Create Radical Teams

Intro: Bring Out The Talent, Bring Out The Talent, Bring Out The Talent. Welcome to Bring Out The Talent, the podcast featuring learning and development experts, discussing innovative approaches and industry insights. Tune in to hear our talent… help develop yours. Now, here are your hosts. TTA’s CEO and president Maria Melfa and Talent Manager. Jocelyn Allen.

Maria Melfa (00:23): Welcome everyone. Thank you for joining us again today. This is Maria.

Jocelyn Allen (00:28): Hi everybody. It’s Jocelyn. Yes, we are back. You guys keep allowing us. So here we are. Once again to talk to you about developing the talent in your organizations. How’s everything, Maria?

Maria Melfa (00:40): Excellent. Thank you. I know that you and I both got puppies this weekend, so we’re both a little sleep-deprived. Yes, but it seems like puppy season at TTA mm-hmm <affirmative>. So we have had about four new puppies in the past week. So,

Jocelyn Allen (00:54): And the funniest thing is, is that they’re all like some version of a lab, which none of it was planned. The adoption process or the breeds yet. Here we are, um, all jumping on a bandwagon together. So

Maria Melfa (01:05): <dog barking> good. Good sound bite, David. Yes. Oh,

Jocelyn Allen (01:09): Wow. Look it.

Maria Melfa (01:11): Oh, you have a black one too. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate chocolate.

Jocelyn Allen (01:16): See, it’s just a boy, girl, Julian,

Juliana Stancampiano (01:20): A girl about two and a half.

Jocelyn Allen (01:22): Two. Excellent. Oh my God. What a precious little pea.

Maria Melfa (01:24):  Fantastic.

Jocelyn Allen (01:25): Well, let’s get right into it, Juliana. I guess that was a pretty good segue. So, Maria, you wanna tell everybody about our guest today?

Maria Melfa (01:33): Absolutely. So a little intro, anyone who thought that the rise of remote and hybrid work would negatively impact teamwork has likely changed their tune by now, research has revealed that teamwork is more important now than ever so much so that approximately 75% of employees rate teamwork and collaboration as being extremely important in companies that promote collaboration in teamwork have been linked to reducing employee turnover rates by 50%. And I’m sure that number could even be higher in some stats. In today’s episode, we discuss creating radical teams with the author of radical outcomes. Juliana, Stancampiano. Hi, Juliana. We’re so excited to have you today.

Juliana Stancampiano (02:20): Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here and you did a great job.

Maria Melfa (02:25): Thank you very much. So we are thrilled to have you join us today because leadership in creating teams is something that I am very passionate about and believe all leaders are passionate about or at least should be passionate about it. So, you recently wrote a book called radical outcomes, as we just mentioned, it’s a fresh perspective on teamwork and we’re excited to dive into it more and learn more from you. Speaking of your book, what led you to write it?

Juliana Stancampiano (02:57): Yeah, you, that’s a funny question because I’ve been asked for many years by people. If I’m gonna write a book, are you gonna write a book? Are you gonna write a book? And it was something that felt very intimidating to me, probably like a lot of people out there, the majority of people to put pen to paper when it, uh, was something, you know, that sophomore English teacher didn’t think I was amazing at, which kind of lasts with you, right? You have those less than stellar events. And so I was actually reached out to you by Wiley and asked if I would put together, you know, a synopsis of a book. And I thought, I, and I called a few people that I knew that had written books and said, what do you think I should do? And they said for all the people that wanna publisher and can’t get one, you’re not being very kind. <laugh> like dear fellow colleagues, you should do the synopsis and write a book. And I said, okay, I will do that. And see what happened. You overwrote the synopsis and they accepted it and got a book contract. So it was, that was essentially kind of the why behind writing it.

Maria Melfa (04:05): That’s a remarkable accomplishment. How long did it take you to write the book?

Juliana Stancampiano (04:11): About nine months? And I will say, you know, part of writing it is that it was also a team effort. I did all of the outlining with my team, a couple of team members specifically that have very strong writing skills, you know, did a lot of the revs and revisions with those team members as well, struggled on some parts where I had a team member that interviewed me and then she would try to write up, you know what I said, and you know, I think it’s hard to be a writer and talk about things that people think you’re really good at, but it, it becomes the unconscious competence for you at some point in your career. And, um, I know we’re gonna, there are lots of questions you’re gonna ask me today and I’m gonna try my best to articulate my thoughts, but sometimes it’s hard to put it down on paper. And so it was really a, quite the team effort and drive to the end. And I had another team member who was really wonderful and did all the foot like the, you know, the footnotes and everything, which might have put me in my grave early. If I had to do all of those. And we had a wonderful editor at Wiley as well, who, you know, gave great feedback and helped us along in the process and have never done it before.

Maria Melfa (05:18): That’s great. I know I work very closely with our marketing team here and writing is tough.

Jocelyn Allen (05:24): Yeah. I’m an avid reader. And when I like to read books, sometimes I’m like the amount of extra detail that you have to put in to fill pages sometimes is probably what was the most intimidating thing like how I don’t journal, because my hand doesn’t move fast enough from my thoughts. And by the time I’m done thinking about it and think it’s gonna go in a journal. I’m like, when was I thinking even is a heck of an accomplishment? Yes.

Maria Melfa (05:47): And then every time you look at content, you wanna redo it. That’s our problem with, so we have, you know, marketing strategy meetings every Monday and we will approve something and then I’ll look at it again. I’m like, will you approve this? This doesn’t look right. We need to do it again. <laugh> and it’s really interesting. So I could imagine, you know, that was what an incredible accomplishment and so good to have that done. And hopefully, you had a big celebration.

Juliana Stancampiano (06:14): And yes we did. Thank you. Yeah. Big celebration. Uh, I had by everyone and, and it was a lot of fun, you know, it’s one of those things that you look back and we learned a lot with one another in the process, right? Having to do something that you feel like is really hard and challenging. That’s what we’re all kind of here doing within our careers and lives. And when you take on those hard challenges, sometimes they’re the most rewarding. And that one was definitely very re you know, very rewarding for everyone involved,

Jocelyn Allen (06:44): Who doesn’t love an opportunity to throw a good party and celebrate? So <laugh>, You’ve got quite an impressive background that obviously led you to be, and, and the people around you to be inspired about the content that you could provide in order to write a book. So you’ve worked across Europe, middle east Africa. What about those experiences changed your view on teamwork and how did it, you know, apply to the book?

Juliana Stancampiano (07:08): Yeah. You know, I felt so lucky to have that experience early in my career because, you know, and I remember being in Europe at one point and thinking everybody should have to go somewhere that they didn’t grow up and learn how to live back because it’s not easy. Right. And, and it’s the everyday things. Like, I just, I remember being in Germany and being like, I need to write a check to like pay my rent. And they were like, we don’t write checks here this early two thousand. And I was like, how do I pay my rent? And it was all online. And we was not doing online banking at that time. And I was like, yeah, okay. Like, somebody has to tell me how to do this fast because it, you know, I’m gonna be late with my rent. And so it’s very humbling, right?

Juliana Stancampiano (07:53): When you go from something you’re very used to, to the day-to-day being very different. And that goes for working with colleagues, right? So I show up and it, we’re celebrating different holidays and I’m in Ireland and I’m speaking to a colleague and she’s going, and I’m like, I have no idea what you’re saying. I know you’re speaking English to me, but can you instant message me, please? Do you know? And, and so you learn just so many little things about working across different cultures and different ways of working and different belief systems that you really tune into individuals. I think a lot more than thinking about one homogenous hole, which as we all know, doesn’t really exist. You know, there’s, the engineers are not all like this and the French people are not all like that. Do you know? And so I think that was what I really honed in and was able to learn so much about working with people across so many different countries. And it was so fun. You know, I got to learn so many things that would’ve never been presented to me if I hadn’t taken that leap.

Jocelyn Allen (09:08): That’s interesting, cuz I think about that often because we’re just exposed to so many different things in the world we live in now. I mean, social media, you get, you know, 20 seconds at your fingertips, we’ll expose you to everything that’s going on in the world. So I always wonder what’s going on in other places where people are existing, right? Like you being from us and being over in Germany and you’re like, why don’t they do this everywhere? Or, you know, you guys are doing this and you should really be doing it this way. Cuz you know, things like that. There are so many things out there that we just aren’t aware of. So I love that you took the opportunity to take those pieces of information and what these individuals like these characteristics that they had that made them stand out to you and create something that defines how to build an affected team. Like it’s, it’s genius.

Juliana Stancampiano (09:57): <laugh> thank you. I think, you know, it’s one of those things where it’s just a life experience and you go through it and you learn from it, but you don’t know how you’re gonna, how it’s gonna come to life later on. But I think when I first came back from us, I thought, well, if nothing else, I have a lot of empathy for our company working with many people in different offices around the world. And those people’s points of view because they are smart, they are talented and we need to listen a little bit more. So I think, you know, bringing that like listening lens once I was back in us trying to bring those ideas over and man, we can really, as Americans drive our seat in the ground on some of these things, but, but to your point, there are so many wonderful ideas out there. If we’re just open to seeing them and accepting that that could be a good way for us as well.

Maria Melfa (10:50): Was there anything in particular that you learned, um, when you live there as far as how organizations work on developing teams?

Juliana Stancampiano (10:59): Yeah. You know, yes. I think Europe, especially put a lot of time and effort into the development of their people and the development of teams. And I did a lot of teamwork development while I was there, which was awesome. I got to put together these amazing offsite for people to go learn new things and myself included, cuz I was so young at the time, I didn’t know how to build rapport or you know, didn’t even know that existed as a concept <laugh> you know? And so I was able to work with a few different teams. I worked across some directors and help them build team camaraderie and team development and learning. And so I learned so much from that time because I didn’t know all these things either. So, you know, it’s probably on a growth curve. It was probably that steep track at the beginning of your career.

Juliana Stancampiano (11:54): But I, you know, I think I learned a lot of it was it. You have to get people together and give them the time away from work as well, to get to know one another and to learn things together and figure things out and have that white space that makes such a huge difference once you’re back in the office or whatnot, to collaborate on things that are gonna be hard because you have something else to, you know, to base that relationship off of, it’s not just the work, you know? And it’s like, Hey, I know we learned in this offsite that, you know, I’m a E N T J or whatever, you know, we did the M B D I and things, you know, so you got to learn those things like, but I understand that our client is like this. So help me understand how we can work together, that you can use your strengths and I can use mine and we can have success out of this. You know, if, if you didn’t have that time away to do that work, nobody would’ve been able, to speak that language.

Jocelyn Allen (12:50): Thank you for that extra insight. I think that cultural perspective is always something that people are interested about. Especially if we’re talking about, you know, internationally, I mean how it affects your workforce cause everybody’s working globally and remote remotely at this point, you know, let’s go back to your book a little bit, cuz something that we really liked was your speaking about outputs versus outcomes. What is the difference between these and how do you drive towards the most impactful outcomes?

Juliana Stancampiano (13:22): Yeah. It’s such a great question and something that we probably all run into a lot where you show up to a meeting and somebody’s like, I’ve created these six things and you’re like, why did you create those six things? You know, why is that PowerPoint created, help me, help me understand. And, and you know, as a leader of a company, you think, oh my gosh, how much time did you spend on these things that they’re not helpful, you know, or not useful. And so those are the outputs, right? Like all the things that we do, we create on a day-to-day basis, are they actually working towards something bigger? And I think what we see a lot of times is that the outcome’s not clear for someone it’s not well defined. We don’t know exactly what it is. And so people doing their best, which I think I fundamentally believe people come to work and want to do well.

Juliana Stancampiano (14:18): That’s just a fundamental belief that I hold, they start creating stuff because they want to add value. And if it’s not clear where you’re headed and what the outcome is, you know what we’re trying to drive, then those things can, a lot of times not be helpful. It is in-depth with a lot of wasted time, you know, set to the side, doesn’t make the person feel great, right? That it’s been doing this work and trying to work on these things and it doesn’t help you drive towards the outcome, which is really more about some sort of business driver business resort result or like, you know, what does it take to build a podcast? <laugh> right. You could say, Hey, we wanna launch a podcast and somebody goes off and creates all the marketing materials for it. And you’re like, but we haven’t decided what the angle’s gonna be. Do you know? And so having that real clear outcome and structure of what you’re gonna, do’s very helpful so that people create the outputs that are actually going to help you drive that outcome forward versus randomize a lot of people and create, you know, create a lot of swirl at the, you know, especially at the beginning of things, that’s gonna slow you down.

Jocelyn Allen (15:26): So back to what you said, cuz then I’m glad that you said it, cuz it was the first thing that I thought up and something that we often talk about here is that line between, okay, like thank you for your ideas and we really appreciate them and we don’t want you to stop giving them. Right. And um, actually working towards an outcome and profit. So like where does that balance come in? That’s gotta be a challenge that you’ve addressed and experienced. Right. So I think that’s probably what most people are thinking is like, well, how do I do that?

Juliana Stancampiano (15:57): <laugh> yeah. You know, I think as business owners, right? You’re constantly thinking about that balance with people and you want them to add value to the company on a consistent basis and to the clients and to the other, other people, you know, and I think this is where being really clear is probably the best thing that you can try to do. And, and man, it like context, context, context, context, people need context. You can’t just tell them, Hey, go do you know, go create this thing for me. You know, they’ll create it in a vacuum and come back and it won’t be what you ask for. Right? And so you’re immediately seeing this loss of value and time. And so I think as leaders, we can slow down, we can provide as much. Let me explain to you why it is that I’m asking you to go do this thing.

Juliana Stancampiano (16:45): Let me tell you how it’s gonna fit into the larger, uh, picture. That can be very frustrating as a leader and I can empathize with that. And it’s also your job <laugh>. And so I, I do think there’s like that, you know, really slow down so that you’re not wasting your profit. You’re not wasting people’s time and you’re being as efficient as possible. And you also know that there’s gonna be, you know, it’s the 80 20 rule, right? You’ll get 80% there and there’ll always be 20% that happens. And everybody goes, oh, you know, head slap, I should ask, I should have told you these things or I should have asked you some further question or, you know, what happened recently even within my team was I went into a client meeting, was trying to help drive something later, had a conversation with somebody on my design team. And she said I created a document for that. I was like, I have no idea.

Juliana Stancampiano (17:38): You know? So communication and, and driving that across the team is so important. But you know, people and profit are always something to balance. And I think as long as you think about what the outcome is and talk about outcomes with your stakeholders and what you’re driving towards, it helps to quiet the questions about the people. Cause sometimes I think we jump to people and it’s not, that’s actually not the issue. <laugh>, you know, it is the, are we all clear on what it is that we’re driving and this is how I’m gonna get people there. Now I need to do my job and my people need to do their job so we can get there.

Maria Melfa (18:15): Sometimes it’s just the organizational structure. I know you mentioned your book about, we must question best practices. It’s not okay because we’ve done it this way for many years. And I know that’s something that we certainly try to do here. And sometimes it’s kind of a fine line because sometimes you are creating new things when we did have a solid best practice. So, but it kind of, it goes to what you’re saying, clearly communicating the why, what we need to do. So it really comes down to clear communication.

Jocelyn Allen (18:50): I was just gonna say that Maria, like I, there is a common thread in a lot of our conversations and it is communication and it’s in adapting how it needs to be delivered depending on what your result needs to be. So, I mean, we took the words around my mouth, Maria.

Maria Melfa (19:07): Yes. And I know we’re all going so fast right now, as you said, Juliana, and you know, it just, sometimes it, it’s not something that we enjoy doing.

Juliana Stancampiano (19:19): Yes, we have to slow down. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, it’s the old Dodge about going slow to move fast. You know, there’s so much to that of hang on, let’s all get on the same page. It seems to, and you know, I think one of the tricky things for leaders is, and I, this is something that I learned when I was in Europe as well is if you feel it, say it. So I think a lot of times we get into meetings and we’re driving really hard and we’re trying to do all of these things and we know the teams kind of off, but we don’t say it because we just need him to do it this thing. You know, we just need him to get this thing done. And I’ve learned that if you feel it, you say it, Hey, I’m feeling like this meeting’s off this doesn’t, you know, people feel like, I don’t know what’s going on.

Juliana Stancampiano (20:06): To be honest, I just feel like something’s not aligned. Can somebody help me understand what’s going on? And when you give people that permission, you normally hear like, this thing happened or we made a mistake on this other thing. And then you’re like, okay. And then you’re in it. And you’re like actually driving towards getting what it is that you need. Versus if you don’t say anything, you’re more than likely not gonna end up with what you were trying to drive for and be very frustrated about it. And it is very hard to say the thing because it typically feels personal, you know, or feels like it might, Hey, I don’t wanna hurt me. Ben’s feelings. Like I just feel like we’re off or we’re moving slow. And I don’t understand why like, can somebody help me understand? And, and then, and you’ll get that information, but I, I think that’s a real key aspect to helping your team. And also, you know, it goes to that creating that psychological safety happens in those small moments. It took me a while to feel comfortable to say the thing that I was feeling, but it’s amazing what it unlocks and it can, you can do it with clients. You can do it with your team. And it typically unlocks the conversation that you need to be having versus the one that you were having.

Jocelyn Allen (21:25): Very interesting psychological safety. Once again, cuz I’m thinking in the back of my mind, I try to think as a leader, as an employee, right? Like how would I tackle this situation? If I was the person in front of the room who had an audience that wasn’t hitting the mark? Or how would I feel if I was the employee like sitting in the room being like we’re not hitting the mark and I wanna tell you why, and I don’t know how to tell you why it is important because like most of the time, what I’ve found too, I’m going on a little tangent here. But in situations you mentioned like with clients, when you’re transparent, it is 99.9% of the time appreciated over like diminishing the value of either the work you’ve done up until that point or the fact that you had a validating question to ask. And so psychological safety, I definitely think is something that every organization really needs to focus on and understand if that is actually something that’s occurring in your workplace because otherwise, you’re just unaware of like what’s actually going on too, because nobody’s telling you, so like where do, where do you start with that? Like that like even just me spewing that out. That sounds like a lot. So where do you begin? How do you get to an extraordinary team when you’re facing those challenges?

Juliana Stancampiano (22:40): You start incrementally and I think, you know that’s what I feel like doesn’t get talked about a lot to be very honest is, and I love Ann. Minson her research. I love BNE brown and all of her research, I feel like they’re more of our leaders of today than, a lot of others and, it’s broken down. Right. So it’s in Mo the small moment. It’s not in the big moment. It’s in the moment when you go, Hey, you sound like you’re out of breath or like kind of stressed out in front of a team. Can we help you? Do you know? And the person goes, oh yes. I just, you know, I just had my kid fall, you know, knock his head or whatever. And he’s bleeding cuz we’re all working from home and these things are happening, you know?

Juliana Stancampiano (23:26): It’s like, okay, go like, go take care of that. We’ll come back to this later, take a beat. You know, that’s an instance of just like creating that safety where somebody feels comfortable enough to do, to tell you what’s going really going on versus trying to say no, no, no, everything’s fine. You know? And I think as a leader, you have to exemplify that yourself. And you know, I had an employee one time that wrote an email to a client that was apologizing and I was like, first she had nothing to apologize for. This is just something that I think it’s really poorly ingrained, especially with women apologizing. And that was my biggest beep with it. It was like, you have nothing to apologize for. They just needed an explanation. And I got into the office and I said, do you wanna walk through the email?

Juliana Stancampiano (24:14): And she said, yes. And I said, do you wanna do it here? Or do you wanna go into a conference room because we’re in front of everyone else? She said, no, we can do it here. And I said, okay. And I, there wasn’t, I wasn’t mean about it. I wasn’t, you know, yelling. I just said, here’s how I would’ve restructured it. This is what I would’ve said. You don’t need to say this didn’t need to say that or these other things. And she was like, I’m so grateful for the feedback and the whole team heard. Right. And she was feeling, feeling that pressure. But in that moment she felt safe enough to let me do it. I was not mean we had an amazing learning moment. And then we, and I moved on like really quickly, you know, as, as the leader. And I think those are those moments that you have to have to build psychological safety and you have to have like probably 600 of them <laugh>

Maria Melfa (25:05): Yes, absolutely. At least, at least, at least <laugh> because you can create that environment. But as we know, people bring all of their thoughts and feelings to the workplace. So they might have grown up in an atmosphere where they did not feel safe at all. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so, you know, it’s just bringing that forth in so many different levels. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so no one said leadership was easy, right?

Juliana Stancampiano (25:31): No. And I think that’s the like getting to know the individuals mm-hmm <affirmative> is so important. Like I need to understand everyone on my team so that, or like everybody that I’m interacting with on a really regular basis, at least it grows. And I want my, my managers to be doing the same because you have to know that when somebody reacts, maybe strongly about something where that could be coming from so that you can give them some of that grace and then be able to support ’em on that. Hey, I think you took this, you know, this way, that’s what, how I read it. And I think it was intended this way. So I just, you know, you wanna continue to even those playing fields and you can’t do that if you know the person.

Maria Melfa (26:15): Yes. Right. Very that’s interesting. I remember an experience many years ago we had an employee who was really good. She did a great job, but whenever she did make a mistake, she would always try to cover it up. And we would always talk to her and say, you know, so, and so it is, it’s perfectly fine. We just need to, you know, learn from our mistakes. It’s perfectly fine. We’ve all made tons of mistakes. I would talk about the many mistakes that we had and it’s just something that really bothered her for years. And I later found out that she had a major tragedy when she was young and she was kind of involved in this, a death in her family. And it, it was a complete accident. And I just, you know, it’s, it was such an obviously very sad situation, but you know, you, you don’t realize no, no matter what. So you try to get very, very close mm-hmm it, it really is so important to really understand where each individual is coming from and, and treating everybody, you know, differently based on where they’re coming from.

Jocelyn Allen (27:20): Right. And that it’s gonna take different amounts of depress. Yes. Depending on when they’re, where they’re coming from too.

Juliana Stancampiano (27:25): Yes, absolutely. And that was like a big milestone with that person because she really struggled to ask for help. So similarly, like had an upbringing where we didn’t ask for help, you just did the thing, you know, don’t ask like, just do it. And so asking for help felt very uncomfortable. Right. And so it was like, well, I’m gonna offer more help to you so that you don’t have to ask for it. You can just take it when it’s offered, you know, and you can kind of shift and adjust for the different people and it just takes time and diligence in doing it.

Maria Melfa (27:56): So you do talk a lot about information overload and I know that’s a major problem that we all have. It’s just unbelievably crazy. There really …

Jocelyn Allen (28:07): There are so many outlets.

Maria Melfa (28:08): Like there’s so many anywhere. Yes.

Juliana Stancampiano (28:11): I have a …, What information would you like?

Maria Melfa (28:15): And that’s really hard because I find myself sometimes forwarding really good articles to my team. A lot of times to marketing because, oh, look at this, this is great. This look at this, this is awesome. Look at this. So fantastic. And then after sending, you know, 20 emails in a couple of days, I’m like, you know what, I have to kinda stop. And, and like you’re saying now, I’m, I’m thinking I probably need to take a step back and explain why I’m sending that to them and why. And I do sometimes, but probably not enough.

Juliana Stancampiano (28:46): Yeah. You know, I think just as we all laughed like everybody’s facing information overload. And so how do we help our people not feel inundated, uh, in needing to needing and wanting to learn new things, but where do you start? You know, like there are so many things that you can learn and so many things that you can read about, and a big proponent of highly curated information. And to your point, like, be very intentional about why you’re sharing it. We also, like we have a knowledge sharing, you know, slack channel that we use and that to me, just, it can fill up, but I don’t have to really bother myself by breathing all of it because nobody’s told me why it is that they think I should. They just found it really interesting. Right. So it’s good to share the things that we find interesting.

Juliana Stancampiano (29:34): If people have time or they’re interested, they can also read and I can kinda see what everybody’s in tune with. And that’s interesting for me to see as a leader, but you know, really explaining why it is that you’re giving somebody something and giving them that context about it. And I think being thoughtful about what it is that we’re creating, as well as learning people, you know, there’s just so much, so how do we make something that is actually really relevant for the person that’s gonna consume it? And that’s where my interest really lies is like honing in as corporations and companies on what the person actually needs. Not all the things we think they need, you know, to be able to do the thing. And then you know how to go find the things when they need it. Because I think that’s probably most of what we all do. Like you need to know something like a minus espresso machine, every time I just scale it, I go to YouTube and I look up the video because I can never remember exactly how to do it. And there is somebody that has posted a great home video and I can figure out how to do it. So how do we incorporate that for our companies as a model versus just really pushing lots of stuff at them?

Maria Melfa (30:43): Yes. If we could get that right, then that will save so many people so much time. I know I’ve tried to look at the EOS method and focus on a lot of the rocks and yeah, we, we will do that and have quarterly meetings. And my problem is, is I always wanna add new rocks and I have to stop myself from doing it. And then it’s hard to break down the rocks because I think, we definitely have a lot of defined projects or defined rocks, but then there are so many different layers to them. So how do we go ahead and define those? That’s what I personally struggle with. And I should do a better job helping my teams.

Juliana Stancampiano (31:30): I think that is, that gets back to like, what’s the out? Is this like really helping the outcome that I’m trying to drive with the team? Or is this just more noise for them? Like, do they know how to do this thing? Or am I creating potentially a new work stream, which I’m totally guilty of as well? Right. Because you’re like, I had another brilliant idea last night and I’d like to do that and I’d be nice.

Maria Melfa (31:53): You would never believe what’s in my dream journal. <laugh> yeah, exactly.

Juliana Stancampiano (31:58): And you don’t want your team going oh right. Stop coming up with ideas. Right. And so I check myself sometimes and I, you know, and I have, uh, peers and colleagues where I know they’ll be absolutely honest. And I’m like, is this too much? You know, if, if I lay this out for the team, do you think it’s too much and I’m gonna overload them? And I have a sense of that. It’s probably why I’m asking right? The answer is yes. Right. But we have to check ourselves on a consistent basis and think about our people and, and, you know, we’re constantly looking through, you know, how can we streamline the meetings? How can we, you know, we try to reserve Fridays for no meetings so that people can just do work because of the state that we’re in, of working? It’s just constantly there.

Juliana Stancampiano (32:42): And we’re always on calls and we’re, you know, and it’s like, where do you just get the Q2 time that you need to just do your work and think through something? And so, you know, I think as we think about learning experiences and those that we’re trying to create for people and for our own people, I think about the modalities as well. So to your point about like 20 articles later, it’s like, you know, maybe pair down the articles, like drop a podcast, drop something short and easy. And I think about how people do their lives, right. We’re trying to get people out more and walking more. And it’s like, Hey, you know, I listen to podcasts a lot when I’m out walking. Here’s, you know, one that I would recommend this month, maybe. Right. You know, specifically, and this is why and, and what, what it benefits towards. If that’s an area of growth through, you know, that you’re trying to have in the company. And, you know, just thinking about the different types of assets and how they fit into people’s lives so that they don’t feel burdensome, but they feel more consumable, TikTok videos. We’re all gonna end up doing TikTok videos.

Jocelyn Allen (33:48): It’s true. True. It is true digestible information. That’s where it’s at. And I like that you said, um, kind, and this goes back to what you were saying about your team member, who you were giving feedback to regarding that email is almost asking for permission or allowing that permission. One of our resources, our TTA talent resources, and I had a conversation around this and it had to do with being empathetic and relating to that and kind of meeting people where they were at. And I just think that going and asking permission to either provide feedback to somebody or allowing them, like you said, in an email, if this is the seventh thing I’ve sent you, is this too much that breaks down that wall and creates at least even that moment of psychological safety to be like, okay, yeah. Since you asked, I mean, I’m just gonna go ahead and tell you what’s really going on here. I think that goes a long way. And I use it in my everyday life of just being like, this may not be my place here, but if it is, I’d love to share something and if not forget, I said it.

Juliana Stancampiano (34:56): Yeah. I think tho those framing and contextual types of not caveats, cuz they’re not really caveats, but you know, AB sentences I think go a really long way for people. And in our speed in our short communications, a lot of times we tend to miss it. Right. And I think that is, is the kind of key aspect. And I will tell you when I miss it, oh man, I can feel it. Are you, you see what I mean? You can feel it in the conversation called and I’ve, I’ve done a few times where I’m like, I’m really sorry. I think I need to back up. Like I did make a mistake. And I, I came into this like too, too fast, too much. And just telling you what was gonna happen and, or giving you feedback. And I haven’t even like laid, a foundation for you. And so that sucks. And when you do those things as a leader, your, your person says, oh gosh, well, they mess up too. Right. And B kind of exhibited the fact that you can, it’s allowed to do this. It’s allowed to make a mistake. And then to back up and try again,

Jocelyn Allen (36:01): Transparency goes a long way. And speaking of that, another good segue into, uh, a part of your book that we also really loved, cuz it’s focuses on like TTAs collaboration as well, is that extraordinary teams have role clarity and they understand that at some point they will need to cover for each other. Agreed. We love that. Let people have some time off, let’s work together to get to an end result faster, better, and more efficiently. What’s the best way to go about this and actually achieve that in an organization?

Juliana Stancampiano (36:35): You know, I think I have totally adopted Renee Brown’s, like clear is kind, it’s kind of my one mantra, honestly from her that I just find invaluable as a leader. It doesn’t mean that it’s always gonna feel good, but it does mean that you know, it’s being clear for somebody else. Right? So that role clarity, I think, is so important to understand, you know, I don’t know how many times we’ve run into, you know, another organization and you have somebody in a role that isn’t learning designer say they’re a PM. And they’re like, well, I was thinking you could do X and Y with your design. And you’re like, thank you for the feedback, you know? And who knows if it’s a good idea or not, but it just kind of comes outta left field and you’re, and it throws, throws you off. Right. And so, and that person potentially is, has no idea what they’re talking about.

Juliana Stancampiano (37:25): Nobody knows what maybe their background is. Right. So how do you get really clear on the roles, but then when somebody has to be out, you step in, you know, what their role was because it was clear to you from the beginning, you understand what it is that they’re having to do. You know you bring somebody, that’s got some of those capabilities and you let them cover. It works really well. And I think role clarity is a lot of times I feel like what people are asking for constantly at work. Just tell me exactly what you expect of me. Tell me what it is that you want me to drive. Right? We hear this consistently from managers and I think this relates again to the outcomes. It’s like, what’s my part in that thing that we’re doing? And if you can help me understand that I’ll do that to the best of my ability is typically where people are and so big on their role clarity, you know, transparency goes a long way with the team where it’s there.

Juliana Stancampiano (38:22): Shouldn’t, I mean, none of the role clarity things should be hidden from anybody. That shouldn’t be a thing at all in my mind, everybody should know what everybody’s working on and what they’re doing. I think, you know, transparency comes into play. When for me, we have deadlines that we have to hit. And a big part of my leadership is that I, I don’t care what, how people kind of spend their time, as long as these deadlines get hit. And because I have some people that like to work until 2:00 AM and I have some people that are out at five, you know, and everybody has their own thing going on. But if you don’t know that as a, you know, as a leader or as the PM driving the work, if you don’t know those things are happening, oh my gosh, you can have so much angst about so, and so is not awake.

Juliana Stancampiano (39:06): And it’s like 9:00 AM <laugh> or whatever, you know, like, well, did you notice that she turned in her documents at, you know, 1 45 in the morning so that probably had something to do with it. But if you don’t know how people work or what they have, you know, there are big rocks of like, I, I drop my kids off every day at school, or I take my dog for a walk at this time every afternoon, because otherwise, he’s barking at me. You know, those types of things are what I think of when I think of transparency, which we haven’t historically allowed in our workplace. And I think this pandemic has done an amazing job of breaking down a lot of those barriers and you get to know your people even more. And so it’s so much easier as a leader to come into a meeting and say, yes, I know that.

Juliana Stancampiano (39:51): So, and so was out because they do this thing and I’m aware of it, and this is how we need to organize the work to make sure that it works for everyone. And I think, you know, having that view had a boss early on that actually was so nice about this, where she said, well, it was kind of funny, cuz she said, if you need to do anything during the day, you tell me so that I can cover for you. But if I don’t know where you are, I can’t cover it for you. And I would like run out and get my eyebrows waxed, you know, like lunchtime and come back or like go see a dentist appointment, cuz dentists are not open on Saturday and Sunday, which employers seem to forget sometimes. Do you know? And, and it wasn’t that I wasn’t doing my work.

Juliana Stancampiano (40:33): I just needed to do those things. And she taught me, you know, she gave me the psychological safety that she had my back and that she wouldn’t tell anybody else. She would basically just say I was out doing something. But if she didn’t know, she was really upset. And I think that’s a lot where that comes from. It’s like, if I don’t know, I can’t help you. So tell me so I can help all of us. <laugh> I’m not gonna, you’re not gonna get in trouble for doing these things cuz guess what? I have to do these things too.

Maria Melfa (41:00): So going back a little bit curious, do you have one-on-one meetings with each team member?

Juliana Stancampiano (41:07): Yes

Maria Melfa (41:08): I do week weekly.

Juliana Stancampiano (41:10): No, not weekly. We’re way too. Well, so for my immediate team that I manage, I don’t have formal one-on-ones with them every week, but I’m in meetings with them consistently, like throughout the week. And then I do buy, I’ve gotten to like biweekly check-in okay. I think it kinda depends on the maturity of your team. Sure. And where people are at and what you’re driving. That being said. I do think that eventually, you can get to the biweekly, I think works well.

Maria Melfa (41:40): Do you have them bring a certain structure to these meetings?

Juliana Stancampiano (41:45): It is typically like, what are the things that you wanna talk through? And here’s my list of things that I wanna talk through and we go from there, it’s fairly informal, but we’ve done a lot of work around and I’m a huge fan of the ongoing feedback. In fact, I just had, a newer teammate tell me this yesterday. She sent something out and I immediately responded and said, don’t ever do this again. And she said, got it. And I said, no worries. I, I didn’t even say it. You know, this isn’t something you would’ve known, but I don’t want you to do that ever again. Like we’re not a family, we’re a business. That’s what it was about. Right. She addressed an all-company email to the oxygen family. And I, I kind of firmly believe that we’re not a family. So many people have dysfunctional families. That is not always a good word to use. I have found with employees. And um, and at the end of the day, we’re a business and we’re one that really cares about our people, values our people, but the family word’s just out and she was like, man, I love that. You give me feedback in the moment when the thing happens because I will never do that again. And it’s fast and it doesn’t feel, you know, sometimes a week later it’s like, it becomes a thing. Right.

Jocelyn Allen (42:52): I’m thinking about it that long. Right? Yeah. And then the, be the person you’re talking to is very aware of that. Absolutely. Yeah.

Juliana Stancampiano (42:59): And it’s way overinflated at that point. Versus if you give that really fast feedback and you’re like no harm, no foul.

Maria Melfa (43:08): And there’s too much

Juliana Stancampiano (43:09): Yes.

Maria Melfa (43:10): Too, too much, too many things happen within like a week. And then it looks kinda crazy. Remember, well, I want to talk to you last week you did this, so, right.

Jocelyn Allen (43:22): Right. And then by then you, they might have done it or you forget about it and they do it a second time and you’re like, oh crap. And meant to talk to that person about it. Yeah. And then they feel, and you’re

Juliana Stancampiano (43:30): Super awkward and they feel bad about it.

Maria Melfa (43:33): I know. Yeah. It makes it worse because the employee thinks that you have been thinking about it for an entire week and it’s really bothering you versus that you just didn’t do it. Like you probably haven’t. You should have done exactly. Right. Yeah. So as we’re wrapping up, what are some tips that you can share with our listeners who want to embark on creating teamwork and an environment where teams can flourish?

Juliana Stancampiano (43:58): You know, I think the top things are probably something that I’ve said over and over again, but if you’re creating a team for the first time, get to know your people really well, both professionally and some personally like to the extent that that, that works and be buried clear. I think if anything like driving clarity, which is context and the why and taking the time to do that makes everything else run faster. And that, I think that’s what we miss and what leaders miss. Sometimes like God feels so laborious. And I feel like I’ve said this, you know, or whatever, or I just don’t have the time to do this. Then find the time that you can take to do it because downstream you will not encounter all the issues that you couldn’t, you know, that you would if you didn’t take the time to do that. So those few things to get started, you know, start to build that it, it start to building the psychological safety that we’re talking about and you’ll eventually get there and it’ll just continue to grow and grow. And then when the big things happen, you know, you, you have to show up for that.

Jocelyn Allen (45:07): I love it. I love that you even gave tips and the way that you said to go about it, that the way to implement these things is to start slow. So you’re like, there’s two things like, let’s start there. I’d love that. I think it’s perfect. It just amplifies like the validity to how you kind of go about the making a team and, and creating something that’s really dynamic and engaging. So unnoticed. I saw you.

Juliana Stancampiano (45:34): I think it’s funny because I sometimes get feedback from people. Like, did you see that? So, and so’s this or so, and so’s doing that. And so, and it’s like, calm down. It’s gonna work itself out. Just give me like two more months and we’re gonna get there. Or like, we need to do this and we need to implement this. And it’s like, it’s in the works. It’s not gonna happen overnight. But in like six months that’ll be in place. And so I think we just, we have a thing with speed and things actually don’t get done overnight. They just don’t. And so when you can be like, I read this thing, that bill gates published, and it was like, he has a, a horizon of like 10 years to get things done. And I was like, wow, 10-year horizon at the, you know, I’m thinking probably more quarters or six months in my, my head primarily. And so I can see the horizon of where we’re going, but there’s something to be said for just that time and space to let something happen.

Jocelyn Allen (46:32): Yep. That upfront investment leads to less investment down, down the line. I absolutely say that. Yeah. All right, Juliana. Well, we are at that point in our episode where we introduce you to the liveliness of TTA and do our segment, the TTA 10,

Dave (46:53): It’s the TTA 10, 10 final questions for our guest.

Jocelyn Allen (47:01): All right, Juliana. So as I said before, we started the episode, with what the TTA 10 was all about. We are going to time 10 questions that I’m going to ask you. And the goal is to get your answers out within 90 seconds. If you do, we will celebrate. We will give you kudos a resume builder even, and some wonderful sound effects from our producer, David. It doesn’t get better than that. And then if we don’t achieve it, well, there may be some playful, not-so-awesome. Sound effects that played. So we no pressure. It’s all in good, fun, and good spirits. But let’s get this party started. If you are ready, Juliana, Juliana, I’m sorry. I keep doing that all good. If you’re ready. Juliana.

Juliana Stancampiano (47:45): I’m ready.

Jocelyn Allen (47:46): All right, David, give me the thumbs up. When the timer is started,

Dave (47:50): 90 seconds on the clock beginning in 3, 2, 1 you’re off.

Jocelyn Allen (47:55): Coffee or tea?

Juliana Stancampiano (47:57): Coffee.

Jocelyn Allen (47:58): What is your favorite color?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:01): Red.

Jocelyn Allen (48:02): Who’s your favorite musical artist?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:05): Ooh, Brandi Carlisle currently

Jocelyn Allen (48:07): Garden gnomes. Cute or creepy?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:09): Oh, creepy.

Jocelyn Allen (48:09): Creepy. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:13): Probably France and Seattle where I’m at.

Jocelyn Allen (48:16): Awesome. What is the 10th letter of the alphabet?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:19): Oh my gosh. No idea, J. My first. Yeah. Nice.

Jocelyn Allen (48:24): That’s how I know it. I’m not gonna lie. What was your favorite subject in school?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:28): Entrepreneurialship. She by a ticket to college.

Jocelyn Allen (48:30): Which of the seven dwarfs do you most relate to?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:33): None of them off the top of my head that I can remember

Jocelyn Allen (48:37): <laugh> uh, if you could learn a brand new skill today, what would it be?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:43): Uh, I would love to be like a professional chef. I’ve been trying to cook and so much skill goes into that.

Jocelyn Allen (48:50): It’s hard. In the little mermaid, what is the name of Ariel’s pet fish?

Juliana Stancampiano (48:53): No idea, but I can see it.

Jocelyn Allen (48:56): <laugh> I can

Juliana Stancampiano (48:56): See you. I need my daughter. <laugh>

Jocelyn Allen (48:59): Who is on the $1 bill.

Juliana Stancampiano (49:01):  Is that Washington or is he on the, yeah, there

Jocelyn Allen (49:03): There you go. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Juliana Stancampiano (49:06): No.

Jocelyn Allen (49:07): No. All right, David, we are done. Let’s get an official time reading.

David (49:13): It was close. I reminded you that 90 seconds was the threshold. Juliana completed the TTA 10 in 88 seconds with two seconds to spare.

Juliana Stancampiano (49:28): I didn’t answer too…

Dave (49:31): Ah, it doesn’t matter. But when you answered wrongly, you answered quickly and therefore we are pleased to tell you that Juliana, you are a TTA champion. Let me do that again because it’s important. Juliana, you are a TTA 10 champion. You may shout this news from the rooftops, dazzle your friends at cocktail parties, and include it on your resume. Now that you have achieved this covered honor, you will be respected and loved by captains of industry, heads of state, social media influencers, and Uber drivers. The sun will shine brighter for you. Food will taste better and life will have new congratulations, Juliana, you are a TTA 10 champion.

Jocelyn Allen (50:17): I mean, is there any better feeling than that Juliana?

Juliana Stancampiano (50:20): No, I feel like I can just take on the world at this point.

Jocelyn Allen (50:24): <laugh>

Juliana Stancampiano (50:25): I’m on.

Maria Melfa (50:26): Well, thank you. You so much. This was wonderful. I loved listening to your story, your feedback on how to create radical teams.

Juliana Stancampiano (50:34): Awesome. Thank you both so much for having me. I appreciate it. That was fun.

Jocelyn Allen (50:40) If you’re interested in more information on Juliana’s book and creating radical teams in your organization, visit us at We’ll see you later.