How to Take Your Employees from Competent to Elite with Art Turock


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Creating a Culture of Extreme Accountability and Elite Performance

Shep Hyken interviews Art Turock, keynote speaker and author of Competent is Not an Option. He talks about the difference between the victim mindset and the accountability mindset and how they influence individual performance and shape the trajectory of one’s career.

Top Takeaways:

  • Shep’s Comment: Some may not see this as a customer service or CX interview. I beg to differ. This is about the performance of your people. If they are on the frontline, dealing with customers, you want an elite performer, not just a competent performer. I know you will enjoy this episode! 
  • Elite performance in business and sports involves an emphasis on mindset mastery and deliberate practice. Elite performers in both fields recognize that mindset is the trigger that determines choices and results. Extreme accountability is seeing beyond the current circumstances and committing no matter what. 
  • Accountability isn’t about assigning blame. It is assuming responsibility for one’s decisions and actions. Instead of holding others accountable with blaming questions, invite accountability by asking employees questions to reveal the choices that were made and their consequences. Inviting accountability opens the door to conscious decision-making, enabling individuals to confront their current behaviors, and get better long-term results.
  • A victim mindset can hinder personal and professional growth. The victim mindset is characterized by minimizing responsibility and blaming external factors.  
  • Elite performance is achieved through an accountability mindset. This means consistently choosing actions and behaviors that align with your goals and long-term success. Recognize the temptations of short-term payoffs and their negative impact on your long-term achievements. An accountability mindset in customer service empowers employees to actively choose behaviors that improve customer experience and ensure success. 
  • Shifting from a victim mindset to an accountability mindset is critical to elite performance. It’s a matter of choosing the dominant mindset that determines the course of one’s performance and career over time. By adopting a mindset emphasizing accountability, employees, managers, and decision-makers go beyond competence and into elite performance for their customers. 
  • Plus, Shep and Art discuss why leaders need to “stop holding employees accountable” and what they recommend to do instead. Tune in!


“If you decide to be competent, you will do the standard, tried and true methods. When you commit to being elite, you’re in a different career pattern. All of a sudden, you start taking risks, experimenting, innovating, and looking for best practices.” 

“Mindset is the trigger. The interpretation you make of the circumstances then dictates the choices, actions, and results.” 

“When you choose your dominant mindset, you determine whether your performance will be competent or elite. And over time, you determine the destiny of your career and the destiny of your life.”


Art Turock is an elite performer in both business and sports. He is a keynote speaker specializing in “sustaining exceptional performance.” His books, Getting Physical: How to Stick With Your Exercise Program, Invent Business Opportunities No One Else Can Imagine, and Competent is Not an Option: Build an Elite Leadership Team Following the Talent Development Game Plan of Sports Champions, are available on Amazon. 

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:   

  1. What are mindset mastery and deliberate practice? 
  2. How can mindset mastery affect business performance and results? 
  3. What are the characteristics of a victim mindset, and how can businesses help employees overcome it? 
  4. How can businesses encourage employees to responsibility for their actions? 
  5. How can businesses encourage a shift from a blaming culture to a solution-focused accountability culture?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


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