Vince Warnock Shares His Secrets to Building High-Performance Teams

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If you're looking to build a high-performance team, then you need to watch this video. Vince Warnock is an expert in the field and he's going to share his war chest of experience with you.

Building high-performance teams can be a challenging and rewarding task. It takes skill, patience, and commitment to create a team that has cohesion and is productive. Achieving team success relies upon building connections by encouraging work through collaboration, maintaining positive energy, and actively listening without judgment. Also, building high-performance teams necessitates effective leadership.

In this episode, Vince Warnock will share with us some stuff from his war chest of experience and wealth of knowledge on how to create a successful team that can achieve anything.

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Vince Warnock of Chasing The Insights and The Christmas Ninja NFT Project

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Atiba de Souza: Hey, everybody! Welcome to another episode of the Build Your Team show. I am your host Atiba, and I've got with me my buddy Vince Warnock today. And Vince — lemme just tell y'all right now. Vince is one of the most accomplished people in building teams that we have had on the show. Being that, he's done it for multiple companies in some different industries and he's here to share with us some stuff today from his war chest of experience.

And as always, Build Your Team is brought to you by Client Attraction Pros. Hey, it's time that you become the thought leader of your industry, and we're gonna help you do that and make it fast, easy, and fun.

Atiba de Souza: Vince, welcome, brother.

Vince Warnock: Oh, thank you so much for having me, Atiba. Man, it's such an honor being on the show.

Atiba de Souza: Well, the pleasure is mine. And if for nothing else, we're all gonna enjoy listening to your accent for the entire show. No, all jokes aside. So Vince, let me ask you this question. I wanna go back with you a little bit. Okay? Let's go back into the annals. You've obviously built teams when you work for someone else, but you've also built teams when you work for your own company. 

Vince Warnock: Yeah. 

Atiba de Souza: And I wanna focus on the part of when you're building team for your own company, when you've started out building that very first team.

Vince Warnock: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: What were some of the trepidations that you had when you were hiring your first set of people.

Vince Warnock: Oh my goodness, man. How long's the show? To be honest, Atiba, I think one of the first things, one of the biggest things actually is your own self-doubt. It really is. I knew particularly with my own companies, that culture was everything, right?

Just making sure that you create the culture that you want there. Making sure that you hire people that are — we often hear, hire people that are a cultural fit. I didn't want that. Right? I don't want people that come and fit in within the team. I want cultural add. I want people that are gonna come into the team and actually add something different, add something unique.

So my trepidation was really around how do I ensure that whoever I'm adding adds to the team as a whole? Like not just with their area of expertise, but culturally, socially, all those kind of things as well. So that was a really interesting kind of nervousness that I had around them.

But the other thing I found too is making sure that you sell the vision early on and you've got to make sure that when people come in there, they know the DNA of what you're building. So for me it was really important to not just sit down and tell people, "Here's our financial goals. Here's what we're trying to achieve as a business. Here's the world domination plan." It was really sitting them down and going, "Here's what I plan for us as a team. Here's what I plan for the culture of this business. Here's how I want it to feel." So really important for me, for example is positivity and optimism. And I don't mean toxic positivity.

I don't mean everyone's gotta pretend that they're happy when they're not. But what I mean is, when we have obstacles that are facing us, that's really, really difficult. But I want my team to pause, to take a deep breath and then to go, "Okay. We've got this, right? This is just an obstacle. Let's turn it into an opportunity. Let's see what we can do." 

And that's the kind of culture I wanted to create within the business. Cuz I've been in way too many teams, man, where that toxic negativity just destroys every creative in there. And when you are running at a hundred mile an hour, there's nothing worse than that negative anchor around your league's trying to hold you back.

I have many trepidations, honestly, but self-doubt the number one way far, like just imposter syndrome screaming at you going, "Who do you think you are leading a team? Who's gonna want to follow you? Come on Vince." 

Atiba de Souza: Right. We're gonna come back to that imposter syndrome for a moment. I love the culture add, and that is your cultural fit. Like you want people who are going to add that's what you're looking for. Right? It's so key that you do that because if you bring in people who aren't going to fit what it is that you're trying to build, who aren't gonna fit your DNA, then they are going to become, whether it's positive or negative, it's just gonna be toxic, right?

And that's never a good place to be. So that's a really, really great point.

Vince Warnock: Well, we saw this a lot Atiba with hiring for skill because obviously, particularly with high growth tech startups, which is majority of my businesses, you have to hire really good quality developers. But one of the things we realize is you could have the most qualified, the most talented, the most skillful developer with the wrong attitude, and that will destroy your business.

So actually finding someone who is not quite as talented, not quite as experienced, not quite as skillful, and teaching them those things or enabling them to learn those things, but with the right attitude, that was way more important to us. So we always looked at hiring people that are on their way up, people that would add to our culture, but at the same time, we could train cuz skill can be taught, experience can be gained.

That's not a problem. But who you are is who you are and your attitude is something that you can control but we wanna look at what is the natural attitude of them. So you're putting people into a high stress situation, they're gonna do default to whatever own insecurities and fears and all those kind of things, all their own triggers and that. So you wanna make sure that this is someone who can come through that in a positive way.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Like for me, I love people who have a chip on their shoulder. Okay. I love people who are really talented. They know it, but wherever they were before, downplayed them, didn't give them opportunity and they're looking for that opportunity. And so they're like, "Look, I'm gonna fight for my opportunity." Great! Come fight cuz I'm gonna open the door for you so you can run right through it. Right? 

Vince Warnock: That's an important aspect too. When people — not so much to chip on the shoulder for me — but I want people, when they join my team to know that whatever role they're in is just the beginning. And that they can move within the team, they can move within the organization.

But more importantly, regardless of what happens — I'm working on a few NFT projects at the moment — the team that are there, I've said to them quite clearly, "Look, this is the team I want to be building other projects with as well. This is a team we wanna be building applications. We wanna be building high growth tech startups. These are the people that you want to continue to work with. So when you sell that kind of vision, it means that their identity is not tied to that one particular role or job. It's actually tied to this team that they're working with, which is really powerful.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah, I know that is. That's awesome. That's awesome. Man, I wanna go back to self-doubt and imposter syndrome. 

Vince Warnock: Oh, that old Chestnut. Yeah. My old friend. Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: I want say this first to anyone listening. If you are listening and you said, "These are the guys I'm listening to. I don't have self-doubt and I don't have imposter syndrome." Well, number one, you're lying to yourself. And number two, we all have it. We all deal with that, especially in the startup phases, right? Because it's like we are creating something new. Like you said, we're selling a vision. We're selling a dream here. And who dare we do this?

Vince Warnock: It makes sense too if you understand what imposter syndrome is. Because I had to go through this whole journey, man. We always talk about imposter syndrome speaking to you. It doesn't really speak to me. It kind of shouts at me. It kind of grabs my ear, stretches it out wide and goes, "Listen at me."

So I had to kind of understand what imposter syndrome was, and this was the big eyeopener for me because everyone had said to me, "Run from imposter syndrome or you've gotta confront it or you've gotta deal with it." They always painted imposter syndrome as this giant negative thing. But here's the thing, imposter syndrome is just your brain trying to keep you safe. Your brain's going, "Hey, Atiba! Hey, Vince! You guys are way outside your comfort zone right now, and that is scary and you're making things up as you go along", which by the way, if you're an entrepreneur or you're a in a startup, that's exactly what you're doing by the way, you are making up as you go along.

No problem with that. But then it's going, "Hey, you're making this up as going along. You're outside your comfort zone. You are going to get exposed, and I need to keep you safe." So your brain knows that fear is an incredibly good motivator. So that's where imposter syndrome kind of comes from. But that in itself is not bad.

That is just a bunch of signals from your brain. If you can understand that imposter syndrome is just those signals telling you that you're outside your comfort zone, then guess what? That is exactly where we need to be as entrepreneurs. Outside of your comfort zone is where growth happens, where it is where breakthrough happens, it's where prosperity happens.

It's where everything good happens is outside your comfort zone. So when your brain's telling you this and saying, "Hey, imposter syndrome here, just letting you know you've got no right to be there. You are letting you know you're making this up as you go along. And people are gonna find out." That's just your brain going, "Hey, guess what, Atiba? Guess what, Vince? You guys are exactly where you need to be right now." Now the bad part of imposter syndrome isn't imposter syndrome. It's what you choose to do with that signal. And if you choose to self-sabotage, which 99% of us do, including myself times, then that's the negative aspect to that.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. That was powerful what you just said. And it reminded me of a parallel statement that you hear, which is, if you really wanna be successful, then you have to get used to being uncomfortable.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. Yep. I say, I go even further and say, you gotta get used to being the dumbest guy in the room. And I'm quite happy being the dumbest guy in the room. In fact, I thrive on hiring people that are way smarter than me, way more intelligent than me, way better looking than me. Let's face it! Just get it. 

We're in the bald club. Way better here than me, all of them. But when you hire people like that and when you're comfortable being that dumbest guy in the room, you are surrounded by people that are gonna elevate you and you're surrounded by people. They're gonna lift you up and help you to learn and learn.

And I become a sponge man. This is the thing I love about being the dumbest person in the room. And actually, I love about imposter syndrome. Because imposter syndrome, like so insecure that we're like, "You know what? I'm just gonna have to over excel. I'm gonna have to learn every single aspect of this." That's not a bad thing. That's an awesome thing. So yeah, I genuinely think it's elevated me far beyond my station.

Atiba de Souza: So let's talk about balancing that for a moment. Okay. The dumbest guy in the room — cuz I a hundred percent agree with you. We need to hire experts. We need to hire who know their stuff better than we know it. Right? And let them go and learn from them because that's the only way we truly get better because our business needs to become bigger than us.

Vince Warnock: Yeah, exactly.

Atiba de Souza: However, there's another side of this that I see a lot, and I'm curious if you've dealt with this, seen this — and I know you've seen it in others. But how do we deal with it if the listener is there? I'll give you a perfect example. Someone who says, "I'm not great at sales and I need to hire a salesperson."

And hire a salesperson and all they talk about is how awful they are at sales. Mind you, they've been running the company for 10 years, so clearly that bad at sales, right? But then they degrade themselves so much that the staff person feels there's a negative relationship that's formed there.

There isn't one of respect anymore because they said, "Well, I'm the dumbest person in the room." So how do balanced that?

Vince Warnock: Yeah. Well, first of all, language is incredibly important. And the words you speak important. In fact, as someone just — I think yesterday said to me their version of it, which is words are spells. They said, "The moment something comes outta your mouth, it actually has power. And you've gotta be very careful about that."

 I use the term dumbest guy in the room, which is not a negative. It's more around saying, "I want to hire people that are far more intelligent that me." And that's not a bad thing. Reality is there are people way smarter than all of us out there, way, way smarter. I have to face reality when it comes to technology, despite the fact that — by the way, I'm a qualified electronics engineer, computer engineer, software engineer and audio engineer.

Despite all of that, my son is way more intelligent than me and half the time we get — if it's a new technology, I go say, "Ah, you go sort it out and then teach me afterwards." He goes, "Yeah, yeah, sure dad." He loves doing that. So that's not a negative thing. However, you're right. What happens to us as entrepreneurs is that self-doubt causes those self confessions, and we've gotta be very cautious about what we say about ourselves.

And it's little things as well. I call my team on this, like when I'm having a team meeting, one of them goes, "Oh yeah, blah, blah, blah, but I'm just the designer." I say, "Whoa, whoa, that word should never come outta your mouth in relation to anything that is you. "Just" is not a word that you put behold before any title. You are not just anything. You are a designer. You're an important person in this team. You actually got a huge amount of value. Never use the word "just" in there because it belittles all that you contribute." 

So it's little things like that. It's catching ourselves with our language and making sure that we — particularly being a Kiwi, by the way, I'm from New Zealand.

In New Zealand we have this thing called Tall Poppy Syndrome, which I know we have everywhere in the world, but over here for some reason, we have it in spades. Right? We love the underdog. We love it because we're a tiny country at the bottom end of the world, and yet we invented like the syringe.

We split the atom. We invented so many things. We're top of the world in rugby most of the time. Yeah, we do pretty well in a lot of different things. So we love the underdog and in New Zealand, that's it, we're always batting above our average. But the problem is we also hate it when people accomplish things.

It's like the underdog finally comes out on top and then we're like, "Oh yeah, who do you think you are? What makes you think you are so special?" So as a result of that kind of culture, and it's quite toxic as a result of that culture, we actually do that to ourselves as well. And this is the thing I'm finding as a New Zealander is making sure I don't give into that.

I like to learn from actually from Americans who actually are quite confident in themselves and don't mind talking themselves up. This is exactly how we should be. We should be proud of our accomplishments. So actually learning to watch our language and make sure that we are not belittling anything we do. I think it's the key to that.

Atiba de Souza: Right. I think it's great that you have that word "just". I'm gonna borrow that gently from you as well.

Vince Warnock: Oh, totally steal it, man. I probably stole it from someone else. 

Atiba de Souza: And so here's one of mine. Mine is "can't".

Vince Warnock: Oh, yes. 

Atiba de Souza: Right? Oh, I can't do that.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. It's a word that gets under my skin as well. It's a fine balance too, and you'll know this, Atiba, is you've gotta be able to provide support for your team, and we've gotta face reality that we're all human, which means we all have good days and we all have bad days.

And there are gonna be days where people are not feeling it. Days where they're feeling like they just can't achieve anything or they can't break through whatever obstacle it is. And on those days, our job is to lift them up, come alongside them, and push them forward gently.

However, if they continually — instead of going forward — continually look backwards and continually, "I can't do this, or this is too big." We need to go in there and actually correct that kind of behavior.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Absolutely. I guess the other side of it too, whether it's "just", "can't" or any of those other words that we can lump in there, the thing behind it is we create our companies to grow.

Vince Warnock: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Right? And all those are growth limiters.

Vince Warnock: Yeah, they are. It's such a fine balance though. It's probably one of the biggest things I try and do for any team. So anytime I'm establishing a team, whether it's in corporate, whether it's from my own business or whatever, there's a few things I have to do early on. One of them is create a psychological safe space.

Particularly if they're a marketer, I mean, any marketer knows this, right? When you go into a place, everybody for some reason seems to think that you're expected to know everything. They're like, "Oh, you're a marketer. Oh, you'll know how to do a brand campaign or you'll know how to set up analytics or you'll know how to build a website. You'll know how to do all these things."

But the reality is, just like most occupation marketing is a vast array of different skills, and you're not gonna have all of those skills, and you're not gonna have all the answers. So actually making sure that people know that that's okay. You're not expected to know everything I say to people, "Look, let's get real."

We're sitting in the meeting and I'm using a term that you've never heard before. Just say, "Hey, what does that mean?" There's no shame in that at all. I used to do it. We had a government organization that was helping out and there was a bunch of these government consultants sitting around the room and they said, "Oh, when we set up the new agency, we have to have this system and that system, and this system and that system."

I'm sitting there going, "I have no idea what the hell these people are talking." So I raised my hand and I said, "Hey, you talked about this, CIS, blah, blah, blah system. What does that actually do?" And the whole room just rolled their eyes at me like, "Oh, you don't know, kind of thing." They're like, "Oh, well. It's gonna take a bit to explain it. Don't worry about it, Vince. Just know that we need it." And I said, "Well I actually need to know what it does." And they're like, "Look, we don't have time for that." And I was like, "You need to make the time or point me in the right direction." I said, "We don't want put something in the place in this new organization that I don't actually know what it does."

I wonder why I was getting such pushback from them and it turned out that for the last 10 years, they had been installing this system in every new organization they set up, but not a single person knew why. And it turned out this thing hadn't worked for 10 years. Like it was something they set up for an organization that never achieved what they wanted anyway.

But the way that the guy had set it up, he made it part of the template for new organizations. So it wasn't until me being comfortable being the dumbest guy in the room and asking questions, came in that, suddenly they realized, "Oh, maybe we don't need this." So teaching your team that is critically important.

So if you can create that space where they know that it's okay to be human, it's okay to not know things, it's okay to make mistakes and it's okay to have a bad day as well. That means they're never gonna sit there pretending. And this was the key for me is, I was sick of sick to death of working in organizations where you'd be with a team and suddenly it's like, "Oh, the boss is coming and everyone has to look busy." Why?

That's not truth. The truth is you work your butt off most of the day and there are times where you're gonna sit there and go, "You know what? I just need to reset my brain, or I need to go and get a coffee, or I need to go and get some fresh air." There's nothing wrong with that. You're not expected to be a robot.

So creating that kind of environment and that space where they know that it's okay to be human is really important. But then of course, the balance of that is you also have to be productive. You've gotta create a business that's actually going to accomplish things. I dunno that I'll ever find the exact balance of those, but it's an organic thing. It keeps adapting.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah, no, absolutely. It gets into to teaching margin and having margin. It's funny because I know for most people, I know for me, margin seems to be the most counterintuitive thing, right? So for example, I can tell you that for most of my life, I've worked 12 hour days.

Vince Warnock: Yep.

Atiba de Souza: Because that's just what I did. And, why wouldn't I? Right? I mean, minimum 12 hour days. And now I've realized, "You know what? I'm actually a lot more productive if I take an hour off."

Vince Warnock: Here's the challenge with that, Atiba. The other thing we gotta watch is — particularly if you're in an office situation, right? One of my last startup they had before I sold it, we were in a little pretty tight little office area, and you've got these teams of people and you wanna make sure that they're being incredibly productive, yet you are the first person in the office, the last person to leave, and they're getting emails from you all through the night and all through the early morning.

That sets a weird expectation with the team that maybe I'm expected to work that much as well. So not only do we have to be really careful with our time to make sure we are being more productive. I'm not working 12 hours or more, which is pretty standard fair for us entrepreneurs.

But actually making sure that we are seen to be not working that long. I learned this from an incredible leader that I used to work for. She would make sure at five o'clock every night she would leave the building. And that gave everybody else and the team permission to leave at five o'clock as well, which mean everybody had time with their families.

Everybody got to have dinner with their families and things like that as well, and were happier the next day. When they came in, they didn't feel that pressure to work till eight o'clock at night or whatever. So yeah, really important balance to find.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah that's great! That's really good. I think I need to take that into 23 in terms of how I look at life as well. 

Vince Warnock: By the way, I've never mastered that fully. I still suck at it. So, I'm just saying. I work way too hard.

Atiba de Souza: I flat out about at it and it's actually gotten worse from a perspective — so I'm working less hours. However, I know that it's gotten worse from a perspective perspective because not that the team is truly global and we've got so many blind zones. There's always a question in a different time zone.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. Exactly.

Atiba de Souza: Don't want them waiting on me. So if I answer it, then it does seem like I'm always here.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. This goes back to the old analogy of being on the plane. Always put your oxygen mask on first, which means you need to get really good, and I need to get really good at putting those boundaries around ourselves and communicating those boundaries with the team. So that way the team know that there's not an expectation that you're gonna respond within two minutes to every query, no matter the time zone, but they know exactly what to expect.

And more importantly, it gives them permission to put boundaries around themselves. And we know that's gonna create a more productive team, a happier team, just a better team more round.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Yeah. No, that's super important. Now, let's talk for a moment about virtual teams.

Vince Warnock: Yes.

Atiba de Souza: Obviously, the entire world was forced virtual.

Vince Warnock: Yep.

Atiba de Souza: A few years ago, we won't recount as to why, but it happened. 

Vince Warnock: Just some minor thing in the world happened. 

Atiba de Souza: Now, virtual is a big part of business.

Vince Warnock: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Period. Moving forward. And so we talked about leaving at five and them seeing those types of things, just as an example, right? And the permission that it gives, but it doesn't just give permission because it also tells them that you value their family. You value them taking a break, right?

So not just the permission, but that you value it. Now in this virtual space, virtual reality. How do you connect and have them realize that you value those things as well?

Vince Warnock: Oh my goodness. It's not easy. I'll just put that out there. Like one of the challenges I have with one of my teams as they're from all over the world. We've got members from, obviously I'm in New Zealand, we've got a couple of people in Australia, we've got some in the Philippines, we've got people from every major time zone in the US. So that's complex because you've got all these people in different time zones and trying to be able to support them and things like that. To be honest, even just trying to get a team meeting organized is next to impossible. And to make it worse, apparently, not only and not everybody, in fact, very few people only sleep four hours a night like I do.

So therefore, they're not gonna be up at two o'clock in the morning, so that makes it even more difficult. But the key thing for me, or something that I found that has actually worked really, really well is a team calendar. So obviously we've all got our own calendars. We all use Google Calendar and everything, and people can book stuff in with you.

That's not a problem. But giving them visibility on my calendar and giving visibility on a team calendar so they can clearly see what's happening during the day, gives them visibility. But also they can see the boundaries that are put around that as well, because I actually block out in the calendar, not negotiable time.

I'll actually put in their family time. I'll put in there going to the gym, or I'll put in there exercise or going for a walk, little things like that so they actually can see that it's not just about work, work, work, work. And then the other thing I do is I block out, every day, except for Mondays. I block out a chunk of time, which is just Vince is free.

And that means, like the marketing team know that if there's a Twitter space they want me to speak at, they can just book it in on that time. If there's a clubhouse thing that's talking about whatever we are talking about, they can put me in or if there's a conference that someone wants me to speak at.

So all of those different kind of things, they can actually see in my calendar that that time is available for them or they can just jump on a call with me in that time. I don't think I've ever nailed that completely, but I've certainly found that that has helped a lot.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah, that's good. I know we struggle through that this year, trying to create the team calendar and it didn't work well.

Vince Warnock: Yeah, I don't think there's any ideal. There's a lot of startups trying to obviously solve this is issue. I don't think anyone's come close, but the fact that you're doing it, I think is a hundred percent better than not. That's for sure.

Atiba de Souza: Thank you for the permission to continue trying as well. I'll say that.

Vince Warnock: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Knowing that, it's worked for you and maybe just the way we're looking at it, we can get better with it as well. I know for us, one of the things we did in 2022 that worked really well for this is we start all team meetings with wins. Personal wins and then professional wins.

Vince Warnock: Yeah, we do the same. The other thing we've added in, Atiba, is, you've got to — either at the beginning or the end, depending on the type of meeting, what you're grateful for. And we used to do this in one of my previous startups, cuz we had a team that was located all over the world.

So one of the things we did was this concept called "How Was Your Heart?" And I can't remember the actual name of it because it was an Indonesian word, but the concept was how was your heart? So you would start every day by going, "Hey everyone, I'm checking in." And then everyone cheerily would go, "Welcome Vince". And then you would say, "Right. Today I am...", and then you are allowed to use any of these adjectives. You're allowed to use "I'm mad, I'm glad, I'm sad, or I'm afraid". You could basically say, "I don't wanna do any of those." Or you could say, "I'm mad because blah, blah, blah. Or I'm glad because blah, blah, blah. Or I'm afraid because blah, blah, blah."

And it's all to do with you personally, more than professionally. The reason for that is it gives us the context for the day for you as a human being. But then the one thing that we all had to do was, and I'm grateful for, and I've carried that over into every team that I've built is, you have to speak about that because what it does is it retrains and refocuses your brain on the positive.

It actually takes a moment to say, "I'm grateful for something", and then your brain goes, "Well, that's interesting." Now that's relevant information for me. So I'm gonna show you that. If you have said, "I'm grateful for a really supportive team", I can guarantee you through that day, your brain's gonna show you every aspect of support that you get from your team.

They're just gonna show you how amazing your team actually is. So that's something that's really important to us. It did also, by the way, like it paid off in space. There was a time particularly with one of my previous startups where our developer, in fact our CTO came in and he was like, "I'm glad because I got to cycle to work today. I'm glad because the sun is shining. I'm afraid because my mum is really old, and I don't think she has very long left. And I'm afraid because I don't know what world will look like without her. And I'm sad because I just dunno how to cope."

Now, understanding that was really important because this is a person — by the way, our CTO, very volatile individual. Pretty confident it was on spectrum.

But what would happen is, if we understand that and we can show some empathy throughout the day, so rather than going, "Why isn't this done? Why isn't the server reset? Why haven't we go blah, blah, blah?" And then just an explosive shouting match happens. We can actually understand that, "Hey, perhaps he's slightly distracted today. Perhaps we should check in on him multiple times just to see that he's okay. Perhaps, he just needs some compassion and some empathy."

So that's why actually talking about things like that like, "What are your wins? What are you grateful for? How are you?" All those kind of things are actually — even though they seem superficial in some cases, they actually are really important.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah, they're absolutely not. Because as you said, they're windows into the souls and the lives of your team that allow you to care whether that's sympathetic care or celebratory care.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. Oh, plus you feel so much closer to everyone. Anyway, it gives you something to talk about during the day. It does also highlight how, schizophrenic some of your team are. We are one of the team members who was like, "I'm glad because blah, blah, blah, but I'm mad because blah, blah, blah. Then I'm being glad because blah. Then I'm mad that I'm afraid that I'm angry." And you're like, "Dude, like seriously, pick a lane." He was just an emotional rollercoaster every single morning.

Atiba de Souza: But that still gives you context, right? And you know what you're dealing with. And that's so huge because especially in this virtual world where you don't have that physical connectivity, where you can't always see all of the body language. Heck, I don't know if you have this ,half the time, sometimes you're in a meeting and you only see in half of someone's head because of — 

Vince Warnock: Oh yeah. I've got no idea what people's leagues look like.

Atiba de Souza: Right. So yeah, it does. It completely gives you. I like that. So we're gonna take that. 

Vince Warnock: Yep.

Atiba de Souza: One of the things that we did, say we were gonna do is, start doing morning check-ins, and so this is going into the morning check-in. Thank you very much.

Vince Warnock: One thing I will say with morning check ends is being a New Zealander, having the Kiwi accent. The first time I started talking about my team with that they looked at me so confused cuz I was like, "Right, we're gonna do daily chickens." And they were like, "What?" I said, "Daily chickens." Like poultry? And I'm like, "No, checking in."

And they went, "Oh." So every now and then my accent plays tricks on them. It did get worse. We were talking about one of the projects we're on, I said them, "Look, when we finished, I just can't wait for us all to go on a cruise ship together. Then we're gonna get this, like in this holiday cabana thing. We're gonna get that, and then we're gonna sit." And there's this — some people call it a veranda, but most people call it, and it's spelt D-E-C-K, right? So you go and you sit out on there and you enjoy the sunshine. You sit with your gin and tonics or your mimosas or whatever else. And I'm talking to the entire team, and I said to them, "Right guys, here's what we're gonna do. I can't wait for us to be able to sit there with our gin and tonics just sitting out on the dick." And they were like, "What?" And I'm like, "We could sit on the dick." And they're like, "Dude, that's so inappropriate." It's like, "What?". The accent gets them every time.

Atiba de Souza: The best part of that joke was I knew exactly where you would go as soon as you — 

Vince Warnock: You can't even tell the joke without accidentally pronouncing it. So therefore everyone's like, "Oh, wow." So, yes. It's very confusing.

Atiba de Souza: Oh, thank you for that Monday laugh. I appreciate that. Let's actually transition there for a moment because that's one of the other things that gets lost sometimes too in virtual teams, is the fun.

Vince Warnock: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: When you were together, you had that moment where somebody told a joke and everybody had uproar laughter.

Vince Warnock: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Whereas in the virtual world where everything is either, I'm working on my own or we're talking on Slack or we have a meeting and it's like, "Okay, we've got this much time to get through this much stuff", and there isn't as much interaction. How do you build the fun?

Vince Warnock: You've gotta create a platform for it. You really do. This is another big challenge though, I don't think we've ever nailed completely, but everybody has their preferred communication platforms and preferred communication styles. Like, I've got one of my NFT projects, the team there, we said to them, "Well, how do you prefer to be communicated?"

We've got one person that's like Facebook, Messenger, somebody else, Instagram, two other people, Discord, a bunch of other Signal or Telegram or Slack. You've got all these people used to different platforms, but you've gotta pick one, get your team in there and that's where you can have the fun.

Like honestly, if it's a platform that has stupid little animated GIFs, you end up in GIF wars and just having fun in there and things as well. So that way when it comes to the meeting, you can actually schedule the time to be really, really productive. And then the other thing we do is, it's for a community thing we're doing, but every Sunday for us is game time.

So yeah, in the afternoon on Sunday, we just jump into Discord server and we play smash cards or we play Cards Against Humanity. Just something silly that you can play while chatting with each other. And there's a lot of hilarity that happens, there's a lot of humor, but at the same time, it's that bonding and it's the shared experience.

And this is really important too, because if you think back to every company you work for, that you've got really positive memories, the positive memories isn't that, "I created this thing, or I produced this amount of work, or I accomplished this thing there." It's always those shared memories with your team members.

It's always going out and doing karaoke, especially for me, I love karaoke. It's going during that or it's going out dancing or it's going out and having a coffee together and joking around. Those are the memories that you're going to take through, and they're the ones that keep you close together when the pressure's on.

So for me, it's just making sure you create that channel. Whatever that is, create it, get everyone in there and stick to it. And you be the one that's constantly kind of creating the atmosphere in that channel. So making sure you're joking around with everyone, never putting people down, put yourself down to a degree, and then they'll all challenge you on that and say, "Vince, you just told us not to use the word "just" and now you're doing this. You're like, "No." So yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. No, that's great. That's really good. And I love that you do it weekly. We don't do it weekly. And I've felt like we don't do it enough. And so you've just given me a new blueprint. Thank you very much. Cause we do it quarterly right now. Cause it's all virtual, I buy everyone dinner.

Vince Warnock: Yep.

Atiba de Souza: And we share a meal together inside of And then we all go and play games. But yeah, I'm gonna look into the Discord and see — I'm not gonna lie to you, I need my son just like you to go explain Discord to me because I don't know. 

Vince Warnock: Oh, I hate Discord. I have to use it for a number of projects but oh my goodness, it's not designed for people with ADHD, which is most entrepreneurs, because the moment you get in there, everything is a distraction and you're like, "It's just too overwhelming." I've gotta watch cuz most of my core team, most of my founding team on one of my projects are all neurodiverse. So all of us have ADHD, RSD, and a bunch of other things as well. So actually getting into something like Discord can be incredibly overwhelming for people. You can get over stimulated really quickly. So it's actually structuring your Discord in a way where you reduce that overwhelm, you reduce all the flashy, shiny objects everyone's sitting in there going, "Squirrel, squirrel." Oh, I have a love-hate relationship with it.

Atiba de Souza: Gotcha. Well, thank you for that warning as well cuz I've never even been in it, so I have no clue. So thank you for that.

Vince Warnock: Oh, Slack's just as bad. Honestly, it's the same principle as Slack. It's distractions everywhere.

Atiba de Souza: Oh yeah. This is good, man. I love when we have these conversations because I know I'm learning and the audience is learning at the same time and we're all growing. That's what it is really all about, but Vincent want you to take a moment and tell everybody who you are, what you do. Tell us about your company. You've mentioned a few times now another startup, and in this company, I got in the NFTs, and so land that plane. Tell us who you are and how people can also find you.

Vince Warnock: Oh my goodness. If you ask me who I am, I've got no idea, man. Nah. I'm what's called a multihyphenate, which I know most entrepreneurs are, but it means I've got a lot of different fingers in a lot of different place. So for me, my main kind of business is actually helping entrepreneurs to market themselves, helping them to come up with a really clear lead generation strategy, to convert those leads and to make money.

And the main thing is helping them to make money and to make the impact that they want to have in this world. So I do a lot of work coming alongside entrepreneurs and that absolutely love that aspect of my business. But then also part of what I do is helping them to get seen, which means elevating their thought leadership.

So as a result of that, I've set up a publishing company, which I use to help my clients to become published authors. And by the way, for anyone who's thinking, "Ah, that's a lot of work." There are a lot more simple ways to become an author than you realize. There are many, many different ways for you to be a published author.

And then also I have obviously my Chasing the Insights podcast. And I am also heavily involved in the Web3 space. So in the Metaverse and NFTs, but not from the speculative investment side of things, but more from the how do we use this technology as entrepreneurs to deeply connect with our target market and help a lot of businesses to understand that, to come up with the strategy with that and to create that connection with them.

So that's kind of the main things that I'm doing and getting ahold of me is super easy. You just gotta go to It's the home of my books, it's the home of my podcast, but it's also where you can book a free strategy call with me. And if any of you are thinking, "Hey, I need help with my team." Or any of you thinking, "Hey, I want some help with marketing", or "I wanna know how to become an author", any of those kind of things, or "I wanna learn about NFTs", then book some time with me.

It's a free call. I get super, super passionate about helping you to be able to get clarity in these areas. And also there's a bunch of legs to where you can connect with me on social. I'm always on social. I'm pretty much everywhere and I love connecting with new people. The only time I don't is if you're a spammer and if you're a spammer stairwell clear, cuz I will call you on that or if you're unethical. And I'd say that one very deliberately because there are a lot of entrepreneurs and marketers out there that are either deliberately or subconsciously or unconsciously doing unethical behavior to try and manipulate people, and that I will call you out on because I just wanna make sure that all of us are safe and all of our potential customers are safe as well.

Atiba de Souza: Well, that's fantastic. So y'all heard that And as always, we'll also have it down in the comments, in the description. And if you're on the podcast, it'll be in the show notes. Listen, go connect with Vince. Go listen to his podcast in the first place. Vince is brilliant and he has some brilliant guests. I don't know how he chose me to be on his show as well.

Vince Warnock: Oh, hey, hey. We talked about language. You're a fantastic person, Atiba.

Atiba de Souza: But seriously, guys, if you couldn't tell already, Vince has a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of experience. Let me just say this to you, Vince, cuz I do get a chance to meet a lot of people, right? There are very few people who have accomplished and have the pedigree that you have that still offer a free consultation. Just think about that.

Vince Warnock: Yeah, it's something I don't think I'll ever lose. Give you an example. My previous job was Chief Marketing Officer at Cigna Insurance. I'm Chief Marketing Officer for a Fortune 100 company. That's pretty much the dream job for every marketer. That's the pinnacle of your career.

I'm sitting there going, "Hey, this is a ridiculous amount of pay. The bonuses are just insane. I got to work on some really cool stuff." I got the results. Got recognized by Adobe as one of the top 50 marketers, published my first book when I'm there and I was miserable.

And the reason I was miserable and I had to realize this, in fact, I felt really guilty about feeling miserable because everyone wanted that job and I had it and didn't want it. So I felt like I was being incredibly ungrateful. But then when I realized it was because I was unfulfilled and it was realized that I'd strayed from what's important to me, which is helping people and particular entrepreneurs.

I've got such a soft spot for entrepreneurs. I had my first business when I was 11. So I had that bug really early on. So I understand entrepreneurship and I'm certainly past 11 now, 40. 

Atiba de Souza: Just a little Just a little bit.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. But so I'll never lose that. I think it's one of my passions is always helping people to get that clarity.

And I'm also a firm believer that the more you put out there, the more you give to people, the more you add value to people, that value comes back to you. And I've had some pretty big discussions, probably disagreements would be more accurate. Right down shouting matches with some of my peers who don't like the fact that I do give away so much for free.

And they're all like, "You've gotta charge as much as possible up front, move them up the value ladder, blah, blah, blah." And I'm like, "Hey, I'm never gonna agree with you." And the reason is because I've proven time and time again, the more that you help people, the more you add value to people, the more the universe just seems to provide it back to you. It's as simple as that.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Just on that point really quickly, so I had another guest on the show, Sheryl Plouffe and she said — 

Vince Warnock: I know Sheryl really well. She's so lovely. Small world, man. Small world.

Atiba de Souza: Look at that. And she boil it all down to one word. All one word. Abundance.

Vince Warnock: Oh, yes, a hundred percent. That's very Sheryl . I'm totally stealing that as well. Yeah. Thanks Sheryl. 

Atiba de Souza: And that's what it is. We work from a place of abundance. And when you work from a place of abundance and you realize that you have enough, and if I give to you, it doesn't mean that I lose from me.

Vince Warnock: That's right. Yep. I remember this argument. Someone said to me one time that, "You're too nice." And I said, "There's no such thing as too nice." Those two words don't go together, unless it's nice to meet you. And then they said, "No, no, no, because if you're nice to people, they can walk all over you."

And here's the thing, like when we boiled it down, I said to them, if you are genuinely wanting to add value to someone, if I'm genuinely wanting to help you, Atiba, and I say, I'm gonna jump on a free call with you and I give you some advice and it genuinely helps you in your business, then mission accomplish. 

But If I'm nice because I want something in return, which isn't nice, by the way, that's self-serving. If I'm sitting there going, "Hey, I'm gonna do a free strategy call with Atiba", and they're at the end of that, "Ooh, he's gonna sell", and you don't buy my program or my coaching or whatever, at the end of that, I'm gonna feel like you've walked all over me.

I just gave you this for free and I've got nothing in return. Think about that. You gave it for free. There is nothing expected in return. So it's all just down to being authentic and genuine.

Atiba de Souza: It absolutely is. I learned early, you give as much as you can afford to let go and not feel any kind of way about because moment in time when you violate that, then you do start to get into that place of expectation.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. You've gotta put boundaries around it for sure. Absolutely.

Atiba de Souza: But that's still living in abundance. And it's also understanding how to manage yourself. Because at the end of the day, it's unfortunate. Let's call a spade a spade. We're human beings, and as human beings, we can be selfish individuals.

Vince Warnock: Oh, of course. 

Atiba de Souza: But we balance that and say, but I've gotta live in abundance. And in that balance creates a juxtaposition sometimes for you and that's where the boundaries need to come in to realize how much I'm willing to give and give to that and you generously do that.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. That's the key thing too. If you put those boundaries around yourself, then you make that available to everybody equally. So it's not one person taking advantage of you or anything like from free strategy calls, great example. I give everyone a free strategy. Call everyone a 30 minute strategy call.

Give them the clarity they need. No obligation. No expectation. Now, if they want to come back and go, "Actually, I need more of this", then that's when we can talk about making it more formal, et cetera. But my goal is to add as much value in that first 30 minutes as I possibly can. So that's the good thing is make that available to everyone equally, then you have no issues.

Atiba de Souza: Absolutely. And you do it from a place of pure love. Right?

Vince Warnock: Absolutely. I get such a rush from helping people. It's awesome.

Atiba de Souza: Yes. I had someone else on the show and I know we're well past the topic of team, but that's fine. Y'all love this anyway. I had someone on my show — I won't call his name right now — but he was on the show, we had a great conversation about team building and then after the show we got to talking and I realized, "You know what? I've got some people I can refer to you. Let's book another time and I'll just go through and share some stuff with you about people that you should talk to who probably want to be your clients." So we got back together about a month later and I started sharing with him and he started asking questions.

And by the end of it, he's like, "Dude, I need to hire you." And I'm like, "I didn't come here for that." And I had to tell him, "I'm not even prepared to talk to you about that."

Vince Warnock: I know exactly what you mean. I find that with people on my show. They come in, I usually end up in a conversation with them at the end, and then usually I'm like, "Ah, so you're having a challenge with this. Have you tried this?" And they're like, "No", " What about this?" And they're like, "Oh my God. I never thought about." And then they start saying, " Hey, can we talk about something formal? Can I hire you? Can you be my coach?" I'm like, "Uh" and almost in the early days I was like, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That's not why I do this. Stop. Don't." Like I didn't want people to think I only got them as a guest on the show to turn them into a client, which is the complete opposite of what I'm doing.

But then I had to realize that if people need your help, then you need to make it available to them. 

Atiba de Souza: Need to help them. And so now, let's wrap that all back around, back to the team, because the same way we were talking about dealing with other people, you have to also deal with your team in that way as well, right? So we've talked about not being the smartest guy in the room or the smartest person in the room.

However, there is going to be something that you are the smartest, and that's kind of the beauty here is, this may be my lane of genius and yours is over here and you're way smarter than me. But when it's my turn to share, you've gotta be able to be willing to share with your team that in abundance as well.

Vince Warnock: Yeah, a hundred percent.

Atiba de Souza: It's not just external in this communication. It's also internal. That also adds to the culture because once you give, it gives them the permission to give to each other.

Vince Warnock: I love that. I'm totally feeling that. That's awesome. That's so true, man. That is so true.

Atiba de Souza: So that's one for Atiba. Three for Vince.

Vince Warnock: Yeah. Who's counting, man? 

Atiba de Souza: Hey, Vince! I wanna thank you for being here, man. We obviously to keep going for the next couple of hours. 

Vince Warnock: Oh, easily, easily. 

Atiba de Souza: I really wanna thank you for sharing and I started this by saying to everyone, you're going to see that this guy is legit. He's built teams, not just for organizations where he worked, but then also for himself and his multiple different companies and the wealth of knowledge and experience that you brought to us today, I really, really appreciate that and I know that it blessed so many people who are listening to us, who have been struggling within themselves about team and dealing with that imposter syndrome, and to realize you're not alone. 

Vince Warnock: You are a hundred percent not alone. That means a lot to me hearing that. But the reality is, if this is just a chance for you and I to catch up, which is selfishly is just awesome fun anyway, but if we can do that and add value to other people, then that's amazing.

My paddling comment is simply this, when I first took my major CEO role, so this was one of my early startups, I got myself a mentor and he was a guy who had an established business that was on the international stage doing incredibly well.

It was a Kiwi business and most people didn't even know they existed, but the AR was incredible. And I remember sitting down with him and saying, "Look, I'm CEO. I have no idea what the hell I'm doing." And he goes, "Great." And I said, "Great." And he says, "I've been doing this for 10 years. I still have no idea what the hell I am doing. 

You're not on your own. You're not that unique and weirdly. Is that a weird thing to say to you? But what I mean is the problems you face, everybody else faces as well. The insecurities you have other people face as well. But the big difference between you and 99% of the population is you're actually doing this, and you should feel incredibly proud about that.

Atiba de Souza: Yes, yes. Vince, thank you so much. 

Vince Warnock: Thank you so much for having me. 

Atiba de Souza: Everybody, we'll see you real soon. Bye-bye.

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