154: Building Strong Cultures with Tristan White

By May 12, 2017Podcasts

 

 

Tristan White shares his experiences in building an award-winning work environment from top to bottom.

You’ll Learn:

  1. Why Tristan quit his dream of working with elite athletes
  2. The one key question you need to ask before committing to anything
  3. The power of noticing alone

About Tristan

Tristan White is the CEO and Founder of The Physio Co., providing over 200,000 physiotherapy consultations for seniors every year. For eight consecutive years, The Physio Co. has ranked as one of Australia’s 50 Best Places to work, and was named the winner of BRW’s Best Place to Work in Australia in 2014. Tristan also runs a blog, and regularly speaks at conferences and company meetings.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Tristan White Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Tristan, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast.

Tristan White
You’re welcome, Pete. It’s fantastic to be on your show.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m excited to chat with you. So you are a pretty busy fellow, I imagine, and it’s early in Australia as we’re speaking. And so your claim to fame is having created The Physio Co and having grown it to receiving all these awards associated with it being the best place to work in Australia. So can you just maybe orient us to the story of how this company came into existence from conception to now and what makes it sort of special and different?

Tristan White
Absolutely, Pete. A strong culture is a passion of mine but I think it’s important that we go back to the start and it’s important to know that I’m a qualified physiotherapist, as it’s known here in Australia, or physical therapist as, I think, it’s maybe known in the States. I went to college and I studied physical therapy and I had this real passion, or what I thought was a real passion, to use those skills and work with elite athletes and work in sports physical therapy with people who were, hopefully, professional football was the sport of choice that I was hoping to become a sports medical specialist in.

And I started my career, and I started working in junior level of Elite Sports, and just one year into my physical therapy career I had this real challenge, this real conflict that my head was saying, “Tristan, you’re on the right track. This is the career you want,” and my heart was saying, “Tristan, this does not make you happy. This is not something you can possibly enjoy doing for the next 20 or 30 years of your life if that’s what you think a career is.”

And as just a 23- year old recently-graduated physical therapist who had started his career in a certain direction I had a big conflict. And, Pete, I was embarrassed at this point because I told my friends and family and who would listen that Elite Sports Physical Therapy was the direction my career was headed, and just a year in I was really struggling with it. So I actually left that job and I was without a job for a period of time after five years of university and my first year of my career.

Pete Mockaitis
And if I could pause for just a second, I’m so intrigued.

Tristan White
Of course.

Pete Mockaitis
While you weren’t feeling it, can you tell me what were the key elements that weren’t resonating with you and how did those kind of show for you emotionally?

Tristan White
The first six months of that job I was so engaged and I was working from a case load of zero patients to between 80 and 100 patients per week. It was my case load grew to very quickly, and I was a junior physiotherapist and I was really battling with being able to provide a great physical therapy outcomes for my clients, and I was really battling with just being the best communicator and the best rapport-builder and the best time manager to stay on time with some of the things I really was focused on.

But, Pete, the thing that really struck me emotionally was the fact that I didn’t get professional satisfaction from helping people to run faster, jump higher, tackle harder, which is what the elite athletes were coming to me to be able to return from their injuries for. And in the grand scheme of things of their lives they were 90% to 95% functioning in the health of their daily lives with this elite part of their sports that they really wanted to improve at, and personally I thought that that was going to really inspire me.

But what did inspire me, Pete, and this is where I’ve hinted to, is the fact that I got much more personal satisfaction from helping people that were much less functioning in their lives, and I’m talking about elderly people who may not have been able to walk the distance they wanted to walk, or be in pain. And an example is an elderly person who I worked with in that first year who came into our clinic, and this person had a goal of quite simply being able to walk from their house, down some stairs, out to the front gate and to be able to collect the mail from the mailbox after it was delivered every single day. And that was so important to them and they couldn’t do it.

And I was able to help them through some treatment on their hip and their knee to really improve that function in their lives. And these were the emotions that I was battling with, was I wanted to do something useful in the world that made me professionally satisfied and yet the Elite Sports wasn’t doing it. But helping ordinary people with ordinary challenges, be able to be better in their lives was something that I was much happier with but I was so personally embarrassed by this realization so early in my career.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Well, but you pushed past it. And then what happened?

Tristan White
Yes. So, Pete, I left that job and I reflected on what I wanted to do with my career and, in short, I wanted a job that inspired me and I was surrounded by other people, other positive people that also enjoyed what I was doing. And I think most of us that’s what we’re looking for, Pete. And I looked and I looked, and I searched for a job that I thought would inspire me and I couldn’t find it.

And, very sheepishly, Pete, without telling barely a soul except my parents, I got a part-time 12-hour per week job at an elderly people’s home in the northern suburbs of Melbourne here in Australia and it was not a nice place in terms of the physical environment. It was old and it was a bit smelly, and it was not the Elite environment that I had thought I’d work in. But, Pete, that 12-hour per week job where I got to engage with the 30 elderly clients of that H-Care Home and helped them with their physical needs to be as mobile, safe and happy as they possibly could be was the starting point of my career and building what has become The Physio Co.

And so from that 12-hour per week initial part-time job, I then started with some other elderly people’s homes and within one year I had more work than I could personally handle, and I saw another option but to ask for help and I started employing some other physical therapists and that was way back in 2004. And if we moved forward 13 years from there, which was a reasonable amount of time, Pete, The Physio Co now has over 100 physical therapists, and we deliver more than 200,000 consultations to Australian senior people around the country helping them to do exactly the same things that I was doing in those early days and it’s helping them be as mobile, safe and happy as they possibly can be.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that’s great and God bless you. I know my wife has been visiting some PTs here and there and it makes a world of difference in terms of if the knee is working well, and it’s like, “Yeah, you could walk, you could run, you could do stairs with ease,” versus, “It’s working not so well,” like it hurts and you have lesser ability to just do what you want to do. It really does make an impact on folks’ lives. And I can understand and appreciate how it’s sort of like in some professions.

There’s listeners, and I don’t know if I’m all that amped up about helping my rich clients get richer. But they may be more amped up about helping those who are financially struggling, get to a place of financially okay. And, similarly, you, on sort of that physical dimension, that’s really cool.

Tristan White
Yeah, absolutely, Pete. And I mentioned a couple of times, my heart was really challenged by my career. I made a change. I was nervous about it, I was embarrassed but I engaged and I got great professional satisfaction in knowing that I got such a hard time from my mates, they’re like, “Tristan, what are you doing with old people for?” And they just didn’t get it, didn’t see the same satisfaction that I saw.

But, interestingly, it made me happy and I stuck to it, and I’ve stuck to it for quite a while now. And just in the last few years, as The Physio Co has grown significantly, we’ve built this strong culture within ranks as one of the best places to work in the country. This has all happened as a result of a lot of hard work. But those very same people who were giving me a hard time were like, “Well, you know what, that sort of H-Care thing, that sort of worked out for you, hasn’t it?”

And I guess I tell that story because I think there’s so many people in their careers, in the first decade of their careers, or first two decades, that sometimes I think they can’t make the shift, they can’t make a pivot. And I want to encourage everyone listening. Be brave. Be bold. Make the move in the direction but you do have to give it a real shot. You just can’t continue and move. You have to make a decision and then give it a real shot if that’s the direction that you do choose.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, I like it and that’s so good. I’m thinking now about the book Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar – I don’t know if I’m saying his name just right – but he makes that point when it comes to career considerations that happiness is the ultimate currency, and I totally agree. It’s like it may be less prestigious for a moment but if you’re digging it then that’s what matters. So, very good. Very good.

So that’s your story. And thank you for going a little longer there than we usually do on your story but I think that’s great and resonant for folks looking at potential career switches. And so then tell me, you have a hundred PTs employed right now, and you have an award-winning culture, a best place to work kind of a vibes, are these PTs servicing facilities? Is it sort of a diffused network? Or is there kind of an office or workplace? I guess, how do they get together and have a great culture exactly?

Tristan White
Yes, fantastic question, and it is an interesting concept because The Physio Co has got a really strong culture and we have been ranked, for eight years, as one of the country’s best places to work, and yet I’m in our central office, our support office here in Melbourne right now, and there’s only about half a dozen of us support team here in this office, and the rest of the team, the hundred PTs, located in H-Care Homes, in retirement villages, and in the private homes of elderly people who are receiving our service right now at 8:50 a.m. in the morning on a Wednesday here in Australia.

Pete Mockaitis
Early risers.

Tristan White
Yeah, that’s right. And so the way we’re organized, Pete, is that we’re organized into eight separate geographical teams, and the teams are between 10 and 12 PTs in any group. And those teams are led by a team leader, and so they’re spread right around the country of Australia but they’re connected by their team leader and they’re connected by this very strong values-based culture that we’ve created which is based upon our core purpose, a set of core values, and a very, very repeatable rhythm of communication  which keeps people really connected to the great work they’re doing to the organization and also to the other team members as well. So it’s quite a diverse group but we’re connected by a central purpose, “Are we existing to help seniors stay mobile, safe and happy?”

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Well, I want to dig into each of some of those areas you outlined. But, first, so I can visualize this scene a little bit better, can you tell me, so these teams, how often do they sort of get to physically see each other?

Tristan White
Yes. So they’re connected online. So every PT would be seeing at least a small number of their other team members each week. And so they do cross over, they do work at some of the same H-Care Homes. Like right now, there might be two or three PTs from any one team at the same location working with different elderly people but there might be some of them who are working independently who do not see each other. So there’s both some bumping into each other, so to speak, at the same location each week but there’s also social events that happen once a month and also learning events that happen on a regular forth nightly, monthly and quarterly basis as well.

And so, Pete, there’s a bit of a rhythm of communication we have, and that is the team leader communicates with each team members every single week if not more often. But the PT themselves bump into each other and work together at various places throughout each week, and then we have this rhythm of coming together as small groups on a regular basis, and then rhythm of coming together as a large organization on three times per year. We come together for a celebration and also some learning as well in terms of the connection we have. So they’re the two physical ways we communicate but, of course, we’ve got so many online ways that we communicate as well.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Well, that’s really cool. So now I’m oriented a little bit. So then what are these kind of purpose, dimensions and values that seem to be doing the trick, resonating and make things award-winning?

Tristan White
Yeah, Pete. So the most critical bit that The Physio Co exists to help seniors, senior people stay mobile, safe and happy. And that critical core purpose , as we know it, is the link that brings us all together. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, whether I’m here speaking to you, or we’ve got our team in the office here managing the phones and providing customer service and admin support, we’ve got PTs out there helping seniors. That is the critical link that we’re all here, and we use that language over and over and over again because it’s a common thread between all of us.

And I think one of the critical factors in building a strong culture, in my experience, and this applies for both the leadership of an organization and the team members, and that is everyone knows what the organization or team exists for and they can use the language over and over again because it’s like a common link, a common bond between the team members.

And so we joke about the fact that we can all recite that core purpose and that’s a really important part of what we do as an organization. And also, Pete, it is applicable to a team or a department within a larger organization. They too can consider, “What is the purpose of this department that I work in?” And any team member can engage in a conversation with others to say, “Hey, what are we here for? And do we have a common link or common language that will really help us engage with what we’re here for and build a better team?”

So, core purpose  is the starting point for a really strong culture. Does that make some sense to you, Pete?

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, I hear you. And so now, in your core purpose, it just makes it feel good. It just seems like there is something here beyond shareholder value and profit maximization that kind of resonates with sort of the human spirit. So could you maybe give us some pointers or principles in terms of, if you’re thinking about the core purpose and the articulation of it, what makes one good versus bad?

Tristan White
There’s one. As I fumble for words here, Pete.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, sure. No problem.

Tristan White
But there are some people who would disagree with me on this because there’s many people who might say, “Businesses exists only to make money.” I’m not one of those people and I don’t believe in that theory. But a core purpose should not be about money in my view. It should not be about making money. It should be about doing the doing of what an organization is actually about , providing value to the people that are both in us and receiving the service or product from us. So that’s why mobile, safe and happy is the outcome that we provide to our senior clients.

But you know what? That happiness, which is a critical part of it, is a common link between the customers receiving the service and the people delivering it because if we’re happy and help people to achieve their goals then other people become happy and it’s a beautiful revolving circle. And so I would really encourage people to have a functional part of their core purpose but also an emotional part of their core purpose.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Understood. And that’s nice. So now, tell me then, you say that they can engage in conversation about it. I don’t imagine that you’re just sort of chanting it. But what are some conversations that are emerging and how do they go exactly?

Tristan White
Well, look, the fact is, Pete, because of our core purpose it’s a filter for what we should and shouldn’t be doing.

Pete Mockaitis
Yes.

Tristan White
And so we have got this culture of innovation here at The Physio Co and I hope that many people are engaged in it and are learning and growing mindset. And by doing that we have so many people coming with so many ideas and suggestions for the future. But when they bring ideas the question is, “Does this align with our core purpose? And does it help us help more seniors to be mobile, safe and happy?” And if the answer is yes then we move forward as to how we might be able to implement it. If it doesn’t, it’s a very clear end of that conversation and people now understand what they need to be bringing in terms of suggestions.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, I love that. So we got one layer of just kind of a binary yes/no. Is it kind of more people or more kind of quality associated with the more mobility, more safety, more happiness? And so, at the same time, I’m thinking, “Boy, there’s probably a lot of things that pass into the yes zone.” How do you go from the initial filter to prioritizing sort of what’s like the top-area focus versus a lesser-area focus?

Tristan White
Pete, the next step of the language or the system required to have a strong culture, in my experience, is a really set of core values. Core values  which define behavior of a team or organization. So the next step of the filter is then whether it aligns with the core values because if we’ve got this, “Yes, it fits the grand overarching core purpose,” but does it fit the core values?

And as an example, The Physio Co’s got four core values: respect everyone, be memorable, find a better way and think big, act small. They’re not groundbreaking core values but if there is a suggestion that does not fit with our value of be memorable and that we do things that help seniors, they’re mobile, safe and happy in a memorable way, but in the eyes of the customer and in the eyes of ourselves then we may not then we may not continue with that suggestion. We might have to refine it or find another suggestion as to how we might be able to do that in the future.

So I think the core purpose is the first filter and then we dive deeper into the filter of the core values as another way to decide whether a suggestion or innovation is the right direction we should hit it.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Well, so, I’m going to get just a touch more conceptual before we get into the how-to, if I may.

Tristan White
Sure.

Pete Mockaitis
So you’ve got sort of four secrets to a world-class culture. Maybe you’ve already revealed a couple of them to us, but can you lay them out, one, two, three, four?

Tristan White
Absolutely, Pete. The four secret of a world-class culture, and these secrets are what we’ve learnt and tried and tried at The Physio Co, and people continually come to us and say, “How do you do it? How do you build a strong culture?” And this is the summary of how we got it in our business. And the four secrets  is, firstly, discover the core. And the critical parts of discover the core is purpose and values that we’ve spoken about already.

The next step is document the future. There’s no question, in my experience, that people in a team want to understand not only what the business stands for but where it’s headed, what’s important to it, what are we working towards. And so without a very clear vision as to what the future will look like, and I’m not talking about an airy fairy, “We want to be the best in the industry,” sort of stuff. It’s very specific goals that we’re working to with a very specific timeline.

Pete Mockaitis
So like quantitatively, like how many PTs or how many people served or how much revenue.

Tristan White
You got it. You got it, Pete. And my take on vision is it needs to be in two parts. It needs to be a very long-term north star as to where you’re headed over the long term. And in our business we set a 10-year goal to deliver two million consultations to Australian seniors that we’ve been working towards since 2009. It’s a very, very long-term goal, a long-term vision which is too long for many people and, therefore, we break it up into three-year steps.

And our very first three-year step in that 10-year goal was to grow from a team of 20 to a team of 50. And when we achieved that then we moved on to the next step which was to grow from a team of 50 to a team of 100 which is where we are today. And the third part of that 10-year vision which I’ve broken down to, is then to almost double again to get to 180 team members is the third step we’re working towards. And so, yes, a very clear vision about the outcome of the service you’re providing and also the internal team as well. So that’s the second step.

The third step, Pete, is to execute relentlessly. There’s no question that if you’ve got the foundations of purpose and values in place, you’ve got a clear vision, unless every team member is aligned to that vision and working hard day after day after day to bring that vision one step closer, one step closer, one step closer, and we work together in a relentless way to bring that to life, then that is the way that we make it happen.

And the example of executing relentlessly, Pete, is a really robust recruiting process, because unless we recruit hard, have a robust process to make sure we’re getting the right people into our team then we start diluting the culture very, very quickly. So executing relentlessly is about having fantastic systems and processes in place so you can grow in a fast way.

And the last step, Pete, which some people think is the only path of building a strong culture, is called show more love. And it’s the softest stuff but it’s important to note that it’s so important to welcome people to your team in a positive way. And we think it’s so important to have a party, have a welcome party when people arrive. It doesn’t have to be a big bash but it does need to be a welcome, a welcome lunch or a welcome celebration every time someone joins your team.

I think it’s important that team members get regular recognition from senior management as well as their peers. And I also think, Pete, it’s so critical that we document your culture with inspiring cultural library of memory bank because a culture is about the memories of an organization, and unless you capture them you do miss them.

And so every year at The Physio Co we create what we call a culture book which is something, an idea that I’ve borrowed – borrowed means copied, Pete – with giving recognitions. And that’s Tony Hsieh of Zappos and they’ve been creating a culture book for a long time. It is a yearbook where we publish the photos of the parties of the people, quotes of our team, photos of our clients, and we really capture a year in the life of The Physio Co and share that with our team to make sure we are capturing the memories.

And so to recap these four steps: discover the core, document the future, execute relentlessly and show more love.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. So, now, I guess I’m curious to hear, for the numbers-driven, do you have any cool maybe side-by-side, hey, your attrition rates versus typical PTs in Australia attrition rates just to show just what this does for people’s experience of work and how much they want to stick around?

Tristan White
Yeah, of course, Pete. So The Physio Co has got typically high levels of retaining our team members, and in most years we have a turnover of staff of approximately 10% per team which some people might say is it’s not that high sort of attrition. I think it’s important to keep in mind that H-Care, working with elderly folks, is a challenging industry to work in. Some organizations have close to 100% turnover of staff in any given year because of the industry we’re in.

And so, yes, The Physio Co has got a fairly high retention of staff but as I’m talking, Pete, like any business we have ups and downs. We are not at this peak all the time. We have ups and downs but the important thing in maintaining a strong culture is to listen closely to the people in your team and respond appropriately to be able to engage them in the future.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Well, so now, I want to hear, let’s just imagine you’re sort of an individual staff person or a manager of a small team, and you are in the larger context of a bigger organization. If you want to establish a great culture, I imagine you’ll follow the same secrets, but what would be sort of the distinctions or differences, and what would you sort of go do – first, second, third – to get things off the ground with a smaller unit inside a larger organization?

Tristan White
Pete, the most important thing that anyone can do, if they’re serious about improving the work environment and the work culture, is to make it their highest priority. Make it up there with one of the most important things they do because so many people who expect or want a strong culture but they’re not willing to do the work and make it a high priority.

So the first thing is to make it your really strongest, highest priority . The second thing that we can all do – and this is something that I take very high focus on – is the idea of lift where you stand. What I mean by the idea of lift where you stand is when you turn up to work on any given day you can choose to be a positive, inspiring and kind person, or you can choose to have your emotions go up and down like a . . . box or how people treat you.

But I think if you’re willing and wanting a strong culture and a positive environment around you, then the important thing is to be positive yourself and respond. And I’m not talking about being over-the-top happy. I’m talking about just being kind, helpful and lifting people’s moods and engagement based upon the way you communicate with them on any given moment.

And if something bad happens you respond in a professional and kind way as opposed to assigning blame to anyone else. They are the two most important starting points. And the third thing I would consider is having a conversation with others  about how you can put some small things in play that you’re all committed to which will then help to build just a little system, a little idea between two people, three people, five people which might be a contest of catching people doing something right.

Pete, I think there’s so much a habit in workplaces that catch people, whether they’re peers or other team members, catching people doing something wrong and correcting them as opposed to this fantastic idea of catching people doing something right and praising them for it as a starting point to raise the culture and the environment that you’re working in. So those are few things to start from.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Very good. And so can you tell me then, elsewhere you have a teaser in your book and website, so I just want make sure we cover it because it’s so compelling. Have we captured the secrets of employee motivation, Tristan? Or is there more to say on this point as well?

Tristan White
There’s plenty more to say, Pete. I can talk about it all day but I think the important bit, Pete, is that all of us are people, we’re human, we have ups and downs, and I think it’s so important that organizations and the people within them realize that people have ups and downs in their lives, and expecting people to be at their very best, at their absolute happiest all the time is just not realistic.

But I think it’s so important that we provide a caring culture because when we notice someone who’s not at their best and we respectfully and privately mention it to someone, “Hey, you’re not quite at your best today. What’s up? Can I help with something?” It’s often those private one-to-one conversations that can really provide a better engagement, a better link between people and result in longer-term motivation because of the caring nature of it.

So, Pete, I’m not one to stand on stage and do all sorts of stuff, motivation from a one-to-many perspective. If there’s one thing I’d like to add to what we’ve already said, staff motivation in my view comes from the one-to-one engagement that we can provide, and we could all be responsible for that.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. And I’m curious to hear, when you have those conversations, what are some commonly-occurring answers to what’s up and why people aren’t at their best and helpful solutions that a peer or manager can offer?

Tristan White
There’s so many reasons why people, why they might respond but the fact that you’ve noticed it not only shows that you care but it also is a reminder to the other person that the way they act does influence the people around them. And so sometimes it’s a caring response, and people say, “No, I’m fine. No worries. I can certainly make sure I’m back on track.” Or, secondly, the other one is, “Hey, you know what, Tristan, I’m overwhelmed here. I’ve got more work than I can possibly cope with and I’m a bit stuck.” And that response, Pete, is one that we can really help with.

We can take a moment, a deep breath, we can then work, have a bit of priorities, decide what needs to get done first, if there’s anything that can be delegated or delayed and really help people to be more focused on what they’re doing. And so I think they’re two examples which can really help people feel more motivated because they know there’s a caring people around them and they can offer help when required.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you, Tristan. Is there anything else you want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and talk about some of your favorite things?

Tristan White
No, I think, Pete, I’m good. I think, Pete, I’ve enjoyed the chat and I’m happy to move on to some favorite things. That sounds good to me.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, fun. All right. Well, first off, how about a favorite quote?

Tristan White
“Don’t dabble,” is my favorite quote, Pete. If you’re going to do something, all in.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. And how about a favorite study or a bit of research?

Tristan White
A favorite research is from my favorite author of all time, business author that is, and that is Jim Collins, and that is, “It takes a very long time to build a great company,” between 10 and 30 years is the research that he suggest, and I’m putting a line to that theory.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. And how about a favorite book?

Tristan White
My favorite little book of all time is called The Alchemist. It’s a beautiful little read. I re-read it from time to time and I just love it.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. And how about a favorite tool, whether that’s a product or service or app, something that helps you be awesome at your job?

Tristan White
I think I’d have to say it’s Google Apps. I’m very mobile and I get around and I use Google Apps every day of my life.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. And how about a favorite habit, a personal practice of yours that helps you flourish?

Tristan White
I’m a very reflective person, Pete. I love to spend, to get up early in the morning, have a look out the window and reflect on what I’m grateful for and what I need to be focused on that day, and then get on with the day. And, again, I love that at the end of the day with my family, my wife and three little kids, at dinnertime we ask ourselves, sorry, one person asks each of us, “What was the most favorite part of your day? And what was the most challenging part of your day?”

And we share these exciting parts and challenges with each other every single day, and it’s a great way to become more reflective but also to learn and share successes and challenges with our family as well. So that’s my favorite.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, thank you. And is there a particular nugget, an articulation of your message on stage or when you’re working with folks individually that seems to particularly resonate and get people nodding their heads in agreement with what you’re saying?

Tristan White
Well, there is, and it’s a very simple concept, because a lot of people think a lot of the things that I talk about being kind to others and catching people doing something right and having clear goals, people are like, “We get it, Tristan. We understand that.” But the bit that people nod along to, and sometimes it might be a bit different, is that you can create a repeatable system at work and/or in your personal life around making sure those things happen.

And a welcome party for team members is one example of that, “Hey, if I think it’s a great idea to have to welcome people into the team, but are you willing to put a system in place to make sure every single person that joins your team gets a positive welcome and gets a positive start in their career and their job?” Or, if we’re too busy, can they be shut off and we’ll do that later on is often what happens. So, in short, Pete, yes, it’s kindness. Yes, it is things that people might think a common sense, but it’s a repeatable system around these things which build a strong culture that people often nod along to.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. And if folks want to learn more about you or your book and your messages, where would you point them?

Tristan White
Yeah, the best place is to head over to my home on the web, Pete, which is my personal website. It’s at TristanWhite.com.au because I’m down under here in Australia. So it’s T-R-I-S-T-A-N W-H-I-T-E.com.au and you’ll find my blog there with multiple hundreds of blogposts. You’ll find a link to check out some, we’ll put a link to this podcast and others there, and also you’ll find an opportunity to check out my book which is just being released, it’s called Culture is Everything: The Story and System of a Startup that became Australia’s Best Place to Work, and we cover all of this content in that book as well.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, great. Thank you. And do you have a final challenge or call to action for those seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Tristan White
The challenge is listen to your heart. There’s no question, in any part of me that says, “If you’re not at peace with the work you do then you’re never going to be able to do your life’s best work.” So, listen to your heart, and once you’ve made a decision and your heart is in the right direction, work hard to be the best version of yourself you can be. I’m a living proof that that’s the way it happens. For me, and 13 years on, I’m so grateful that I made that, put my ego aside and moved in to an ugly duckling of the health world being H-Care but I’m so very grateful that I did.

Pete Mockaitis
Yes. Well, we’re grateful for what you’ve shared and thank you, Tristan. Good luck with hitting the next upcoming goals and the book and all you’re up to.

Tristan White
You’re welcome, Pete. Thanks for having me. Have a great day.

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