29. The Games We Play + Team Building that Works with Rob Ferre

Episode 29: The Games We Play + Team Building that Works with Rob Ferre (Summary)

There are games that employees play that are harmless…and there are those that sabotage everything you’re trying to build. Plus, how to make teambuilding relevant, impactful, and not cringey. Right now, on Boss Better Now.

Links:
To learn more about Rob Ferre, visit his website Robferre.com.
To learn more about Joe Mull, visit his website ​Joemull.com​.
To hear more from Joe Mull visit his YouTube channel​.
To learn how to invite Joe to speak at an event, visit ​Joemull.com/speaking​.
To check date availability or to get a quote for an event, email ​hello@joemull.com​.
To explore options for coaching from Alyssa Mullet, visit ​Joemull.com/coaching​.
For more information on the BossBetter Leadership Academy, visit Joemull.com/academy.
Email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.
To leave comments, ask questions, or to message us visit our Boss Better Now Podcast Facebook Page.
Connect with Joe on Instagram.
Connect with Joe on Twitter.
Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

*Full transcript under the comments below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Transcript – Episode 29: The Games We Play + Team Building that Works with Rob Ferre

Joe:
There are games that employees play that are harmless and there are those that sabotage everything you’re trying to build. Plus, how to make team building relevant, impactful, and not cringey. Let the games begin now on Boss Better Now.

Joe:
Welcome once again, BossHeroes to the show that aspires to be food for the boss’s soul. If you’re listening for the first time and you like what you hear, please subscribe and join us every week for a dose of advice, humor, and encouragement for bosses everywhere. I have a guest co-host today that I am truly excited for you to meet. Rob Ferre is a DJ, a master of ceremonies, and a professional game show host. That’s why I’m wearing my somewhat ostentatious bright red sport coat. If you’re watching on YouTube, I had to match the energy and the dashing style of my guest today. Rob is also in demand as a designer of virtual and in-person experiences that turn up the energy of the crowd and encourage participation. He’s also host of the halftime show for the NBA’s Utah Jazz, and he’s a former cast member at one of my favorite places on earth – Walt Disney World. Please welcome to the show: Rob Ferre. Rob, I’m so glad you’re here, my friend.

Rob:
First-time caller, long-time listener. And I’m so excited to be on the show here. I like…I’ve been listening to the podcast, and I love what you guys do on the show. And it’s so much fun just to hear how you break things down. Now here’s the thing is… I have a team, but all of them are subcontracted. They’re what we like to call 1099s. Right?

Joe:
Yes.

Rob:
But also, I just… Some of these skills I can take into my marriage, uh, into my networking events. Here’s the thing is… that if you’re not just running a team, this is just a great skill set for life and you learn so much. So, you’re one of my favorite podcasts and I’m honored to be on the show.

Joe:
Oh man, we should just break out that little, uh, recording of what you just said there. And that’s like our website testimonial and we’re… we’re… that’s our 30-second Spotify ad right there. That’s good stuff, man. Thank you for that. That’s so kind. And you know, our listeners and anybody watching on YouTube, you might recognize Rob because Rob and I have collaborated a couple of different times before. Um, we do BossBetter Virtual Summits a couple times a year. And uh, Rob is our MC and our DJ and our Games’ Master. We really try to make those things, uh, fun and captivating in a way that most learning events aren’t. And so, you are… and possess a unique skill set, my friend. I bet the past year has been really interesting for you as everybody went virtual.

Rob:
Yeah. So, we are now in 2021. And so, we use that dirty word, the ‘pivot’, right? We all had to pivot. We all had to lean into something new. And so, I talk about when I do a keynote – I just gave a keynote yesterday on this – and I talk about what is called the law of diffusion of innovation. Have you ever heard of this?

Joe:
No. Tell me.

Rob:
So, it’s a bell curve that goes like this. For those of you imagining — hearing on — it just goes up and down. Now at the very, very beginning of that bell curve are the innovators. And then you have your early adopters, and these are your people who are the ones that are starting the movement. But also the people I’d say that are leaning in. So, who leaned in early in the pandemic? How did you lean into what you were doing? What was your job at that time? What were you doing? And did you learn how to pivot? Or did you, or did you create something new? And that’s what I did. And I had to create something new. I had my friends, uh, uh, past guest, Clint Pulver, and Jason Hewlett who created a virtual studio in their home. And I’m like, well, these guys are innovators. These, they know what they’re doing. I should lean into that. So that’s what I did. It took me a couple of months, but once I leaned into it, I knew this is where I wanted to go, because Clint said to me, he goes, “Rob, this, thing’s gonna, this thing’s real. I don’t think we’re going to be back to live events for another year.” And I was like, “No, no.” And he was right! Yeah. So, uh, I’m so glad I listened to him. I leaned in. I also have what is called the FOMO – “Fear of Missing Out” and so I thought, well if my friends are doing it, it must be right. And so, I saw you one day on Facebook, testing out your Ecamm.

Joe:
Yup.

Rob:
And I said to you, “This is amazing. We should collaborate.” And here we are, we’re still collaborating. And we’ve leaned into what is the virtual space and so if there’s any lesson to be had for all our Boss Better Heroes is: lean into change and what can you do that is unique in that space.

Joe:
That’s a really great point. I remember that day when, uh, Rob is referring to, uh, we went and did a Facebook live on one of our pod- on one of our, our Facebook pages, excuse me. And we were just kind of testing some of the virtual setup that we had built to work with clients, and he saw it in his Facebook feed and he, he popped in and we were chatting and, um, I casually mentioned that I was testing this setup because we were going to be launching these virtual summits and he said, “Hey, if you want, I will help you with that.” And I knew that Rob’s background as an entertainer, as a DJ, as an event master of ceremonies would really bring a unique angle to what we were planning. And so, for me, it was such a lesson, a lesson in kind of just ask and put yourself out there and try new things.

Rob:
Yes.

Joe:
And you never know what comes with it. So, and here we are on a podcast about the games employees play. And so, I’m excited to talk with you about this because this was an idea that, here again, that you floated. You said, “Hey, what would you think about talking about this?” And I thought it was a really neat idea and when you say “the games employees play” we’re not talking about that as a positive thing, right? There’s, we’re sort of inferring that there are some games that employees play that, that do some harm. So where do you want to start with that, Rob?

Rob:
Well, you know, it’s actually games we all play bosses, managers, uh, employees, everybody is in this workplace, and they are trying to either use their tactics, their skill sets to either get ahead or manage and there’s so many different games that they play because they don’t realize they’re doing it at the time, but that’s their style. Right? And so, speaking of games, I have a game for you to get this started with our discussion because I’m going to be talking about some different styles out there.

Joe:
Okay.

Rob:
So, do you have like a theme song that we could use to kick off this game I’m going to play with you?

Joe:
You need like a little, a little fun music, stinger kind of thing.

Rob:
Yeah.

Joe:
Like we use for some of our segments here on the show.

Rob:
Yeah. Yeah.

Joe:
Okay. All right. I’ve got some buttons here. Let’s make some magic. Um, you want to introduce the game and I’ll drop the music?

Rob:
Yes. So, let’s do it here. And I say, play that song. So today we’re going to play a little game called *music plays* The Bad Boss Boggle. We like alliteration here at The Bad Boss Boggle. I have certain phrases of bad management styles or things that you may see in the workplace. I have taken these phrases and I’ve boggled them up with my thesaurus and so I will give you the phrase, you know, the actual phrase, like there’s a common phrase, but I have changed it with my thesaurus. So, I’ll give you the first one. I’m not doing very well explaining the rules, but you’ll get it once I give you that phrase.

Joe:
Okay.

Rob:
So, the first Bad Boss Boggle style is “mini-governing”. Also known as…? Mini governing. What is a style that we hear that bad bosses do? Mini governing.

Joe:
Mini governing? So, you want me to swap out the words because we’re using synonyms here.

Rob:
Yes!

Joe:
So mini might be small and…?

Rob:
Uh-huh. and another word for small…

Joe:
Governing, uh, uh, I legislating, uh, making, making laws, making rules. Am I in your ballpark?

Rob:
Ok…

Joe:
I feel like I’m failing miserably at what you, what you’ve got me set up here for.

Rob:
Micromanaging

Joe:
MICROMANAGING! Ahhh. Mini governing is micromanaging. I see what you did there. That’s fun. Okay. Okay. I get it.

Rob:
Yeah. Here we go. Non-violent abrasive. Non-violent abrasive. This is the style that a lot of, yeah.

Joe:
Okay. So nonviolent… peace, peace, peaceful. Am I close? Um, and another word for abrasive is, is, um, difficult. Toxic, uh,

Rob:
Yeah.

Joe:
Okay. Um, I’m swinging and missing again. You got to help me out.

Rob:
Passive-aggressive.

Joe:
Passive-aggressive. Okay. All right. You know, there are people listening right now who were like, “Come on, Joe. I got that right away.”

Rob:
Or these people are just as confused as you are? Let’s so, let’s say like, and here… here’s the way you could repurpose this. You could actually use some passive-aggressive ways to talk about people like this. You know, he’s non-violent abrasive.

Joe:
It’s like your code language. Yeah…

Rob:
Exactly. Okay. Let’s, let’s try it. You’re going to get one of these. This boss often aside the statistics. He works aside the statistics. Because that’s all he cares about is the bottom line.

Joe:
Only cares about the numbers – the bottom line. Yeah.

Rob:
Aside the statistics – by the numbers.

Joe:
By the numbers. Got it. I was close. That was the closest I’ve come. Okay.

Rob:
Okay. You’re going to get this last one.

Joe:
All right.

Rob:
Somebody who is addicted to job is also known as a…

Joe:
Workaholic!

Rob:
Yeah, we got one! There you go. Ok.

Joe:
I gave you a little triangle ding there and I also gave it to myself because I feel like that, that we were, like you said, we were due. I was, I was due to get one.

Rob:
Okay. Maybe I should rethink this game. But here’s the thing, I wanted to start with micromanaging because this is a boss thing. And the reason this one came up for me is I think back to two different instances as being an employee. I have not really been employed properly. I’m… I’ve been self-employed. I do events. I’ve been a substitute teacher. But, I think back to the time when I was working for the Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Loved that job. And it was interesting because I worked with one of my favorite managers ever and one of the worst managers I’ve ever worked with. And it was quite the juxtaposition when my original manager left, and we brought in the new ones. So just to give you a little background, my original manager, uh, she worked at Universal Studios. She came over and once she started working for us at the Nickelodeon Hotel, she gave us autonomy. She taught, she treated us like adults. So, we’re a bunch of 20-somethings working in entertainment. Once she left, they brought in another management team from a theme park in Ohio who often worked with teenagers.

Joe:
Teenagers, yup.

Rob:
Not working entertainment professionals.

Joe:
Yeah.

Rob:
So, what did they do? They treated us like teenagers.

Joe:
And they micromanaged.

Rob:
So, there was a lot of, they micromanaged. And here’s the other thing is they, uh… empty promises. I had these dreams and goals. And what did they do? They lowered that ceiling. And I, once I saw that ceiling, I knew I wanted to leave. And so that game they were playing with me is they were, they were just, they just didn’t really see my potential. And they said, “This is your box. This is a thing. You do it this way.” And they treated me like I was a 17-year-old with no career aspirations.

Joe:
So, when we talk about micromanaging, then tell us a little bit about the new behaviors and approaches they were using. Cause here’s the thing about micromanagers – they almost never know that they’re micromanaging. They see it as ‘I’m having standards. I’m creating accountability. I’m creating efficiency and streamlining processes.’ Right? But what we’re really doing often is robbing people of control and removing the opportunity for people to get to their end product in their own way, which unleashes their creativity, it gives them autonomy. So, it sounds like that this management team, and it’s such a soul-crushingly, awful experience, isn’t it? To be micromanaged? So, what were some of the things that robbed you of control that they thought were positive behaviors or routines to be involved in as leaders?

Rob:
Uh, you take out creative control. At Nickelodeon, we had… they were able to give us the guidelines and the scripts, but my first manager said, “Here’s a script, this is how you run the show, but do your thing. Be you.” Right? And when they come in, they took a little bit of our creative control, and they say “Stick to the script verbatim. Do it exactly this way. Stay within this box.” And the other thing was… is timing. Being, well, it was more like being on time. They were very strict on like, you have to clock in. You have to tell us when you get here. You have to tell us when you started your job. You have to do all these things. You have to check in with us constantly. Whereas before, I would come in, maybe I was five minutes, early, five minutes, late, whatever, but I still got my job done. But for them it was like, you have to be here at 9:00 AM and you have to tell us when you get here and you have to sign in and do all these things, right? And you have to do your job at this time. So, when it came to my previous manager, the manager I loved, as long as we got the job done, that’s all that mattered. Right? It didn’t matter how fast we did it, what time we clocked in, what time we clocked out, as long as the job was done, that’s what was important.

Joe:
And it’s so interesting because if you had joined that organization and some of those requirements were already in place, like, hey, when you get here, you got to tell us, when you, when you leave, you got to tell us, you need to be on time in this way. If you had started with those parameters, it probably wouldn’t have been experienced as micromanaging, but because you had so much autonomy and freedom at first, and then it was taken away from you. That’s when it feels oppressive. Uh, and I think that sometimes leaders when they step into new roles and they try to impose more structure, they don’t realize that by imposing structure, what we’re sometimes doing is robbing people of autonomy. And we communicate to them ‘I don’t trust you.’ When your new boss says “Hey, you got to do these four or five extra things that were completely unnecessary before I got here. And it’s only there to prove that you’re doing your job.” That’s experienced by others as a lack of trust.

Rob:
Yeah. And I listened to your episode with Clint Pulver and talking about I Love It Here. When I got to Nickelodeon, I loved it there. When I left, I didn’t love it anymore.

Joe:
Right.

Rob:
And they basically said, ‘This is your ceiling.’ Because my previous manager says, ‘You have opportunity to grow.’ When the new team came in and said “Your role is defined. You can’t grow anymore.” They didn’t say that directly… but how they treated me… is how I felt. And I felt well, there’s the ceiling. I have nowhere else to go. So, I moved back to Utah, and I started my own business.

Joe:
Yeah. Well, and, and in a way, thank God that happened to you because maybe you wouldn’t be where you’re at right now. Right here on the Boss Better Now podcast, right?

Rob:
Yeah.

Joe:
Well, let me ask you this, Rob, we were talking a little bit before the show about the games people play at work.

Rob:
Yes.

Joe:
Um, is there anything, in particular, that was on your radar relative to the people we supervise and the people who make up teams around the games that they play and the kind of behaviors that we see as harmful, or at least that are repetitive in the workplace and that we can predict, and that we know are going to show up and that we might have to deal with as leaders?

Rob:
Yeah. So passive-aggressive. I’ve brought that up because – this didn’t happen to me – but it happened to somebody I love, which is my wife. So shortly after we got married, she would come home every day just devastated by what was going on at her work. One, she had a new manager who was micromanaging her, but second, it was the women in her corner of the office (Joe: Uh-oh.) that she didn’t really get along with, but she did her job so well that they were passive-aggressive with her. And they would tell on her because what she would do is she would do her job and she got it done so quick and so efficient that they would see her browsing the internet, or maybe, uh, selling her clothes on eBay. And she was able to get some other tasks done once she was done with her job. So, passive-aggressively, they would tell her micromanaging manager that she was doing these things, but in the end, she already got her job done. Why does it matter what I do once I get the job done? So, they would do these things to make themselves look better. That’s a game people play. They want to bring somebody else down so that they can feel better about what they’re doing. Also, another thing is she never engaged in their gossip. And I don’t know if that was because, well, I know why she didn’t do it, but I thought we, looking back at it, we think that they resented her for not being a part of their girl gossip and going into that, and that wasn’t her attitude that wasn’t her way of doing things.

Joe:
Hmmm. So many lessons built in there, right? In terms of, you know, if, if your wife was in a role where she was so capably able to get the work done quickly, that she was basically left to do other things during that time, then there’s a lesson there for a leader who says, I’m not captive, I am not, uh, adequately leveraging this person’s talents and skills and abilities. I’m not giving them enough to do, uh, I’m not giving them a broader scope of what to do. Right? Um, there’s a lesson there about not being plugged into that person and what they want to do or are capable of doing. Uh, there’s a lesson there relative to, uh, how do you bond people with a team and, you know, the, what you described as kind of an Us versus Them mentality that some groups have. And if your wife wasn’t willing to play that game and to join “the Us” so that we can collectively be against “the Them”, then they turn around and they try to pit people against each other. I.E. Our boss – “the Them” with this person who doesn’t conform to the Us and that, that pitting people against each other, unfortunately, is, is a harmful game that we see some employees play. And you’re absolutely right. A lot of that is born out of jealousy, uh, out of keeping score out of comparing, uh, the skills, talents, and abilities that I bring to the job versus the person working next to me.

Rob:
Right. And you talked about keeping score and when it comes to games, I love to engage in games. Now there’s healthy competition and unhealthy competition, right?

Joe:
Right.

Rob:
And everybody likes to be engaged in a game in a different way. Also, when I talk about gamification, I think it’s really important to realize people like being rewarded in different ways. Because at the end of a game, usually there’s a sense of reward. It could be a sense of accomplishment. I just want to know that I completed the task and that I did it for myself.

Joe:
Yes.

Rob:
The other is: ‘I beat Joe. I’m the winner.’ But if Joe and I are on the same page, ‘I’ll get you next time, Rob.’ and this just makes it better. Right? And so, there’s healthy competition and sometimes also we got to figure out how, like, people like to be rewarded. I’d like to be put in front of an audience and given a, an award or I’d like it in monetary, just give me the cash. I’m good. Or here’s something that will give you more responsibilities. Right? Now that you’ve completed this task, you have leveled up. And that is what we call mastery. So, there’s certain ways you can reward people. People want more responsibilities. Now you’ve done that task. Are you ready for level two? Now I can feel like I am moving up because I’m mastering different tasks.

Joe:
People want to progress in what they’re doing.

Rob:
Yes!

Joe:
We know it’s a, it’s a foundational component of how you create environments that are psychologically fulfilling for people. And you bring up another point that, that I kind of talk about in a slightly different way, especially when I’m doing, um, personality assessment and using tools like MBTI the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to do leadership development work. So, one of the things that, that I believe strongly is that leadership development begins with self-awareness. And when we start to understand our own learning styles, how we take in information, how we make decisions, we sort of get what we’re naturally good at versus what takes us more intentionality. And one of the things that we know about our psychological wiring is that some people prefer to make decisions with logic and analysis. Whereas other people prefer to make decisions based on relationships, beliefs, and values. And when you bring up playing games, this is one of the most obvious ways we can observe these different approaches. So, for folks who prefer to take a step back and make decisions, using logic and analysis, when they play a game, there’s only one goal and it’s to win. Whereas folks who prefer to make decisions based on relationships, beliefs, and values… for them, the whole point of playing a game is to be fun and spend time and be social. And so, if you’ve ever had a group of people over to your house and you gather around the table to play a game, there’s usually a split. There are those folks who are going all right, it’s on, I’m an I’m, I’m going to win. You know, I’m going to take you down, you’re going down. And you’ve got some folks who are sitting there going, oh, stop. We’re just having a good time. You know what? We don’t even need to use the board and the game pieces. Let’s just go through the cards and ask the questions and have a good time. And then other people are sitting at the table going, excuse me, no, no, no, no. We’re going to play this the right way. And so sometimes there’s that disconnect and there’s, there is a psychological underpinning to why that happens. And it’s, it’s about how we prefer to make decisions.

Rob:
People need their boxes. People need the rules, then some people just want to have fun. And so, you got to recognize that. And so, I’ve done virtual game shows over the last year, and that has been the activity that I’ve done the most with corporations and companies is these virtual game shows. I’ve done virtual game shows with up to 200 people. And as small as 10 people, and the shows I actually enjoy most are the 10 to 15 range is where we’re doing a little bit more connecting. And we could probably talk about that in the next segment. But what I’ve found really interesting is… is I engage them in different games. We don’t play the same game every time.

Joe:
Right.

Rob:
Because I want them to be able to use different skill sets. And everybody has different skill sets. It’s not just trivia. It could be recognition, but it could also be team building. It can be different ways to engage that audience. And I want to give them that opportunity. So, one person isn’t checked out the entire time because they’re like, I don’t know any, I don’t know anything about pop culture. Well, do you know things about word phrases? Oh, I am a visual-spatial person. Oh, I’m more of a pop culture person. Right? So, I want to engage these people in different ways.

Joe:
I love it. And that’s just, there’s such a leadership lesson there too. And thinking about the work that I have to put in it, put in as a leader to get to know the unique and individual strengths, gifts, talents, and styles of each of the people who report to me so that as I think about ways to share information or to mine them for their ideas and opinions, I’m able to flex my style to be more successful and meet people where they are. So that’s a fantastic point. And I think it’s a perfect segue to…

Joe:
The Camaraderie Question of the Week. I know you know what this is, my friend, as a listener of our podcast. Every week, we give you a question, listeners, that you can use at meetings to facilitate connection and build camaraderie. When bosses build camaraderie on teams, they’re doing it to make it easier for people to find things in common with each other. When people who are on teams together, find things in common with each other, they access each other’s humanity and that cuts down on team drama. And so, our Camaraderie Question of the Week, Rob, I had formatted this question just for you. Knowing your background, knowing your, your loves, and your favorites. So, so the Camaraderie Question of the Week is this: What is your favorite TV game show and why?

Rob:
Uh, so the way you phrase that made me think in so many different ways. And I wanted to cheat because there’s so many babies out there it’s like, I can’t choose my favorite kid. Right. It’s like there’s many kids that I love. So, so we’re going to, we’re going to start with the OG, the original game show that I wanted to be on as a child and I loved watching it and I don’t know if you’re a kindred spirit like me, but it was Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. Do you remember that show?

Joe:
Oh! I was not plugged into that one, but I know that it was quite popular.

Rob:
Oh my gosh. Yes. So that was a show I would love watching. I would come home from school, watch that show in dreams and hopes of me being on that show.

Joe:
Ok.

Rob:
So that was my favorite show growing up. Now I’m going to tell you right now, I think the best game show out there, we’re going to go OG once again, Jeopardy.

Joe:
Ah, yes!

Rob:
Jeopardy is just trivia. There’s no gimmicks. It’s just, you got to answer the questions. And the reason I like that show so much is I love to play along.

Joe:
Yes.

Rob:
Now, one of my favorite shows that game shows that I like to play with audiences is Deal or No Deal and reason being it’s so compelling because we live vicariously through that person who’s going to win that money.

Joe:
Yes. So those are your, those are your favorites then. We got Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, we’ve got Jeopardy, and we’ve got Deal or No Deal. So those are your favorites. Is that fair to say? You said these are your babies. Are there any others that you need to name drop so that you can sleep at night?

Rob:
Okay. Yeah. Another one, another one back in, back in the early 2000s, it was called Beat the Geeks and it was on Comedy Central and you basically get a team and then they had four different geeks. They had a TV geek, they had a music geek, they had a movie geek and then I think a pop culture geek. And basically, you had, you comprised your team and you would try and beat them in different trivia challenges. And I always wanted to play that, and I loved that show. So…

Joe:
Yes.

Rob:
If that’s anything and then the most entertaining game show of all was, You Don’t Know Jack with Paul Rubens back in 2001, ran for one season, but it was comedy mixed with game show. It was one of my favorite shows I watched.

Joe:
Hey, I have a funny story about You Don’t Know Jack.

Rob:
Yes!

Joe:
Um, when the pandemic hit, uh, my wife and I are friends with another couple who had just moved from our area here in Western Pennsylvania to Colorado. And the way that we kept in touch with them is that about once a month, we would all hop on zoom. And she has my, my, uh, the other couple, the wife, has a subscription to the online You Don’t Know Jack game show. There’s a pack they put out a new pack of games every year and so we would play, and you can play with your cell phone and on a Zoom, and so once a month, you know, we would put the kids to bed and grab a glass of wine and meet our friends on Zoom and play You Don’t Know Jack and the other games with that. So, uh, that, that’s, that’s a good time. I didn’t realize there was a game show for, for one year on TV.

Rob:
So, what is your favorite game show?

Joe:
Interesting that you asked. So, Jeopardy is definitely near the top of the list for me. Um, I like watching Jeopardy and I think if we are being completely honest about why people will like watching Jeopardy, it’s because it’s not a game of chance, it’s a game of smart.

Rob:
Yes.

Joe:
And when you watch Jeopardy, you can feel smart. Especially if you go on a run and you knock out a category and you’re like, ‘I’m so brilliant!’ And so, uh, my kids and I will watch that together now. And, and, and they kind of have fun trying to guess and, and, uh, get a sense of all the different knowledge that’s out there in the world. Um, but my other favorite game show, uh, is also an OG: Wheel of Fortune. I’m a big Wheel of Fortune fan, and I’m one of those folks, and I will admit this if you see a 35-letter puzzle on the board and there’s three letters up and I got it. And I don’t know why like my brain just fills in the blanks and I’ve got all this random language and knowledge in my head that I can sit there, and I’ve done this with my wife, and I’ve done this with my kids, and they’re like, ‘How did you get that?’ So, Wheel of Fortune is also the game show that if I could only pick one game show to be on, that would probably be it. And that’s actually an interesting way that you could play with this question to our listeners. If you didn’t want the question to be, what is your favorite TV game show and why. Maybe you change it a little bit in you ask, um, if you could only be on one game show, what would it be? Or if you needed to go on a game show to win money, what game show would you go on?

Rob:
Well as a child, that game show I would be on was, uh, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. And I thought myself as a geography nerd. I played the game on the computer, and I watched the show and I loved it so much. And so, but if I could be on a game show today as a living person, oh, this is, I think it would be Beat Shazam. As a DJ, I think it would be a lot of fun to be on that show.

Joe:
What is that?

Rob:
Beat Shazam? Basically, it was with Jamie Fox, I don’t know if they’re still doing it, but basically, it was music trivia, and they play songs, and you would have to name the songs. And it was just a lot of fun. And so…

Joe:
MTV had a show like that a couple of years ago that I was, I enjoyed that, that you, uh, was all about music trivia. I was pretty good at that one. Do you remember, this just, just popped into my head, there was a game show, I think it was on back in the eighties, or maybe the early nineties where the contestants would have to reveal pieces of a word picture and try to solve what the word picture was saying. Am I, am I imagining this, or is this a game show? Do you have any recollection of anything like that?

Rob:
Uh, I don’t, but I, I, I imagine it was out there. I, I believe you, I believe it was out there, but I’m not familiar with that.

Joe:
So, our BossHeroes listening, if you know the show that I’m talking about, you got to hit me up with the name of that show cause I had a lot of fun with that one. You can email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com or if you’re watching us on video, then drop a comment in the box below. And that’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:
All right, Rob, before we get you out of here today, I wanted to pick your brain as someone who is so knowledgeable and expert in creating engaging experiences for audiences. Our BossHeroes listening today know that, uh, team building is an important component of leadership. And so, I’m interested in, in your experience as a master of ceremonies, as an entertainer, as an event host, uh, as a game show host, what kinds of experiences do people seem to most enjoy to get caught up in and, and, and why do they work?

Rob:
Yeah, so I teased it earlier when I worked with the Jazz, uh, when we did our halftime game shows we did Deal or No Deal and that was the most compelling one. And it’s really interesting because it’s just like Millionaire because you’re living vicariously through this person. Now Deal or No Deal is a complete game of chance.

Joe:
Game of chance. Yup.

Rob:
But people, but people want to be able to root for this person to win that money and they’re living vicariously through it. So that’s one that a lot of people like. But going back to Jeopardy, I have a game that I do, which is called The Quiz Show. And the reason I love Quiz Show so much, as just like Jeopardy, we have a wide array of topics and different ways for people to answer those questions. And so, when somebody can chime in and they have the answer to that question that nobody else knows, they feel like a superstar. So, I’m going to give you one of my hardest Quiz how questions.

Joe:
Ok.

Rob:
And my hope is that you get this. So, the question is: Who’s the only person in the Star Wars universe of all the Star Wars movies ever made to have been nominated for a role that they played in a Star Wars movie. And this is something not a lot of people get.

Joe:
Like nominated for an Academy Award?

Rob:
Yes. Yeah.

Joe:
Hmm. Okay. Let me think about that for a second. And it’s an acting role?

Rob:
Yes.

Joe:
Interesting. Okay. Uh, I’m going,

Rob:
Do you need a clue?

Joe:
I’m going to ask for a clue. Yes. Is there a specific clue? Are you going to tell me which movie?

Rob:
Yeah. New hope.

Joe:
Okay. First movie, original Star Wars, Episode Four.

Rob:
Who was nominated for an academy award for what they did in that movie?

Joe:
Was James Earl Jones nominated for voiceover work?

Rob:
No.

Joe:
Okay.

Rob:
That’s not a category.

Joe:
Cause he’s not in the Darth Vader costume. I don’t know if folks actually know that.

Rob:
Yeah.

Joe:
Um, I feel like I shouldn’t get more cracks at it. Why don’t you tell us? Enlighten us, my friend.

Rob:
The ultimate mentor of all Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi.

Joe:
He was nominated.

Rob:
Isn’t that interesting? Yes!

Joe:
That’s fantastic. That’s really cool trivia. Yes. And so, I love the point that you’re making though, which is that when you know who the people are in your audience, like, you know, I’m kind of a little bit of a pop culture geek about stuff like that.

Rob:
Yeah.

Joe:
You, you can create experiences that allow everybody to contribute that allow everybody to participate.

Rob:
Right. And so, if you’re keeping people included in different types of ways, everybody feels like they’re part of the fun. And so sometimes I even do physical challenges. Sometimes I test their knowledge. Sometimes I, once again, test their visual-spatial. What is it about them? What’s their superpower and how can we tap into that through trivia and games?

Joe:
You know, and when I talk with groups about team building, I really differentiate between two kinds of team building. There’s low-risk surface-level team building, which is all about bonding and belonging. And what you’re talking about really helps with that. Just giving people the chance to come together, to laugh, to contribute. You know, maybe it’s a little bit of competition if we’re playing games, but it’s competition that doesn’t result in any, any, doesn’t create any suffering. Right? Where people are talking down to each other, it’s just, it’s fun. It’s laughter uh, and, and feeling a part of something. And then the second level of team building is skill development, right? Let’s go and do some things together. Maybe it’s around problem-solving or conflict resolution or communication, right? We can game-ify that. There’s a reason you see people going to ropes courses for years and things like that because there are some transferable experiences and skills that we can take back to teams. And so, what I always advise teams to do is the bonding/belonging stuff you can sprinkle everywhere. In meetings and huddles and in the hallway. And the skill development stuff, you have to be a little bit more intentional about making time for as part of longer-term planning and experiences that you plan for your teams.

Rob:
So, one more game than I need to give to all our BossHeroes out there.

Joe:
Ok.

Rob:
Something that you can do. This is a game that I developed over the pandemic, but it was a collaborative effort with one of the teams that I worked with. And it’s such a fun game. So basically, what we did is we sent out a survey monkey about three questions that we sent to everybody on the team. So, something like ‘Tell us a fun fact that not a lot of people know about you. A hobby that you do, or a celebrity encounter, just something fun and unique that nobody on the team knows.’ Right? They sent that all back to me, I put together the results, and then I put the two managers in charge, and I say, “Who on the team has skydived with Elvis?” And they’re like, “Oh man, man, okay. Who I’m going to go, Joe – Joe.” And so, they each get a point when they guess it right.

Joe:
Yes.

Rob:
But the reason I love this game so much is we’re now highlighting the people on the team. And once we find out who that person was, we let them tell that story. “Well, you got to tell us more, how was that experience skydiving with Elvis?” And so, it’s one of my favorite games to play.

Joe:
That’s super fun. I’ve done a version of that that was with bigger groups where I had this list of like 15 really interesting statements. Um, yeah. “Remain standing if you’ve ever jumped out of an airplane.” Uh, and so everybody in the room sits down and you, and you look around and, you know, remain standing if you served in the military, um, remain standing if you can still fit into your high school prom dress. And then, you know, then we make a joke, you know, about, you know, okay, sit down and nobody likes you. And then, you know, ha ha. And, um, there’s a lot of fun ways to give people insight into each other that doesn’t require them to put forth a lot of risk or share a lot of personal information. Because if you don’t want to tell people that you still fit into your high school prom dress, you don’t have to remain standing. You’ll just sit down, right? Uh, and doing that as a way to just continue fostering connection. 

Rob:
I do the I Have Never where you put everybody puts up one hand, five fingers and say if you have done this thing. So, you say, “I have never seen Newsies.” And then if you’ve seen Newsies, you got to put a finger down. That’s true. I’ve never seen Newsies. I’ve seen the musical multiple times, but I’ve never seen the movie and so.

Joe:
I’m “finger down”. I’ve never seen Newsies.

Rob:
Okay. There we are. So, uh, and that’s a fun game as well.

Joe:
Yes, absolutely. Well, Rob, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to be with us today. I know you’re a fan of the podcast. I’m a big fan of yours and the work that you’re doing out there to make, uh, learning and meetings and other kinds of experiences that people have at work fun. Where can people get in touch with you or follow you if they want to learn more about the work you do?

Rob:
Yeah. So, you can follow me on Instagram @Robferre R-O-B-F-E-R-R-E and at the website, RobFerre.com. And hopefully, we can collaborate in the future, but if anything, it was a pleasure. It was an honor to be a part of the Boss Better podcast or Boss Better Now with Joe Mull.

Joe:
Thank you, my friend. That’s all for this week, folks. Please take a moment, if you enjoy the show to rate the podcast, subscribe, and share our episodes on social media. Please tell the bosses in your lives about our show. In the meantime, we’ll see you next week. And thanks for all that you do to take care of so many.

Alyssa:
This show is sponsored by Joe Mull & Associates. Remember commitment comes from better bosses. Visit JoeMull.com today.

Alyssa (Ad):
‘Are you planning a meeting, conference, retreat, or event? Why not invite our own Joe Mull to be your keynote speaker?

Joe (Ad):
How many people here who supervise have had their time, attention, and energy devoured by someone who is not committed? If yes, say yes. (Crowd yells back “Yes!” “Amen!”) And an amen. See, like I said. (Crowd laughs).

Alyssa (Ad):
Joe teaches leaders how to boss better and cultivate commitment in a way that is funny, captivating, and filled with takeaways.

Joe (Ad):
“Do you believe that these people are coming to me and telling me, that I’m sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong?”

Audience Member (Ad):
Oh my gosh. Wonderful. Really engaging and thought provoking, which is really great with lots of good tools to take home. You felt present, like you wanted to lean in. You didn’t want to pick up your phone and scroll through Facebook.

Alyssa (Ad):
Whether your event is virtual or in-person, your audience doesn’t want another boring 60-minute lecture. They deserve to learn and be inspired by a world-class program they simply cannot turn away from. That’s what you get guaranteed from Joe Mull.

Joe (Ad):
We can all agree. We want our employees to care and try, but “care and try”, isn’t about competence. It’s about commitment. And commitment can’t be bought. It can only be earned. Your number one job as a leader is to cultivate commitment.

Alyssa (Ad):
For more information, visit joemull.com/speaking.

Related Posts

Previous
Next