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Chris LoCurto


April 25, 2016

Delivering Criticism To A High I Personality Style

April 25, 2016 | By | 10 Comments">10 Comments


On today’s podcast, we are doing something a little bit different. We are taking your call-in questions over the phone.

We are super excited to try this out. Let us know if you enjoy this type of show. We want to know your thoughts so, leave a comment at the bottom of the post.

Now on to our first question!

Question 1: 

One of the individuals that I coach is a great team member, has a ton of potential, and has been really receptive. Something came up last week when we were meeting that totally stumped me.

He’s a high D personality style, has a lot of I as well, so really can be sincere but on the job he’s totally task. As he and I were breaking down kind of what was going on on some of the actions that have happened and the behaviors that he had exhibited recently.

The thing that came out is that he doesn’t care about the individual that he’s working with at the moment. That’s pretty much how he said it and it kind of floored me for a minute.

He and I both have a good relationship. I let him know that I wasn’t judging his comment but I was totally bewildered, I didn’t know what to say. I don’t know where to go.

Here’s what we hit:

  • Adapting your personality style
  • Gaining Self-worth in a role
  • The need for control
  • The role your root system plays in your leadership
  • Fear of failing
  • What questions to ask to guide a team member to self-discovery
  • Delivering constructive criticism to a high I personality style

Question 2:

I’m having a harder time than I used to of taking a breath and making the time to be there with the individual rather than just trying to get through the agenda so I can get to the next thing. I don’t know how to get back to a place of patience and just focusing on the individual.

  • The balance between the task at hand and a teachable moment
  • Perspective when it comes to pressure and stress


Don’t forget, we want to hear from you. Do you like the call-in show? Would you like to hear more of them on the show? We’d love to know what you think so be sure to leave a comment below.

Chris LoCurto


April 19, 2016

Making The Call: How To Guide Your Team’s Conversation

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What is leading? Do you want to know my definition? It’s taking people to a place of thinking democratically.

Some of the most successful companies on the planet, long-term successful companies, have a democratic process.

What I’ve done for decades in my leadership is find out what people know. Get out of their heads the thoughts that they’re having, the information that they’ve got, if they’ve got input.

Treat them with dignity. Treat them in a process that says, “Your input is not only worthy, but it’s desired. I want to know what you think.”

Your role as a leader is to LEAD people. Your job is to make them successful, not the other way around.

So, how do you get your team to see all the information that they need to see to make a decision?


  • Find out what people know. Get out of their heads the thoughts that they’re having, the information that they’ve got, if they’ve got input. Treat them with dignity.


  • “Okay, so guys, what did you think about this? All right, so I hear what you’re saying. Would this possibly happen? What happens if this happens in that situation?”


  • Help them understand the “why”…not by telling them what to think, but by asking tons of questions.


  • Give them the opportunity to set their case, to sell their point, to get their information out.


  • At the end of the day, as long as they understand, if you need to make a call, you need to make a call. Do the best you can to help them with the information. Then make the right call.

Guide them through your leadership to discovery.

That, my friend, is Next Level. That is leading.

That is walking them through a process where going forward, they don’t just take information and run with it…they gain great perspective.

QUESTION: What tactics have you used to guide your team to a decision? 

Click here to download the transcript from today’s show.

Chris LoCurto


April 12, 2016

7 Ways To Lead A Negative Team Member

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Bad attitudes will ruin your team. I say it all the time, champions want to be around other champions.

Negative team members will poison those around them, and ultimately your champions will leave because of it.

Listen leaders, you’ve got to take action. You have to do something about it, because I can promise you this…allowing one negative team member to chase off two champions is going to implode your team.

if you don’t stop that right now, then what you are allowing the negativity to shape and mold your culture.

These team members are literally forcing culture on you, and the company, or at least that team.

If you are a team leader, it is absolutely shaping your team’s culture. DO NOT allow it. It is dangerous!

Here are 7 things that will help you lead a negative team member:


1. You Must Desire To Help The Team Member 

Most people just want to shut the negativity down, shut the person down, and stop the junk. Listen, there’s a reason why this person is being this way.

You have to start off by caring more about them than yourself.

2. Take Them Out Of The Office

Don’t do it where you know it’s going to get people talking. You know that people are going to see that there is this conversation going on, and by the way, it could get heated, they might blow up a little bit.

Take them out of the office.

3. Explain Why You Are Meeting

You have to make a judgement on how important this meeting is. Is this a discussion or is this an emergency meeting. Set the tone. In other words, if it is an emergency…”Hey listen, I wanted to talk to you, but before we get into everything, I need you to understand this is a nine-one-one meeting.

This is something that you have to understand, if we don’t fix this today, if we don’t solve this in this meeting, there’s going to be repercussions, there’s going to be consequences, so I need you to understand what this meeting is all about.”

You have to say up front, so that they have an expectation of what’s going on.

4. Set The Ground Rules 

Set the ground rules. Listen, no being mad, no yelling, no being personally offended if something does come up, then I need you to say something.

5. Gain Perspective

It’s all about perspective. You’ve got to ask tons and tons of questions and plan on following up every question with a why. Ask them questions. Find out what’s going on.

Find out why they felt that way. Find out how they feel about the leadership, and the company.

6. Focus On Understanding

Focus on understanding why they believe the company wouldn’t want them to succeed. Why do you feel that way?Ask them to help you understand why they believe that. Then fill in the information.

The communication will help to remove the fear. It will help to get them feeling good about their position and it will help to have them not have the broken belief system.

7. After All Things…

After you help them to gain perspective, shown them that you care, set their expectations, and after you have helped them to see that the company does want them to succeed or at the very least the leadership over them wants them to succeed…after all of that explain that the negativity has to GO!

If it has been done well and they are on board, then they will go back and bust it.

QUESTION: How have you handled a negative team member? 

Download today’s transcript

Chris LoCurto


March 15, 2016

How To Lead A People Person

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How To Lead A People Person


We have received some great questions in from our listeners. We are unpacking two of those on the podcast.

Our first call came in from Nick, which by the way will be joining us at the Next-Level Leadership LIVE event. His question is one that I hear often,

“I had a question concerning the previous podcast recently about having the difficult conversation. I have a field supervisor in commercial HVAC over me who is a very very immature high I.

There’s all kinds of chaos as a result of that immaturity that he doesn’t even know is there, doesn’t even know why it’s there. But it translates into his decisions that he’s making and how it effects work in the field, the guys in the field.

My question is, how do you have a difficult conversation with an immature high I?”

Our second question was from Javier. He asked,

“Working in launching a new program or business that revolves around strategic planning consulting and leadership development for non profit organizations in Texas.

Now the reality is, I have a lot of experience, I have a great deal of knowledge both academically speaking and in the trenches leading. I know I have a lot of value to give and I know leaders know it too, but given the industry and my target segment I am facing the issue that not everyone is really willing to pay for my services.

They do find the value in it but they don’t necessarily want to pay or have the money to pay it. Would you mind speaking into that?”

Both great questions! Listen to the podcast to hear me walk Nick and Javier through a process to help them with their questions.

If you have a question, click on the “Ask Chris” button on the right of the page and leave me a message. We would love to hear from you!

Also, do not miss out on our May event. Do not miss out on the Next-Level Leadership LIVE event here in May.

You’ve got to get to this event because it is going to absolutely change the way you lead your team, the way you lead your business.
Click here to read the transcript.

Chris LoCurto


March 1, 2016

The Accidental Leader

The Accidental Leader


What is an accidental leader?

They have a great idea for a business. They go out and do it, they grow, and think that they are leading.

They start hiring people, unaware that they’re a dreadful leader. They realize that their employees are dreadful…or maybe it’s the other way around. It’s all in the numbers, right?

If you run through three or four employees in a couple of months, there’s a common denominator, YOU!

Today on the podcast, we are interviewing one of our clients, Bo McDonald, who has been with us for years. Bo discovered something very important about his leadership…the “accidental” leader.

We are digging in.

A few things we hit:

  • What turnover looked like for the “accidental” leader and what the signs were.
  • What the impacts were of being an “accidental” leader.
  • What the next step in leadership looked like for him.
  • How the next-level mastermind group helped his leadership.
  • The HUGE changes from his team from dedication to increased productivity.

If you’re not pouring into yourself and changing yourself and investing in you, it’s hard to invest in anyone else.

The more you as a leader dig in, the more information you get, the more you can change, and be a better leader you will become.

Click here to read the transcript from today’s podcast.

Chris LoCurto


February 23, 2016

Leading With Grace

February 23, 2016 | By | 3 Comments">3 Comments


Grace. It’s something we all need. Oddly enough, it’s not something that we give very freely. Every single one of us has junk in our lives. Instead of judgement or ridicule, we need to give grace and receive grace.

You’ve had at least one leader who was a jerk, a leader who was rough, a leader who didn’t have grace. The thing is that you have to understand people do what they’re taught.


Grace Requires A Relationship With God

Leading with grace requires one huge, huge thing. The first thing that leading with grace requires is, a relationship with the almighty God. A relationship with the one who has the most grace.

Your God is somebody who loves you so much, so much that he wants to spend eternity with you, that he did the greatest act of grace ever, and that was on the cross.

That was him saying, “I want everlasting life with you, and so I am going to take on the world’s worst beatings, the world’s worst punishment, so that I can have it with you.” All you’ve got to do is choose.

That act is such a massive act of love, and an act of grace.

Now what does that mean for leading? What it means is if I am going to treat people with grace, I must first have it. I have been given so much grace that I must give grace.

I have had so much grace in my life because I have screwed so many things up. I have done so many things with stupid. I have done so many things wrong, and I’ve needed that grace from God even when I didn’t realize I was doing things wrong.

It was there, and it’s been there, and I’ve been able to receive that. I’m able to look back on my life, and see many of the things that God has done to give me grace so I must give grace to others.

Leading others has to start with me. I start with the understanding that I have this grace.

Starting with that grace, you have to say, “What am I not doing? What am I leaving out? How am I leading people? How am I talking to people? Am I understanding that they’re going to make mistakes?

Am I understanding that there’s going to be failures? Am I understanding that they are human beings?”

You have to get to a place of understanding that you make mistakes, you have failures in your life, and how do you want people to treat you in those moments? Now knowing how you want to be treated, how should you treat others?

To lead with grace you have to understand mistakes are going to happen. You have to understand that leading people with anger, leading people with fear, is actually going to shut them down. You have to remove those parts.

It is your job as a leader to make your team successful, not the other way around. Their job is not to come in and make you successful, their job is to come in and be successful at something that you’ve hired them for.

You have to know that as a leader, by definition, you’re guiding people to a place, to a destination, and it’s your job to make them great at it. It is your job to make them successful at it.

You Are That Compassionate Leader, When You Are Able To Be Inspiring


At the very point a family member, friend, or co-worker needs our love and grace, we turn our back. We roll our eyes at their failure. We walk away. We kill our wounded.

We will do it to our co-workers, we will do it to our friends, we will do it to our families, we will do it to people in church. Somebody makes a mistake, or somebody does something that we don’t agree with, and especially with the advent of the all fantastic social media, and we’ll rip their heads off.

You can have grace in these moments.

Grace Under Pressure


While we all need acceptance and attention, some need it more than others. So how you handle it matters. Getting mad is only going to hurt their feelings, and make you feel like a dork. Instead, come at it from the side of grace.

How would you want to be treated? Or, better yet, how would you want someone to treat your son or daughter if they were the one with the problem? You have to understand that it is imperative you use kid gloves when handling a situation like this.

My suggestion is you take them out of the cubicle/office setting, and have a calm discussion with them. One where you use the “sandwich” technique.

Start by telling them a few of the things that you appreciate about them most. Seriously, come up with some good stuff. Then gently tell them you have a concern that may make them feel defensive, but you hope that it doesn’t.

YOU are in control, period. The sooner you know that and can focus on being graceful towards the situation the better. Beat those Root System lies down with truth.

Grace Under Fire


When it’s time to let them go, be graceful.  Be graceful in the process, treat them the way you would want to be treated. Still treat them with dignity. Even if they’ve done really stupid stuff, treat them with dignity.

Help them to understand that, “Hey, I am so sorry that we are here.” You’ve made bad mistakes in the past as well, so treat them the way you would want to be treated.

Understand that this is somebody’s child.

Avoid Frozen Office Decorations


For that person who doesn’t have grace or the leader who leads with fear, you need to understand that when you lead people with fear, you completely shut them down.

Like I say, you have frozen office decorations at that point. That’s what they are. They will do less than half of their possible productivity, they will not take risks, they will not do anything that possible gets them in trouble.

They know you don’t have grace, so you are now paying full price for somebody who’s doing half the work because you’re leading badly, because you’re not leading with grace.

Remember, treat them with grace in the process, you will have highly productive fantastic people who love working with you.

If you’re ready to take your leadership to the next level, check out our Next-Level Leadership Live Event.

Next-Level Leadership Live Event

Question: How do you think leading with grace could improve a team?