Episode 12

Daniel Coyle on Elevating Group Performance


“Having a great culture does not mean problems go away.” – Daniel Coyle

Our guest on this episode of Elevate with Robert Glazer is bestselling author, Daniel Coyle. Daniel has looked inside some of the world’s highest performing groups, including U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six, Pixar and the San Antonio Spurs, and lays out what their success has in common in his newest book, The Culture Code.

Daniel is also the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent and The Secret Race, a book he co-authored with former professional road bicycle racer, Tyler Hamilton.

Coyle and Hamilton also won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Prize in 2012.

When he’s not churning out award-winning, best-selling books, he is a contributing editor for Outside Magazine and works as a special advisor to the Cleveland Indians.

A big thanks to our episode sponsor, The Next Big Idea Club!

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Show Notes

  • Why Dan switched from wanting to become a doctor to pursuing a career as a writer
  • A promise Dan made to the managing editor of Outside that he thinks helped land him his internship 20+ years ago
  • How writing The Talent Code inspired Dan to write The Culture Code
  • How a tennis ball sent Dan on a journey looking at great cultures around the planet
  • Three signaling behaviors that all high-performing groups follow
  • Why the concept of culture being a soft skill is deeply untrue
  • Why a flock of birds is a great visual of The Culture Code
  • What San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich did to create a safe environment for his players
  • Why most people are wrong about being nice vs tough
  • What Daniel discovered about culture from studying Pixar, Navy Seal Team Six, etc. that surprised him
  • What “magical feedback” is
  • What the best cultures do more of and what they bias toward
  • Things that surprised Daniel about Navy Seal Team Six
  • The most important four words a leader can say
  • The one thing any group can and should do once they finish a project/action/operation, etc. to be more successful and high-performing
  • What cultural calisthenics are and how they’re essential to building an incredible group mind
  • The real story behind the Osama Bin Laden raid
  • What deep fun is and how it’s different from shallow fun.
  • What “plussing” is and how Pixar uses it within their organization
  • Why culture can’t be dictated from the top down
  • A time when Daniel failed at culture- building

Links from the Episode
Episode Transcription
Daniel’s Website:
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle
The Culture Code Quiz
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How by Daniel Coyle
The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle


Guest: Daniel Coyle
LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-coyle-32830310/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/danielcoyle/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/danielcoyleauthor/

Host: Robert Glazer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/robert_glazer/  
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glazer

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