What does a great coach leader do? The first thing that a great leader should do is craft the vision for the organization’s future. Today, we have Tom Ziglar to discuss how leaders create solutions and deliver results. He spent his entire life surrounded by world-class leaders, innovators, and motivators mainly because the world’s TOP motivator Zig Ziglar is his father. As a result, he has gained a lot of knowledge into developing leadership skills. Tune in to learn what top performers do to scale an organization up!
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Where Is Leadership Going With Tom Ziglar
[00:00:58] Thank you for being an amazing audience, for tuning in, for reading, commenting on my social media and for emailing me at Ben@YourBrandMarketing.com. I love all your comments and I try to respond to all of them. We have an amazing guest. I’ve had Seth Godin, Bob Burg and Dr. Ivan Misner on this show, and this gentleman is at the same level. If not, more. His dad was one of the most incredible people and a huge influencer in my life. We have Tom Ziglar from the Ziglar Corporation on the show. Tom, welcome. That’s all I can say because I am so excited about doing this.
[00:01:41] Thanks for having me on. When you mentioned Bob Burg and Seth Godin all in the same breath as Tom Ziglar, I get pretty excited.
[00:01:50] I’d put it in the same breath. You have done an incredible job continuing your father’s legacy. For those who don’t know Zig Ziglar, let’s start with some Zig-isms because I’ve been hearing Zig Ziglar-ism since I was probably five years old. “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist. You can have everything in life you want if you will help other people get what they want.” It’s simple stuff, “What you get by achieving goals is not as important. It’s what you become by achieving your goals. If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” This is my favorite, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” These are truisms that I have known my entire life.
I grew up with an entrepreneurial father with an uncle who brought me onto the stage. He literally was my mentor when it got to be on the stage, in front of people and into the world that I’ve been so blessed to be part of. From the time I was young, these were truisms that were sent to me. At the time, 5, 6, 8 or 10 years old, I had no idea whose exactly was, but these were words that rang true to me because it rang true to them.
My dad, uncle and people around me live these sayings. Due to the fact that they emulated, it helped make me the person that I am now. Thank you to you and for your dad because the legacy of a man who hasn’t been with us for many years now will live on for a very long time. We could have a great conversation about where is leadership going and how do we lead more effectively?
Tom, I want you to start off by telling me about what was it like growing up in Zig Ziglar’s house and having that influence within your life? We all were affected, but you lived it. You heard it directly from him. I heard it from other people who heard it from other people from Zig, but you heard it directly. This was your dad. I want to know what it was like growing up in that thing and how it influenced you in your childhood and adulthood?
[00:04:56] As good as dad was onstage, he was even better off stage. I just tell people it was unbelievable. He only asked my sisters and me one thing. He said, “Whatever you do, I’ll support it 100%. Just do it with a hundred percent in integrity and effort.” He wanted us to go all in and do it with complete integrity. That gives you a lot of freedom. That allows you to go out. My personal mission statement is to create the atmosphere that allows you to become the person God created you to become.
That’s what he was doing. He was saying, “I’m going to create an atmosphere. I’m going to give you the instruction. I’m going to believe and encourage you. You can ask as many questions as you want. I’ll give you some advice along the way, but as long as you give a 100% and do it with integrity, I’m in.” That was his belief in us. I remember I went to get a job when I was sixteen at The Athlete’s Foot shoe store at the mall. Every sixteen-year-old kid wanted to work at the mall in 1981. That was the deal.The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist. Click To Tweet
[00:06:19] It was a cool place because that’s where all the girls came. I don’t blame you.
[00:06:23] I came back with the job application to fill out. I go, “They’re never going to hire me. I’ve never had a job.” When you’re sixteen, you don’t realize they’re looking for people who never had a job.
[00:06:39] They are going to pay you what you’re worth at sixteen without ever having a job.
[00:06:42] He said, “You’ll do fine.” I go, “I don’t have any experience.” He looked at me and said, “You’ve got sixteen years of experience of being on time of integrity and caring about others.” He went through all the character qualities, just naming them, “You got sixteen years of that. You’re a good listener. You got sixteen years of keeping your word. Write all that stuff down.” I got the job.
The point is that dad always, my sisters and me, he looked at what was possible, what could be and part of that quote is it’s not negative to identify a problem. It’s only negative to focus on the problem. It’s positive when you focus on the solution. We identify the problem, and then we move into a solution. Until the very end, he was always solution-focused. It didn’t matter what obstacle got thrown up in front of him and what was going on. He led by example. He treated mom unbelievably as his whole life. We all knew who the number one account was in the house. It was mom.
[00:07:58] She was the boss and number one account, all wrapped into one.
[00:08:04] he told people all the time, “You never heard of me if it hadn’t been for the redhead,” which was mom’s nickname that he gave her. He was right. I get the redhead. I get my mom was just unbelievable and then you look at how they started. Dad’s dad passed away when he was five. Dad was the 10 to 12 kids, raised in The Great Depression without a dad, went to work when he was six. His mom had a fifth-grade education and look at what happened to him. He didn’t do well in school and never thought he would amount to anything and then somebody believed in him. My mom was ten when she heard a gunshot in the other room. Her father had committed suicide during The Great Depression.
Nowadays, people go to the sociologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, you get a couple sixteen in or they meet when they’re 16 and 18, they get married when they’re 18 and 20. They would say, “They’ll never make it.” They’re coming out of poverty. Their parents are gone. Their dads are gone. What chance do they have? They were married 66 years. They made a decision, both of them, “I’m going to be the best husband, the best wife, the best mother, the best father possible. How do I do that? I get in God’s word. I read thousands of books.” They committed their lives to it. It was a choice. That was another example. You get to choose.
[00:09:37] It’s the belief in the possible, which is the theme that I hear through that entire thing is that your father A) Believed in the possible and B) Instilled in you and your sisters that same belief is that anything is doable when you put your mind to it. If you believe that if you can see the goal in front of you and what you’re trying to achieve, it may not be easy or straightforward. You may not succeed the first time, but there is a possibility of making it happen if you’re willing to do the hard work and be adaptable to allow yourself to visually succeed. That’s a magical trait that any person who leads somebody else, whether it’s a father, a mother, somebody at work or whoever, a coach on the soccer field is giving people the ability to believe in the possible.
I’d love to talk about that in terms of leadership and where leadership is going because leaders nowadays are reeling because 2020 has changed how they lead, why they lead, the dynamics of leadership, a lot of them are ill-prepared to move forward. I want to talk to you about the challenges going into COVID. Where do you see leaders nowadays? We can talk about how we can get out of this and move forward successfully.
[00:11:06] There’s been a huge change in the way business is done. There’s a lot of factors in it. We don’t have time to go into every single factor, but that’s what I did. I researched a book that came out on December 7, 2021. It’s all about the massive disruption that we’re facing. It’s 10 Leadership Virtues For Disruptive Times. The first thing that happened was collectively, we all went home. The shutdown happened. Going back to March 2020, I thought I was the most unliked speaker in the industry because I got five canceled emails right in a row.
[00:11:46] Welcome to my world, by speaking around the world gone in 72 hours.
[00:11:54] It had nothing to do with us. It’s the lockdown. Everybody goes those that could. There were some forward-facing people. Now, your world’s upside down. People are working differently. They’ve got kids in the background. Some people lost their jobs. People got sick, people we loved, friends, family. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t lost somebody. Anxiety, worry and all these things step in. The self-medication begins, whether it’s Netflix or cheesecake, my medicine of choice because everybody wants to be happy then.
The 2-by-4 hits everybody in the face. It’s the certainty of uncertainty. All of a sudden, all the things we counted on, we’re certain that it’s uncertain. There’s the certainty of mortality. We’re going to die. If you’re younger, and especially as a whole population, we hadn’t faced that together and then that created something else, which is, “I want my time to matter. I want to do something that makes a difference. I want to know that my life counts.”
People started working remotely, moving away from headquarters. Meanwhile, we’re now leading people over cameras. Instead of a headquarters-based team, we’ve got a remote team, a hybrid team, a headquarters team and everybody in between, so the skillset changes and people in The Great Resignation are going on. There’s a lot of reasons for that. People are leaving where they’ve worked. Either September or October 2020 was a record.
[00:13:42] It’s something like 3 million people.“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar Click To Tweet
[00:13:47] Some of them are leaving because the higher wage is somewhere else. People are moving up into higher-paying jobs. A lot of people are leaving because they don’t like where they are and they moved to somewhere else that’s going to pay them more money and it’s going to be different. They’re in for a rude awakening.
[00:14:07] the grass is not greener on the airside. It’s just a different shade of green. Let’s face it.
[00:14:13] I’m flying back from Atlanta and I’m sitting next to this guy. He is an IT cyber security expert. He travels his positions in super high demand. He’s what I would call a top performer. When we talk about leadership, the number one business challenge nowadays is attracting, developing, and keeping top performers. That’s the biggest challenge. Top performers hold all the cards. If you’re a top performer, you can work for anyone from anywhere in the world. It’s a pretty cool time. That’s why wages are going up because companies got to keep their top-performing people.
On the leadership side, I don’t like the title of manager, director, supervisor. I like the title coach leader and it is what I do. Their primary role in their business is to attract, develop, and keep top performers. There’s an old-school bias. I read a book by Nassim Taleb called The Black Swan. A Black Swan Event is a historical event, like a pandemic, tsunami, The Depression in 1929. It changes everything forever for everyone.
In the book, he says, “Who does the best?” When you look at people who go through a Black Swan Event, who does the best? It’s the people who let go of the way it was, embrace the way it is. It’s a mindset. It’s a belief that, “I can’t control those things, but I can control what I do.” What I say is that instead of seeing problems and wishing it would go back to the way it was, they see opportunity and start creating the future.
What does a leader do? What does a coach leader do? There’s a quote that I have, “We create the future we see.” The first thing that a great leader does is start giving the vision, “This is the future for us. Look at this. It’s a target-rich environment. There are problems everywhere. What do we do? We solve problems.” That’s a different mindset.
On the plane, I’m asking this top performer, “I bet the headhunters are after you right now.” He smiled like, “Yes, maybe.” I go, “You have your resume out, don’t you?” I know that people in his position are getting 20% and 30% wages. He says, “I don’t. Maybe I should.” I looked at him and said, “Why don’t you?” He said, “Because I like and trust the leadership that I work with and the people on my team.”
What’s crazy is we’re going through this time that we all think is disruptive and different. The reason somebody stays and performs at a high level is that they like and trust their leadership. Harvard says that now people are leaving because they want flexibility. I’m going to create some friction here. In the workforce, they’re saying that people want flexibility and autonomy. This is the word that Harvard Business Review used, “The autonomy to say, ‘This is what I want to work, how many hours I want to work and where I want to work from.’”
There’s an Amazon commercial out that is recruiting people to work for Amazon, telling you, “You can work anytime you want and whenever you want.” The cultural tidal wave is personal truth. We got to respect personal truth above everything else. All the leaders are scratching their heads, going, “I’ve got to accept everybody’s personal truth. If I’ve got ten people on my team, then I’ve got ten sets of personal truths and they all get to decide when, where and how much they work? How are we going to get anything done?”
That is what I call the dance between autonomy people saying, “I like working from home. I like the flexibility of not having the commute. I like setting my own schedule,” with the dance between autonomy and authority, which is a leader who says, “We got a mission. We got things to go get done.” That’s what the book is about. This is how leadership has changed. The top-down do it because I said so. The positional leader, who delegates and makes the rules, is gone. They’re like the T-Rex dinosaur, short arms because everything’s closed, the command and control, “I need to know everything.” That doesn’t work anymore in a global world with people working in different locations and time zones.
[00:20:00] You said two things that flagged on me. It says that this guy trusted leadership and understood the goals. He understood where they were going, that he was part of it and what he did matter. He didn’t say anything about a job title or salary. He said it was the trusted leadership. I’m a big believer of, “You manage the process, you lead people.”The other thing that rang true, and this is where I want to go, is accountability and expectations.
We have 10, 100, 1,000 and10,000 people within our organization. Each one has their own wants, needs, desires, fears and whatever. As a leader, you need to be aware of that. As a company, you have goals. You have things that you need to do. It’s a matter of figuring out. I want your opinion on this. How do we manage expectations with accountability because it’s not just the accountability of team members to their leader, but the leader to their team members and to senior leadership, if everybody in the organization is accountable to everybody else? That’s what I want to have your thoughts on. First of all, does this ring true with you? Second of all, how do we accomplish that? It’s getting more challenging.
[00:21:32] As you’re reading this, I’m going to lay out a very simple what I call the coach leader model. In the center, we have this dance between autonomy and accountability, autonomy and authority. Let’s look at the worker side. I call them team members, workers and there are two words that I love, purpose and pleasure. Everybody is on a sliding scale. What you’ll find is some people work for a purpose. They come in, got a purpose, understand their why, they’ve got goals and dreams. They’ve got a path in front of them they want to accomplish. That type of person ultimately is a top performer. A top performer is someone who is striving towards purpose. They realize the best way to get there is to become the best version of themselves possible.
Every day they want to grow, learn and be better. At the other end of this scale is the pleasure-driven person. At Ziglar, we use fun terms because they’re easy to remember. The ultimate pleasure-driven person is what I call a zombie. The technical term is disengaged. Gallup’s done all kinds of studies on it. Right around 70% of employees are disengaged in the United States. It’s probably the same for Canada. It’s higher in the UK. This is before the pandemic. Who knows what it is now? Disengaged simply means they go through the motions. They don’t want to make any waves. They don’t offer any ideas. At the end of the day, a great day is they did as little as possible and still kept their paycheck.
[00:23:31] They’re working not to get fired.
[00:23:34] They’re doing the minimum. We got the highest level person, the top performer, purpose-driven, improving themselves every day and then you’ve got the very low end, which is the zombie who’s like, “I’m just going to do whatever the bare minimum is. As long as you keep lowering the standards, I’m good.” It’s like keep at it.What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Click To Tweet
On the leadership side, we have two words. We have accountability and control. A coach leader is focused on the vision and virtues of the organization. The vision is simply the dream, goal, and mission that we’re on as an organization, business, and company. This is what happens when we solve a problem. This is how lives are changed when we sell a product or service. This is how the community benefits because we exist. Coach leaders and winning companies know that the more they promote that type of vision, the more they attract top performers working for a purpose because one of the driving factors because of the pandemic is people want to know that their lives matter.
If I’m going to be a top performer somewhere, I want it to be with a company that has a vision and mission that I can buy into. The second V-word is a virtue. Virtues are simply the way we treat each other. A problem happens. Something goes wrong. These are the guides, rules and values that we’re going to use to figure it out. Virtues define how we treat our team members, families, customers and vendors. The more virtues-driven a company is, the more they promote that they have these virtues and do business and live by them. The more they attract top performers who value those virtues.
[00:25:35] It’s the combination of not only saying your wonderful virtues but living your virtues.
[00:25:41] You got to live them because a top performer, ultimately, they’re going to see what your word is and if you stand behind it. If your company virtue is kindness, we do business with kindness. We treat each other with kindness, and then you’ve got a ruthless leader in the business. The top performers can go work anywhere and guess what they aren’t. They’re just not going to work for you.
[00:26:07] Three million of them left in September or October 2020, whatever it was.
[00:26:10] The coach leader and the top performer have a connection in what I call dream alignment. The dream alignment is, “The vision and virtues of the company are what the coach leaders about.” We have goals and growth. The coach leaders focus on the goals and growth of a team and each individual. The top performer is like, “I’ve got a purpose and a why and a dream that I want to accomplish.” They get together and aligned because the better the top performer does, the faster they get their own dreams and the faster the team and the company hit their goals.
It’s an accountability relationship. The coach leader is holding the top performer accountable to the top performers on goals. In the book, I talked about Doc Rivers, an NBA basketball coach. He’s known as a great communicator and leader. The question was, “How do you lead players who make a lot more money than you?” He said, “It’s easy. I sit down with them one-on-one before the season starts.” They said, “What do you talk about?”
He said, “That’s easy too. I asked them what their goals were for the season. In NBA, every player has a contract that the agent has worked out with the team and the contract usually has all these bonus escalators. A certain amount of minutes, you get about a certain amount of points per game, you get a bonus. You make the all-star team and you get a bonus. I let each player tell me their growth and goals for the season. They get excited. In the end, I ask him a question, ‘Is it okay if I hold you accountable to your goals?’” That’s a powerful statement.
If you’re reading this as a leader, this is incredibly powerful because what’s happened is the top performer or the team member who you’re trying to develop into a top performer when they say, “You can hold me accountable to my goals,” have taken ownership. You didn’t tell them, “Here’s the quota or you’re fired. It’s this way or the highway.”
You just said to them, “What’s your goal? What is it you want to accomplish?” They then tell you what exactly it is and you say, “If I co-create a plan with you to get there, would that sound good?” If they say yes, you say, “How do you want to get there?” You let them build the plan. When they’re done with your guidance, you say, “Is it okay if I’ll hold you accountable to your goals?” Let’s go to the bottom tier.
[00:28:51] That was going to be my question. You sit there going, “We’ve got this 80/20 rule.” The people that are motivated and people that are high performers and stuff like that, the leaders are listening to them. They’re watching them and paying attention to that because those people are their bread and butter. Those are their shining stars. What do we do with the other 80% that are sitting there going in your mind zombie through the day?
[00:29:17] Let’s look at it. So here’s a question for you, Ben. Do we hire or create zombies?
[00:29:25] I think we create zombies. Our hiring processes are in a situation where we’re not hiring zombies. If we are, then that’s a different problem altogether, but hopefully, we’re hiring people with potential. The question is, how do we turn these people into zombies?
[00:29:49] The coach leader can reach into every team member and draw out of them their goals and dreams, what it is they want to accomplish, co-create a plan with them, hold them accountable to that plan, encourage them, support them, help them grow, give them the tools necessary. Yet, 70% of employees are disengaged, so they’re on the zombie side of the ledger, according to Gallup. What created that? That is what I call the T-Rex leader. Think of a T-Rex dinosaur. They got sharp teeth. It’s their way or the highway-short arms. Everything is close to the vest. All the power goes through them and they are command and control.
I’ll give you an example. I read an article about there’s a thing called Tattletales software. Everybody went home. A lot of companies were like, “How do I know if my people are working from home?” There were companies that installed software onto the computers that their home-based remote workers were using called Tattletale software. For some of them, the camera actually would take a picture every 60 seconds to confirm that the employee was sitting in their chair, facing the computer and assumingly working.
That is the ultimate control, but it’s also treating your people like five-year-olds. What do you want? Do you want the performance of a five-year-old or do you want the performance of a top performer who’s driven by a dream works for a dream instead of a paycheck? That’s what the T-Rex manager does. Here’s the thing. Top performers and coach leaders are dream alignment-focused, zombies and T-Rex leaders are money alignment. This is a match made in heaven. The zombie is like, “I want to do as little work as possible and keep my paycheck.” A T-Rex manager is like, “I want to pay as little as possible and still get the work done.”If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time. Click To Tweet
[00:32:02] “I don’t want to work that hard.”
[00:32:07] They find each other out. Let’s compare and contrast and then we’ll wrap this model up. The coach leader is about vision and virtue’s empathy and love. When you walk out the virtues, live by the virtues. What you’re doing is being empathetic and loving. The challenge is that we tell people, “Empathy is the number one leadership characteristic that’s hot. Empathetic leaders do their best. How do you show empathy or just love your people? How do you love your people?”
[00:32:44] These are wonderful pithy statements that are written on the wall somewhere that mean nothing because nobody does anything with them.
[00:32:52] We go into the virtues that matter and how you walk those out, when you walk those out, when you demonstrate these virtues, that equals empathy and love. On the other side of it and a T-Rex manager, it’s daily judgment and ego stroke because they got sharp teeth. You don’t know if they woke up on the right side of the bed or not. The team walks in and checks the office, “Is the guy got a donut?” They are drinking coffee and they’ve got a smile. Is his life good because there wasn’t any traffic or are they scowling? How do I adapt to that? I ego strip. I go, “You’re the greatest leader we’ve ever had.”
[00:33:40] Those T-Rex leaders buy into that.
[00:33:45] At the other end, two more comparisons, coach leaders are about growth and goals. We know this. People stay where they’re growing. Coach leaders are like, “How do I help my people grow? How do I create a growth mindset? How do I encourage and inspire my people to say, ‘The more disruption, the better we do?’ It’s not because we could run a system and run it like a clock. A lot of companies can do that, but where we excel is when things change, because we got thinkers on our team and we’ve got people with a growth mindset, and then they’re selfless.” On the other side, T-Rex leaders are results only focused. They just care about the results. It’s carrot and stick, “Did you get it done?” The problem is is that when market conditions change in the system’s broken, T-Rex leaders say, “Work the system harder.”
[00:34:40] T-Rex leaders just are looking for outcomes, but the question is outcomes should be based on what is good for the company, but not based on what’s good on that particular leader. I believe that the great leaders nowadays sit there and say, “This is what our goals are. This is what we’re trying to achieve. This is what we see. If it takes you 2 or 10 hours to do this, we need to get it done. If you do it at 2:00 in the morning or 2:00 afternoon, I don’t care.”
As you said, there are too many people punching the clock and saying, “They got it at 8:03. They were supposed to be at 8:00. They left at 4:59. They were supposed to be here at 5:30.” That’s where the T-Rex dinosaur’s command and control is falling because they don’t understand where the economy in the world is going in the future.
[00:35:37] I use a different word to compare and contrast T-Rex leaders are output-focused. Coach leaders are outcome-focused. Here’s the difference. You’ve got two people on your team and they both produce 100 widgets in the week. One of them works ten hours. One of them worked 40 hours. You are paying the same amount. Do you care if one of them only worked 10 hours to produce 100 widgets and the other worked 40 hours to produce 100? It cost you the same. No, you don’t care.
That’s an output model. Now let’s switch it to an outcome model. One person works 10 hours and produces 80 widgets while the other one works 40 hours and produces 100 widgets. You paid the same amount, but the problem is that the one who produced 100 widgets, 20 of those widgets had defects and caused all kinds of customer challenges. Who’s more valuable, the one who produced 80 in 10 hours are the ones who produced 100, but 20 of them were defective?
[00:36:46] It’s almost like when you have twenty defective, you’re going to have to go back and look at those other 80.
[00:36:53] That is an outcome approach. What we want is people on our team who are outcome-focused, which means they’ve got to know the mission, vision, whole goal and process. There’s no point in hurrying and rushing to get your quota in if your defect rate is going to go up and that’s going to hose up the system later. There’s a verified reality in our ability to produce vaccines. A lot of vaccines got thrown away because they skipped steps trying to get output instead of the outcome.
A couple of more compare and contrast and I’ll go to the end. Coach leaders create an atmosphere of trust. For T-Rex managers, it’s fear. One’s toxic. One is, “We don’t meet enough because we’re friends.” Here’s a big difference. Remember, we talked about the dance between autonomy and authority. Coach leaders develop, inspire, support, grow and hold accountable their people with the end goal of giving them as much autonomy as possible. Coach leaders want to develop Navy seals. Think about it. The seals are so amazing because they are coached up all the way so they can go out and all they need to be told is the mission they can figure out the rest.
[00:38:29] If something blows up in their face, they’re still going to complete the mission. They’re just going to do it in a different way.
[00:38:34] When we flip the script there, what makes a great top performer? Do they take that accountability autonomy that’s given with that? They turn around, go back to the coach leader and say, “I love working here. Would you hold me to being the top performer that I know I can be? Would you hold me accountable to my goals and the highest standard?” On one side, this is kind of cool. You got the coach leader trying to give everybody autonomy and on the other side, you’ve got all these top performers saying, “Hold me accountable.” That’s an amazing story. At the lower end, the zombie and the T-Rex, the zombie hides. They’re out of sight, out of mind, “If they can’t see me, they can’t eat me.”
The T-Rex takes. They take control, ownership and everything. When something goes wrong, they eat the zombie. It’s their fault somebody else needs to come in when they’re the challenge. The dance between autonomy and authority danced out. I have a quote, “Coach leaders choreograph the dance between autonomy and authority. Coach leaders pour into lift-up, equipped, support and hold accountable their people so they can give as much autonomy as they can. Top performers love that relationship and then ask to be held accountable, so they perform at the highest standard because they know that the more accountable they are, the faster they’re going to reach their own goals and dreams.” That’s what it should be about.You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Click To Tweet
[00:40:23] I have two questions for you. The first question is if you’re dealing with somebody who is a T-Rex leader, and they realize that what they’ve done is not going to get them to where they want to go, what’s the one thing you would do to help that person change, to move from being that T-Rex for that coach leader and give them the ability to see a different way of interacting and engaging with the people that they’re there to support?
[00:40:59] Thank goodness there aren’t very many true T-Rex liters all the way through.
[00:41:07] There’s a reason why they’re becoming extinct.
[00:41:09] Most people who are leaders are doing it the way they were taught. They’re doing things that are T-Rex-like because that’s all they know how to do. That’s how they were raised up, but they want better. Here are three core things about how you morph and grow out of T-Rex into coach leader. The first is the mindset. You’ve got to create a new mindset for yourself. You’ve got to understand that it’s about the growth that problems are the opportunity. Disruption is here to stay and it’s going to get worse. That if you continue to lead the way you have, as long as you’re okay with keeping all of your lower performers, you’re going to do fine. If your business depends on top performers, you’ve got to shift and change. There’s a great motivation to make the shift.
Here’s the good news. It’s also a lot more fun. The relationships are a whole lot better. The rewards and satisfaction and how you sleep at night are a whole lot better. The first thing is you got to adopt the mindset that, “The world’s changed and I need to change.” We’ve got evidence. Apple said to their people, “Everybody needs to move back to the headquarters. We’re going to start working in the office.” The next day, they got a letter signed by 80 top people that said, “We’re not coming back,” and hundreds more joined it. What did that say? It said that, “Apple, we understand you’re the titan brand of all brands and you’re fantastic to have on my resume. The fact is I can be more productive working where I am than back at headquarters. You need to recognize that because if you don’t, don’t worry, somebody else will.”
We know that people at the highest level are seeking out leadership that equips them to perform at the highest level. The second is you got to walk out the ten virtues. You get the right mindset. You’ve got to embrace the ten virtues. Along with that, you’ve got to understand those top performers. What they’re saying is they want quality of life. The quality of life is in seven areas, mental, spiritual, physical family, financial, personal and career. Let’s use common sense if somebody has got a great mental attitude and outlook if their faith is strong, if they’re a good physical shape, if they have great family relationships, if they’re not in debt and financially they’re secure if they’re achieving their personal goals and dreams along the way, are they going to do better on the job? One hundred percent.
It’s like a no-brainer. I talked to another guy who sells semiconductor testing equipment. He made more money in 2020 at any time in his career. He hadn’t been on an airplane to visit a client. He lives half of his life at this beach house and the other half, his main house, he’s in better physical shape. He spent more time with his family. He’s getting better sleep. The quality of food he’s eating is much higher. The stress has gone away and he’s doing better in his role than he’s ever done. He’s going to get more done in the same amount or less time.
[00:44:27] Hopefully, his leader coach recognizes that and is not going to try to force him back onto a plane anytime soon.
[00:44:36] If we’re output-oriented and we think that being face-to-face old school is what it takes, then we’re going to mandate that and all we’re going to do is drive away our top performers for companies who understand the outcome. “I don’t care how you get it done just as long as these outcomes happen.” We got the mindset and the coach leader is walking out the ten virtues and understanding that quality of life equals the quality of work.
The third component is they got to have coaching skills. How you coach someone and hold them accountable, that’s a learned skill. It’s not difficult. It might be uncomfortable at first, but once you get the knack for it, you love it because it’s a simple question. That’s, “Do you want to make more money next year?” “Yes.” “I want to pay you more money, but your contribution has to be equivalent and there needs to be a direct result between what you contribute to the company, profitability and growth of the company. If you’re responsible for our profitability and growth, then your compensation is going to fall in line with your contribution. Is that fair?” “Yes, that’s fair.”
“What attitudes can you demonstrate in your role that is going to help you make more money? What efforts can you demonstrate in your role that will help you make more money? What skills can you improve and demonstrate that will help you make more money?” There are little nuances in there, but every job is those three things, attitude, effort and skill, “What’s the mindset I bring? Do I bring energy to the room? Are people glad to see me or do they wish I would leave because I’m such a downer? In effort. Am I on time? Do I hustle? Did I get it done ahead of schedule? In skill, am I a professional? Do I know all the answers or know where to find them? Am I constantly learning?”
Every job breaks down to those three things. When I start growing myself in those three areas, my performance is going to go up. That’s a coaching skill. That’s one of the things that we teach. We teach coach leaders a coaching skill so that they can help that top performer become the best version of themselves possible, so they can grow, go, hit their goals and all those kinds of things.
[00:46:59] Those are skills that all of us can learn because we can all get better. We all may not ever be the top leader. We may not all be the best coach, but we can all improve. Improving is something that you do day after day, week after week, year after year. I knew this interview would not disappoint and that I was going to walk away from this with some nuggets of gold, and so was my audience. I have one last thing I want to ask you before I let you go and this is the question I ask every single person. When you leave a meeting or get off the stage, you get in your car and drive away, what’s the one thing you want people to think about you when you’re not in the room?
[00:47:41] My mission. I want them to say, “Tom created the atmosphere that allowed me to become the person God created me to become,” because that’s not always puppies and butterflies. It’s an encouraging atmosphere. I believe you can do it as fear. It’s a respectful, kind and humble atmosphere, but it also has the expectation that I know there’s something in you that you need to dig into and get out. There is some accountability in that. There are some extremely high standards. The higher the standard that we have and the deeper the grace we show, that’s the room for improvement between those two things.
We all mess up, but if I set a high standard and I show everybody I work with how to get closer to that, and then somebody messes up and we give them grace, that’s a place I want to work. I don’t want to work in a toxic environment where I mess this up and get canceled. There’s a challenge if somebody keeps making the same mistake over again, and there’s also a challenge if the mistakes are around disregarding the virtues that we’ve agreed to do business with because those things mean that you’re probably not a fit for this environment. That’s what I want people to think, “Did I get positively inspired and motivated to take action in something that would get me closer to my purpose?”
[00:49:09] That echoes back to the very beginning of our conversation of the lessons learned for your dad. Tom, thank you for all your time, wisdom, brilliance, and doing all the things you do to help make this world a better place.
[00:49:27] Thank you so much for having me.
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