Adam Dorfman, DMC Atlanta, Reviews, Thoughts

Drinking the Kool-Aid

As President of DMC Atlanta, I do my best to make sure our team members are consistently learning, growing, and feeling appreciated. I also make sure to keep up with public opinion of our company as expressed through online reviews and private feedback. In doing so, I have noticed a few trends that I wanted to address here so I can share why we do what we do the way we do it. Sometimes, our upbeat, focused, team-oriented (and a little bit weird) culture is something that takes some getting used to. We begin each day with high-energy sales and motivational meetings – designed to educate and empower our team members.  

People who give our company negative reviews refer to it as drinking the kool-aid. They say that we have a culture where we push people to think how we think and do strange things, like team goal-setting and accountability, LOUD public recognition when individuals or teams succeed, and promote solely on performance.

Well – I guess it’s true. We do want people to drink the Kool-Aid. We want people to learn to think, speak, and act with a higher degree of intent and positivism than they are accustomed. We want people to believe what we believe – our WHY – that “Every person deserves to be as successful as they want to be, provided they are willing to do the work and make the necessary personal changes.”

We don’t want to change who people are – their beliefs – their faith – their passions. In fact – we want the opposite: to help them believe more, have more faith, and have more passion – in and for themselves.

We look at our energy as a way to warm up to conquer the day. We work in teams who compete within the office to help the overall team win – and we celebrate independent achievements alongside team victories.  Our morning routine looks something like this:

DMC Atlanta Morning Schedule:

10:00 AM – Senior leaders and trainers meet to discuss how best to help new team members and those who need some extra help.

10:30 AM – Senior Management (including the owners, Senior Leadership, VPs, and recruiters) are available for 1:1 meetings with ANYONE on our team who wants to meet. We can go over how to improve in sales, help with personal finances, help with leadership or coaching – or just be there to listen. We are here to help everyone on our team improve their lives.

11:00 AM – Leader Meeting for DMC Atlanta’s Sales Leaders – where Senior Management teaches leadership skills, team building, finance, business management, and campaign management to our trainers. We teach our leaders to lead and to create opportunity for others. At this time, our new team members are learning basics of marketing, sales, and product knowledge from a successful Sales Leader.

11:30 AM – Team Meetings – Team Leads meet with their teams to go over goals, accountability, and recognition. They also use this time to educate and empower other team members.

11:40 AM – Games/Warm Up – We play games. In meetings. It’s fun, and it gears people up for the day. If you don’t want to have fun or you think fun is stupid – don’t work here.

11:50 AM – Drills/Workshops – Top Performers teach and share best practices through interactive workshops and practice.

12:15 PM – Morning Meeting and Recognition – Senior Management recognizes top performers and updates the team on special news and goings-on. We also use this time to get the team ready for the day and empower. Since every manager at DMC Atlanta started at the entry level, we all can relate to the day-to-day of each team member.

After our morning meeting, the team is ready to head out and meet with customers – understanding that they get to determine the outcome of their day. It is their choice how successful they will be.

So here’s the question – Are we really THAT unique in starting our day with high-energy, upbeat, fun traditions to get our team ready to attack the day and win?

In my opinion – no. The NYSE rings a giant bell at the beginning of every day while a crowd cheers to get energy right on the sales floor. Sports teams psych themselves up through locker room talk and through prayer. One of my all-time favorite examples of this is the All Blacks.

The New Zealand national men’s rugby union team, officially nicknamed the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men’s rugby union and is the winning-est team in ANY professional sport – ever. Before every game, the team participates in a ritual dance called a Haka. The idea of the Haka is a unified team dance, utilized to empower the players, intimidate the opponent, and secure victory. At first – it may look a little (a lot?) silly – grown men, dancing and chanting in unison. But here is my question – WHO CARES? The team has fun, works together, and WINS. New Zealand have only ever been beaten by five test nations, and they are the only international team to have a winning record against every nation they have played. They have won 413 of their 538 test matches – 76.77% and have lost at home only 37 times.

In closing – No – we don’t dance in unison – but sometimes we do dance.  Sometimes we do sing along, out loud, to the radio.  We do laugh – a lot.  Also – we win.  We win like crazy.  It’s all we ever do. (win win win, no matter what). So, cheers – drink up (the kool-aid, that is.)



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