’m walking on the treadmill, I’ve always got something playing like on my desk right now. I’ve got look at this book, imagine what I’m reading now. I like, and I’ve, I’ve listened to it on audible
Leader. And now I’m going back and I’m reading it again. Now we’re applying the eight principles of trust in our, the eight pillars of trust in our own business. So now we’re going through and saying, okay, so it’s one thing to learn. It it’s a to, to listen to it. It’s another thing to say, okay, that resonates with my values, but then to go implement it and do it takes another level of commitment. So I’m a doer, not a thinker about doing, I don’t wanna think about it and I wanna do it. So now we’re gonna implement it. So we’re gonna do it.
I love it. Verbal Workman. Hey, we’re gonna share exactly where people can find out about you, your company, your website at trusted leader, show.com. You can find his LinkedIn and all the other ways to find out about Verl just check the box or, or check the, the show notes and find out about Burl Workman, great leader, both of his family and of his company. And I’ve got one last questions for you. Verl but thanks for the, thanks for sharing some insights with our listeners. Thanks for being a friend and a trusted leader. Last question. It’s the trusted leader show. Who’s the leader you trust and why?
Well, so I have several. So besides you, David, I, I, you know, I hold you in a high, high level of regard and I appreciate all you do for the, for not just for me, but for the, for the world and the message you have created in trust. I think it’s, it’s one thing to talk about. It’s another thing to live it. And I appreciate the examples you said in living it. If all of the books that I’ve read and all the leaders that I follow the one that I, that, that I probably admire the most that’s made the biggest impact on my life has been Agman Dino and Agman Dino wrote the greatest salesman in the world and a bunch of Christian books. And the 10 principles that he teaches and the greatest salesman in the world have impacted me and more people as a result of the impact on me than anybody.
And so the reason that I look at him as a trusted leader, I don’t think there’s a word that he writes that I don’t believe in and that I don’t want to put into practice in my life. I mean, live each day as if it’s your last be grateful and give thanks you know, love and create great service. Like there’s so many, you know, the interesting success and failure lies in a man’s habits, great habits, open the door to success bad. I unlock the door to failure. So I’d say Agman Dino is the one that makes, has made. One of the, one of the biggest impacts in my life.
He’s made a huge impact on me. I read that book as a teenager and impacted me the lot, lots of goods, but the greatest lots of good books, but the greatest salesman was incredibly powerful. Lots more. We could say Verl Workman. Thank you for being a friend. Thanks for being on the show. This has been the trusted leader show until next time stay trusted.