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Practical Advice for Fostering Your Team Culture

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Practical Advice for Fostering Your Team Culture

Steve Seid:
Welcome to The Whole Truth, where two wholesalers help financial professionals build great practices and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. We'll bring you the stories and voices from those on the front lines of this change. And we'll have some fun along the way.

This is more than a podcast. We're building a community of financial professionals who are growing, forward thinking and want to get better. Thanks for listening and contributing to the discussion.

Disclosure:
The views expressed herein are those of the participants and not those of Touchstone investors.

Steve Seid: And welcome everybody to The Whole Truth in the Bay Area, California. I am Steve Seid.

Kurt Dupuis: And from Atlanta, Georgia, I am Kurt Dupuis. I've brought this up before, but I describe the feeling, I felt it numerous times in my life, but I felt it before we started this podcast where you kind of have what you feel is a big idea and it's half baked. It's not fully fleshed out, but you just take that leap. This interview was one of the many kind of rest areas on the highway of this experience, where I felt like during this conversation, just stop and be like, we're doing something cool here.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Have you gotten that sense at all?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Yeah. It's happened a couple times, but can I point out that I just really like the, is it metaphor? Is it story selling? You're painting a picture. I just want to tell you, I appreciate the way you're describing this right now.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, thanks man. We had a half baked idea and we knew there was something there. So we wanted to have someone on that could explore that with us.

Steve Seid:
Right.

Kurt Dupuis:
And not only did we explore it, but it was like freaking Magellan. He was making new maps for things that we hadn't even thought about. So, this is an interesting topic to be sure. It's applicable to be sure. But then my guy Robbie really came through for us. So what the heck are we talking about? We're talking about team culture. And we're talking about that because Seid and I have engaged a number of folks in the community to do panel discussions. People were equating team relationship building, like going out to dinner once a month or something with culture. And I just don't think those two things are the same.

So I thought we should explore it. And the guy that we're choosing to explore this with is my good personal friend, Robbie Reese. He runs a company called LeadAbroad, and he's done it for a dozen years and he takes college kids overseas to do study abroad. So simple enough, but what's interesting is most of the people that work for him, work at his organization had the shared experience of going on one of these trips. They never leave. Once people start working with him, they never leave. So his retention is incredibly high. And I just don't know if I've had more thoughtful conversations about leadership and business in general than I've had with Robbie. So, I knew that we'd get some good nuggets out of this chat and I'm very happy to say that we were right.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, he was terrific. And let me spend a few minutes here just kind of set the stage on culture. I came across a really good article, Harvard Business Review, Leaders Guide to Corporate Culture. And they made some good points worth bringing up. First, if you just think about businesses broadly, there's a couple of major levers that you can pull, two really, really big levers that you can pull. One is the strategy of a business. The other one is the culture of the business. And Peter Drucker, who is widely known and influential said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. So you have these two big things. One just really can ultimately be a lot more important than the other, but here's the challenge thing. And Kurt was eluding to this before. So, we know culture is really important. Everyone agrees with that, but man, is it hard to figure out like how to shape it, how to get it right. When I was going through business school, they'd talk about culture, but there was no books like how do you shape a culture, like, what do you do.

Kurt Dupuis:
How do you strategize on culture.

Steve Seid:
They told stories about companies who had good cultures, but there really was no guidebook to this. And here's a quote from the article, I think is worth repeating. "Executives are often confounded by culture because much of it is anchored in unspoken behaviors, mindsets and social patterns. Many leaders either let it go unmanaged or relegated to HR where it becomes a secondary concern for the business. This is a mistake because properly managed culture can help them achieve change and build organizations that will thrive in even the most trying times." And I thought that was really compelling. But the bigger point here for you guys is you have a huge opportunity, because the ability to shape culture at the organizational level, you know - think hundreds of thousands of people really - hard to do. There's studies that show humans struggle to be in sync with more than 150 people. So what happens in these big organizations is your culture is basically your boss and maybe your boss' boss and the people you work with. But the ability to do it at the team level at the small team level is much more possible.

Kurt Dupuis:
The other thing, I think we'd remiss to not bring up is Touchstone’s culture.

Steve Seid:
Yes. Good point.

Kurt Dupuis:
We both, I think we both really like the culture that we have at Touchstone. I think it's one of the best environments. It's the best environment I've ever worked in, yet I don't know how much is intentional, how much has just been organic with some of the leaders that we have in place that have created that on like the sub 150 level, because our organization is not that big, but all that to say is our culture is palpable. It's visible. I often tap into that when I think of like how I'm doing my job. When you appreciate and revere the people that you work for and that you work with, it makes you go that extra distance. It makes you want to just be part of something cool. And so that may be like the flowery hippie version of culture.

Steve Seid:
No, I concur.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's something real.

Steve Seid:
Our old CEO, Steve Graziano, and this is not kissing up to him because he is long gone. And I certainly didn't agree with him on everything that we did, but I used to just really compliment him like how did you build a culture that was this good? Was it purposeful? Was it accidental? I actually would talk to him about that because again, it's such an important thing and it's like, how did we get to this point? And I think there are some things that he did that kind of encouraged where we are. Very, very flat management structure. To me, it's like the steeper that management structure is, the worst the culture potentially can be. He had a policy where it's like, I didn't care who you are. You could just walk into his office and shoot this stuff.

Kurt Dupuis:
And people did. People took him up on it.

Steve Seid:
And people did. And people always felt the ability to start to share. Reflecting back, there's definitely some takeaways for how Touchstone became the place that it is. But again, I go back to - hard thing to do at that level. But in small teams, you can put together a strategy.

Kurt Dupuis:
It can be potent. It can be potent. And that's, I think we're still kind of tip of the iceberg with this. I think we're going to discuss this more and find more resources to throw at this topic to help educate ourselves and educate our clientele. So here are the takeaways. First of all, like Robbie gives a great tool that if you have zero culture, how over time can you develop that? And not from a top down approach, but a very collaborative approach. We talk about just how to think about culture. So like less tactical, but just kind of how you should think about developing it over time. And there's some really practical just team building exercises stuff that he does with his team, that he is seeing very good ROI in helping develop and nourish those relationships within his organization.

So there's sort of like big picture stuff, but also some of very tactical stuff that financial professionals can institute today. And one more thing before we move to the interview, you referenced Peter Drucker, who loves culture, loves talking about that. We'd also be remiss to mention Adam Grant, who's like this organizational psychologist, really big in the podcast world. He's written fantastic books. Here's a quote that I got from him on Twitter that's just fantastic, “Team culture.” So again, team culture, not corporate culture, "Team culture is created through the values we live, but it spreads through the stories we tell. Cultures are strengthened by stories of people, exemplifying who we are today. Culture change can begin with stories of people modeling who we could be tomorrow."

Steve Seid:
Fantastic.

Kurt Dupuis:
Those are sort of nuggets he hits you with on Twitter. Great follow, if you're not already.

Steve Seid:
If any of you out there that are listening have things you do to make your team culture better, we would love to hear about that.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yes.

Steve Seid:
Email us at thewholetruth@touchstonefunds.com, or email Kurt and I directly we'd love to sort of start compiling those ideas.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. And as always, if you're listening to this, you must like to show at least a little bit, so hit subscribe, tell your friends and write a review on Apple podcast because it helps out the show. So without further ado, here's our interview with Robbie Reese from LeadAbroad.

We have my good friend and team builder, Mr. Robbie Reese on the podcast today. Thanks for joining us, Robbie.

Robbie Reese:
Hey, thanks for having me Kurt.

Kurt Dupuis:
Tell us a little bit about your story.

Robbie Reese:
Yeah. Going high level, I grew up in the Midwest. I'm a Kentucky boy, just south of Cincinnati. Got the Southern itch. Wanted to go away to college, ended up at UGA. And the vortex that is Atlanta swept me in. I honestly wanted to go anywhere but Atlanta, but I ended up here just took a really great opportunity with Ernst & Young, straight out of school. I was a real estate and finance guy and ended up doing some real estate consulting, spent a couple years doing that, and then moved over to real estate development. Had just an amazing career building apartments here in Atlanta. And 2008 happened. And for those of you that remember-

Kurt Dupuis:
That was good for real estate, right?

Robbie Reese:
It was a pivotal time for myself, both personally and professionally and the industry completely crumbled. And it presented a really interesting vacuum, sort of like the one that we're living through right now, where everyone got to take a step back and re-envision kind of what they're doing, why they're doing it. And for me, I had always loved to travel and I thought about what the most amazing career I could have. And I thought, well, it'd be really amazing if I could be in a position where I was able to build a more meaningful career, focused on college students and study abroad. And so we dove in and 13, 14 years later here we are.

Steve Seid:
That's amazing. I’m jealous envious of people that just decide to dive in and start a business. I'd say to myself one day I'll do that, but I'm not as daring as you were. So congratulations on that. As Kurt was saying, Hey, we're bringing Robbie on. We want to talk culture. I started looking into your business and what's the website, let's plug that. What's your website?

Robbie Reese:
Yeah, it's leadabroad, L-E-A-D-A-B-R-O-A-D.com.

Steve Seid:
When you first opened that up, you're just like hit in the face by the passion, by the culture. I was just really struck by what you guys got going on culturally. So maybe let's jump right into that aspect of it and talk about culture. Why was that important to you?

Robbie Reese:
I started off, 120- 150,000 person, behemoth of a company. Ernst & Young's a great company and they think about culture all the time. But you feel like a cog in a wheel and what you recognize very quickly is the layers of hierarchy, but really you know your immediate manager, you know his boss, and you know what's important to them. I think the number one thing about any job is do you like your boss? They used to always ask us three questions every quarter, they say, do you like your boss? Do you have a friend at work? And do you feel engaged? And that was kind of the really quick high level.

Steve Seid:
That's the whole culture right there.

Robbie Reese:
Yeah. It's in a nutshell, it's very simple. And you start to say like, look, I don't like my boss and here are the reasons I don't like him. I don't have a friend at work because I'm traveling 52 weeks a year and I don't know anyone and I'm not engaged because how do you engage across an entire organization? You start there, you start with what you don't like. And then when you have an opportunity to take the wheel, you start to build something that you really care about with people you care about.

Steve Seid:
And there's a unique opportunity there. I think it's really important what you just said, large companies certainly there's cultures associated with that. The big tech companies come to mind. As an entrepreneur, and for our audience that runs small teams, there's an opportunity there to drive culture in a way where big organizations cannot.

Robbie Reese:
Absolutely. The recognition that - it can't just be a plaque on the wall. It can't just be words on a page, but really thinking about how it can be your north star that guides the organization, that creates those guardrails for everything that everyone does and thinks and feels. To me, activating and using a company culture to drive performance and drive outcomes is really where culture begins to take shape. And I think that small organizations really do have an incredible benefit. They have such an opportunity to leverage culture differently than large organizations do. And I think that's where I get excited each day, is knowing that I can have those individual conversations and individual relationships that are going to drive outcomes.

Kurt Dupuis:
We're talking about the difference between organization culture and team culture. And one of the reasons we wanted to talk with Robbie is because he runs a small team, like most of our audience, like most of the financial professionals with which we work. Robbie, your team's a dozen or so?

Robbie Reese:
Yeah. Pre-COVID. We were up to about a dozen and post-COVID we're in that like seven or so. We have a very similar sized team to probably most a lot of your listeners.

Kurt Dupuis:
What's your definition of team culture?

Robbie Reese:
Really it's a personality. When you get off that plane in Spain, you feel you're in Spain, or what makes you feel that you're in Spain? It's the traditions. It's the siestas. It's the way that they look and they feel and they talk. And these are all the things that activate a culture within a company. The shared language, the beliefs, the attitudes, the goals. And it's the ways of being that define a company. And that really make it stand out from every other company. And to me, those inputs create an output. So it signals to your team internally who you are, it signals to your customers who they are in relation to you, and all of your other stakeholders. And it helps you become a great organization. If you really crystallize that culture, it signals to everyone who you are and who you're not, which is really as important as the former.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And it's that famous quote. There's a couple levers that you can pull as a business, one being strategy, one being culture, and culture eats strategy's lunch. So if you can get culture right, it certainly can be a competitive advantage for your group and for your firm. Let's transition now into how you’re managing culture. And this is the quote I came across, "The best leaders we have observed are fully aware of the multiple cultures within which they are embedded, can sense when change is required and can definitely influence the process." When you were creating this culture, was it intentional? Did you say, Hey, I want to shape it this way. Did it evolve naturally? How much did you think through and try to take the wheel?

Robbie Reese:
Our company founding story, it's very unique and it was unique intentionally. But when we had this huge break in 2008. If you'll remember September of 2008 Bear Stearns falls, that was basically a couple days after I and my three other founding team members had decided to jump on a plane. We landed in Nairobi, Kenya. We decided to take 100 day trip from Kenya to Cape Town. We knew we wanted to create a travel company. We knew we wanted to create it around these principles of leadership and education around service, around adventure. And so what we decided to do, and again, this is an example that may be beyond what most organizations could or would want to do. But I think it provides an interesting reference point, is that we took 100 days, traveled and lived the experience that we wanted to eventually create for students by serving in orphanages, by whitewater rafting the Nile River, by speaking in Kampala at a university and traveling all the way down to Cape Town.

And basically what we did is we built our culture every day through the things that we did and every evening through the conversations that we had with those founding members. And I think that extreme example can be you brought home. It's just a series of shared experiences and shared conversations. And you don't have to start in a wild place like Nairobi, Kenya to get around a table, to get around a few meals and to have those conversations that matter. It's the intentionality that really comes down to deciding who you want to be, who you want to bring on and who you want that organization to become. And I think those are what really shape an organization.

When it comes to the intentionality of building your culture, I think that was the story we knew we wanted to create. We wanted people to know that if you interview with this organization, this is the level of intentionality they have. If you want to join us, participate in our mission, which is to lead transformative experiences. If you want to participate in that, know the level that we believe that this can be transformative, because we lived it ourselves. And I think that authenticity rings through. And I don't think you can fake that. I don't think you can say culture is important today and we're going to live this way if you haven't lived it in the past. That authenticity, your team members, your customers, they feel that, they understand.

Kurt Dupuis:
There's almost no way to successfully engineer a culture from the top down. Do you think that's accurate? Like it has to come from the bottom up, meaning everyone has to have those, to use your word, shared experiences or some sort of collaborative exercise where everyone's got buy-in, because this is not like the 10 commandments you post on the door. Am I thinking about that, right?

Robbie Reese:
I think so, Kurt. The way that I think about it is that a company culture, it's not decided by anyone, but it is informed by everyone. And I think that it's dynamic, it's amorphous and it's difficult to put your finger on what a culture is. And I think that's why we all have a hard time, both defining and understanding it, but then creating it. But because it is amorphous, because it is dynamic, I think it does give us an entry point at any given time. If we haven't been intentional about creating that culture, you can begin today. And I think that's actually the exciting thing about culture is that you can start today creating what I would call guardrails, because I think about, I tell our team members, I tell the parents of our customers, I'm not the police, but I like to create guardrails for our team members and for your daughters. And those guardrails are really meant to reinforce our priorities. It's really reinforce our values and our mission and those guardrails help us not to deviate from the path, but it provides a lot of opportunity for you to inform that culture, to inform the lived experience.

People feel when you're being dictorial, when you are telling, when you're using command and control, but people really appreciate when you set direction, allow them to determine how they can get there, how they can have that autonomy to help create the culture. And so if it's a stagnant culture, one of which is top down, it'll fall apart. That is not a strong foundation. And as you add people, you're going to find that they're not going to buy-in in the same way that the others have. So it won't be longstanding.

Steve Seid:
I want to ask a question related to that. Talk about the Lone Wolf. You've got a strong corporate culture, let's say, or team culture. And you've got somebody on the team who may be a good producer, may do his or her job really well, but don't fit the culture or don't fit the primary strategy. How do you handle that? Do you just go, okay, it's okay if one person isn’t simpatico with this thing we built, or is it problematic? In other words, do you overlook it because they do good work?

Robbie Reese:
I think this is the existential crisis that a lot of leaders have. It's the quintessential rainmaker who is doing incredible performance-wise, but because, or in spite of the fact that they're really hurting your culture. And so you do have to decide, you have to make some decisions. And I will tell you that that decision of how you handle that situation will signal to your team more than anything else you do. And I have had to make that decision and, and I will say that the culture became stronger subsequent to releasing that individual than any other single thing that I've ever done. Hiring for a cultural fit is really important, but firing for a cultural fit is much more important.

Steve Seid:
That's very interesting.

Robbie Reese:
And I think that is a very difficult thing to do, finding a way to off board that individual that is really unsettling the apple cart it's a very important thing if you really care about company culture.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm interested how you think about these two things working together. So there seems to be a couple of crucial elements here. Something in the vein of a mission statement, but also a word that I am shocked you haven't even used yet, values. And my only experience with this is when a year ago we started this podcast. And Seid and I went back and forth trying to develop a mission statement that really succinctly, because that's the challenge, like really succinctly described what we were trying to do. And we would workshop this thing for 30 minutes, an hour. We think we have something great. And then like two weeks later we think of something else. And so it was constantly evolving. This is an order of operation question, does the mission statement inform the values or do the values in inform the mission statement together?

Robbie Reese:
I'll tell you our story because I think it is going to show you how difficult this is. We're going to investigate this. We going to see, we're going to actually embark upon an experiment, which was a year long. And it was a really trying year. But what we did was we said, look, every single week that we come together and have our team meeting, we are going to highlight one individual on the team and we're going to celebrate them for something that we really valued that they did. And then from that celebration, we are going to create a word cloud every day, put that celebratory word, whatever it is, was it trust? Was it adventure? Was it, and let's put it on this chart and let's do this 52 times. And let's figure out who we really are, not who we think we are.

And it was actually a very eye-opening, but also humbling experience. As you can imagine for someone who sat down and maybe spent days and months, just thinking about these values and who we wanted to be to three years into this experiment say, look, I don't know if this was right. And by living out our values day on day, week on week, and just discovering who we were as a team and then creating our shared values, that to me was a very pivotal exercise and one that shaped the organization. And everyone knowing that they helped contribute to those, even if they weren't here at that time that we listened, we processed and we took the time to create values that everyone believed in. And one thing we continuously do at this point in our team meetings, we still say that we're going to live our vision through our values and you take a value and you celebrate a team member.

And so now we do it in inverse, but it reinforces the idea that those values are activated on a daily and weekly basis. And I think that's really important to figure out what are the mechanisms, what are the structures and the tools you're going to put in place to reinforce and make important those values so that they don't become words on a page, that they truly are your north star and your guiding principles.

I think the journey of self-discovery, whether it's personal or within a culture, it should be a little scary. One of my favorite saying is the process is just as important as the result. And I think at the end of the day, the process that we went about to create those values, it did inform the overall result and everyone looks to the result, but we all remember, we all celebrate the process. Yes, there was some risk therein embarking on that exercise. But I think the risk of not taking that journey was much bigger. Not listening to our team, not recognizing that we are at conflict with our own values. I think if we didn't do that, I don't think you and I would be talking here today because I don't think our organization would've had the strength from a foundational standpoint.

Kurt Dupuis:
So a little bit of a pet peeve of mine. You guys tell me if I'm on base or off base. But in doing some research about this and talking to a few other people, people tend to equate team building, like exercises, or all going out to eat together or doing little getaways as the culture. Are we on the same page that those two things are not synonymous? One might inform the other one or one might build trust and allow you to do the other, but those two things are not the same.

Robbie Reese:
Yeah. I think you're 100% correct. The way I would think about it is simply from a strategy and tactics perspective. A tactic of team building is a subset of your overall strategy, which is to create a strong company culture. But team building, I do think that there is a, I think that some people really they like to poo poo the trust fall concept. Everyone has seen those posters where people are in the woods and they're falling backwards. That has been such a joke for so long, but I do think shared experiences gets overlooked. And I think that creating those shared experiences, it's so much informs who your team is in relation, and to the extent that they care about the relationships within the organization. I think that creates a really important piece of culture. But to your point, 100% agree team building and company culture are distinct, though potentially connected themes.

Kurt Dupuis:
You give us some examples of fun things that you guys have done outside of just traveling in Africa for 100 days. More practical things that you've done with the team here locally.

Robbie Reese:
Yeah, absolutely. I think there are what I would call the daily or weekly things. And then there's the special type of things. We are always going to have Friday lunch together. We worked at a company called Giant Worldwide, and they just have a plethora of leadership tools that give us this shared language so that we can communicate really well. And so we will reinforce those items. We'll reinforce our mission, our vision, our values, we'll celebrate our customers. And we just think that that's incredibly important to get that face time and to have that on a consistent basis.

Over the years, we've done things like we took the whole team down to Nicaragua for a week and we actually did a service trip for a couple of days. And then the rest of the time we decided to go to rent a house on a beach and just kind of have some chill time. We told all of our team members after we met one of our sales goals one year, to all show up, we sent them a text the night before and we said, show up at the airport at 8:00 AM and we'll tell you where we're going. And then we all went down to New Orleans for the weekend.

I think you need to have the very consistent and expected cultural signals. And then you need to have the opportunities where when something good happens, you need to reinforce it with a whole lot of dopamine and you need to say, look, this was amazing. Let's celebrate it, let's reinforce it. And what are we going to do that busts the budget? And you just have to do that, because if you don't take that step back and let people know, like, look when we do this, this leads to that, that simple connection reinforces culture so much. And so we look to kind of the day to day, the week to week, and then the one off. And I think that really helps to help solidify and to lead to a good culture.

Steve Seid:
That's amazing. And you answered my next question. So I'm going to take the opportunity to digress from this interview and ask you, with all the places that you've traveled, what's been the most interesting or your favorite?

Robbie Reese:
That's tough. I'd say, my favorite city is probably Cape Town, South Africa just because I have got so many friends, so many just amazing experiences that have been born in that city. I met my wife when we were traveling in Greece. And so I have a really special connection to Greece and our friends there. And I've just been really lucky to have had a lot of international experiences, but really rich international experiences that are long experiences.

A lot of people travel, but I've had the opportunity to live in Rio de Janeiro for three months and to live in South Africa for three months and to live in Greece for three months. And so, that really informs the pace of life and the level at which you really get a sense of the culture and the people.

Steve Seid:
That's amazing. You make me want to go travel. I'm going to have to start looking at my Scott's Cheap Flights when we're done with this. But back to culture. Let's say you're one of our clients and you're sitting there and you got a small team. You probably haven't done much to define culture. And you sort of feel like, ah, maybe our culture's a little subpar or maybe it's a little stale. What's the first thing you do? What's one thing you would do to sort of change that dynamic?

Robbie Reese:
I think the first thing you need to do, if there is that recognition that maybe culture is holding us back, or maybe we could be so much more if we had a strong culture. I think that level of honesty, that level of vulnerability is the first thing, the first step is to bring your team together and to name it. I firmly believe in naming the problem is the first step to solving it. And so, I think that would be in a really important first step is just bringing everybody together and say, look, here's what I believe. And then starting a conversation. A lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of leaders want to own the process. They want to go into a dark room, they want to write it down, they want to script it out, they want to define it, and then they want to come back with a finished product and say, here's what we're going to do about it. Here's my plan.

And I would make the argument that the culture will be weaker as a result of less eyes, less people being involved in creation, in buy-in. And that process of creating that culture is really important. So I would name it, and then I would enlist your team to say, who are we and who do you wanna become? And I think that would be really important. Start working on your relationships. And I would really encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. I think that this is not a baby boomer mentality, but I'll tell you everyone, Gen X and below is a walk-in closet. You talk to my team and we start our meetings with highs and lows, which is what is the good thing that happened to you this week. What's a tough thing. And creating that space, creating those two minutes for each person to share, to fill that gap of what they believe is important in their lives, and to bring that to work and to make that special and to make that important, changes the discussion of what work is and what private is.

And you need to kind of bust those barriers down in my opinion, because we are not in a world anymore, even more so post-COVID, but we're not in a space where you sign on, you sign off, you walk in the front door, you walk out the back door. We're a very, we’re a messy world. The idea of work life balance is broken. It's really just like work life clutter. And if you walked into my office, it's full of toys from the kids and my kitchen table is full of office things.

So I think you just need to really to make sure that you're bringing your whole self to work, you're allowing your team to help inform that culture, you're modeling vulnerability and authenticity. And then I would really go back to investing in shared experiences, creating those opportunities to bring their whole selves, their 24-hour self into spaces so that you have opportunities to get to know them outside of work. And I think that that has meaningful implications for how they think about work, how they feel about work, and then the product and the performance that you're going to gain from those team members.

Steve Seid:
Robbie, I want to thank you for coming on. Everyone check out LeadAbroad, his company. Give it a look. I was just blown away by the organization and the culture, but I just got to thank you for coming on because you are amazing. And this is not an easy subject to talk about. It's this thing where it's so darn important, but it's also something that's so hard to discuss. You came on here and gave us concrete ideas and tips and definitions. You were terrific.

Robbie Reese:
I appreciate it guys. Thanks for having me.

Steve Seid:
Costanza Corner is next. This is The Whole True, stick with us.

Kurt Dupuis:
And welcome back. And because I didn't prepare and Seid did, he's going to lead us off with the Costanza Corner today. What do you got Steve?

Steve Seid:
You didn't have to admit that, you could have just let me do it, but you just-

Kurt Dupuis:
It's been a hectic day. You know what? I just got to get it out there.

Steve Seid:
You sort of shared a thing that Kurt and I sometimes do both is prepare and then see, which is better and then play paper rock scissors. This segment's about obviously going on top, things that make us happy, uplifting, et cetera. And few things make me happier than things that it give you a little bit of nostalgia. You hear something, you go back to a time in your life, that nostalgia feeling, you know what I'm talking about, Kurt? That happier-

Kurt Dupuis:
It's like a theme song from Mario, (singing).

Steve Seid:
You got. You're going exactly where I'm going. I came across this really big study, and essentially they came up with 40 sounds that when you hear them, they make you happy because they trigger some kind of nostalgia. I'll give you a couple of them, and then I'll let you choose just random, like some of the 40. And we'll just kind of read what they are.

Number two is waves crashing on the shore. You hear that, you think positive, a bird song, a crackling of the fireplace, 23. A cork popping. You got to appreciate that. The sound of the cork popping. Come on. That's joyful. Don't even tell me you don't smile. I could be like digging a trench and I hear that. And I'm like, yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. It's 5:00 somewhere.

Steve Seid:
All right, go ahead. Two more. Or maybe.

Kurt Dupuis:
29.

Steve Seid:
29 is a sports stadium arena.

Kurt Dupuis:
LSU fight song. Let go, baby.

Steve Seid:
There you go. You got it. A couple more.

Kurt Dupuis:
36.

Steve Seid:
36 is fish jumping out of the water. That is a good sound.

Kurt Dupuis:
I like fishing and it's always good when the fish are coming to you.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, there you go. Okay. One more.

Kurt Dupuis:
Seven.

Steve Seid:
Seven, number seven.

Kurt Dupuis:
I just like making you scroll from the top of the bottom of the list.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. A cat purring.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, if you're a cat person, that might do something.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, of course. These are good ones. So check it out. Good news network.org. You can look through and scroll and find 40 of these things that will make you happy. And that's Costanza Corner for today.

Kurt Dupuis:
Create a whole playlist of these foody sounds and you'll be like just eternally happy all the time.

Steve Seid:
That's it. We just gave you the secret to happiness. There it is.

Kurt Dupuis:
Thanks everyone. We'll see you next time.

Steve Seid:
See ya.

Kurt Dupuis:
You can find The Whole Truth and subscribe for free on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or your podcast app. We'd love it if you took the time to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. It helps others find the show. And for more episodes of The Whole Truth, go to www.touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. That's touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. All one word.

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