Truby Management System (TMS)

woman holding a graphic summarizing the truby management system phases and steps over a white desk

Last Updated on July 24, 2024 by Bill Truby

A Proven System to Build a High-Performing Team (… And Grow Your Business)

Want to take a deeper dive into the content of the Truby Management System Training? Read this detailed course description.

Teams don’t change themselves – leaders do. This course will equip you to be that leader. A leader who confidently knows how to build a high-performing team with relentless accountability.

What creates such quick and PROVEN team-building success is an 8-step system we call the Truby Management System (TMS). It is delivered in four phases: Transform, Organize, Mobilize, and Optimize. There are two steps in each phase. Each step is implemented sequentially to build a solid infrastructure of team dynamics.

The TMS is a simple and commonsense approach to easily implement practical skills to build a high-performing team. It also serves as a foundation of solutions to a leader’s day-to-day problems. So-called “people problems” are eliminated as you watch a group of individuals be transformed into an aligned team who have ownership in the goal and take initiative to achieve it.

Realistically, you will need additional skills to implement the Truby Management System – skills like communication, delegation, meeting management, and strategic planning, among others. You will also, inevitably, run into various problems, roadblocks, and difficulties as you create teamwork. Skills like conflict management, managing passive-aggressive behavior, and dealing with low performers become important, too.

It’s like this: Gardening skills can help you grow a productive garden. However, the knowledge of irrigation systems, insect management, and weather forecasting are “side skills” that can help you implement your gardening skills.

After you end this course, you will know exactly what to do to build a high-performing team. To help you with additional skillsets needed, we have included some introductory training, and a few critical teambuilding skills at the end of the course. The next course, Essential Leadership Skills, will train you in every skill a successful leader uses. Learning the lessons in that course will help you know how to address any need or problem for any “people or process” issue that comes up in your leadership day.

Note: Each of the 8 steps has a lesson you are required to complete to receive your CML certificate (Certified Master Leader). There are four additional and optional lessons for each step to give you a deeper dive of learning. The additional lessons are optional but extremely helpful. For each step you will learn: 1) The science of the step, 2) How to use the step with people you don’t have any authority over – such as a boss, a peer, a neighbor, or family member, 3) How to use the step to lead a team, and 4) How to use the step to run a company. Each of the additional sub-trainings give you additional training and practical steps with instructions on how to implement the additional learning. Bill Truby highly recommends you watch the sub training on “How to Use the Step to Lead a Team.”

Following is a summary description of the eight steps in the Truby Management System and an overview of what you will learn.

Truby Management System Phases and Steps

Phase One: Transform

Transforming disparate individuals into a high-performing team with leaders who are confident, respectful, and influential – and team members who take initiative while being relentlessly accountable.

Step One – Bonding

This first step in the Truby Management System is the foundation of teamwork and the glue that holds it together. It is not a step that is obvious for most people. Nevertheless, it is at the core of EVERY group of people who are aligned, engaged, and motivated to achieve a goal.

From churches, to gangs, to healthy families, to sports teams – all experience “bonding” at the core of their interaction and connection. A soldier at war will die for his or her buddies. A gang member will fight to protect the gang. A quarterback will play with an injured leg so the team can win.

What causes this kind of motivation and dedication? It’s the dynamics that come from feeling bonded with the team. Dedication and a sense of “ownership” dramatically increases when the risk, cause, or “need for each other” increases. Bonding is a fascinating aspect of high-performing teams – and necessary.

Few leaders pay attention to this need. They place it in the category of being “touchy-feely” or it’s not necessary. Instead of overtly building a sense of bondedness, they opt for “let’s just get to work.” This kind of mindset ignores the fact that an increased bonding in a team reduces sick days, increases retention, enhances productivity, and is a key aspect of eliminating people problems in a team.

This step will not only help you create a “Team Profile” that helps you discover the strengths and weaknesses of a team, it will also build the foundation that reaps abundant returns in interaction success, productivity, and ultimately in profitability.

Step Two – Agreements

All humans have agreements with each other. Sometimes they are implicit simply because of location. Like driving agreements in America. Because you live here, you agree to drive on the right side of the road. And sometimes agreements are overt such as the agreements you make to be a part of a group. For example, when you join a club, a sports team, or a social media group, you agree to abide by certain rules – agreements. Break an agreement, and you don’t get to be a part of the group.

The bonding dynamic you learned in the previous step is a great motivator for a team member to keep the agreements. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create agreements that help the team function smoothly and without problems.

The core benefit of this step is to align the team. Alignment is powerful, not only for the team’s functioning, but for its ability to better achieve a goal. A good analogy of this is to consider a broad beam flashlight compared to laser light. The flashlight can flood a complete room with light, whereas a laser beam can cut through hardened steel. What’s the difference? It’s the same batch of photons, but in the laser, the photons are aligned into ONE beam with ONE direction.

This step will align your team members creating a laser focus on working together to achieve a goal. However, that’s only one aspect of the benefit. You will also learn about 10 agreements we have implemented for decades that eliminate then prevent people problems. Teams who live by the 10 agreements save a lot of time, energy, and resources. Further, their morale is higher, their work life happier, and their operations smoother because of the effects of bonding and agreements.

Phase Two: Organize

Organizing all the roles in a team into an effective structure while giving each role a sense of ownership and clarity about expectations and outcomes.

Step Three – Structure

Every living system is organized into a structure. From ecosystems to sports teams, from an operating room in a hospital to a football team – all groups of people operate from a clear structure of roles and responsibilities.

Even if there are a group of equal individuals who happen to come together to accomplish a task – in an emergency, or simply joining to play volleyball at the beach – that spontaneous gathering quickly forms a clear understanding of “who is going to do what” – i.e. a structure.

From any perspective you can think of, a structure is necessary. Further, a clear organization of roles creates what humans need to function, and even survive. Some of these dynamics include boundaries, dissemination of responsibilities, stability, communication, and information flow lines, and even the ability to get something done. If everyone is the captain of the ship, things are not going to go well.

This lesson will teach you the importance, necessity, and benefits of creating a clear team structure. This training will show you how to use an “org chart” as a working document – not something that you create and hang on the wall, or put in a drawer, and never refer to it. In fact, the dynamics of an org chart in our training and implementation creates what we call an “ownership chart.”

The outcome of this lesson creates clarity around who is responsible, (indeed, who “owns”) every aspect of your organization’s operations and resources. With this clarity, there is a defined role and responsibility for everything the organization needs, or the team does. And there is another benefit – nothing ever slips through the cracks because there was no owner of it.

When a team is bonded, and aligned by agreements, this is the next commonsense step – organizing them into a clear and effective structure. When you do that, only the receiver on a football team runs to catch the ball. There is no chaos that comes from everyone trying to catch it at the same time. In fact, the receiver will have an easier time in catching the ball as each team member knows their role and functions with a sense of ownership of that role and how it supports the entire team.

Note: There are four additional and optional lessons for this step to give you a deeper dive of learning. In these sub-trainings you will learn: 1) The science of this step, 2) How to use this step with people you don’t have any authority over – such as a boss, a peer, a neighbor, or family member, 3) How to use this step to lead a team, and 4) How to use this step to run a company. Because you are learning how to build and lead a team, Bill Truby highly recommends you watch the sub training on “How to Use this Step to Lead a Team.”

Step Four – Expectations

Bonded, aligned, and organized people are the first steps of building a high-performing team. The next step is to clarify the expectations for each role in the team. If you had a car dealership, it’s commonsense to think that you would have different expectations of your accountant than you would of a salesperson.

Not only are there different expectations in outcomes for each role on the team, but there are also different expectations of talents and characteristics you would want, too. Referring to the analogy above of the accountant and salesperson, clearly, there are differences in outcomes expected.

You would also want different types of people. You would expect the accountant to be accurate with attention to detail, able to work alone with consistent focus, and good with accounting software. Your accountant wouldn’t even have to have people skills. It’s obvious that the expectations you’d have of your salesperson would be 180 degrees different.

This lesson will train you on developing “Role/Responsibility Sheets.” This document is not a job description. It is an extremely helpful tool to clarify all aspects of expectations surrounding a role in your organization chart developed in the last step. Not only does it clarify how a person should fulfill the role, it outlines responsibilities and expected outcomes.

In brief, this step is helpful because it clarifies what is expected from each role on the team BEFORE problems can arise. Further, it is a foundational tool and perspective as to whether a person is effectively fulfilling a role on the team. This helps the supervisor AND the team member to have helpful and objective calibration as to whether the job is getting done or not.

Phase Three: Mobilize

Creating motivation and movement in the team in a clear direction toward goals and achievements that fulfill a strategic plan.

Step Five – Value Deliverable

WHY a person, or team, does something is arguably more important than WHAT the person or team is doing. The reason is simple – understanding purpose and context will affect the outcome of the achievement. Understanding “why” something is being done will affect a team’s motivation, pace and quality. It will affect morale and energy. It will even affect engagement and respect for supervisors.

Though a company may believe they sell a product or service, in reality, customers and clients buy a “value” from the organization – not primarily the product or service. (This will be explained in detail in the training This step teaches you how to align the delivery of a team’s achievement with a “value.”) Because of this, the team’s deliverable needs to be aligned with the company “value.” If it is not, it will affect customer/client satisfaction and ultimately business growth.

There’s another benefit to understanding an organization’s value deliverable. This value gives purpose, or meaning, to the company’s deliverables. This provides a more meaningful purpose for the team’s work. They aren’t merely “doing their job,” they are, more importantly, fulfilling a deeper need…maybe even a higher purpose, or cause.

Teams who know what the company’s value is, and achieve in alignment with that value, are not only more motivated, but their deliverable is more meaningful and attractive to the “customers” of their work – be they another department in the company, an external customer, or a client. When a team delivers a “value,” that team (and by extension company) becomes more “valuable.”

Step Six – Goals

If you have people “clocking in” to each do their job, you don’t have a high-performing team. Instead, you have a group of individuals working in the same space and time. And a group does not a team make.

No…a team is a group of individuals who are bonded, aligned, organized into a clear structure where each person knows their role, and each role is fulfilling their expected outcomes for the good of the whole. But even that isn’t enough…

A team, as defined above, isn’t working as a team if there is no direction toward some achievement. Teams work TOGETHER to achieve a goal. Therefore, if there is no goal, there is no team.

It’s a commonsense notion to observe that a team always has movement. And that movement is aligned toward a certain direction. A group of people huddled together in a static state of energy and movement isn’t really a team. Teams need movement!

The simplicity in this lesson says, “A team needs a goal.” But there is much more embedded in this step – from marketing to strategic planning, to business growth. This step is packed full of benefits for the team AND the organization. It is a step that facilitates business development.

Phase Four: Optimize

Optimizing the team’s workflow and efficiency to create smooth operations with improved productivity and profitability.

Step Seven – Systems

The science of “systems” is fascinating. Our very existence is tied to the efficacy of systems. There are two dynamics, and therefore two types, of systems that need attention. Interconnected systems and system flow.

An interconnected system can be illustrated by our eco system. Everything in our world, indeed, everything in our universe, is interconnected. Because it is, every part, no matter how small, has effect on every other part. The so-called “butterfly effect” is an example of a scientific theory whereby the flapping of a butterfly wing in one part of the world can eventually create a storm in another part. Another example is the revelation that without honeybees and the necessity of their pollenating influence, the world would not exist.

We will take a brief look at how interconnected systems play out in a team and their operations, but our focus will be more on the systems of flow. The processes of a team are important to consider. Ineffective or inefficient systems can cause a team to work extremely hard and make no headway – like baling water out of a boat with a large hole in it.

The solution for many (if not most) frustrated leaders is to demand that the team work harder. But working harder isn’t likely the solution. Fixing the hole in the boat is. This is analogous of a team stopping their work and analyzing how they are doing their work, asking the question, “is there a better way.”

In this lesson you will learn how to define needed systems, then you will learn how to build clear, efficient, smooth operating efficiency systems. Further, you will learn the importance, indeed the necessity, of the team aligning with the chosen systems.

Five ways of doing something right is wrong. A quarterback on a football team would never say, “let’s run these five plays at the same time. Surely one of them will work.” No – it is important that the team align with the systems chosen. Rogue team members, even if they are successful episodically, will erode the team’s effectiveness if they are not aligned.

Step Eight – Continuous Improvement

We would not be where we are as a civilization without the notion of improvement. What brought us from the ancient breakthroughs of building a fire, chiseling out a wheel, and wielding a stone mallet, to today’s GPS in our hands, global connectivity, and artificial intelligence? Simply put – continuous improvement.

Humans have never been satisfied with status quo. Drive by a homeless encampment and you’ll see a variety of creations that improve a person’s existence and wellbeing. Watch a sports team’s practice and you’ll hear teaching, training, and cajoling to do things better. Fitness clubs have the concept of improvement embedded in the very core of their existence. And organizations are no different.

There is an abundance of illustrations from business history about companies who didn’t improve – so they died. From the infamous Blockbuster story, to IBM, to the Betamax story, and so on…If a company doesn’t improve and keep up, even to the point of needing to re-invent itself sometimes, it will decline and decease.

Leadership, management, team, and business success is built on the previous seven steps in the Truby Management System. Sustainability of that success is intimately tied to this last step.

You will learn in this lesson about the importance of making continuous improvement be a way of life – not a program that is initiated once a year. For example, employees fare better if they are given constant feedback for acknowledgement, appreciation, and improvement, instead of waiting for the annual review to get feedback.

The leader/manager who keeps a file about the feedback they will give their employee at their annual review is doing a major disservice to that employee, as well as hindering the outcomes that leader is looking for. Imagine giving your dog a treat and/or disciplining your dog once a year. That is ludicrous, right? Which means, when we are training, guiding, or improving our dog’s interaction and performance, we treat that dog better than we treat our staff.

Continuous improvement is the capstone and the catalyst for success that always comes from leaders who implement the eight steps in the Truby Management System.

TMS Success Drivers

The Truby Management System (TMS) has been proven successful for over four decades. And the reason for success rests on three embedded and intrinsic aspects of the system.

Success Driver #1: People First Approach

The first success driver is taking a “people first” approach to fixing problems, improving success, and building a team.  

Though this may be an obvious point, MANY leaders and managers miss it. They want to “get to work” and learn a new process or software solution to make things better. However, no business can function without people and processes. And no matter how much you create stellar processes, people drive process. The skill, interaction, and quality of your people will directly create the quality of your outcomes. It’s not too hard to understand – dysfunctional people will wreak havoc on stellar operational functions.

The entire leadership training curriculum is built on the premise that we must build the efficacy and interaction of individuals – emphasizing people skills (like communication) and team skills (like appropriate team dynamics of trust and accountability).

Additionally, each of the trainings, from conflict management to strategic planning, from meeting management to delegation, from efficiency systems to continuous improvement – all trainings start with the “people factor.” We train a leader in the importance, behavior, and interaction of the person will create success, or lack thereof, in the topic of learning.

Success Drive #2: Commonsense Approach

The second success driver is the element of a commonsense approach.

Every teaching, tool, and practice in the Truby Management System (TMS) is not only a commonsensical approach to the issue at hand, but also presented with the simplicity of a commonsense perspective. A favorite analogy is this: The training is like walking up to someone pushing on a door they can’t seem to get to open. They haven’t seen the sign that says, “pull.” We point out the sign which creates instant and sustainable success.

This kind of training and result is quick to learn, easy to implement, and has sustainable results. A person who learns how to “pull” a door not only stops pushing on it, but they also don’t have to re-learn the practice of pulling. If out of habit they forget and push on the door, they simply need to be re-minded. They don’t to relearn.  

A real-life example that is one of the trainings in the TMS is this. Many leaders and managers believe they need to “hold people accountable.” They feel responsible to make sure their team members are accountable. This mindset causes them to feel stressed and often overworked because they need to keep checking on people and their work progress. The leader may be constantly thinking about and worried as to whether a team member will follow through. Not only is this stressful for the leader, it doesn’t make for a healthy relationship with the team member.

Accountability is a constant, universal problem in teams. Yet, when a leader or manager works harder on ensuring a team member is accountable by their constant oversight, it’s like pushing on a door that says, “pull.” No matter how much harder you push, you don’t get the results you’re looking for.

Instead, we have a detailed and commonsense process that creates a sense of ownership AND self-generated accountability in a team member. It starts with a leader learning how to “lead accountable people,” rather than being responsible for accountability by “holding people accountable.” That mindset shift, along with some simple practices ALWAYS creates an environment and practice of accountable team members.

Every teaching and training in the Truby Management System approaches a team or organizational need in the same way. And typically, it starts with a different perspective that is based in commonsense reasoning which is simple to understand and easy to implement. It’s like learning a bunch of “ah ha’s” and practicing what you learn.

Success Driver #3: Power of the How

The third success driver comes from the “power of the how.”

Over the decades of working with leaders and managers, as well as companies wanting to improve, we’ve never seen a problem in WHAT they are doing. It’s more about HOW they do it. And that’s the second success driver in the Truby Management System. It’s the “power of the how.”

Ironically, our success system doesn’t ask you to do a bunch of new and different things. Instead, it teaches you to do what you are already doing – differently. In that light, people who take our training realize this is not something you learn and get back to work. It’s HOW you do your work! And that’s why the various lessons are simple to learn and easy to implement. In fact, because we are simply changing the “how” you do what you do, it doesn’t take long to make changes and experience the benefits.

Sometimes, a leader will list all of the difficulties he or she is having in their team or business. Things like people problems, inefficiency, high turnover, constant complaining, no time to create a clear strategic plan, poor communication, constant conflict…and the list goes on. That same leader who desperately needs help may raise an objection to taking the training by saying, “I don’t have time to take a bunch of training to learn new things. I not only don’t have time to learn it, even if it is valuable, I don’t have time to implement a new program.”

We’ll then ask that leader to look at the list of training topics and answer this question, “Which topic in this list of lessons is something you shouldn’t already be doing as a leader or business owner?” The leader readily admits that EVERY topic is critical to running a business and leading a team. He may admit that some of the items on the list aren’t currently being done or not being conducted effectively, but there is a clear awareness of the need for each topic on the learning list.

We’ll then take a deeper dive into the listed problems, and he’ll realize, the solution to the problems won’t be coming from a new program, new technology, or even new staff. The solution will be found in simply doing the things that should be done, and changing HOW many things are being done right now.

An added point to the importance of changing the “how,” is to realize that sometimes, a leader, manager, or business owner KNOWS what the problem is and even what the fix is, but just doesn’t know how to do it.

The Truby Management System is a simple, commonsense, people-first approach to training leaders in a new “how.” How to do the things you should be doing and aren’t. How to do things differently to have better outcomes. And how to do things differently to fix the present problems.

How To Learn the Truby Management System

After reading this detailed course description, we hope you can now see the intent and the content of our training in this powerful proven system. If you want to access this power and become a confident leader, CLICK HERE, to purchase this course and begin your training journey today. You’ll be accessing a self-paced, affordable training course that simplifies the path to influence – it is the quickest and easiest way to become a down-to-earth leader that can truly make a difference.


Truby Management System Summary

downloadable graphic for the truby management system with 4 phases and 8 steps

Bill Truby

Founder and President of Truby Achievements