Anyone can think that there aren’t enough hours in a day, but how you spend your time is more important than how much time you actually have.
A lack of prioritization is a huge hurdle for many leaders caught in the crazy cycle. But, what can you do about it? How can you get the traction you need? Leading Through The Complexity is about disciplining the time that we’re given each and every day.
Let’s talk about prioritization, organization, and the one thing that most leaders forget. Here’s a hint of what that third point is about: every business, regardless of what it does, is in the “people business”.
Enjoy today’s show!
Chris LoCurto 0:00
Anyone can think that there's not enough hours in a day. But how you spend your time is more important than how much time you actually have, leading through the complexity of our modern times. That's coming up next.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.
Welcome to the show, folks. Hope you're having a fabulous day wherever you are. Leaders, you've got plenty of time on your hands, right? Probably not. You've got multiple teams you've got. Each team has projects. Each project hopefully has specific timelines. So let me ask you a question. How are you leading with all of that? So those are just basic things when it comes to leadership, right? People projects timelines, how are you doing? Listen, there's no doubt that it's a complex world that we live in is there's no doubt that there's complexity to leadership. But a lot of times, it's our approach to the complexity. Or we could say, our lack of good perspective that's holding us back. I hear leaders use words like juggling or managing and prioritizing when referring to their responsibilities. But this is actually part of the problem. We don't actually juggle Well, unless you are in a circus or something. We don't have multiple priorities. We say that we do but guess what priority is top. We don't manage people at least we're not supposed to be managing people. We're supposed to be leading followers, we're supposed to be guiding people to a specific destination. So in today's episode, we're going to dig into what's really going on on a leaders world, and how to make sense of it and how to lead wealth through the complexity. Now with that said, we just finished up a short but really powerful miniseries teasing out some of the core concepts that we're going to be tackling at this year's Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event. So go back and listen to the last couple of episodes if you have not, with our coaches to get caught up. The 2022 Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event is coming up soon, we're about a month away. And you don't want to miss this event. So here's what you need to know. If you're a business owner or leader, this experience was designed for you. This is our premier once a year event that is open to the public, so you don't want to miss it. This year, we'll have even more of what you love, both the leadership and life lessons. So go to Chrislocurto.com/nextlevelleadership, all one word, to reserve your seats today. Now when we come back, making sense of the busyness and chaos that leaders and business owners tend to get bogged down by and learning to lead through the complexity.
Joel Fortner 3:11
Hey, it's Joel Fortner. Here, I'm the vice president of leadership development on Chris's team and I oversee our Next-Level Mastermind business coaching program. Most business owners and leaders lack a clear path to succeed in business. They question whether they're making the right decisions if they're focusing on the right things to really grow their business. If this is you, you need a coach in your life. coaches help you make better decisions, navigate uncertainty lead more effectively, and grow your business without sacrificing your life in your family. In their first year, our clients typically see an average of 67% increase in gross revenue and an average of 138% increase in net profit and regained hours of time. Our clients stay in the program for three and a half years simply because of the results they get. So if you're ready to run your business at the next level and see the growth you've been wanting, and visit Chrislocurto.com/mastermind. Again, Chrislocurto.com/mastermind today.
Chris LoCurto 4:12
So on the show today, we're kind of pulling back the curtain and exposing some of the faulty mindsets that might be setting you up for failure and giving you some new language to help you make sense of the kind of the sea of responsibilities that you may be floating in or we're actually drowning in dependent upon what you're experiencing. So before the break we talked about the language leaders use to describe their responsibilities. Here's what we need to understand. When it comes to teams. Teams are people to be led. There is this amazing thought process and that people are in place to make a leader successful now you've heard me say a bajillion times it's your job. To make your team successful, not the other way around. But there are people out there that are making successful businesses out of people. What am I saying? There are people who don't care greatly about the people who are solving the problems or making the business operate. Their focus is these people will make my business what I want it to be. Now, I am not saying that that can't work. I'm just saying, if you're listening to this show, chances are that's not your heart. Chances are you're not somebody who wants to use people to make your business successful. You're probably somebody who actually cares about people as well. You're probably somebody who wants more than just a successful business. So when you think of teams, we need to be thinking consistently. How do we lead the teams when it comes to prioritization? This is supposed to give us a singular focus, which a lot of times we don't do, we think that there are priorities. And again, we do have a lot of priorities. So you, you hear me talk about prioritizing your your day are prioritizing the next day for talking about killing leadership, Crazy Cycle, we want to get to the end of the day and focus on what tomorrow is gonna look like, exactly. We don't want to wait till tomorrow, because then we have to take that stuff home with us. And we forget things. If we'll do that brain dump, at the end of the day, while we're still at work, then we can prioritize tomorrow really well. But what do we start with? What's the most important singular thing? You cannot handle? Or operate multiple priorities at the same time? Right? Because then one of them is not a priority, or many of them are not a priority. What is the singular focus, that's the most important priority? What falls behind that? When it comes to projects with all of their various goals, deadlines, all of that, that's just what it is. goals with certain outcomes that we don't juggle. We don't juggle these things, we don't go from one to another. Instead, we lead these problems, these projects these opportunities, forward these projects forward. When we juggle projects, what are we actually saying? We are saying that we are not giving anything, our best attention our fullest attention. So we shouldn't be juggling projects. Instead, we should be putting priority to the project, laying out what that looks like, deciding what we need to hit what we need to follow up on follow through on put metrics to all those different pieces. So why are we doing the word play here? Because words matter. So words frame perception, the words we use from our perception of the work that we do. So words are go, the the labels we apply and names we give things actually help us to choose our approach helps us to choose our attitudes, our dispositions, our perspective, and even our success. So think about the words you use in your business with your teams, even at home. How are these words helping or hindering you in your leadership? So let's kind of reframe some of these concepts by giving some fresh perspective. When we talk about priority, you've probably heard the saying, if you don't prioritize your life, then someone else will think about that. What does that mean? Well, I am prioritizing my life. I've got all kinds of things that I'm hitting up all kinds of things I'm laying out, are they the most important things? Are they a singular focus? Are they things that you're trying to accomplish all at the same time? Or are they things that you're really going after? And seeing them through to success? Well,
if you are prioritizing multiple things, then none of them are a priority. Do you see what I'm saying here? It's not that you can't have multiple priorities. Again, let me say that I'm not saying that you can only have one priority. What I'm saying is, if they are not prioritized, yes, your priorities, if your priorities are not prioritized, then you end up giving some energy to this one, some energy to that one, some energy to this thing over here, maybe a teeny bit over here, or maybe a decent amount to this one over here. And it's really not the number one priority, because the number one priority is actually conflict for me and I don't want to hit that right away. Do you see where I'm going? You have to realize that priority is singular. Its prime. Its first in order. It's in the limelight. It's getting all the attention. What is the thing that you need to go after? First, many leaders fail because they fail to have a singular focus or vision or attention. Now, you've probably seen many businesses that do what we call the shotgun approach, where there isn't a unified direction. Instead, there's 14 Different people or 14 different teams going in 14 different directions. We say that we're doing the same thing. We say that we're working for the same company, we're working for the same outcome. But what you see is a lot of people going after a lot of what we would call good ideas, right? This is something we should do go do it. Is it pointing us to the best outcome? Is it pointing us to the highest priority? So when we look at the word priority, it comes from the word prior, which means to come before something else I priority? Is the concern, the the interest, the desire that comes before all others? What is the thing that we should be focused on? Now, many of you have heard of Greg McKellen, the author of essentialism, who's reframed this concept in the terms of what is essential and what is non essential. And here's what he says essentialism is not about how to get more things done. It's about how to get the right things done. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to ask yourself throughout the day, what is the right thing to be doing at this moment? Yes. I want you to ask that question over and over again. What's the right thing to be doing? There are so many things that we have going on in our lives. We've got the business, we've got the ridge, we've got all these things that we're preparing for the future. And every day, I have to look at my day and go, what's the most important thing that I hit right now? There are times that I will be in the middle of my day and stop myself and asked that very question. What's the most important thing for me to be doing right now? Am I doing it? If I'm not, am I going after something that's easy? Am I going after something that's comfortable? Or is there something that is way more important that I should be hitting? And for some reason? I'm not? If so, go tackle that thing. Go get it done, whatever it is, make it a priority right now. Well, are you saying that we need to stop right in the middle of our day and shift direction? Possibly, yes. Possibly. What if the thing you're doing at the moment is not the most important thing? Well, it's just I need a break. Okay, I get that. I understand that. What are you gonna get back to that most important thing? Here's another question. Why do you need a break? Is it because you've not been able to give it great focus? Is it because it's just so difficult? You need some help from other people? What's the thing? What's the reason that you need a break in the moment? What's keeping you from tackling that most important thing? Let me speak to all of my procrastinators out there. You know exactly what happens when you allow the most important things to not get done. What happens is, is they start to stockpile. We keep thinking that maybe they'll they will take care of themselves, they'll get done on their own, maybe they won't be an issue anymore. And then unfortunately, we have got this pile of things that we're not taking care of. Right. So as you look throughout your day, what's the most important thing as much as McAllen says, the faster and busier things get, the more we need to build, thinking time into our schedule. And the noisier things get, the more we need to build quiet reflection spaces in which we can truly focus now, you're not hearing me say you need to go google eyes, your business, right? You don't need to go put sleeping pods all around. What I am saying is, I agree that we have to have time to think we have to have time to plan. We have to have time to reflect why? Because those are the times we get to the most important information. If you are running nonstop, and your business continues to grow and grow and grow. Then when are you going to stop and think through what our priorities are we working on the right ones. So put those things in place. Remember when you say the word priority, we're talking about the most important singular focus at the moment. Now number two, number two is organization. In our business, we rely heavily on processes, on routines on protocols to help us to get done, what we need to do with probably half the team that other businesses need. If you've ever been to our business or see the stuff that we accomplish, you'd be shocked to see how many people we actually have behind the scenes focusing on it, it seems like it's a considerably larger team. The reason why it is not is because we're focusing on the right priorities, and then having the right tools in place the right protocols in place. So if you find that your time is, I don't know, out of control, then it's time to discipline your time, your team's time, your leaders time, right. It's time to get organized, you might need to spend time reflecting on how you're set up as a business is it set up to operate the best way possible? And again, that's putting time in place to really take a hard look at how efficient are you? What things are in place, taking care of team members, what tools are in place, right now, for us. We do things like use software, to help us to gain perspective to help us to stay organized to help us to manage projects to help us put things in systems where we don't maybe do that system on a consistent basis. And so nobody just off the top of their head has this memorized. We use things like Asana, we do that company wide. Now, there's no we don't get any money from them which wish we wish we did, because we talk about all the time. And you know, they really should put out like one of those associates programs. So we use Asana company wide. It's the it's the tool that we use that we prioritize our team members to do lists, we prioritize projects, when we do strap plans, all of that stuff gets dumped in there who's going to do what by when being able to see how the project is going and what's working, what's not working. All of those pieces. We have dedicated lessons to how to use Asana, one of the lessons that we teach in our Next-Level Mastermind program is an Asana lesson, because what we've discovered is, the more you understand this tool, the more powerful it becomes. And the less you have to pay people.
So if you think about it, if you have to keep paying people to keep things in their in their minds, well, that's actually not very efficient, right. So we actually have a ton of stuff that we have in our Asana that helps our team members to knock things out, even if it's not something that they use are operating in a normal basis. Right on a consistent basis. Let me say it that way. So what we have found is by organizing our projects, so whatever team is working now we do we take businesses through strat plan, and, you know, do a top to bottom business overhaul, we do our own strap plans as well. So it's not uncommon for us to do at least one strat plan a year sometimes we do strat plan just one area of our business because it needs an overhaul, right. And then we take all of that information, we put it all into strat plan, assign it to people, assign due dates, assign tasks, put teams together, all of these things for us to organize that new priority. This now has become a priority for this team, for this person, organize the daylights out of it, put accountability to it, all those pieces. This helps us to consistently knock out a lot of stuff. I mean, a lot of stuff. It's something that helps our leadership team, get clarity on where each person is where each project is where the company is going. Are we in a unified direction? Do we have anything that's going off on a shotgun approach? Is there anything that we shouldn't be focusing on? Because it doesn't align with our current stratplan, it doesn't align with what we're trying to accomplish. So putting tools in place to get things organized, and I will tell you this, every single team, every leadership team, every business that comes through strapline, every business that comes through strat plan, we discover that they're lacking, really well documented, put in place trained on executed, optimized accountability processes, everyone. There's not a company that comes through that all of their processes are perfect. All of their training is perfect. There's no need to optimize because nothing's changing. There's their accountability is perfect. Trust me, with accountability being the number two issue inside of every business. That lack of accountability, it makes sense. So making sure that To get organized is incredibly important life is going to get crazy life probably already is crazy for you as a leader, as an owner as a team member, right? So make sure that you get the tools put the things in place, to help you to stay on track to stay unified in your focus, to help your team members accomplish things better. Get the things in place that are going to help you to stay organized. Now, when we come back, the third application to help you lead through the complexity.
Hey, folks, a couple years ago, I was visiting with a client and the CEO said to me, Chris, we're not going to hit our goal. I asked him what he meant. And he said, We're gonna miss our three year revenue goal coming out of strat plan by a few months, I didn't realize it at first, that he was having a little fun with me by saying they were about to triple their company in less than three years. How freaking awesome is that? Folks, these are the kinds of results that businesses get by coming through our four day strat plan event. On average, we find $2.1 million worth of revenue in the next 12 months that the company was not planning on. And this event is for all sized businesses. If you're small, medium, or large, it works for every single business, because it's not industry specific. It's about gaining all the information about all the things inside of your business that are holding you back from success, and then giving you a plan and a process on how to walk that out and be successful in your business. By discovering the things that are holding you back, it helps you get to all have those goals that you've been planning on for a long time. So if you're ready to get the perspective, you need to solve what's holding you and your business back. So you can grow faster than you need strap land. To learn more, go to Chrislocurto.com/strapplan, that's Chrislocurto.com/stratplan.
Okay, what is that third thing? Well, it's people. Listen, there's a throat punch coming up. So just get ready for it. If you're in business, for yourself, for money, for profit, for fame, for ambition, if these are your goals, your measures of success, then please consider something important. Get out of business. It is absolutely ridiculous in my mind, to spend your life being focused on all about you. When you are self focused, then people are a commodity to you. When you are self focused, then people are just a tool for you to get what you want in life. Which means that the value of those people are only what they're accomplishing. That feeds yourself, your money, your goals, your fame, your ambition, your product, whatever it is, right? So it's important for you to understand that when it comes to your leadership, if you're not leading your people with a focus on impacting in serving others in a positive way, then you're not going to do your team or your clients any good.
What does it look like to lead us? So God, this is our devotional this morning. We were literally talking about what does it look like for us to be servant leaders? What does it look like for us to serve clients, people, team members, right? To not be focused on ourselves? Ask yourself that question. If you are in business just for you, well, then people probably don't matter that much. Which would point to some other problems you're probably experiencing in life. But if you are in business, because you do care, you care about serving clients, you care about serving team members, then you need to start asking yourself, what does it look like to serve at the best level possible? Now, our mission statement as a company is basically to worship God by serving people by loving people. God is the reason we exist as a company. This is a company that he set up. This is a company that he called me to and he's called all of these folks to as well. And people are the focus of our efforts. Literally. It's not to say that we don't want to are not going to add widgets in it's just not our top priority. And fact, while we help, lots of leaders, lots of business owners make as much money as they want to. Profit is our third motivating factor. God is number one, people are number two, profit is number three, if you've been to our business, if you've done anything with us, you've probably come to realize that now, we're not going to operate in a business that's not profitable. We pay our people well, we do profit sharing. We take care of our people financially. But nobody comes to our business going, Oh, my gosh, I can't wait to make a ton of money. At you know, the point main group, people come to our business to work with our team, because they have a heart of serving and taking care of others, they actually really enjoy taking care of people serving you. Doing things that change your life, doing things that help you to change your your business, your leadership, your team, your family. That's why they come to do what we do. So my question for you, when it comes to your people is how do you view them? Do you view them as tools to further your life? Further your money or your ambition? Or do you view them as people who are there to serve people? If you're a believer? Do you see them as people that are there to serve God? This is something that's super important for you to get in your mindset. Take some of that time that you're putting in place now to reflect on what do I want my team to look like? What do I want their focus to be? Right? Is it about me? It's about God is about other people as about them? What does that look like? So leaders, let me wrap up things by challenging you to do a couple of things. First, consider your focus. What is center stage right now? Right now? Not right the second because really, it should be listening to this episode. In your business, what is centerstage? What are you giving your attention to do the essential activities of your life your business? Do they have the clarity and time investment they need in order to succeed?
If they don't, why? What needs to change is are too many, too many focuses too many things going on. Not enough singular focus on things to get them done and get them knocked out. So you can move on to the next thing, whatever it is, I want you to consider your focus. Number two, consider your routine. What sequences are you frequently following? Right? So consider these words carefully. Processes are automated routines. Do you have processes in place? Do you have the right processes? Do you have enough processes and don't over process the daylights out of it? But does your team know exactly how to handle situations that are important situations? Right? Are they documented? Do they have accountability? Are they optimized? have you trained them? Well? If not, then how can you expect to accomplish the most you can be as efficient as you can if we don't have quality processes in place, right. Third thing is, consider the people consider the people that you employ and use serve, right because that's your job as a leader. People are what matter most. The truth is, every single business regardless of what it does, is in the people business. There's not one that's not every business must have people to make it successful in one way or another. So at the end of the day, if you turn away from you looking at you for success, and you focus on making your people successful, then by default, you will become successful. Well folks, hopefully this has helped you today. Don't forget to get your tickets to the next level leadership live event in April, head on over to the website Chrislocurto.com/next level leadership all one word, to reserve your seats today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.
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