Monty Moran [Part 1]: Spice Up Your Company Culture | E85

#85: Spice Up Your Company Culture with Monty Moran [Part 2]

Want to know how to build and maintain a strong culture?

This week, our guest is Monty Moran, former co-CEO of Chipotle Grill and a previous lawyer and managing partner of a law firm. Monty was integral to the massive popularity explosion of Chipotle across the United States in the late 2000’s. Currently, he is a chairman on many corporate boards, an advisor to many start-ups, and a new author. His new book, Love is Free. Guac is Extra. is released October 20.

In today’s episode, we have a lot to cover – so much so that we’ve made this a two-part episode! We will start off our conversation with Monty today by hearing his early career journey and how he ended up at Chipotle after being a lawyer for 10 years. We will then dig deeper into his best strategies for creating a great culture, nuances in communication, and hear his fascinating stories of interacting with people from all walks of life. 


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Check out our website to meet the team, view show notes and transcripts:


00:55 – Monty’s Career Path Thus Far 

03:00 – How He Built Trusting Relationships With Employees

13:05 – Where Monty Got His Confidence

16:51 – The Best Strategy to Succeed

19:19 – Why Monty Went Undercover at Chipotle

28:30 – Monty’s Definition of Leadership

31:03 – Why Culture is So Critical

40:39 – Monty’s Learnings from Raw, Honest Conversations

45:26 – Importance of Curiosity and Vulnerability 

51:40 – Body Language Tips

58:09 – Characteristics of Looking for Talent

1:06:52 – Advice for Promoting a Mission

1:18:00 – Quick Phrase Explanations

1:24:24 – Monty’s Secret to Profiting in Life


Monty’s Website:

Monty’s Book, Love is Free. Guac is Extra

Monty’s LinkedIn:

#85: Spice Up Your Company Culture with Monty Moran [Part 2]

[00:00:00] Hala Taha: [00:00:00] Podcast Republic has super cool features, like the ability to take notes while listening to your podcasts. And you can even schedule to play a podcast at a specific time. Imagine being able to wake up and start your day with Young And Profiting podcast. If you're an Android user, head over to the Google Play Store to download Podcast Republic, and don't forget to rate and review Young And Profiting podcast while you're at it.

You're listening to YAP, Young And Profiting podcast, a place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Hala Taha. And on Young And Profiting podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world. My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life.

No matter your age, profession, or industry, there's no fluff on this podcast and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guests by doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, [00:01:00] we've chatted with the likes of ex FBI agents, self-made billionaires, sleep psychologists, CEOs, and best-selling authors.

Our subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity, how to gain influence, the art of side hustles, and more. If you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the subscribe button because you'll love it here at Young And Profit podcast. This week on YAP, we're chatting with Monte Moran, the former co-CEO of Chipotle and former CEO of the law firm messenger.

While at Chipotle, Moran led a team of more than 75,000 employees and helped to grow the company from eight locations to more than 2000. He was key to the massive explosion of Chipotle  across the U S in the late 2000. Currently, Monte is a chairman on corporate boards and advisor to many startups and a new author.

His first book Love is Free. Guac is Extra comes out tomorrow, October 20th. You're listening to part two of my interview with Monte [00:02:00] Moran. If you miss part one, go back and take a lesson now. In part one, we discussed Monte's early career journey and how he ended up being the co-CEO of Chipotle, after being a lawyer for more than 10 years, without any food industry or real estate experience.

And now in part two, will go super deep into his expert strategies on leadership, including how to create a great company culture, his top ways to connect with people and how to design a mission that will motivate employees to do their best work. So you credit your expertise to curiosity in terms of one of your reasons for being successful as a leader.

So do you think that played a role in terms of developing your curiosity? Seeing those homeless people and wanting to learn more about their lives and then how can you relate that to being a leader today and some actionable steps that we can take? 

Monty Moran: [00:02:53] Oh, I think curiosity is an immensely powerful characteristic.

And that's why it was one of the 13 [00:03:00] characteristics I look for in hiring people at Chipotle that we all look for. Someone who's curious, right? Curiosity is immense because it shows that someone's heart is alert and awake and wants to learn. It shows humbleness that you know, that you don't know everything.

It shows that you have an energy where you desire, where you have a desire to get involved in the world, or get involved in somebody and learn something more. So curiosity is enormous. I've always been a person who asks lots and lots and lots of questions. I was always really hungry to learn.

And I had this brilliant mother and father, but in particular, I'll talk about my father for a moment. And my dad was super, super smart, like really brilliant. But he also had this kind of high need to have alone time and quiet time. And for a father like that, I was probably the worst kid he could have had because I was loud.

I talk fast. I talked a lot. I interrupted, I walked too loud and it would bother him, he would, he'd be like, okay, not right now. Hey, I'm busy. Hey, whoa, give me a minute. And so I wanted my dad. I want, first of all, I want to just love and affection. Cause he's a beautiful guy. And I wanted that love like every child does, but I also wanted to know what was in his head because he was so smart.

I wanted it to learn it. And so in order to get, and I talked about this in the book a little [00:04:00] bit in order to get the information out of my dad's. I had to learn to ask questions in a way that somehow didn't displease him, somehow didn't piss them off or put them off or make him want to walk away. And so I approached him as a

maybe as a, an a, an apprentice would approach their guru, with this reverence and respect. And Hey dad, I really would like to understand this better. Would you be able to? And so I learned to approach my questioning if I'm in a way that worked for him and where he would give me that attention and that the information which you know, was a form of love to me, like him spending, focusing on me and not being pissed at me and answering my questions.

It was an indication I had done my job well, Okay. So I got really good at approaching people in a way where they want it to give me information. It wasn't just my father. It became my bosses in the future, or just people I spoke with, or just someone on the street. If I said, Hey, can you tell me how to get somewhere?

Something about my approach became I think disarming and like people like, oh, cool, I'll help this guy. He seems to really want to know. And I learned the power of curiosity is enormous. And I'll just give you an example. One example that's in my book is I worked for farmers insurance for a period of time.

And during that job in Los Angeles, I had occasion to be in some very quote, unquote, bad [00:05:00] neighborhoods with high crime, lot of vandalism, a lot of fires. The reason for that is I was a fire claims insurance adjuster, where my job was to go right built homes that had burned down. A lot of them had done sue through arson, so forth, but there were a lot of bad neighborhoods, this sort of nerdy at the time, shorts I see at the time, not nerdy.

No, I'm teasing. But but no, I was a kid who had wore a short sleeve button up as I was required to do for farmers with little neck tie. So I'm in the neck tie and the short sleeve button up walking through, Watts in Los Angeles or, some neighborhoods there that were filled with graffiti.

But one time I was looking at these guys up on the front porch of their house and they're listening to loud rap music, and I just glanced up. Cause I was looking at, and the address of the house I was looking for. Cause I was, I had parked and I was going to walk to the house, a meeting with my client because their house burned down or partially burned down anyway.

So I'm walking along and I look up. Porch. And these there's a bunch of big guys, smoking, I think drinking early morning, loud rap music, and this guy goes, what are you looking at? And I go, oh, I was just looking for the address. Do you know where I forgot the address, but I, 6, 8, 2 5 is, do you know where 6 85.

And I just looked him like that and he goes, oh yeah, man. That's a block up there to the left. Yeah. Hey man. Have a good day. What did I just done? And it's not just [00:06:00] about curiosity. It was about vulnerability. It was about that I looked at him and I asked him for help. Okay. When you ask someone for help, it's incredibly powerful.

Guess what they want to do. They want to help you. And they'll just think of the simplest example, the road, you find a busy guy who has a wristwatch honor. And you say, Hey, what time is it? And you say it politely, they're almost always going to give you the time. I don't care how busy they are. No, one's gonna go head on with it.

It's my watch. I didn't buy this watch for you. I, you're going to say, oh, it's a quarter after, and they're gonna be glad to give you that information when you need help and you subordinate yourself as, Hey, can you help me with this? I don't understand. It's the natural human instinct to want to help you, even if it's just asking for an address that instinct of this gentleman on the front porch, who had, I think approached me with something that you might say was unfriendliness as soon as I said, Hey, can you help me find this address?

And I put him in a position of being mindless. And me, his subordinate, him being the one with the information and something to give me the one in need. It was like my dog rolling over on its back and putting its pause like that. You can help a pet it. So he reached out to pet me instead of being threatened by me.

So a lot of times when people are threatened and people are almost always threatened seeing a new person at some level, just some threat, because [00:07:00] when you pick up the call today, if I had it looked like this you'd have been like, okay, Who is this guy, but, so there's that first couple of seconds where you're like feeling out who is that other person, do they want good for you or do they not?

Are they nice? And so in that instant, when you meet somebody, if they see that you're someone who actually wants to learn from them, cares about them, exceeds that they're a separate human being who has value right away. That's, you're putting yourself in a subordinate position in that subordinate position.

The other person has a tendency to want to come towards you and be of use. 

Hala Taha: [00:07:25] Yeah, because people like to feel valued and like they can be helpful. And then they'll like you more in return because you made them feel valued and special. So I think that's a great point. And first impressions are so important.

They say like the first 14 seconds, people will make their judgment about you. And then it barely can change even over years of you've seen them over and over again. 

Monty Moran: [00:07:46] Usually isn't it. Yeah. But no, you started, you said it much more concisely than me, so well done. 

Hala Taha: [00:07:50] In addition to the strategies, in terms of disarming people by asking for help and being vulnerable, I always say this word, terrible.

[00:08:00] He's like slur. When I say that, But anyway you also have strategies for body language and Young And Profiting podcasts were all about actionable strategies. And what are some tips in terms of body language, to know when somebody is ready to ask for you to ask them a difficult question, or to know that they're open to more dialogue?

What do you look for? 

Monty Moran: [00:08:21] Let me start my answer to that question by saying this I would recommend everyone in the world stop listening to the words that someone says. It's the least important thing going on when you talk to someone they're words. Unless someone says, what time is it? Or you go, okay, it's 11:15, but if you get into anything, that's more and more in depth conversation with someone, the words that they're saying to you are the least reliable indicator or one of the least reliable indicators of actually what's going on in their heart.

And I'll give you an example. So when I go into Chipotle and talk to these 20, 25,000 people that I talked to over a dozen years there, I would sit down and go, how are you? And they be like, oh good. And let's say, I said how do you like your general manager. How do you like bill ho what kind of general managers bill.

And they'd be like, oh, he's [00:09:00] good. What does that mean? Oh, he's good. They end up with a question, right? And you're like, oh, but he's not great. Is he? No, I didn't say that. I see it in your eyes is not great. Tell me what's not great about, and they'd be like, Okay. Here's the problem.

Like bill can be really hard on me to go and they would just tell you, they would just tell you. And it was very disarming. You'd look at them and they, their words were, oh, he's good at no. I said I liked him, but I'm like, but you're not saying it in a way. That's convincing me at all. Now, when they said to me they liked someone and I said no, Or some version of that.

No, you don't. I can tell by your voice, you don't, you think that would insult them, right? Cause I'm saying that they're not being honest, but it's the opposite of an insult. Cause what are they really experiencing? They're experiencing that. I'm taking the time and I care enough to see what they really are thinking about bill.

What's really in their heart. I'm seeing inside them and it's very flattering to have someone look inside you. It's scary. At first it's oh shit, this guy's seeing through my bias. That's scary. It's scary at first, but it's very flattering. So if you come in for instance and go, hi Monty.

And I go, Hey, how are you doing? And you say I'm pretty good. I'm like, oh, what's wrong. I said I was pretty good. I know. But you said I can tell  you're not. Okay. And let's say you weren't that well, how would you feel that I'd [00:10:00] actually looked deeper? You'd feel, oh, wow. Yeah. He's actually paying attention to what's really going on with me, which is that my dog died yesterday and he noticed something's wrong.

What is wrong? My dog died yesterday. Oh gosh. I'm so sorry. And it gives me an opportunity to reach, to connect with you at a deeper level to be of use to you. How can I help?  Is it, Hey, can you want to go? You want to take a half day off and I'll do your work today, or whatever, I can maybe help you. Or even the fact that I want to help you is helpful. Even if you don't need the help or want though, it's no, I'm fine. But thank you so much for noticing. Thank you for noticing what's really going on in my heart. So as soon as you start noticing what's really going on with people the next time I say, how are you doing?

You might be more likely to say, I, don't know I'm okay today, it worked a little late last night. I'm tired, but I'm good. How are you Monty? I'm good. But again, we start to develop a deeper relationship through my not believing your words. Now, people with her words tend to lie a lot.

And I don't mean bad people. The example of, if you say, how are you doing today, Monty? And I'm not doing that. The odds of me saying I'm pretty well, thank you because I'm going to say that to you, even if it's not true. Why? Because I don't want to wait. I don't want to wait. No, I might even wanna talk about it, but I don't want to waste your time.

I don't presume that you owe me. To listen to my [00:11:00] problems. So I might just say, I'm fine. I'm fine. How are you? Even if that's not true, even if I'm not a liar, like I'm not, I'm a really honest person. I value my, I value honesty hugely, but sometimes someone says, how are you doing? And I know what they really want to hear is fine.

I'll say find things, even if I'm not great. Okay. Now, if you get to know me even a little bit, I'll probably say, okay, I'm not that great. I'll probably tell you. But anyway, the point is that people we've all practiced through our whole lives to use words, dishonestly, not badly. I don't mean bad dishonesty right now.

Although dishonesty is bad when it's really dishonest, we've learned to say things to get along. We've learned to say things to not have to stop to every person on the street and say actually I'm having a shitty day. Thank you. How are you? So since we get good at using our words in a way that's actually deceptive, okay, then you have to ask what do we do?

That's not deceptive. The answer is body language, tone, pace of speech, intonation, eye contact, all of those other nonverbal aspects of communication are way more reliable because people are not as good at faking them. So when I say, Hey, do you like your manager? And you say, yeah, she's good.

[00:12:00] No, you don't like her. If I was your best friend and we were at home having a beer, you'd be like, manage your dyes. Make crazy. So I can tell that you don't really like her. And so I'm gonna say what don't you like? And from that position, and you're going to say actually I don't like this.

She chews me out like every day when I'm doing the right thing and I don't, and she tells me different things to do every day. It's never consistent. But when she drives me. Once I learned that she drives me crazy. I'm not going to run. You're going to go, oh, okay. Says you managed to, Jane says that bill, you drive her crazy bill.

I'm going to be like, okay, I'm going to work with it in a much more nuanced way. I'm going to go talk to the manager. Hey. So when some of your people, do you ever find that maybe you're not connecting as well as you could? To be honest. Yeah. So I'm having a hard time. With oh, okay. And now I'll start teaching about it.

Connect better. Hey, let's have you sit down one-on-one and let's. And I would get them to have the conversation where the truth would come out during their conversation in a way that was organic and real for them. And then all of a sudden their relationship would start to heal. They would start to see each other better, understand each other better, know each other better, and therefore have a much more empowered mutual relationship.

And that was what I would try to train people to do in order to make the connection. 

Hala Taha: [00:12:55] Yeah. So it's don't just listen to exactly what people are saying, pay attention [00:13:00] to their pace, their tone, their facial expressions, what they're doing with their arms and legs and see if there's something deeper that you can try to get out of them.

Monty Moran: [00:13:08] Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yep. And it all starts with curiosity and it all starts with not listening to the words. But what you know is the truth. . 

Hala Taha: [00:13:16] Let's go back to finding the right talent and identifying talent. I heard you just a few minutes ago, it's saying that there's 13 characteristics that you used to look for when hiring someone.

I'm sure you don't remember them all, or maybe you do, but what are some of the characteristics in terms of looking for talent. Cause I know that you value, character over actual experience. 

Monty Moran: [00:13:38] Character is way more important. Can't train it, you can train experience. And also people don't even want to be paid for their character.

They want to be paid for the experience, which is weird because character is more important. But anyway, let me start answering your question. So I came up with a certain 13 characteristics at Chipotle that I thought were really important for Chipotle because it was a company where we were hiring literally a hundred thousand people a year at very entry level positions, usually who we needed to interact with customers, be [00:14:00] exciting to customers.

And also we wanted ambitious people were going to move up and take on manager positions because we needed future managers and we wanted to  get all of them, from crew people. Okay. So that 13 care, those 13 characteristics may not be appropriate for, let's say a computer programming business or a translation business or whatever.

But the point is for whatever job you're hiring, there are certain characteristics that you can't train. There are things that people just will either have, or not have coming to you and you can't train them to have them. So those are the characteristics that you need to hire for. You have to hire for the stuff you can't train.

If you can train something, then by definition, you can give someone that through, during their job experience. So I'll give you an example. So at the 13 characteristics included things like infectiously, enthusiastic, happy, motivated, polite, conscientious, hospitable, motivated, ambitious, presentable

okay. So there's a bunch of the 13 characteristics. Those are all things you can't really train. So when you come into a job interview within the first 10 or 20 seconds, you can usually tell if someone has those things. Oh we'll Monty. How would you tell if someone is conscientious? I dunno.

It's the type of thing where if you drop a napkin on the floor, do they reach for it before you're sitting at a table, [00:15:00] you drop a napkin on the floor. They're gonna reach to pick it up before you. That's an example of somebody who's maybe very hospitable, very conscientious, right. Or, if someone, how can you tell if someone's excited, where are they?

Are they leaning like this in the chair? Or they're leaning forward in their chair? Are they, w one of, one of the characteristics that he was smart. Did I mean that someone could do like calculus, no smart men like the lights are on someone's home. That the synapses are firing, they're making they're listening to you.

They're communicating with you. They're there, they show up. So smart, man. The lights are really on this person can grasp. If I teach them something, they're probably going to learn it. Yeah. So these characteristics, but the key is you've got to find what characteristics you think are very important for your particular business.

And the characteristics have to have two things in comment in my book to be considered the characteristics that you should hire for number one, things. Things you can't train. If it's something you can train that don't make it a characteristic you're hiring for, because you can train it. Unless it's something like knowing fluent Spanish to be a translator.

Okay. That's not a characteristic that's knowledge, but you should hire for it because you're not, you don't want to teach them a whole language before they can translate. That's gonna be difficult. Although we did teach people English fully, but that was a long-term thing. Anyway [00:16:00] so it's something you can, you can't train and something that you can identify very rapidly in a conversation, right?

Like right away. When I get on the phone with you today, I was like, oh wow. She's pretty, she's alert. She's awake. She's really nice. She's cooperative. She's concerned. She's conscientious. You make it, tell those things about in two seconds. Cause you like you're and then you're an interested person.

Who's really nice. And he's wants to learn and wants to share. So you're ambitious. You're motivated. You're enthusiastic. You're happy. I can tell all those things in two seconds about you, if you were missing one of those characteristics, I promise you, I could tell you about, I could tell that heritage, it was missing in like 10 seconds, right?

So these are hard things to figure out if you're really important, because if you were, and people used to say Monty, do I have to have all 13? What if someone only has 12, that'd be like tell me one of them that you'd be happy to do with it. No. Just tell me one. Okay. Let's say they're not very happy.

Okay. So how do you know they're not happy? They came in and they were just low energy and oh, okay. So now you're saying they're not happy and they're low energy because high energy was one of the characteristics, or infectious high energy and infectiously enthusiastic. So how did they make you feel to be with them?

It bummed me out, but they seem like a really nice person, but man, How are [00:17:00] you that's you're talking about trying to make someone happy. You can line up all the psychiatrists and psychologists in the world, and all of them will tell you, you can't just make someone happy. You can do years of psychotherapy and give someone techniques by which they can gradually slowly work towards maybe being a little happier, but it's a life journey.

Hala Taha: [00:17:18] Yeah. Yeah. And they have to want it for themselves. Like they have to have it in themselves to want to improve themselves and motivate themselves and be happy. Young And Profiting podcasts, I actually have a huge team. I have 27 people and I just had a 10 interns come on the team and I hired for character.

I did not hire for experience. We had 60 applications. I've really hired just based on their character and everybody's doing great because they're just motivated to learn and they're willing to learn, and that's really all you need.

Monty Moran: [00:17:46] Cause you learned it, you know that you once didn't know it and now you know, a lot more and you learn it, so it's the reason you learned it and learned it quickly and learned it well and are being, are having success is not because just of your study, it's because of your characteristics, your willingness to learn your curiosity, and yeah, so it's critical to hire [00:18:00] for these characteristics that you can't train and not focus too much on experience.

Like I say, certainly like knowing Spanish, you gotta know Spanish, you're gonna translate English to Spanish. Okay. Sure. There's certain things you need to know. If you can be a computer programmer, you got to know how to program a computer. But beyond that, the characteristics are very important. 

Hala Taha: [00:18:14] And I think for everybody listening out there if you feel that, you don't get opportunities, when you apply to them, you feel like you're constantly rejected.

Maybe it's time to look at yourself and see what you can improve internally and how you can be a more motivated, happy, upbeat person and make that good first impression. Cause I think there, it's not to say that, there's no hope for you. There's definitely hope for you, but you've got to take the time yourself and deep dive into the self-help and self-improve.

Materials that are out there to help improve, your outlook on life and your motivation internally. 

Monty Moran: [00:18:46] So one big piece of advice that will help anyone go into a job to find that sort of enthusiasm. And that is a lot of people right now are they're applying for jobs that they think they should get, or a job that they think is supposed to be a good job, or they want to go to college because they heard that they're [00:19:00] supposed to go to college and they want to go to study engineering because they're supposed to be an engineer.

Their dad wants them if you're ever doing sign, cause you're supposed to do. You're not doing the right thing probably. The primary motivation should never be you're supposed to do it. Yeah, you're supposed to pay your taxes, but that's different. I'm talking about in terms of what guides you through your life.

If you sit there and do things that you feel like you should do or are supposed to do, you're on the wrong track, you should be doing something that, that you're enthusiastic about, that you love, that you want to do more than anything. If you follow a path in your life. What you're most passionate about what you really want to do, what you love to do, what you don't even consider to be work.

Like I'm so lucky to have this job. I can't believe they pay me. You're going to be much better at it. You're going to learn more quickly. You're going to give more value. You're going to be more enthusiastic during the interview. Cause you really want the job. If I go to a job that I think supposed to happen, I don't really want it.

What's my effect. Going to look like I might be like. Okay. Yes. I'm going, yes. I'm very, I'm a, self-starter I'm smart. I really work hard. My biggest problem is that I work too hard sometimes, broke up like that, but if I'm at a job where I really want, I'm gonna be like, yeah, I want this job.

What are you doing? Oh, it's so cool. What you're doing? I want to be part of it. And it's the enthusiasm is going to come right across [00:20:00] the counter and the person that's interviewing is go, wow, this person wants this job will value this job. 

Hala Taha: [00:20:05] Let's talk about mission. So you just touched on it. The fact that mission is so important when it comes to hiring people and having people be aligned to your company's mission and purpose in your book, you say, as leaders, we must not believe that we deserve the power bestowed on us.

Rather, our power arises only from others' choices to follow us, and only to the extent that we can harness their energy toward our mission. So what's your advice in terms of designing and promoting a powerful mission within your company? 

Monty Moran: [00:20:34] It's a great question. I think way, way too many people or bosses or leaders, they give some mission or vision that frankly no one can be excited about, or they don't even have really a mission.

I'm on a number of boards of directors and so forth and in a recent board meeting at one of these companies and it's a startup restaurant company. They had these two questions at the end of the board packet. Number one was basically, how do we get people to do a better job? Why aren't they doing a good enough job?

How do we hold them accountable? And the second question. How [00:21:00] do we create a better culture? And I knew that was thrown in there for me cause they know I'm a culture guy. And I said, you got the questions backwards. Don't even worry about the first question. How do I get them to stop screwing up? Don't ask that, build a good culture and guess what they're going to screw up.

Okay. So to more directly answer your question. If you have, when I was at farmer's insurance, for example, in California, they whisked us all into this theater where they said, Hey, they give us all mugs and twosies and like desk pads and stuff that said pride, P R I D E. And it stood for people responding and dedicated.

Pride. I was like, that's so not motivating. If we laughed, we literally like this mug seeing pride in the mug is going to make me have more pride in my job. That's ridiculous. Although higher ups are, they hired some marketing firms or some whatever PR firm or whatever they did to come up with this little, whatever you call it, what do you call it?

Acronym or what do you call. 

Pride thing. And they thought that everyone's oh, pride. Wow. People are responding and dedicated people responding and it's just dumb. Okay. And it just not gonna motivate anybody. You have to be honest about what your vision is your vision something that actually is going to cause people at an entry-level position, if that's what the job is to actually go, wow.

This means. [00:22:00] This vision includes me. I can benefit from this vision. I can be part of this vision or mission. Okay. So a lot of companies just have these, like we're going to build the best vehicle ever built in the world if you're a car company. Okay. That's actually a cool vision, I suppose if you're the CEO or

guys who can affect that change and maybe really make it up. But someone who's coming in at an entry level position, they might be good that you have that goal, but what are you going to do? What vision are you going to give them for themselves and their immediate group of people they work with? And so likewise at spotlight, we had this, I think really neat vision of changing the way people think about fast food and that's cool. We want to change how suits people were dug that, but people at the entry level position coming in at 10 bucks or 12 bucks or 15 bucks an hour, it didn't really

think that they could pull that off as one of 80,000 people. That wasn't what was really going to make them motivated today. Cause it's too esoteric. It's like, how do I do that? I don't know if I can do that. So we had to give them a vision of something that they could do that was going to be hugely beneficial to them and hugely beneficial to them.

And make them more successful. And [00:23:00] that's where we came up with a vision of creating a restaurant or culture in every restaurant. And the restaurant culture was a team of all top performers empowered to achieve high standards. And we had definition of empowerment, which I already gave you. And then the definition of top performer, which was someone who has the desire and ability to perform excellent work and through their constant effort to do so elevates themselves the people around them and Chipotle or whatever the organization is.

Okay. So empowerment and top performance like we want you, so if you come in. And we say, Hey, I want you to be of, I'm hiring you today, or I'm interviewing today for a job where you're going to be part of a team of all top performers who are totally empowered to achieve these very high standards. Okay.

And when you're part of that team, you're going to, you're going to be, when you build that team in this restaurant, when you help your managers to do that, your manager is going to become a restaurant tour, which is an elite manager. And the whole team is considered an elite team at that point.

And what's great about that. You're going to be part of a team where everyone on the team cares about you. They're going to care about you and you're going to care about them. They're going to want you to be successful. You're going to want them to be successful. You're all going to be in it together as a tight [00:24:00] team that cares about each other, loves each other and wants each other to be at your very best.

And man, it feels awesome to achieve that. And when you do achieve it, it also happens to be something that's going to help you really excel at this company. You're going to move up to the ranks. You're going to become a manager, maybe a multiunit manager, someday, maybe beyond that, you could become an executive.

It's the, sky's the limit at this company and you can do it. I know you can do it. And that's why I'm willing to hire you. If you say that to someone, they'll be like, holy shit. I came in for a, a $14 an hour job or whatever it is now. I don't know what they're paying now, I'm coming.

I came in for a job scarcely above minimum wage, and they're treating me like, I'm going to be the future of this company. And I can see the path, I can see that, but I'm going to, first of all, build a great team and be part of that great team. And then I'm going to get the benefit of being part of a prestigious team from which the company is going to select its future managers.

And that's going to be me. Cool. So that's the kind of thing. When we, when I talk about vision, the vision has to be something very personal to the people you expect to be motivated by it. If it isn't personal to them, and let's not kid ourselves, that it is when it isn't. Okay. Let's not kid ourselves that when, remember that there was a [00:25:00] terrible vision.

I think it was, there was one company I remember I won't even say the name of it, but a large public company that had as its vision one year, we're going to make the most money of any con of any company. I got to tell you that's that doesn't motivate people. It doesn't, it might motivate the top guy.

It, frankly, it, if it even motivates them, there's something wrong with them. Really? The vision has to be something that would appeal to a top performer. Okay. Appeal to a great person, appeal to someone who has the right characteristics. So it has to be something that will actually help them become a better person.

But also is there going to be part of something that's good for them? And it could be that they're part of a company that's going to make solar power available to everybody, or it's gonna help the environment be better in some way, or it's gonna help people, feel better about themselves or it's going to help people feel more comfortable or have less injury or whatever.

It could be a zillion things, but they have to understand how their individual participation can have a significant, can quickly, relatively quickly have a significant impact on that vision. If they don't think that by working really hard for a year or two, they can really affect change. [00:26:00] It's the wrong vision for them.

It doesn't mean it's the wrong vision for the company, but it means you have to have a more broken down vision for that particular subset or group or a restaurant or retail store or whatever that team is. 

Hala Taha: [00:26:11] Yeah. So I think that's really great advice in terms of having a mission that will motivate people to be engaged, all this talk that you, you spoke about before, in terms of connecting with employees, making them feel heard.

This is not just pie in the sky stuff. This actually impacts the bottom line. So I have a couple of statistics from Forbes. They say employees who feel their voices heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered, to do their best work. And then another statistic from the same article, disengaged employees cost US companies up to $550 billion a year.

So this is important work. It's not just, fun and games. 

Monty Moran: [00:26:50] No. And this is the thing I, I would get every now and then people would ask me, especially analysts and stuff. Wow. You've got this. And I was actually amazed how much analysts really did understand the importance of culture, but every now and then you'd have an old fashioned [00:27:00] person.

Yeah. But what about the margin? So what about the bottom line? I was like, oh, wow. Listen folks. When you have a team of who empowered you achieve high standards or like what we call it? A restaurant tour team. And one of our restaurants, the restaurant. Lower food costs because they wasted less.

They had, their equipment was better calibrated and therefore the food tasted better, but also the equipment lasted longer. The restaurant was cleaner. The customer service was better. The bathrooms were clean. They had much higher customer service scores. They had much higher food scores. In other words, NPS scores.

So net promoter scores, every aspect of that, their margin was much, much better. They got more with done with your people. So their labor costs. Their food costs, lower labor costs, lower. Every variable cost would be benefited by this such that the margin of the restaurant would be extraordinarily high and it would kick off a lot more cash that cash would go to the bottom line.

And when you had top performers at the corporate office, then GNA cost was a lot lower. I remember when I was at Chipotle, I people were often surprised by how numerous I was. In other words, I was very, I'm very good with math. I'm very good with numbers. I'd say that's something that I

excelled at, but I never ever talked about profit at Chipola. I never talked about money. I never taught, cause that you're talking about profit doesn't the profit, talking about money [00:28:00] doesn't give you more money, talking about when the lottery doesn't make it more likely to win the lottery. What does make it more likely you win the lottery?

Buying a lot of lottery tickets. Okay. What makes it more likely that you're going to make a lot more money in a company? Having each of your restaurants? White hot, super clean, awesome food, and then you're gonna, what's that going to do? It's going to give you tons of more customers coming in the door.

How are you going to deal with those customers? You're gonna have really fast through, but because really excellent employees work much more quickly serve the food more quickly. And when it's served real quickly, guess what happens? The food totter tastes better and the customer is more satisfied because they didn't have to wait in line.

So what are they going to do? Come back more? What are they also going to do? Bring more friends. What does that mean? Sales are gonna go up. What's that mean? Higher profits, higher margins, great stock price. So when I was at Chipotle. Our stock went through the roof.  It was one of the best performing stocks on average in the entire S and P 500 for the entire time we were there.

I mean that I worked there and it's still been going up and up, and so the company had a phenomenal run. Runs of any company during its time? Probably. I'm certain it's the best of any restaurant company during that time, for sure. And one of the best of any company in the S and P 500 for [00:29:00] that 12 years that I was there.

Why? Because we focused on money. No, we didn't focus on money. We celebrated when the success came, we said, oh, cool. But by talking about profit, you don't turn on anybody who comes in at a, as an entry-level employee. They don't care about the profit of the, I don't mean they don't care, but the profit.

 They have no equity.

Hala Taha: [00:29:17] So what did they care.

Monty Moran: [00:29:18] Goody initially. And even when they get equity, guess what, really top performers, they want to do something well, they want to do it where they're a big part of it. They want to be a key player, right? They want to feel it there, they are personally important to the success and they want to feel that they are a reason for the success.

And when they feel that you get fewer people that do a lot more. Yeah, you don't have to hire as many people. They're excellent. They don't turn over. They don't leave. You don't have to train as many people. The amount of benefits that come from having a great vision that really makes sense to them and then empowering your people and hiring the right people.

Like that combination is so powerful to any business. And it's so powerful to the bottom line that any good CEO should spend almost no time talking about the bottom line. Almost no time talking about margins and profitability, [00:30:00] you can save that for your own office, with your officers, or you can save it with an analyst call where the analyst is asking, how are your profits?

How are you margin? And you can report back to them on the great success that you had. For the very reason that you do not focus on that stuff in front of the people who don't care about it. 

Hala Taha: [00:30:15] Yeah. Wow. What a great answer. So many gems shared right there. So we don't have time to cover all the leadership strategies in your book.

By the way it is called Love is Free. Guac is Extra. You guys should go check it out. It comes out October 20th. So make sure you go get that. So I thought we would close the show with a quickfire segment. I pulled some headlines from your book and I thought you could give me your one minute perspective on what I jump off on right now.

And then we'll close out the show. So I'll trigger you. I'll say the phrase and then you give me your one minute, thoughts on the topic. So the first one. Don't focus on things you cannot control. 

Monty Moran: [00:30:52] Oh, such a waste of time. And people spend lots of their lives doing it. There's so many things in the world that we cannot control and that's fine, but there are [00:31:00] things we can control.

If you spend your time working on the things you can control, then you will have the biggest impact possible. And some of the things that you can't control will heck over time, you might start shifting, moving the needle even on those. But if you focus time on things you can't control, you'll be frustrated.

You'll get nowhere and other people around you, you will see your bad example, follow it, and also get caught up in it. It's a big waste of time and it's a waste of time to talk about it. It's a waste of time to work on it, find out what you can control and do it. If there's something that you're not liking about your life and you can't control.

Then you can't control it, then do your best. If there's something that you can change and you're change it, if you want to, and then move on. But man, this focusing on things you can't control is a giant waste of most people's lives, mine own I've and I've made the mistake a lot, myself a lot. 

Hala Taha: [00:31:45] Okay. Number two.

Money is not the motivator that you think. 

Monty Moran: [00:31:49] Oh yeah, this is one that just, no one seems to believe. No one wants to believe this, but money is not a primary motivator for people now. It's just, it just, isn't what motivates people is [00:32:00] feeling valuable. Okay. What motivates people is feeling that they're at their best, that they're important.

That they're part of something important that they're valued, that people value them, that they're seen valued, loved, understood. That's what motivates people. So now a lot of people go out and try to earn a lot of money. Cause they think if they get a lot of money, people will then value them, love them, understand them and see them more.

You know what I mean? You get some people who put their name on top of buildings all over the country, because they think that will make them more seen, valued, loved, and understood. It doesn't work and earning a lot of money doesn't make you feel more seen, valued, loved, understood. But everyone seems to think that it's.

It doesn't so it's like money is not the motivator. You think it is. It's true that people need to have enough money to be comfortable and you have to have a certain amount of money. It's a motivator to a point, okay. People aren't gonna work for free cause they need to eat. Okay. But when you get to a certain level of money where people are comfortable and their basic needs are taken care of, and they can eat food and have a comfortable home and safety and Christmas presents for their children and so forth.

A lot of money beyond that, doesn't become a motivator anymore. Great book on this call by Daniel Pink called Drive. That describes it in great detail. Oh, [00:33:00] cool. Okay. He's his book. It really is amazing. And it gives you very, it's very convincing. If you read that book called Drive. Yeah, super good.

And you realize that if your know, some people like you can get bonuses and stuff, and even bonuses typically, aren't what motivates people. What motivates them as that, which it took to earn the bonus, which they found him. 

Hala Taha: [00:33:15] Okay. Number three, a nicer office won't help your business. 

Monty Moran: [00:33:18] Oh yeah. I see so many companies going out and trying to find, they, oh, we're going to move to this office and we're gonna have more efficiency and we're gonna have more chairs to be more comfortable with better view.

And it's gonna really motivate our employees. Other than the fact that it does motivate employees when they think that you care about their comfort, when they think that you want them to be in better circumstances, that will motivate them because they know you care, but it's what it's that you care, that's motivating them, not the nicer office.

So I always say to people who are out trying to find a nicer office, I've been in some really lousy offices that were uncomfortable and that had bad lighting and everything, but where I was, where it felt like magic because the team was so excited and empowered and I've been in offices that were perfect in every way.

Physically where the team was very disempowered and unhappy in their jobs. A nicer office is not what motivates your employees. [00:34:00] It's very far down in the front. 

Hala Taha: [00:34:01] It's about the culture, not the location, the environment of the company. Not necessarily the physical location. Very good point. 

Monty Moran: [00:34:08] Again, you summarize it better than I said it.

Well done. 

Hala Taha: [00:34:11] Okay. Last quick fire question or a topic don't fall for the morale trap. 

Monty Moran: [00:34:16] Oh, morale. Yeah. Morale. A dumb concept. Okay. Took all our employees. Morale is up. When you find your people find that their employees morale is low, they almost always do something that would never, ever help it, put up posters that say, team or whatever, or buy more donuts.

And I make fun of that in my book a little bit more. Low morale, what people call low morale is a result of a culture that is not  a group of empowered top performers. Okay. When you've, when people are not empowered, morale is low, but let's not talk about morale because the people, when you hear about morale being low people, when people come in and complain to their boss, Hey, morale is low around here.

What they almost always want is to work less to have more time off, to have a longer vacation, to have more donuts, to have more soda pop in the fridge or something [00:35:00] like that. That's when they used the word morale. They always seem to be looking for something that's not important. But if someone comes to the morale's low, what you can always be sure of is that at least that person.

Okay is not an empowered top. They may, maybe a potential top one where they're not empowered. So again, you've got to look back at empowerment. Empowerment means confident in your ability and encouraged by your circumstances, such that you feel motivated and at Liberty to fully devote your talents to purpose.

That's my definition. I'm proud of it. You've heard, I've said it twice during today. I must be proud of it. Yeah, I really like the definition because it's actionable and it's like prescriptive. Like you look into that definition and find what you're failing on. Are people confident in their ability?

Okay. If they've got a good typewriter and they're a type and their job is to type, and they've got a good typewriter and comfortable chair, they're probably, and probably comparability, but are they encouraged by their circumstances? If the lighting's crappy, that could be an element of poor circumstances.

Okay. It's not a morale issue. It's that maybe they're not empowered. So if you go through that definition of empowered to make sure that every employee is empowered, which in which involves a vision, it involves in an involved knowing what they're doing and having great circumstances in which to do that, then there'll become empowered.

Okay. And when [00:36:00] they're empowered, morale is never low, but if morale is low people try shortcuts to get there. There are no shortcuts. You have to empower your team. Don't just buy donuts. Don't give them more sodas. Don't you know? Yes, you can give them better lighting and a comfortable chair.

Those things are important because those are part of the encouraging circle. Yeah. Okay, but they're not important for, it's not about morale. It's about excellent culture and an excellent culture always comes when you have top performers who were empowered to achieve high standard. 

Hala Taha: [00:36:25] I love it. Great job.

So the last question I ask all my guests is what is your secret to profiting in life? 

Monty Moran: [00:36:34] I think the secret to profiting in life is to value what's happening right now and not get too caught up in what you're going to be gonna do, gonna become, but instead finding your heart, the gratitude to understand that what's happening right now for each person is exactly what's supposed to be happening in your life.

For the universe to teach you the greatest lesson that you need to learn right now before the next moment comes. And if you enjoy the moment right [00:37:00] now and just try to love the moment and if it's a difficult moment, forgive the moment, forgive yourself for being in the bad moment. Sure. Having a really hard day, forgive yourself and forgive the moment and forgive them.

It's a day and that day is important somehow. And you don't know why right now, but it's an important day. This moment is the most important thing in any of our lives. And it's the only thing real in any of our lives, because the next moment is a fantasy in the past is history. So love this moment, embrace this moment, learn from this moment, live it fully.

And guess what? I promise the next moments that come, many of them you'll find to be wonderful ones that you might value more. But each one is equally valuable. 

Hala Taha: [00:37:35] So motivating, so inspiring. And where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything that you do? 

Monty Moran: [00:37:41] Oh, geez. Where can they go to learn more about me?

So it is our website that regards the book and also some other things we're doing. And so yeah, 

Hala Taha: [00:37:50] Amazing. So this is Monty Moran. Is it Monty? I don't want to say that wrong. Yeah. I was like, that sounds wrong.

[00:38:00] Yeah. Love is This is Monty Moran. Don't forget his name. I'm sure you're on social media as well. And we can go search for you and find you. So thank you so much for joining the show today. That's great job. 

Monty Moran: [00:38:13] Yeah, it was really fun to meet you and thanks for all your great questions and thanks.

And thanks a lot. Appreciate it. 

Hala Taha: [00:38:18] Thanks for listening to Young And Profiting podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please write us a review or comment on your favorite platform. Nothing makes us happier than reading your reviews. We'd love to hear what you think about the show, and don't forget to share this podcast with your

friends, family, and on social media. I always repost, reshare and support those who support us. You can find me on Instagram at yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search for my name. It's Hala Taha. Big thanks to the YAP team as always. This is Hala signing off. 

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