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Building a Team that Works from their Strengths with Darren Virassammy

Chasing top-line revenue can be a path to self-destruction for entrepreneurs. What happens when you lose sight of your business sweet spot to chase revenue?

On today’s episode, Darren Virassammy from 34 Strong joins Dr. Sabrina to share his previous work experiences as a team member in a company that had a tight sweet spot, then lost it. Darren and Dr. Sabrina share a mission to create great places to work and on today’s episode they dive deep into how Pumpkin Planning to define the business sweet spot is foundational to creating a highly profitable, great place to work. A tightly defined sweet spot makes it possible for team members to work from their strengths.

Dr. Sabrina and Darren will be partnering again in the coming months to deliver “Leading Your Organization From Your Strengths” through Tap the Potential. Consider joining them as it is powerful training for your team!

Darren is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of 34 Strong, comprised of a team that believes everyone deserves a great place to work and that any workplace can be great. A leading expert in the global employee-engagement community, the 34 Strong team leverages the strengths-based approach to human development to create massive shifts within organizations, both culturally and on the bottom line. He and his team have created sustainable change in small micro-businesses all the way up to large, organizational teams at the FDA, Bank of America, and the California Department of Public Health. Recently Darren has keynoted for Hitachi Global Women’s Conference, the Rotary World Peace Conference, the Professional Grounds Management Society, and author Mike Michalowicz’s ProfitCon. Darren’s 34 Strong business partner, Brandon Miller, is the co-author with his wife, Analyn Miller, of a strengths-based parenting book titled Play to Their Strengths, which was published in July 2019.

Show Highlights:

  • Darren shares how he worked for a company that unintentionally built teams that played to their strengths, and how smoothly their projects went.
  • Then everything shifted. The owner of the company decided that job descriptions were going to be combined, and no longer would the team be able to play to their strengths. This eroded the sense of accountability.
  • Darren relates how this transition negatively affected the team dynamics, and how team members experienced trust issues, clarity, and self-doubt. They went from engaged to highly disengaged.
  • Although the company grew in revenue over the next year, the bottom line was massively threatened. The company grew, but the team didn’t. This was incredibly painful.
  • Darren provides some examples of having to push back on a client trying to force him to violate the company’s immutable laws.
  • In the construction industry, the idea is that you’ll be able to make it up in volume. This is a myth!
  • Being set up for failure: Darren describes being a fire-fighter having to put out “fires” on other projects because an estimator was trying to manage a job. He questioned why more time wasn’t being spent training the estimators so they could be more successful in their projects.
  • “Controlled burns” would have been spending the time to align talent and deciding which roles people stayed best in.
  • Dr. Sabrina summarizes the Tap the Potential Solution for creating a highly profitable, great place to work.
  • Dr. Sabrina and Darren discuss his experience with “Pumpkin Planning”, how Pumpkin Planning is not a “once and done” event, and how Darren’s team is looking at “Pumpkin Clients”, as well as “Pumpkin Fields”.
  • Considering the quality of your revenue. What is the cost to acquire it?

Sneak peek preview of what’s coming from Dr. Sabrina and Tap the Potential:

  • November – How to Hire the Best Live Course (in progress!)
  • COMING in Early 2020!! Pumpkin Plan LIVE!
  • “Leading Your Organization from Strengths” – Tap the Potential and 34 Strong Team up!

Links and Resources:

Get How to Hire the Best on Amazon

How to Hire the Best Toolkit

Are you on track to creating a highly profitable, great place to work that lets you take a 4 Week Vacation™?

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Suggested Podcast Episode #27 with Darren Virassammy

Mentioned Books

Play to Their Strengths: A New Approach to Parenting Your Kids as God Made Them by Analyn & Brandon Miller

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz


About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.