Kristi is the CEO of Culture Works, a San-Diego based company focused on aligning purpose, people, and process to maximize success through dynamic company culture operations.
- CEO Hack: I hold a family vision board at home and also at work
- CEO Nugget: Do you listen, to your inner self and check if you align with all people who believe in you and support you
- CEO Defined: Creating a vision and aligning your energy with the direction you leading
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. Kristi Pastore of culture works. Christy, it's awesome to have you on the show.
Kristi Pastore 0:39
It's so nice to be here. Thanks for having me.
Gresham Harkless 0:42
No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Kristi so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Kristi is the CEO of Culture Works, a San-Diego based company focused on aligning purpose, people, and process to maximize success through dynamic company culture operations. Kristi, are you ready to speak to the imcl? community?
Kristi Pastore 1:05
I am, let's do
Gresham Harkless 1:06
it. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit and go through what I call your CEO story here. What led you to start your business?
Kristi Pastore 1:15
Awesome. Well, I have been in I guess the people business for a while now. And I kind of fell into HR worked my way into HR operations, I love people. And then I really found my passion with people and connecting business owners. So I really enjoy working with business owners and trying to find them the right team and help them build the right team. And that's, it's a true passion of mine. So I decided, you know, if I could do it and teach 20 people, and those 20 people could teach 15 people and so on. That's that's kind of my jam and and the vision I have. And there's I mean, obviously, the need in the market is huge for what we're doing in our space right now to develop middle management and what that looks like. And I think just from a on a businesswoman, too. So I think there's a huge need in the market and the workforces. And and I think it's something most companies need right now with where we're at in society.
Gresham Harkless 2:12
Yeah, so funny. You know, you said you're kind of in the people business, I almost feel like and I don't know, if you would definitely agree with me that I feel like all businesses should be in the people business. Because when we peel back behind, you know, businesses, we forget that it's made up of people and understanding how to communicate connect with get the right people on board. Those are some of the foundational bricks and Lisa, my opinions are what builds a successful business. Absolutely,
Kristi Pastore 2:35
yeah. I mean, the people are the people are the building blocks of our future, right. So you can get that all aligned with with companies. You're golden.
Gresham Harkless 2:45
Yeah, absolutely. And that's, I know what exactly you guys focus on. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more and hear a little bit more on how exactly you do that. Can you tell us how you serve the clients you work with?
Kristi Pastore 2:55
Of course, yeah, we we, we kind of meet the client in the middle of where they're at. So we really like to work with small to midsize clients that either don't have an HR department, or they maybe have one person wearing an HR hat. And they need to, they need some help there and support. So we really partner with small to mid sized companies. And we align purpose people in process, that's kind of our you know, our main thing is understanding their purpose, the same way we are purpose, and then understanding how they kind of aligned with people. And then you know, what processes also might be needed in their company. So we kind of look at all three different levels, we look at their their talent, their culture, and their HR, in those different facets and really try to understand where they're at as a lifecycle as a company, and how we can fit in, right, because I think HR is always changing, people are always changing. And, and we really like working with companies that are evolving in that same thought process with people and build and all of that.
Gresham Harkless 3:59
Yeah, that's, that's absolutely huge. And it kind of sounds like the way you were describing it. And please, of course, correct me if I'm wrong, it kind of sounds like three rungs of a chair, where all of those things are needed to be and have that successful business. And I love the fact that, you know, it kind of sounds like somewhat of a obviously you have the expertise, but also kind of listening to the client and understanding exactly what their purpose is what they're the people that are there and then making sure that you set them up for success as best as possible.
Kristi Pastore 4:26
Yeah, absolutely. It's so important to me to be aligned with the right company is on our into because I believe you, you get what you attract. So we're a company that cares about people and purpose and process. And that's kind of our jam internally, we're going to get the same clients. And so it's really aligning that and making sure they're there. They they want to talk about that stuff just like we do, because then we know we can make an impact.
Gresham Harkless 4:50
Yeah, absolutely. Especially when you're singing the same tune, listening to the same jam and talking the same language is so important in terms of being successful. So it's great to see and I love that Kind of aspect of what sometimes what you are is what you attract, whether it be individually or as an organization. And I think that's why it's so important to kind of get those three rungs in place and personally in business is to manifest itself and allow the work that you do.
Kristi Pastore 5:14
Yeah, for sure.
Gresham Harkless 5:16
Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce, and this could be for you, personally, or your business. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Kristi Pastore 5:25
Well, you probably won't be surprised by hearing this answer. But I think it's the people to be honest, the people is what differentiates us. And I think, you know, for us, it's, we really try to find the people that are fired up about what we're doing, right. It's not like we're doing fractional HR leadership development and recruiting in layman's terms, right. So if you think about that, it's really finding the people that are fired up about that, and that they care about that cause and they want to do it. And our differentiators really like that hands on piece. So I consider ourselves hands on consultants of service, I really feel like HR needs to be redirected to a service oriented type business, they need to think about it like a business, they need to think about employees, like their customers. And so really having that mindset of a service approach, that's what I look for in the people that we hire, because then you know, they're, they're willing to roll up their sleeves and like, get shit done with business owners, you know, yeah.
Gresham Harkless 6:22
And at the end of the day is a lot, what it comes down to is being able to kind of execute and get shit done, as you said, and I love how you kind of talked about in the beginning, because I think, and I imagine that everybody on your team as well kind of has that same kind of perspective, that mindset that you touched on, where a lot of times when you have your team and you're helping out these businesses and these organizations, they create that domino effect, where if you're helping to empower them, they're helping to empower their employees, and so on and so forth, and creates this kind of culture or cultural kind of transition or movement towards having a better workplace.
Kristi Pastore 6:54
That's it. That's it. That's our jam. That's culture operations. It's we operationalize the culture. And it's finding people on my team that enjoy working with operations, and not just in HR in a silo, right? Like, I like to hire people that come from hospitality have worked in operations and really want to connect with the people, that they're going to help create processes that are connected.
Gresham Harkless 7:16
That's, that's extremely powerful. And, you know, even like I said, I feel like, because we forget about that people part of business so much that being able to have people from different backgrounds, different levels of expertise, it sounds like to that presents these different perspectives, this different opportunity to engage and create connections and relationships, and again, creates a phenomenal environment.
Kristi Pastore 7:37
Yep, that's it.
Gresham Harkless 7:38
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I want to just switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective? efficient?
Kristi Pastore 7:51
Yeah, I so something I've been doing for three years, something like tangible that I want it that I think is an awesome exercise. We do a family vision board. Every year we do it on New Year's Day. And it's pretty rad. I have my family go through purpose exercises, like what are their goals? How can we create self like self accountability, but then hold each other as a family unit accountable to that, I'm all about creating, like personal connection goals with. So we do a family vision board, we pick our bucket list of where we're going that year on vacation, we pick our family values, or accountability with personal goals. And that actually translates into business, we do that at work as well. And from a CEO perspective, I think I replaced TV with books and podcasts as much as possible, and get a coach, do meditation, do whatever you need to do to figure out your own emotional intelligence and self awareness, because I believe that's the ticket. So whatever your jam is, find it. But keep evolving, you know, and have a lot of books I'd recommend, I think Four Agreements is one of a personal favorite emotional intelligence. 2.0 is another favorite, and good degrade Of course, it's an old school one, but still a favorite. But yeah, I think in the biggest thing I can tell you is your people will solve your problems. And when you have issues, talk to your people, they're the closest to the solution usually, and really leveraging your team, you know, and people outside of you.
Gresham Harkless 9:23
Yeah, absolutely. And I think we're kind of saying is if you're the quote, unquote, smartest person in the room, you need to find a different room. Because I think that's why you lean on your teammates, you lean on the people because they have that expertise that are closer maybe to being able to solve the problem. And I think, as leaders, especially if we aren't kind of aware of those things that the teammates can provide, and make sure we're having the right people in place that can be to our detriment, and I absolutely love kind of having that done, you know, through the family, and understanding exactly like what success even is because I think so many times we can start out the year or go through life and go through every day and not even sure where we're trying to go. And it's hard to reach success or even be I think, happier fulfilled if we don't understand what success is what our goals are going to be. So I love that from the family and organization and all around.
Kristi Pastore 10:10
I love Yeah, it's true, because it's, I truly believe that every person has a different idea of success. And I don't think that needs to be monetary. I don't think that I think that could be anything. And so I think it's like aligning that for the individual. And then, and then that translates exactly what you said to role alignment with the company and value alignment with the company. And when you have that synergy, you're like, golden after that, you know, like, I'm on my, I'm on my third fractional HR company, because role and value alignment didn't match up. So like, it's the ticket, it's the key, you know,
Gresham Harkless 10:47
yeah, it definitely creates that win win. And that's where awesome things and awesomeness starts to happen. And I think to that, I love that how you mentioned that emotional intelligence, because I think so many times we say, Oh, so and so has the goal of doing you know, X, Y, and Z. So I need to have the goal of doing X, Y, and Z, but really drilling down into yourself, because I think a lot of times, even coaches will say, hey, the answers you're looking for, sometimes within so a lot of times you have to do the work within yourself, and then you start to put it on the whiteboard or the bulletin board and start to go towards those goals.
Kristi Pastore 11:16
Totally. Yeah, that's it.
Gresham Harkless 11:18
Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO, nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.
Kristi Pastore 11:31
Do you stop all the noise around you and really just like, Listen to your emotions and your self awareness of making sure you're aligned with all the people that believe in you and support it and surrounding yourself with people that support you. If I did that five years ago, you know, like, it's hard, because every everything that's that's flowed in my journey has been an opportunity for learning and involvement and all of that. So there's honestly, there's not much I regret. But if I look back at my younger self, and what I could have done better, it's surrounding myself with the right people. And and walking away when it was time, right?
Gresham Harkless 12:09
Absolutely. And let me ask you this, because I know I've always I think there's a book by Seth Godin, I can't remember the name of it. But how do you know? Or how have you found that, you know, when is the right time, like when you're trying to make those decisions? When it's time to pivot? Or maybe things have evolved and changing? You're trying to get clarity on? Yes, I should do this? Is this something that you just find internally,
Kristi Pastore 12:28
I think it goes back to the emotions and knowing if there's value alignment that exists. And for me, it's looking at, like, when I when there's emotions that are not good, right, understanding the root cause of where those are coming from, and then drilling down to like, Alright, do I have value alignment with this person that I'm surrounding myself with? Like, I'm all about honesty? Is this person, is this one of their top values, right? Or is there a misalignment going on? So that's how I do it. It's really, I'm very emotionally driven. It's taken me a long time in life to figure out how to, like, manage that. But with that comes awareness of like, really knowing where it comes from, and if you're aligned with the right people. And so that's Yeah, I think that's it.
Gresham Harkless 13:08
Yeah. And it's extremely powerful. And I love to like, again, kind of the exercise you had, you know, you mentioned with the family at the beginning of the year, because I think so many times, we don't realize that we evolve as well, too, as much as the people around us evolve. If we're not always checking in and seeing like, where we are emotionally, goals wise, we can easily, you know, be running the wrong race, so to speak. And it's important to kind of check in on that on a regular basis. And I love that you're able to do that and remind us of how important it is as well.
Kristi Pastore 13:37
Yeah, yeah, it's all about law of attraction and focus for me, you know, like, I believe that wholeheartedly.
Gresham Harkless 13:44
Yeah, absolutely. You, you get what you sometimes put out or attract or look for. So you got to be very aware of what you're putting into your mind and your body and every aspect of yourself. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So Christie, which has been a CMT?
Kristi Pastore 14:07
Um, you know, one of my, one of my favorite coaches told me it was like a chief energy officer, right. And to me, that's a great analogy. And I didn't really think of this question before right now, but I love it. Because to me, it's energy, right? It's like, if you're leading a team, to me, the biggest job of a CEO is like connecting the vision with the people and the team and making sure that happens, right? So for me, it's creating the vision that's aligned with the energy of the direction that you're making that you're leading. With.
Gresham Harkless 14:41
Yeah, and that's so powerful. And I think I'm not even sure if this is a science thing or why but I've heard you know, everything is energy. So understanding that and being aware of that and harnessing that or at least directing it, I think, might be a better way to say it is a great way that you can do it within our clients or team, even our family as we kind of touched on as well. Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Christy, I truly appreciate that perspective. And I appreciate your time even more, what I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.
Kristi Pastore 15:18
Of course, thank you. So no other tips I think just do you and talk to your people. They're the ones with the answers. I'd love to talk to anyone about what we do and kind of what my passions are, you can find me at at www culture works HR COMM And Christy at culture works hr.com. And yeah, I think the more we can really infuse culture and operations in the company and leadership in our world will be a better place.
Gresham Harkless 15:50
Yeah, absolutely. And we will have those links and information in the show notes as well so that everybody can follow up with you. But I love you know, everything that you're doing that of course the things that we talked about today, like we all need to be in the people business and I think that being able to kind of glean and learn so much from you and be able to bring you into our organization so that we can be successful and understand understand how to maximize and get the most energy I guess out of our I think our most valuable resources is so important. So I love everything that you're doing. Again, I appreciate your time and I hope you have a great rest today.
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