Investing In Your Staff

Brian Sanders

Brian Sanders – Executive Vice-President

Why We Did It.

Allow me to begin by saying I’ve been a friend with Bill Scott for nearly 25 years.  I’m not sure what that says about mine or his ability to choose friends.  Over those years, Bill has gained my respect for his expertise in fundraising and his ability to coach others to be better fundraisers.

Recently, Positive Alternative Radio announced three major benefit initiatives for our team members, which included volunteering at other non-profits, financial wellness training from Dave Ramsey’s organization and tuition-free classes from Liberty University Online.


Why did PAR do this?

That’s the question Bill asked.

A few years back PAR leadership began to consider the question, “What kind of culture do we want to build?”   We landed on Starbucks.

Starbucks has an amazing corporate culture.  So, the leadership team began reading every book about Starbucks, watching videos of their CEO Howard Schultz and trying to understand how to birth that culture within Positive Alternative Radio.

It really comes down to our Ways of Being.   Most companies have core values.   Those “core values” become a pretty little plaque that hangs on a wall that no one every thinks about.   They’re stagnant.  Lifeless.

Ways of Being are actionable.

Happy is behind the board. Brian Sanders to the left and Frankie Morea to the right.

Happy is behind the board. Brian Sanders to the left and Frankie Morea to the right.

We’ve spent a considerable amount of time, and will continue to do so, emphasizing and being the example of PAR’s Ways of Being.

The Ways of Being are a general framework that allows every person in the organization to know how to be and what they should be.

Our Ways of Being are:

Be Passionate

Be Honest

Be Caring

Be the Standard

Be Creating the Future

As leadership, there are now two major things we had to do.

One, we had to live these out in front of our teams.  Unless they see us doing these things and emphasizing them as we did them, then this would be useless.

Second, we would have to systemically do things for our team members to stoke the Ways of Being in their lives.

For example, when we unveiled the education benefit through Liberty University it accomplished both of those things.  It told the team member that PAR cares, that we are passionate about their future and we want them to be the standard of all Christian media.

Because PAR leadership has lived this out for our team, this encourages the team to live it out with our customers, listeners, donors and other team members.

Let me bottom-line the issue now.  We did those initiatives because they were the right things to do.  If the leadership of an organization does not care and invest in the lives of its team members, the team members will not invest or be passionate about the mission and vision of the organization.

The real question many are asking is this…what’s the return to PAR?

We are able to honor our team members and meet some of their dreams and needs that go beyond the office and touch their families and their future.

We hope it makes for a more passionate team members who puts their all into what we do.  Our hope is that what they do no longer is just a job or a position, but a pssion.

It makes it harder for other organizations to hire away your best talent.

One of the roles of a leader is to be an evangelist for the mission and vision of the organization.  As we invest in our people, they will become evangelists for the organization.

Team members who are passionate about the organization will work harder and smarter to achieve the mission and vision.

When PAR goes in search of talent this will make us appealing to potential candidates.

It sets us apart.  By investing in our team it allows PAR to be seen, hopefully, as an industry leader.

Finally, as leadership, we get the assurance that we did the right thing.  You can never go wrong by investing in your team.  Never.

Brian Sanders

Positive Alternative Radio

Executive Vice-President

Brian is the Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio in Blacksburg.

PAR has six brands which include Spirit FM in Lynchburg, VA; WCQR in Kingsport, TN; Positive Hits, WPER in Richmond/Fredericksburg, VA; Joy FM in Winston Salem, NC; Walk FM in Ashland, KY, Huntington,WV; and Joy FM in Union City, OH.

You can read more blogs by the PAR team at

December 23, 2014