ZogSports COO, Mike Mortellaro, challenges you to care about your team

ZogSports COO, Mike Mortellaro, and his 2 year old daughter, Elyse

About Mike: Mike joined ZogSports in 2009 with the hope of spreading the Zog social sports community around the country. Now as COO, he manages 6 markets serving over 100,000 Zoggers nationwide. His new mission is to infuse connections, caring communities and a sense of play into people’s lives in the workplace and to improve America’s tragically poor employee engagement and enjoyment. Prior to joining ZogSports, Mike was the COO of high school sports social network TAKKLE.com and a consultant at BCG and Accenture. He has an MBA from Wharton and a BS in Business Management from Cornell. Mike and his wife Nicole are kept smiling and busy with their 2 year old girl Elyse, who he apologizes to every day for making her a Jets fan.

How Much Do You Care?

Too many of my friends work for companies who don’t care about them. Sure, their managers care about RESULTS, but it ends there. These friends say they stare at the ceiling for thirty minutes every morning because they can’t stand the idea of getting out of bed to go to work. Others say that hating their job affects EVERY aspect of their life. This problem is meaningful to me as the COO for ZogSports’ forty full time employees, all of whom I desperately hope don’t feel the same way my friends do.

I recently heard Bob Chapman (author of Everybody Matters) speak at the Fortune/Gazelles ScaleUp Summit in San Antonio. Chapman experienced an epiphany at the wedding of a friend’s daughter, as he watched his friend walk the bride down the aisle towards her future spouse. Chapman reflects that every parent in that situation is thinking:

I’m going to trust you with this precious human being that we brought into this world. We’ve given her unconditional love and I expect you, through your union, to continue to allow her to be, and grow to be, whatever she was meant to be. That is what I expect of you.

Bob Chapman’s epiphany was realizing that every member of his team is someone else’s precious son or daughter. Therefore, like a parent “giving” his child to their future spouse, it is his responsibility as a leader within his organization to care for his team like family.

I have a two-year-old daughter who will hit the workforce in twenty years. The people on my team have parents who wonder every day how ZogSports’ leadership cares for their child. Thinking about the people on our team as someone else’s son or daughter sets a new, higher bar for caring. Bob Chapman’s wedding story forced me to ask myself how much I care and truthfully, I have some room to improve.

If you’re a leader, then grab your phone, pull up the camera and flip the lens around. Look at yourself and ask, “Do I care about the people on my team?” To raise the bar and start caring more for your employees, there are five questions I recommend asking yourself:

1. Have I asked about their dreams and career aspirations?
2. Do I know what they want to learn professionally and outside of work?
3. What do they do for fun and am I challenging them to make space for those activities?
4. Would I be comfortable chatting with their parents about the work environment I’ve created?
5. Would I want my own child’s manager to care for my kid the same way I care for my team?

Caring doesn’t need to come at the expense of profitability and shareholder value. As John Mackey and Raj Sisodia argue in Conscious Capitalism, profitability can, and should, coexist with caring. Gary Vaynerchuk has also recently been challenging CFOs to realize that caring is financially viable.

With no excuses, I challenge you to push yourself to care for your team the same way you care for your own family. Start by asking yourself the above questions and try some new ideas to improve how much you care. Raise the bar!

Sources: Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia

The Zog Culture Business supports organizations by increasing morale and collaboration, and enhances the employee experience by creating connections and camaraderie. We offer Field Days and Company events, In-Office Programming, and Private Tournaments. Learn more by visiting our site or email Danny@ZogSports.com to inquire about bringing Zog to your office.