The Team Culture and Performance Recipe Book

The Team Culture and Performance Recipe Book

Modified from Arthur Carmazzi’s “Architects of Extraordinary Team Culture – 5 Secrets Hidden in the Ancient Pyramids

A team by definition has more than one person, the behaviors of an individual and even their competence, do not always reflect that person’s behavior and performance in a group or team.

A recipe by definition is made of more than one ingredient. And alone some ingredients taste great while others (Truffles for example), do not. Some elements bring out the best flavours in some ingredients while other really do not… just like some people bring out the best in you while others, well don’t…

Let’s look at food for a moment, do you like lamb with some gravy and miniature sautéed potatoes? How about Ice cream? So how about Lamb with a big scoop of Ice cream on top? Or how about lamb flavoured ice cream?

Well teams and team culture are very similar to food. You can have a high performer who by himself is fantastic, and you can have a high performing group that is also amazing, but sometimes, if you get the wrong mix of “Flavours” both high performers combine to create mediocre or even poor performance. On the other hand, you can have 2 some average performers (like some average meat) and add and average performing individual (like an average spice) and you get a super result IF you have the right mix.

So how can you tell what the ingredients will mix well together…

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The 8 emotional drivers

Everything you do is because of one of these Emotional Drives! Every action, every desire is connected to one of these 8.

The drive for Love and Belonging

Being with people. Caring and being cared about. This shows in a positive way as being kind, empathetic, listening to others and considering what they need and how they feel before taking action. The negative side is whining to get sympathy, being clingy, using guilt to achieve connection

The drive for Security and Control

Feeling safe, secure. Being in control of your life, your future. Positive aspects of the security drive are forming plans and procedures to assure outcomes, being clear about goals, objectives and action plans to get clarity.  Saving money for the future or unforeseen circumstances. The downside can be controlling, unmoving, fearful to act on goals and micromanaging.

The drive for Diversity and Change

Different experiences. Anticipation. Newness. This drive positively manifests as trying new approaches to solve problems, to accept change easily. But on the negative side it diversity can support a lack of focus, poor time management and not finishing things that that you start.

The drive for Recognition and Significance

To feel valuable. To be recognised by others and self as important. This drive can come out positively as a motivation to be outstanding, do something big or important, be competitive. On the negative side it can be egotistical, self-absorbed, always needing to be right.

The drive for Achievement

To complete things. To make progress on goals. Achievement shows itself in a positive way through focus, the Never Give Up Attitude and defining targets in work and life. The dark side makes the drive of achievement the cause of procrastination… big projects, especially if they are difficult, take more time and effort to get the emotion of achievement, so to get our achievement gratification we often put those aside and settle for quick fixes like updating your Facebook or cleaning our desk instead of focusing on the larger important goals.

The drive for Challenge and Growth

To become more than you already are. To improve oneself. To challenge your ability and learn. Growth is by nature positive, and manifests itself by learning, stretching your mental or physical abilities, challenging yourself to be “more” by taking on new projects to develop competency. And even though the general idea is positive, we sometimes fill our need to grow by over-learning with the premise we must know enough (and enough is often unattainable) before we can apply the knowledge. And thus maintain less competency due to no real world reinforcement. Sometimes growth without some clarity may lead to recklessness, taking on things you really have no idea about.

The drive for Excellence

To do more that is expected or needed in order to make something better. A higher standard. Another positive by nature driver that is exhibited by adding elements to improve something. It could be the design of a house, or the extra decoration on the inside of your car, or the extra color and design of a report. The downside would be taking it to the extreme of being a perfectionist, another unattainable standard.

Contribution and Responsibility

A sense of responsibility for humanity. Giving selflessly for the betterment of others. This often is positively shown by sharing your knowledge to support people or helping them with their problems, or sometime just listening and giving time. The negative is by helping people to the point of complacency so they become dependent and do not learn for themselves.

Each of us have a different ranking of what is most important and we usually have about 2 to 4 Primary Emotional Drivers that determine our attitude and our ability to succeed and lead others to success. Individually these Emotional Drives seem obvious… But when we combine them, we create a Team Culture and we discover “Motivation Clusters” that determine much of the WHY we do what we do.

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For example:

Recognition/Significance and Achievement equal Ambition. People who are ambitious will have these two emotional drivers. But, if these are the ONLY drivers, the person will be callus and do whatever they think is required to achieve their goals, they will not care about others and they not easily listen to others, they will be single minded.

…If someone has Love/Belonging and Growth/Challenge, they will be able to listen and accept others ideas, but without Achievement, they will they will not have a major desire to finish what they start, they will be content to be with and learn from others. Without Significance, they will not need to do something outstanding.

…if someone has Only a high Emotional Drives for Security/Control and Excellence, they will be difficult to please, needing things to be done their way to maintain the standard which they believe is correct. They may have a difficult time listening to others.

…if someone would have the Primary Emotional Drives for Love/Belonging and Security/Control only, they would be conflict adverse and most likely not speak up if there was any potential for it. They would not want to make others wrong at the expense of not stating their own, potentially right, opinion.

But most people have more than just 2 primary drivers which makes them a little more complicated. So the combinations can get more interesting.

To understand how different primary drivers affect attitude and the ability to lead our Self-Management, lets create some characters. Each of them have very distinct which can be identified through the combinations of these emotional drivers… and many form alliances with to leverage on each other’s motivators and achieve more.

Jane: She is very smart, and capable. She is generally kind, unselfish and giving. She is not interested being in front of her subordinates and gets satisfaction from helping people and friendships. Her primary Emotional Drivers are Love and Belonging, Contribution, and Security and Control. Her lowest driver is Significance and Recognition. This low Significance and Recognition driver combined with a high need for Contribution creates a self-sacrificing nature and the Love and Belonging provides the need to be around and support others. But, when conflict arises or when others have strong opinions… Jane, no matter how much authority she has, how smart, or how right she may be, her emotional drive for security stops her from expressing herself or standing up for what she believes in. She remains quiet and her ideas and solutions are not heard or implemented. She does not risk being wrong or doing something that may offend the others… so she focusses on support, doing acts of kindnesses for people to make their lives more bearable but nothing that will ever change the course of history.

Seth, he thinks he is always right and he doesn’t listen to others. He wants to be in charge and thinks his boss is not as good as he is. He generally looks down on others and feels he is above them. This leads to micromanagement to the point that many of his peers and subordinates are frustrated. His Emotional drivers are Security & Control, Significance & Recognition, Diversity, and Achievement. He likes being the Big Boss and show his power, he gets his security from doing things his way and others ideas are not as good his. And he craves Diversity according to his own wants and needs without consideration for others, the situation, and without other people’s rules. He is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his desires.

Note that what Seth is missing Love & Belonging so people are not important to him. He also has no drive of Contribution so he is not a giving person. Excellence and growth are missing too, which adds to significance since he feels no need to improve or become a better person… Basically, he knows it all and he is always right!

Oscar, however, is caring boss and gives his subordinates a feeling of comfort in their jobs, they respect him and feel he is fair. While he does get the day to day work done, he does not really achieve anything outstanding since he is always trying to make people happy and neglects to take any real risk. He is caring, giving but never stands out personally or in his achievements. Oscar’s primary emotional drivers are Love & Belonging, Security & Control, and Achievement. Because of his caring nature (Love & Belonging), and his lack of Diversity or Significance (he was satisfied with a content existence), he gets his security from order and consistency (also linked to fairness). His sense of achievement is filled by constantly comforting the average person and getting the day to day finished.

Harold has the character of strength and power which he likes but does not abuse. Yet, even though he is a little intense, and does have a temper, he is also considered just most of the time, due to ability to listen to people and continue learning to better support his team. He is never idle and is always doing something to advance the he organization. His primary emotional drivers are Recognition, Growth, Love & Belonging and Achievement. The Recognition and Achievement creates ambition, but both Seth and Harold have this. Yet each of them are totally different in how they lead and deal with situations and people. It is Harald’s drivers for belonging and growth make him a better leader. The fact that the need for Security and Control is low also aids his ability to have an open mind and be open others processes and ideas. He is willing to take RISK on an unknown outcome that he is not in control of, so he encourages Innovation.

Claudia on the other hand is all about fun, passion, and beauty but she is no pushover. She is also has her ideas and opinions and will not hold anything back, so you don’t want to piss her off. Her emotional drivers are Diversity, Love & Belonging, and Significance & Recognition. Fun is a product of Diversity, when we do things that are “Fun” they are always out of our usual daily routine. They are diverse, and if you combine the Love & Belonging, she like to be around and have fun with others. She has beauty but she is not full of herself, even though she has a drive for recognition, her drive for love & Belonging lets her fulfil her need without putting others below her. Because she is caring, she does not need to make others wrong to make herself higher. This also has to do with the fact that her drive for Security is not high, so she gets her recognition not by being better than others, but by being a self-confident free spirit that can have fun and enjoy life to the fullest. Basically, she’s about getting dressed up, looking good, and being a super party girl with an attitude.

Alone, people act only according to their own drivers. We are alone and the only outside influence is what we believe people may think of us when we make decisions with an outside effect. We act according to our primary Emotional Drives combined with our Values

But each environment, work, friends, family, wrestling buddies… influence us differently. We do not behave the same at work as we do with our friends, or with our family. Our actions, moods, perspectives and even our energy changes depending on Who is around us.

Here is the best part:

Who we are in a group is largely determined by the combination of our primary motivators and the primary motivators of the people in the group.

Which means if we understand how each set of motivators affects other sets of motivators in a group…

We can predict how to create perfect teams that support each other while being super effective

A DCI Team dynamics study, led Arthur Carmazzi in 2013 provided the foundation for this. The study was done, because some organizations would be hiring top performers and putting them together, finding that many times, the performers who were great in a previous team or by themselves, became underperformers in a new team.

Attitude of each high performer was observed to change across different team environments

So Why Do High Achievers and High Performers Fail? …and why is Team Culture essential for success?

According to this study with 60 different teams across multiple industries, performance and eventual attitude of team members is directly related to Emotional Drive Mix that each team member has and the Team Culture they created.

We have different characteristics and attitudes appear in different environments and cultures? So what do you think happens when the above characters come together? What Team culture will they create?

Look at Harold, who is generally a good guy. He has a very high performance and intense attitude and even the drive to work well with others, but because Jane is too soft, too forgiving and doesn’t like conflict… this enables Harold to take advantage of her. Jane’s high Love & Belonging and Security causes her to be more complacent, less aggressive and follow conventional means to achieve an objective which conflicts with Harold’s Achievement and Significance that makes him determined to achieve high level goals. And Growth that will make him try new or unconventional means to realize the goals. Because Jane is humble without a strong sense of personal pride, Harold may become so focused on the result and consider her an obstacle to that result, that he less inhibited when he gets angry and could become abusive. In this relationship, Jane loses much of the power she would normally command by herself or with peers with similar drives. She goes from being a leader of good and kindness to being a quiet helper that does not express herself.

Observation: In an environment of only 2 people where the first has primary drives of Achievement, Recognition and Growth, and the second has primary drivers of Belonging and Security… it is easier for the first to expect more (that the second may view as unrealistic) and take advantage of the second in the process of working toward an objective. It is also easier for the first to be less patient with the second which may result in disrespectful actions towards them.

But when Harold is together with Claudia, you get a totally different dynamic. Harold lightens up, while he is still a high performer and very focused, his attitude is less intense and more flexible. He can deal with situations better and he knows Claudia, won’t take any shit from him so he is more respectful. An additional benefit he gets from Claudia is he becomes more creative at solving problems. Claudia’s drive for Diversity without a need for Security combined with Harold’s drive for Growth (also without security), magnify the risk they are Significance & Recognition will also influence Claudia to, while still having fun, be more focused on creating some tangible results that can bring even more diversity and fun to their work and life. Basically, they empower each other.

But the power to be a good leader, is understanding not only the individuals you lead, but how 5 or 8 individuals will compliment or potentially destroy each other’s power and effectiveness… the attitudes and power of teams comes from the Emotional recipe of the Team Members.

For more details and easy to understand examples and how to create the perfect team, get Arthur Carmazzi’s new book: Architects of Extraordinary Team Culture – 5 Secrets Hidden in the Ancient Pyramids” 

*I would like to acknowledge Anthony Robins, creator of the 6 Human Needs, which is the foundation of the 8 Emotional Drives in Chapter 3 – The Ascension in Attitude in this book and post… and who inspired my further research and my journey of success in all areas of life.



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