Episode 6: Collaboration in a Team with Pete Mockaitis

“A high performing team has objectives and they hit them. They exceed them with reliability…More so, what is it like in terms of the collaboration and the vibe between and among folks,” says Pete Mackaitis.

Pete shared one of his experiences as a leader and what he learned on leading a team. He has one important advice to leaders on what they must do to eliminate anxieties on a team.

Pete Mockaitis is a Podcast Host and Trainer-in-Chief at AwesomeAtYourJob.com. He is also a consultant at Bain & Company. He has travelled all over the world coaching how to build a high performing team. His favorite quote is “Just breathe.”

Website: https://awesomeatyourjob.com/

Contact Numbers: +1 877-207-4978/ +1 312 284 2931
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeteAwe
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petemockaitis/
Address: 534 W Stratford Place, Suite 10W; Chicago, IL 60657


Welcome to the high performing team I’m your host Thomas Mangum if creating extraordinary from the ordinary keeps your interest or its moving from good to great results inspires you then you’re in the right place get ready for the next episode of the high performing team.

Thomas00:00:00 Hey Thomas here you are going to love this episode with the host of How to be awesome at your job it’s one of the top podcast top business podcast on iTunes I had the pleasure of being a guest on the show and I had such pleasure to work with Pete Mockaitis who is the host and invited him over to the high performing team. Pete was a consultant at Bain and Company has gone on to consult with building high performing teams all over the worldand to lead this amazing pod cast I hope you get as much out of it as as I did and what’s on my mind right now is one of his favorite quotes was it was really just breathe and it sounds so simple yet it’s so incredibly profound on the journey from good to great to making extraordinary team from you know a good team so that’s all you got to do is just breathe and it brings you present to the very next step All right well tune in here we’ve got Pete Mockaitis on the high performing team and away we go


Thomas00:01:08 And here we are with Pete Mockaitis this oh my gosh host extraordinary team building leadership man each year doing it all I’m really impressed with with what you’ve done with just even the podcast so clearly you know what it takes to put together a team because you can’t really do it if it’s just you know thanks for being here Pete Oh it’s Thomas thank you so much Well I’m thrilled and honored to be here

Thomas00:01:36I’m going to jump right into it we’ve had a few chats about this is what’s your definition of a high performing team and give you a little context but you and I hear terms like elite high performing extraordinary championship teams we hear those terms thrown around what’s your personal definition of what a high performing team is saying


Pete00:01:59 I guess the Dictionary style from me is that you the team has objectives and they hit them they exceed them with reliability but I think more so the feel of it and what gets me really excited is just what it’s like in terms of the the collaboration and the vibe between and among folks it’s like there is an energy there’s an enthusiasm it’s like we’re going somewhere and we’re making progress and I could see it and you could see it and I can appreciate what we all bring to the table and it’s pretty thrilling when you’re in the midst of it

Thomas00:02:35 you know one thing I’ve noticed Pete I wonder if you have is that people in my time with these teams I work with in corporate America and the teams that you work with we hear I hear these terms thrown around and all the times I want to have to form a team or an extraordinary team to borrow from Jim Collins You know I want a team to move from good to great and these kind of things and when it comes down to it is going to be very unpopular but I like that. Is that you know I kind of I kind of call a bull the B.S. flag on that really because it’s like some people say they want that but they’re not willing to go through what it takes to move from good to great

Pete00:03:18 Absolutely and I think it’s maybe it’s Michelangelo or a great artist of old said something like if you saw what it took for me to achieve my artistic abilities you would not think it’s wonderful at all it’s like some hard slaw getting some typical conversation some unpleasant experiences along the way required to get there so it’s sort of like you to be careful what you wish for and are you really willing to pay the price were


Thomas00:03:48 I love that you’re sharing that and that’s what I’ve been assigned and been most excited about you know having really great service providers about people that are out there helping teams move from good to great and also interviewing chief executives these leaders at these extraordinary companies and that’s what I’m hearing from them you know we don’t want to I really don’t want to put the kind of shine on this is like oh it’s all just unicorns and rainbows and roses it’s easy and all of this no it’s having crucial conversations that’s what I found and there is for some people it’s blood sweat and tears I mean let’s use the you know we’re thinking about elite military teams and should you can we talking about the Super Bowl team they don’t get along I mean conflict is is what it’s about on these high performing teams and some people we’ve got to get really good about acknowledging that you shouldn’t be here you get to choose whether to play on this team or another team but you don’t get fake it in certain you gotta bring your a game


Thomas00:04:53 when you think about the results that you’ve created on teams teams that you work with or or you’ve been a leader on the teams was that where if you think back you think about a couple of stories let me get one story on that one team of where you had a moment you went through something tough together could you tell me about that what worked what was a turning point what was the dysfunction


Pete00:05:16 Oh sure thing Yes Well you know as I was having fun thinking through you know a stroll down memory lane and preparing for these questions that in some ways I think I’ve been kind of spoiled with teams that are already either really great to begin with and I was consulting at Bain and Company there are some high performing teams so I just sort of have that going great you know for sort of case after case and then Nowadays I feel kind of spoiled I’m semi one man band I’ve got sort of you know helpers either for interns or overseas or for short term contract type operations so I was actually kind of wanted to settle in on a time I was working with the team in a volunteer context. I really did have a great turning point there and so sort of set the scene I was working with Hoby stands for humor Hugh obrien youth leadership even when I was was younger I was loving the leadership development stuff and I remained a volunteer in that organization for over a decade and so we put together youth leadership seminars for high school sophomores and so I was the leadership seminar chairperson for Hoby daddy as they call them if the organization and I was having fun I had like a command you know I had fifty eight people that I was working with and leading to put on the events and then they were nice the organized into who was supporting who and it was great I had some folks doing a great job of recruiting students to come but you know contacting those guidance counselors were just surpassing our goals there and then I had some folks doing a great job at a programming coming up with great activities and fantastic speakers willing to service for free so cool and so has the facility has also had some things were come together very well except for one here important area which was the money. You know it wasn’t free to put on this thing and so I was kind of puzzled like well what I talk to my people and so you know we’ll call them Graham and Matt will use those names to protect the innocent but. They are great volunteers in a lot of ways and very consistent for the most part on board and gauge with the mission and what we’re up to and so I was a little surprised how we weren’t making much headway in Vista mention associated with with bringing the the donations flowing in and it was was interesting is so I think what I’ve learned in my approach is that I tend to lead people the way I wanted to be led. Instead of what was really necessary for that person and. That sort of context and situation so for instance I enjoy having autonomous control of something and just rocking in a ruling with it and doing my thing and checking in if I need some help and resources and guidance and what not and then as a leader I kind of like it when people do that too it’s like OK I don’t have to worry about so many things follow up on so many things but that was a bit of a sort of a self-serving kind of approach and not really what was optimal for us as a team getting where we need to go and and so what I quickly learned was that because folks they had a lot of other stuff going on in their lives and there was not much sort of accountability and clarity associated with what we were trying to pull off we were really getting somewhere so so the turning point was I said Well how about we meet on a call every week. And we’ll discuss you just very basically you know who will contact whom by when So build out the Google sheet of the restaurants we’re going to call it to get those things donated for the potential you know cash money donors for who that’s going to work it so it’s not a pretty simple but it was it was so interesting how when we really sort of got down to it you could see that there are all kinds of little hold ups like oh you don’t have the five o One C three attacks later that we need to give to people is really I just sort of assumed you know that you had that and it is like the formula I came up with there was ha well busy distracted people plus a lack of a sort of urgency accountability leads to zero progress. And that’s I think you see the in many different environments when someone might be on nine teams and they have many competing projects for their attention. And if it’s a little fuzzy what they’re up to and it’s not clear that folks really care and need the stuff progressed upon then it’s just sort of languish with nothing so well I won’t leave you in suspense Thomas there was good news we we got some momentum in terms of getting some meals donated here and there and bit by bit it’s like we did between kind of galvanized like yeah nice job Graham nice job Matt Oh yeah those burrito is sick score you know. Really it got real and any kind of you know apprehension about you know making the ask or or a building in time in the schedule to go do it disappeared as we saw the dollars and donations flow in and hit a fifteen percent surplus Oh yeah financially for the event.

Thomas00:10:53 So what just for a moment if you could go back you know take that example right there if you could go back to the beginning you could have it all the do over again and you knew it you knew right now you just got to go back in time what advice would you give yourself what would you do differently

Pete00:11:10 certainly Well I think I would bear in mind that people are different they have their own unique sets of preferences and means they liked it to work and can work and then I think I would have tried to set some some clear expectations. For particular results by particular times early and then I think I would have gotten them the warning signal you know a lot earlier as opposed to you maybe like two months out of the events because I was just sort of I think you know what’s kind of funny we don’t have any money. When we should do something about that whereas

Thomas00:11:48 what about the elephant in the room.


Pete00:11:50 And I think if I had just had sort of some clear sort of milestones in advance it would have raised that to my attention much earlier as opposed to saying Graham and Matt you know they’re good volunteers they’re on it it’s all good as I would have seen oh we’ve missed a couple milestones this probably does warrant an extra dose of my attention to get to the bottom of things good well

Thomas00:12:17 thanks very very much we’re going to put a little break here ladies and gentlemen with.Pete Mockaitis and when we return he will be sharing his answer sharing something that he’s never shared before that he really feels leaders and teams need to hear especially at this time in history so we’re at a quick break we’ll be right back with us on the high performing team.

Thomas Magnum here I hope you’re enjoying the show you know one critical element I see from the amazing effect of high performing teams is their team members getting really good at asking for and receiving support they keep it easy because if someone’s already creating amazing results why not borrow that idea come on guys keep it simple what kind of results could you create with that one simple fresh perspective we’ve got loads of gifts to share with you from tips and tools to training it’s all yours by going to gifts from Thomas dot com That’s gifts from Thomas dot com Make sure you write that down giftsfromThomas.com Hope you’re enjoying the show now let’s get back to it.

Welcome back we have Pete Mockaitis here this is Thomas Magnum of the high performing team so Pete what’s something that you’ve never shared before that you feel leaders and teams need to hear especially at this time.


Pete00:13:00 Certainly and you know it’s funny I think it’s really kind of recently coalesced into my brain so I’ve haven’t really shared and in a major spot and that is when it comes to high performing teams I think so often there has to be a bit of a course correction some feedback delivered to folks and and I think often the manager or leader even though. Others might view them as sort of the big bad authoritative you know courageous force they are often quite fearful and I think fear is a big elephant in the room associated with addressing some key things that need to be said and terms of delivering feedback and what’s so funny is in my own experience and those of many many people I talk to and my podcast guests who coach others on doing this they discover the vast majority of the time that a leader has to develop perhaps a bit of constructive feedback. To a follower the follower appreciates it. And all of the anxiety and hang hand-wringing at home my gosh how are you going to say this it can just be eliminated in just a few minutes of conversation leaving of leader wondering to themselves wow why not do that months ago

Thomas00:14:24 wow I love this part it’s probably a full disclosure. No filter at that is my favorite question because it always yields the truth you know the year your personal true with thank you so much for just sharing that sort of going into the quick fire questions round just because it’s goofy and fun and really interesting stuff comes out of this if you have a special morning routine what is that or do you

Pete00:14:56I do it is I don’t know how much do you see all the things you want me to go into that fire around.


Thomas00:15:03 Don’t get gross.

Pete00:15:06 I just fine tuning it so much so OK short pieces are Step one I record my dreams into a digital audio recorder. As a two I go to the bathroom I have a tall glass of water step three I do some exercises like three pull ups six squats nine sort of crunches thirty jumping jacks and just a little bit to get to get that body up and moving next I do some prayer You know and sort of cover off some key bases as well as mentioning sort of three things I’m grateful for that happened over the course of the the previous day and then it’s a breakfast while listening to some enriching music or podcasts and I’m raring to go and might by peak time is just about ten am. And I am very vigilant to really try and say no to anything that isn’t going to have sort of massive leverage on my business because I know I’m sharpest here and I’m not going to squander this precious willpower awesomeness on anything little but rather just like my most tough stuff that I’ve been avoiding like now it’s go time you know

Thomas00:16:28is there a favorite resource or Book that you like to. That you like to refer to or that you’d recommend.


Pete00:16:37 It say in terms of resources in the well I love the pod cast but not self-serving

Thomas00:16:45 I was going to I was going to get a mention that it is it is really really good that’s one reason I wanted you over


Pete00:16:51 thank you I thought really Lately I have just been digging the book The One Thing by Keller. It is it’s all about zeroing in on what’s the thing that’s going to make the difference and so I’m familiar with the eighty twenty principle and all that stuff but this somehow just crystallized it in a powerful way that’s been really kind of upping my game and I think it’s great for high performance teams as well to find The One thing that’s going to make everything else easier unnecessary and protect your time in order to spend on that one thing as opposed to getting divided into dozens of directions which. yields stress and suboptimal results and all kinds of stuff that’s that’s no bueno

Thomas00:17:42 right. What about any technology or an or if thing like that that you can’t live without


Pete00:17:51 you know I am going to make a shout out for omnifocus for MAC and so this is a task management application and there are many of them out there and I’ve tried many of them one of the reasons I love Omnifocus so much is because you can enter something from your brain into it in seconds with a hot key anything that’s up on my computer I could just push you know control Tilda moments up I could type that’s out of range a process it later or on the i Phone app it to I could sort of works with Siri as well as say hey remember to this and then I don’t have to worry about forgetting any great idea or or thing that just popped up in conversation I want to follow up on


Thomas00:18:36 great I would have ever quote


Pete00:18:39 oh boy there’s so many of them and I.

Thomas00:18:44 You know that’s why I said Favorite right

Pete00:18:47 yeah yeah. I find what I say to myself so often is to just breathe. Off and take a breath. And like we just took a breath to feel good.


Thomas00:19:08 It’s felt really good. I didn’t know what that sounded like to it if you’re listening you’re like What are they doing we’re breathing you should have been breathing to. Do this exercise this warm up icebreaker exercise the trust exercise in team buildings. One of things we talk about and it wasn’t the feature of it but when they’re practicing the pieces of it people stop breathing and I’m like oh and you’re supposed you’re doing this plus you’re continuing to breathe and that gets a chuckle.


Pete00:19:41 So I got a chuckle as well my mom used to do you a flashback where did it came from? you’re up to make connections here Thomas my mom do these I guess at the back of the day the Riviera just tapes of like workout programs and the woman who would often say and Breath. He was so funny at the time like of course you get a brief that was very like no you don’t build and it causes tension and narrowing and less creativity and optimal responsiveness So it’s good just remember to breathe.


Thomas00:20:15 You’ve got it now after the next breath Who is someone that you look to as an influence maybe perhaps someone of the public


Pete00:20:22 I’d say one of them is now he asked Don He was my very number one episode first episode for the podcast and he’s just been so valuable and helpful and kind generous in terms of new learning and growing in the world of people development speaking in the business side of all of that and now and podcasting I could look it up a lot to Jordan Harbinger recently from the art and charm. It seems like he’s only inspired me to put out three times a week and the benefits that that doesn’t terms of you’re learning and growing in reps as well as the attention that you can and relationships you can garner with your listeners when you have had a bit more engagement during the course of a week and I feel like I say he’s like the giving tree I keep learning a little extra thing from he doesn’t even know me yet I’ll have him on the show soon. Hopefully he says yes and I’ll let him know how influential has been for me

Thomas00:21:23 great that’s awesome I like that I definitely follow him as well so who is someone that you’d recommend we host on the show.

Pete00:21:31 Oh boy you know there are so many and so I’m going to say I’m thinkin right now about someone I interviewed just very recently been brat Bratton he’s name is written as Bennett brat but really people call him Ben and have by my brain was getting all mixed up OK a business called Team elements and I think he does a nice job sort of layin things out in a variety of sort of like it’s team elements to get clear on. We’re doing well here not so well over there and so I think that he would have a lot to say about high performance teams.

Thomas00:22:16 Cool Well hey listen so if anyone is interested in which I know they will be but if people are interested in finding out more about you how do you prefer to be reached


Pete00:22:29 Oh sure think well I’d recommend that you drop by my website awesomeatyourjob.com or in i Tunes find that there and then you can find me everywhere you know my e-mail my phone my Twitter you know whatever works for you if you’re at You can get right to it

Thomas00:22:49 awesome Well Pete thanks so much for sharing your time your energy your presence your wisdom on the high performing team it is it’s a pleasure every single time I get the opportunity to have a chat with you it’s it’s one of those things I think I’m not sure I said it publicly on your show but and I know I told you as it may sound like a little too much but it’s really me is I think you really there’s a there’s some kind of connection saying where I get you your very warm and welcoming whether you’re the guest or the host and I think that is also a secret to forming a high performing team is these the soft skills these the skills that I don’t think people are are teaching so much about but I really appreciate the way that you show up

Pete00:23:39 Oh thank you so much Thomas Well I dig your vibe to you and I wish you to kinds of luck and I hope to see this in that the top business podcasts will be. If you don’t come on over borrow a cup of flour.

Thomas00:23:56 All right that’s it for this episode with us on a high performing team says Thomas Mangum We’ll hear next.

Thank you for joining us today on the high performing team get notified of the newest episodes by clicking subscribe and of course rate the show now you know it really does inspire me to know that you care enough about your team to move it from good to great it is always a pleasure helping you create a high performing team as always connecting with me is as easy as going to connect with thomas dot com That’s connectwiththomas.com I’ll hear you next time.