Harness the power of Martin Rooney's acclaimed "Culture Coach" philosophy to build the culture of your dreams
Building a great team culture doesn't happen overnight. Culture is hard to create, and even harder to change. Great culture is a key component for success at home, on the sports field, and at the workplace. In a time when people seem to be more divided than ever, leaders who can build strong and lasting cultures are essential. No one knows this better than internationally-renowned coach, in-demand speaker, and bestselling author Martin Rooney--dedicating his life to coach elite athletes, Fortune 500 executives, military leaders, and every kind of team imaginable to their highest level of performance.
In High Ten: An Inspiring Story About Building Great Team Culture, Martin draws from his extensive experience developing top-level teams around the world to help leaders of all kinds foster and sustain winning cultures. This engaging, easy-to-read parable shows you that every business, sports team, and family has a culture. Whether you deliberately created it or not, it's always there and it didn't come with a manual. That's where High Ten comes in. This must-have book is your personal leadership manual. Stop spending your day unhappy or complaining about a dream that hasn't come true. High Ten will help you:
* Create an environment where your people work towards common goals with friends they trust--have fun doing it
* Develop clarity about the culture you want and put the processes in place to make it happen
* Ensure your culture reflects core values and aligns with your organization's mission and vision
* Transform your culture into the "immune system" for your team or business
* Learn about the "3 Cornerstones of Culture" and eliminate the "5 Culture Killers"
High Ten: An Inspiring Story About Building Great Team Culture is an invaluable resource for all coaches and leaders striving to achieve the highest level of culture--one where everyone feels like a valuable part of the team and consistently produces exceptional results.
Make the Call
Sam awoke at 5:45 a.m. He didn't need an alarm clock because his stress woke him. By 6:05 he was showered, dressed, and out the door before his wife woke up. After a 20-minute commute, he arrived at his office. Sam liked being first to work because he felt safest in his office without having to talk to anyone. As he turned on his computer, he saw the business card that had been standing in between the keyboard keys for a week.
He picked up the card and thought, "How's an old man who still uses a business card going help a tech company?" Satisfied with his rationalization not to call, Sam returned the card and started working.
At 7:40, Sam was startled by a rare event: a knock at his door.
"Hi, Sam." Dana, the head of the customer service division, was looking distressed. "I know you're busy, but can we talk for a minute?"
"Uh, sure, Dana," replied Sam. "Come in."
Sam sat, but Dana remained standing. Before Sam could speak, Dana opened up.
"I'm sorry to tell you this, but a few things have me upset. I should've said something sooner, but I didn't want to jeopardize my job."
Sam was stunned. Because of her show of emotion, he didn't know how to respond. Lucky for him, Dana wasn't finished talking.
"When I came to Stamina, I was quiet. But my work here brought me out of my shell. A few days ago, at a meeting, Rick belittled me in front of everyone. I know you're good friends, and Rick's okay as a person. I'm upset because he and a number of people here don't take Stamina seriously. People just don't care. And there's always arguments because we're all on different pages."
"What do you mean?" asked Sam.
"Well, for one, Rick and his sales team sell features we don't have. They'll tell a customer anything to get a deal, and I'm left looking bad when I can't support something we don't offer. And his team doesn't respect the office. I keep cleaning up the conference room and that's not my job," answered Dana. "When I tell the engineers the new ideas customers want, they blow me off saying, 'That's impossible' or 'You don't understand.' And when our remote staff conferences in, most don't turn on their cameras. It's depressing that nobody seems excited about Stamina."
"I'm glad you're sharing this," said Sam, trying to utilize techniques from a leadership class. "And I'm sorry you feel this way."
That sentence didn't work how Sam intended.
"The final thing's the extra work you give me, Sam. I've made myself accessible at all times. When you fire out ideas to the group, I feel pressured to respond. It's too much. When I came on board, everyone was excited about 'Powering the people who power businesses.' But that feeling's gone. I wanted to share my feelings, and I also want to give my 30-day notice. I've grown here, but this isn't the place for me anymore.." Dana finally broke down.
This upset Sam, and like many things lately, he didn't know what to do. Until that moment, Sam hadn't noticed Dana's value or how much she cared. He didn't want her to quit.
"Dana," Sam began, "I appreciate you talking to me about this. It's not your fault. I agree things've changed, but before you resign, let me try to fix things. You crying isn't a sign of weakness - it shows how much you care. You're valuable to Stamina and I would hate to see you leave."
Dana composed herself and said, "Thanks for listening. I want to stay, but I'm unsure anything will change. I'm sorry."
"No, Dana, I'm the one who's sorry. Thanks for caring about Stamina."
Dana smiled, nodded, and left.
When Sam closed his door, the safety of his office was gone. He couldn't lose Dana after the latest capital raise. The only person he confided in was Rick, but this problem concerned him. Instead of debating whether to call the number on the card, he debated whether 8 a.m. was too early to call a stranger. Sam called.
"Hello, this is Brian Knight," answered the voice.
"Oh, hey Mr. Knight. This is Sam Raucci . we met at Trackside last week?"
"Yes, of course Sam. And please . call me Brian. Mr. Knight's my father."
"Yes sir . I mean Brian. Is this an okay time to talk?"
"Sure, I've got time. I thought I'd hear from you. The way you looked the other night, you took longer than I expected."
"Well," Sam offered, "I took time thinking about the answer to your question, and I realized I'm unhappy about my dream come true."
"When we met, I'd just lost a dream deal with the university," said Sam. "Now I might lose a dream staff member too. And the dream raise for what everyone calls my dream business has me down."
"I see. You'll learn that deals, money, and people'll come and go. Dealing with them when they happen is the secret," said Brian.
Sam asked, "I've been wondering, what did you do as a consultant?"
"Well, I'd usually start with finding out everything about a company, and then observe the company in action. Once I knew how a business operated, I'd present my findings and suggestions how to fix what was broken."
"And the company would fix its problems?" asked Sam.
"Not always," said Brian. "I'd often set up ongoing consulting to assess progress and give them more action items."
"Could you help a business like mine?"
"I don't know," replied Brian with a laugh. "You haven't told me about your business yet!"
Sam spent 10 minutes covering Stamina's history as a sales and training company and its game-based software. Sam described Stamina's three capital raises since growing the business from a "side hustle" to a multimillion-dollar business. He shared about the pressure from his 30 employees, investors, and board of directors. Sam ended with his disconnection from the staff and how the recent holiday party was a disaster.
After Sam finished, Brian said, "Thanks for the information. It takes guts to admit your problems. Be proud of that. Can I give a couple first impressions?"
"First off, stop worrying about the past. That holiday party is ancient history like the Boston Tea Party. Second, you need to adjust how your company treats its people. Your customer service person's a star and you can't lose her."
"No, I can't," Sam confirmed.
"If you want to stop letting the past hold you hostage and improve in the future, then you must work on your greatest competitive advantage in the present," continued Brian.
"No!" answered Brian. "You've already learned your product can be great and your business can still suffer. There are plenty of businesses with plenty of products and startup cash that fail. Your competitive advantage is culture."
"Like the cultural differences of my staff?" asked Sam.
"Not entirely, but that's part of it. Culture goes beyond your country or ethnic background. Culture's everywhere. Cultures exist in sport teams and in businesses. Culture isn't a corporate buzzword; it's woven into everything your business does and is," explained Brian. "What I've learned so far is that Stamina's in trouble because you focused more on the architecture of your office than the architecture of your culture."
"I understand," said Sam. "There's a different feeling at work now. I wouldn't say negative, but distant. Is that what you mean?"
"That's another part of your culture," replied Brian. "It's a feeling, but it's also something others experience using your business. And this experience is created by the actions of the people who work there. When the culture's great, people are enthusiastic. With a culture like that, the customer feels it too. So your business is like an orange. When it gets squeezed, culture is the juice that comes out. If you don't like the taste, it's time to change the juice."
"That makes sense," said Sam. "But how do I know if I have a culture? It's not something I've covered with my team."
"You have a culture whether you like it or not. And the biggest mistake is not to design the culture you want. If you don't design Stamina's culture, someone else will. And when culture's treated like an afterthought, trouble follows closely behind. Now that it's caught up with you, it's easy to recognize."
"Got any quick suggestions?"
"There aren't 'quick fixes' because developing culture's a long process," answered Brian. "I have a lesson from my grandfather. He was a boxer. While fighting in a tournament, he won his first three fights, and before the final round of the final, his coach saw he was tired. The...
"On every team across every sport and every business, a cohesive and inclusive culture remains the most fundamental objective. When a coach or leader wins the team's heart and respect, success always follows closely behind. For building a powerful culture, I give this book a High Ten!"
NFL Hall of Fame
Super Bowl Champion and 8-time Pro BowlAnalyst Fox Sports
"Respect, inclusion, and teamwork are at the foundation of every great team. These winning hallmarks can also be difficult for a coach or leader to develop. Martin's book gives you the tools to identify and solve some of the the biggest challenges facing your team."
Head Coach San Francisco 49ers
"MMA is the epitome of an individual sport, but I learned it takes a team to get you properly prepared. A positive culture can make an average team reach for excellence and a negative culture can bring down the best. This book will help you build a team to succeed."
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Fame
Vice President of Athlete Development, UFC Performance Center
"Successful enterprises are built on an organizational culture that empowers everyone to embrace the purpose of a day as if they are part of a movement or a cause. High Ten lays out how to forge the warrior spirit that defines highly successful teams."
Audible Founder and Executive Chairman
"Winning at the highest level is not one or two big things, it's a thousand little things done right. The details of culture are first and foremost. Culture is the heart and soul of every great team and cannot be left to chance. High Ten proves culture is not an accident - it's an action."
Analyst CBS Sports
"As the leader of any organization or team, developing a culture of trust and discipline is your number one priority. There are few things as satisfying as working toward a common goal with a team of people you appreciate and admire. Read this book and you will be on your way to building that type of team."
Lieutenant General Anthony Burshnick, US Air Force (Retired)
12th Commandant of the United States Air Force Academy
"Culture is a powerful force that improves teamwork and creates sustained success. If you want to improve your team, business or relationships, read this book!"
Best-Selling Author of The Energy Bus and The Power of Positive Leadership
"Being part of a great team gives you confidence and direction as an athlete. To be side by side with a teammate chasing greatness creates a culture of winning. Let High Ten show you how to be a better leader of culture."
UFC Lightweight Champion
"High Ten proves to achieve success in an industry that is both uniquely collaborative and highly competitive, it's critical to build a team that feels respected, trusted, appreciated, and heard. That feels cared for and inspired. If you can create that environment, anything is possible...absolutely anything!"
Karen Baker Landers
Two-Time Oscar Award Winner for Best Sound
The Bourne Ultimatum and Skyfall
"Winning certainly matters, but building cohesive teams requires establishing and sustaining a positive organizational culture that will ultimately deliver performance. High Ten delivers with the 'Culture Coach' - an outstanding lesson in mentor-mentee relationships that highlights the importance of a lifelong learning mindset."
Colonel Nicholas Gist
Director, Department of Physical Education
"Master of the Sword"
United States Military Academy
"To build a winning culture, a team must value selfishness, integrity, loyalty and accountability. The great teams maintain these values during the toughest times. If your goal is to get your organization to buy into your values, the story of High Ten is your blueprint to do it."
Head Coach Rutgers Wrestling
Winningest coach in program history
2019 NCAA Coach of the Year
"Football is a team sport in which culture can make all the difference. I have watched Martin create winning team culture with both teams and businesses. This book shows you how to do it."
14 Year NFL Veteran
3-time Pro Bowl
Analyst Fox Sports
"To lead out of hard situations, I found a well-trained team with a culture of excellence, competition and resilience is critical to success. If I didn't have a team with great culture fighting for me, I would not be here today. Hopefully you'll never need your team to save your life like me, but the information in High Ten might save your business."
US Navy SEAL (Retired)
Recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart
NY Times Best Selling author of The Trident and Overcome
"High Ten is a culture bedrock from which to build any organization or team. Through gripping stories and an experienced lens, this will have every leader ready to positively impact their own environments and better cultivate future success."
Head Coach, University of Pennsylvania Women's Soccer
Patriot League Coach of the Year
All-American and WPS Soccer Draftee
"Few people recognize racing as a team sport, but a group of athletes, engineers, mechanics, and a driver all contribute individual talents to drive the team's success. Successful teams have an unselfish culture where teammates can challenge each other to grow while holding each other accountable to the mission. High Ten can help you build that type of team."
NASCAR Crew Chief
"Everyone knows culture is at the core of every great team, but few people know how to build it. High Ten is your blueprint for assessing and adjusting your current culture. If you are a leader in any capacity, let Martin help turn your team into a great group of fire-breathing dragons!"
Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS
Founder, Fitness Quest 10
CEO, Todd Durkin Enterprises
ACE, Trainer of the Year
Author of The Impact Body Plan and Get Your Mind Right
"Culture is the backbone of any team or organization. A weak one will crumble, while a strong one will give a unified purpose to all and help you achieve your ultimate goals. High Ten will make your culture-game strong!"
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
"BOTH HANDS ON DECK! - Martin Rooney is once again ON POINT and ON FIRE. In his latest book, High Ten, he clarifies business culture, team productivity and personal inspiration that you can take to a new level of success. This "story within a story" will leave you and your team members blessed, changed for the better, and in position to win."
Best-Selling Author of Get Sh*t Done and The Little Red Book of Selling
"The building of a team and a culture is driven by trust. Embracing and genuinely loving one another is the method by which trust is built. Martin Rooney's book shows you how to build the kind of trust necessary to create a winning team."
Head Coach University of North Florida Men's Basketball
Winningest coach in program history
3-time ASUN Coach of the Year
"I've coached teams from four different nations and culture is the most important step in building a team. If the team is not on the same page culturally, working together toward a common goal is extremely hard. Let Martin's book help you find the Keepers and lose your Vultures."
Olympic Silver Medalist
Coach to 6 Olympic Medalists and 13 World Championship Medalists
Head Coach Bobsleigh Canada