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Insight Culture

September 10, 2015

The Game Method: An Interview with Bob Tomes

The following is an interview with Culture Counts coach Bob Tomes and has been edited for length and clarity.

Why is culture so important to you, and why do you want to improve it for others? 

Bob: For me, culture is all about how people behave inside their organizations. How we do things, how we make decisions, how we compensate people, how we promote people. That’s really what culture is. It’s not Beer Fridays, it’s not t-shirts. That’s about how we create an environment that’s alive and exciting, but it’s not the overall culture.
Part of determining your company’s culture is answering: How do we assign people accountability?

How do we let people know what they’re expected to do? When all of that is really clear and understood, then people can thrive inside that organization.

The reason this all matters is because at the end of the day, these people always come home to their families. And how their day has gone really affects how they interact and behave with their families. I want them to come home excited and jazzed and energized, especially when their kids are around!

Tell me about the Game Method.

It’s basically an accountability process to help you achieve what matters most.

First we take them [the client] through a preseason, where we help them identify what matters most. A football team might say it’s the Super Bowl. A start-up might say its growing 100% in the next year, and so on. And then we start the season.

During this process, I invite people into creativity, to get them out of their reactive mind. We build outcomes that they’re willing to be held accountable for, and strategies that they will use to help them succeed, over a predetermined period of time. Then we determine the best way to score the game.  Everybody loves knowing, “What’s the score of my game?”

When clients first come to you, do they have misconceptions about the leadership-coaching field? 

In a lot of businesses, there’s this belief that coaching is remedial. That they’ve done something wrong, so they need coaching. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Peyton Manning has a coach. And right up until the day he retired, he had a coach. And what did the coach do? He worked with him to see how he might change the little things, helped him see possibilities so that he could make informed choices on how he could be the best he could be.

What makes Culture Counts stand out as a company? 

We work with our clients using their actual business issues. This ensures they achieve meaningful business results while helping them improve their leadership skills. We coach them by always moving them toward a specific business outcome.

The other thing that makes us unique is that we hold the belief that you have to change your inner game to affect the outer game. What that means is, we all hold certain beliefs in our mind, and our level of consciousness needs to change before the outside can change. If you want to grow your business, you must first grow your people.

“You can’t solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein

Bob Tomes is a leadership consultant at Culture Counts. For more information on the Game Method, please visit

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