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Chris LoCurto

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July 21, 2014

The Power of Intentional Communication

July 21, 2014 | By | 4 Comments">4 Comments

High levels of quality communication is the key to winning in any business! 

As a leader, CEO, entrepreneur, one of the most important things to do when you are about to speak with a team member or a group of people, is to shut off anything that is dominating your focus so you can focus on what’s in front of you. Not doing so will cause you to have less than quality communication, and certainly less than quality listening.

the power of intentional communication

For experienced sales people, they’re always thinking, “I need to turn my game on before I go to the sales call.” They’re already set to think that way. They know that. But a lot of people don’t. Folks outside of sales don’t usually think that way. And even a lot of green sales people don’t think that way.

For me, because I am a personality styles teacher, it comes a bit more naturally.

I kind of know subconsciously how I’m going to work with different people, and how my lack of attention can have varying degrees of communication destruction depending on the personality style I’m communicating with.

When I know the person, I even know ahead of time how I’m going to communicate with them to best serve their personality style.

For instance, I have Keith on my team who I work with everyday. I know exactly how I’m going to talk with him on a daily basis, and it’s different than the rest of the team.

If I’m talking to Joel, or if I’m talking to Melissa, they all have different personality styles, so I communicate to each of them differently.

I have to consciously realize just how my high I and D will come across to them in situations. I might cut one person off and I might not give another person enough information. I have to make this thought process a habit. Eventually for you it will become automatic. But you will still forget…I still do.

I know there are times when I have to realize I’m distracted and say to myself, “Dude…think! Think about what you’re doing. You’re distracted right now. Think about how you’re communicating. Think about how you’re NOT communicating.”

And I will have to force myself to say, ” Stop! CHANGE THIS!”

So for leaders, and even team members, you need to be thinking: “How am I communicating right now?” “How am I presenting myself in this situation?”

But…understand that YOU WILL HAVE BAD DAYS! I’ve had a lot of really bad days. It happens. It’s life. There’s going to be bad days.

In my early days of leadership I sometimes would carry whatever junk I was going through at the time into the meeting. I could see it impacting the people around me. I have to know that if somebody is expecting to spend an hour with me for coaching or leadership, I can’t carry my bad day into that meeting!

Since I’m more of a “noticer”, I’m one of those people who looks and see’s what’s happening on people’s faces and body language. I’ll look and see how they respond to interaction. Well, when I know that I’m the one being the dork in the room, I can see it pretty quickly and have to make adjustments.

Your team wants the best of you. They deserve the best from you. I understand that your bad day may be an emergency. I’ve had a couple of emergencies throughout my business career that have forced me to cancel meetings and events. I hate doing it but I’d rather cancel than give them half of me.

You have to understand that you’re bringing your personality, your personal life, your personal problems, and your personal wins to the table, for better or worse. For example, I’ve seen leaders meet with someone to discuss poor performance when only moments before the leader got the news that a monster contract came through.

They were super excited. After high fiving and celebrating, they had to stop their celebration to tell somebody they have done a bad job. (Oh my gosh!!!) The second the employee has crossed the doorframe they were back to high fiving. That’s a terrible thing to do. His celebration became more important than that person. And that person, in reality, is way more important to the organization.

These are the things I try to get across to folks before they step into leading teams, leading processes, or leading their family.

It’s intentional and it’s how you win as a team.

Question:  Are you being intentional with your communication?   If so, how?

Chris LoCurto

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July 15, 2014

10 Signs You’re Not Emotionally Strong – Part 1 [Podcast]

It doesn’t matter what position you have in a business, if you’re a team member, leader or entrepreneur there are so many of us struggling in the area of being strong emotionally.

What does it mean to be emotionally strong? Other people’s actions can’t tear you down or affect you or stress you out. You don’t have problems making decisions and you’re content with life. You’re happy and everything in your world is going well. Even if there are struggles or problems, you’re able to get through decision-making processes and be strong.

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Signs That You Might Not Be Emotionally Strong

  • If you’re believing the lies people tell you or have told you. If you’re acknowledging the voices that tell you you’re not good enough, whether internal or external, your emotional strength is being attacked. This is self-sabotage. God loves you exactly where you are, He just doesn’t want to keep you there, he wants to make you better. If you’re in the worst time of your life, God loves you and you’re good enough. Check out this past podcast that dives into the lies we believe - http://chrislocurto.com/the-lies-we-believe-podcast/
  • If you’re codependent. Codependency happens when you’re relying on another relationship and that relationship becomes more important than you as an individual. If you’re focusing on taking care of someone in a way that puts you second, you’re codependent. Low self-esteem makes you believe you’re not good enough so you focus on someone else to make them great. They may not even want that attention. In some instances, it becomes manipulation from the person receiving your attention.
  • If stress is destroying you emotionally, physically or spiritually. If you’re down or not creative or not wanting to move forward, you’ve got to get to the root of the stress. What’s causing you to not sleep or feel overwhelmed?
  • If you’re not living life and doing what you want. When you’re struggling with emotional strength, your life is not your own. You don’t take trips or take risks. You’re not living life to the fullest. What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from living your life?

These are just some of the areas that keep you from becoming emotionally strong. We’ll dig into Part 2 of this topic on the next Chris LoCurto Show. Be sure to check out LifePlan and contact us today to get more information about this life changing process.

Question: What do you think of this type of content?

Please share your thoughts and share this podcast with family, team members and friends that need this information.

Chris LoCurto

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July 14, 2014

Wantrepreneur – What’s holding you back?

July 14, 2014 | By | 9 Comments">9 Comments

Wantrepreneurs are all talk and no action. Fear is usually the culprit.

wantrepreneur ChrisLoCurto.com fear

This is a shout out to all the wantrepreneurs:
What the heck is holding you back?

In case you don’t know what a wantrepreneur is, here’s the definition.

A couple months ago I was coaching a guy who is a high I and S personality style, and is a non-stop idea generator. I mean this guy was even pulling content and product ideas out of my head.

It was a pretty fun coaching session.

Towards the end of the session I asked him, “Dude, what’s holding you back? I mean, why haven’t you followed through with any of these ideas?” He took a few seconds to think about the question and replied, “Truthfully, I’m afraid of failing”.

This demanded a little “coaching call overtime”.

We spent the next hour diving into his fear of failure and how best to overcome it. It was awesomeness! I could see the difference in his countenance almost immediately.

As you’ve heard me say – when you freak you freeze! Fear was freezing him from taking action.

It was zapping his creativity and keeping him in a kind of limbo state.

On a recent follow up meeting I could tell I had created a monster. This guy had turned into a beast of action.

His typical scenario in the past would be to churn out idea after idea, but then fizzle out and lose momentum.

Now he has crazy focus and knew what he wanted. He has goals!

It was cool to see the transformation.

So…how does this apply to you?

What’s holding you back? (Really, I’m curious. Chances are your excuses look a lot like this guy’s.)

Are you afraid to fail?

Why?

“I may not make it.”
“I will lose respect.”
“I will be a failure.”

What do the voices in your head start shouting when you try to take action?

Fear will say,  “Worry about what others will think of you”.

Fear will say, “You are not good enough”.

Fear will say, “You are a failure”.

Fear will say, “You don’t deserve to win”.

Fear will say,  “You will fail, and you will be ashamed for trying”.

Fear keeps you wondering what other people are going to think about you, instead of what you have to offer that will change lives.

If you’re focused on what other people think…you’re worrying about the wrong person.

This week spend a little time getting past the why.

Chris LoCurto

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July 8, 2014

Steve Jobs’ Stick and Carrot Approach [Podcast]

Steve Jobs’ famous and highly criticized “stick and carrot” approach was created to incentivize and lead people. Believe it or not, this approach works according to personality style. When you’re leading people and trying to incentivize them you have to know what their motivators are. How do you find out what motivates them? By understanding the personality styles and values of your team.

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Stick and Carrot Approach by Personality Style

If you’ve got a High S or High C personality style, you’ll never motivate them by dangling a carrot in front of their nose. Their personality style doesn’t care about that incentive style. Instead they’d rather you tell them what an incredible job they’re doing, not in front of others, over extra money any day.

If you’ve got a High D or High I personality style, you’ll probably be able to lead them with a carrot and a stick. Especially High D’s. They’re all about competition, incentive and accomplishment. High I’s are also like that but love to know that you think they’re amazing and enjoy that praise in front of their peers.

If you’re going to dangle a carrot in front of someone, choose the right vegetable.

Stick and Carrot Approach by Values

There are seven essential values: economic, individualistic, political, regulatory, aesthetic, altruistic, and theoretical. If you’ve got someone that’s not a high economic, dangling a dollar in front of them isn’t going to make a big difference. If someone is a high altruistic, they’re motivated by doing something that’s helping others. If another person is highly theoretical, they want new information and constant change from learning. Learn more about the values and motivators and get the test in the store.

When you understand personality styles and values, you’ll certainly understand what to utilize and how to incentivize your team.

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Question: How has the stick and carrot approach worked for you?

Chris LoCurto

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July 1, 2014

Knowing When and Who to Hire [Podcast]

Today’s podcast is all about hiring – when to hire, who to hire and how to bring on team members that aren’t directly generating revenue.

Subscribe to the podcast:          iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

As a solopreneur, when you’re trying to build a business, you’re wearing a lot of hats. In the early phases, when you’re just starting to create revenue, subcontractors are a great way to get tasks done without investing in a salaried position. Always focus on creating revenue before hiring.

Once you’re moving in the direction of bringing on a full-time team member, for me, it comes down to looking at either a sales person or an assistant. A sales person will cost justify immediately. If they sell something, you pay them. If they don’t sell something, you don’t pay them. It’s not a fixed expense. Now, here’s the flip side, what if you are the great sales person and don’t have enough time to do everything else? That’s when you bring on a administrative person. When the administrative stuff is off of your plate, you’re freed up to bring in more revenue. Make sure you’re just not covering their salary with the extra revenue, ideally the extra time will allow you to generate two to three times what you’re paying in salary.

From there, when it comes to hiring an accountant or graphic designer or marketing person it all comes back to cost justifying the position.

Accounting: I’m of the philosophy that in the beginning you do all of your own accounting so you understand the P&L process. As you grow and have a lot of receipts or invoices, utilize a small business book keeper that specialized in accounting and tax  services. Later on, when you’ve got team members generating outside expenses and using debit cards, etc. then it might be time to bring on a salaried accountant. Make sure that person doesn’t just understand the books but understands the P&L process. When it’s time to hire a CFO, this absolutely has to be someone that’s experienced and can show your team how to win and take the business to an entirely different level by guiding and leading. At this time, you’d have around 40 people on your team and would be generating at least a million dollars in net profit.

Human Resources: You’re not going to hire an HR person early on. I want you doing all of those interviews and as you hire leaders, they can do the interviews and get with you towards the end of the process. A big piece of HR is creating culture. How do you establish your companies culture? How do you make sure you’re bring on someone with the right culture? Force the culture that you want or your new hires will bring the culture from their last organization and force it on you. When you’re generating half a million dollars in net profit, that’s when it’s time to start looking for a salaried HR person. If you’ve got plenty of revenue, bring on a rockstar. This is someone who has plenty of experience and can show you how they’ve brought success people into businesses and helped grow leadership.

Here’s a recap of the whole process, from start to growth:

  • Start with subcontractors so you’re not bringing on full-time hires.
  • When it’s time to bring on a team member ask yourself, “What is the most important role I can bring on that’s going to create more revenue and cost justify itself?”
  • If it’s a sales person, they must cost justify themselves. If it’s an admin person, you’re freed up time will cost justify their fixed expense.
  • Make sure you’re adding people according to your needs.
  • Non-revenue generating positions must always cost justify. You need to have plenty of revenue so you can watch and make sure you’re doing the right thing for the business.
  • Later on, start bringing on heavy hitters that will explode your growth.

Question: What are your hiring questions?