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Posted on Jul 15, 2013 in Partner Interviews

Meet the Partners: John Warder

John Warder

Name: John Warder

Business: Top Ten Talents Group


Education: Bachelor of Science, Iowa State University

John, thank you for taking time for this brief interview. I saw in your bio that you played Division I football in college. What’s your best memory from your playing time?  I had a new coach my senior year that really believed in me and kept me at quarterback. He saw my talents for running the ball. He said you will lead the team in rushing and be Most Valuable Player. Could it be? I did not believe it, but it happened. This coach leveraged my talents for my good and the good of the team.

What about your playing experience helped you prepare you for your current business role?   In sports, most people “get it.” You put the right person in the right position for the purpose of winning the game. But we see in business it is not working very well that way. Gallup did a study with 400 companies that showed less than 20% of employees get to bring their best talents to work. What a tragedy. There is so much more potential for productivity and satisfaction and less stress.
Life isn’t all about sports. What other life experiences have taught you about team building?   Every organization I have worked for allows you to experience the TEAM. And if the leadership is not “people focused,” they will only get a little of each employee. I have seen this and experienced this myself. If your leadership CARES for the staff, it has huge effect on Morale and Motivation of each person.
You tend to really focus on “strengths.” Why is that important?   Our Talents and Strengths are permanent in each of us and make up what is most productive and meaningful to each of us. Our strengths give us a unique niche in our culture to build a life and career and to be satisfied with our work.

A restaurant manager has many things to do in a short period of time and the day is just so long. Is it really worth the time to try to diagnose a 19-year old cook’s strengths?  Knowing an employee’s talents and strengths allows for that manager to “strategize” with that person on HOW BEST to utilize him/her in her assignment. Gallup says that main reason most people leave their job is not because of the job but because of the immediate toxic relationship with their boss.
What about a young manager, newly promoted to that position, how can they focus on what they are good at while not letting their inexperience and deficiencies get them into trouble?  We all must learn certain skills to perform our job overall, but to know ones talents and strengths allows for “customization” of the job for even higher productivity based on the Talents of that person.
What kind of restaurant worker would benefit most by spending time with you and your program?    Any person benefits from knowing their Talents and Strengths. But MOST are not given a chance to know and see how far they can GROW. But anyone in leadership will benefit a great deal too as they see how this applies to themselves and to those they manage.

We’ve only known each other for a few months, but can you identify one (I hope there’s one!) strength that FoodSafetyGuy might bring to the class room?   Lars, you have a Positivity and a Passion for food safety that really comes through to others. KEEP BEING YOU!!! People need to see this from YOU!!!

Thanks for sharing with us, John!

John is an important part of our TouchPoint Resource Pool, especially in the Training function. Click here to view his video bio!