369 | Adapt or Reinvent? – Part 2

Through COVID19, it’s guaranteed your business had to either adapt to the changes or reinvent how you were doing things.

In this podcast, I walk you through 7 steps that will train you up in preparation for any consequences that could set you up for failure. I want to help you lead your team to success even during these times!


For full transcript, continue reading:

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.

Part 2.

Hi folks. Welcome to the show. We are glad you’re joining us on the podcast and for those of you that are following us now on video, we are on clo.tv that clo.tv. Uh, you can find last week’s episode and this week’s episode. So you can watch this if you would like to as well. And online we’ve got both the video and the audio as well. So we are glad you are joining us today. We are, this is part two of adapt or re-invent. So a lot of folks today are trying to ask that or trying to answer that question of what do I do? Do I adapt to what’s going on with COVID19. Do I reinvent myself? And so instead of giving you the answer to that, we’re giving you all the stuff you need to figure out before you get to that answer.Because we’ve had this type of a situation. It’s impacted a lot of people. Um, uh, new stats that are coming out all the time that by June- 40,000, small businesses will be out of business. Now, um, I don’t know who those businesses are. I can’t say if they’ve been doing a great job running the business if they have not. Um, but I can tell you that’s a sad statistic. Uh, there’s a also a new statistic out that is showing that half of LA is unemployed right now. That’s a powerful statistic to know that that half of the Los Angeles area is actually unemployed. It’s kinda crazy to think about that. So as we’re talking through this process, um, and what we do with your business, with your leadership, whatever it is, it’s kind of important to understand what’s going on in our country right now.

Um, we are slowly reopening. What do you do in this time as businesses are beginning to reopen again? What does your business look like? What do you do? So last week we talked a lot about, um, where were you in your training? So as we said, we’ve said it before, you don’t train during a crisis. You execute what you trained for. The thing is is that we only rise to the level of our training. So in a time like this right now where again, something we haven’t asked for, something that’s impacted every single one of us, what does, what did your training do for you to be in a situation like this? This is not my first downturn. I think for most of you, this is that least your second, if not third or fourth that you’ve experienced in business and leadership.

And so here’s the deal. What did your training do for you? And we asked a whole lot of questions. It was kind of painful to dig through: Where’s your leadership? How did your team respond? How did your finances hold out? All of those different pieces. And today we’re going to be coming back and actually rebuilding a lot of these processes to make sure that you’re set up for success as you go forward. So, if you are at a place of having to answer the question, do I adapt or do I reinvent this kind of information, this, this foundational stuff should help you make those decisions. Now, as John Maxwell says, “people are training for success when they should be training for failure”. Now guys, think about that. I think right now, I think a lot of people have heard that quote. John said that a long time ago. I think a lot of people have heard that quote and thought to themselves, yeah, I get it, and now you really get it.

Now you really understand what that means. It’s one thing to train to be successful, but what happens when you come into times like now and you don’t have an opportunity to change the environment itself? It’s one thing that you make decisions that cause you to fail. It’s another thing to take risks that caused you to fail, but what do you do when the failure is actually put on you? What do you do when you step into a situation where you literally have no way of saying, you know, Hey, I’m, I’m going to, even the folks that kept their doors open, it didn’t change all the minds of their clients, right? It didn’t make everybody go, Oh, you’re keeping your doors open. I’m not going to have any fear whatsoever. So here’s the deal. What John’s saying in this is that you should constantly be be training for what happens when you do fail. What happens when things do go wrong? How do you respond when things go bad? And we are going to be talking about a lot of that today in today’s episode, so we’re going to get to that when we come back right after this message.

Key Leaders Program

Hey leaders, this is Joel Fortner, VP of leadership development at Chris LoCurto’s company. I have some questions for you. Do you as a leader feel like you are caught up in a crazy cycle of stress and task that never ends week to week? Do you ever have to deal with tough conversations with team members and you sit at home the next day, the night before worried about how’s it going to go? What am I going to say? What are they going to say? Can I think fast enough on my feet? Is it going to be a total failure? Is your team making way too many mistakes and failures often and especially at the same things? And you find you’re the one who has to get in there and solve all the problems and it takes away more of your precious time. Are you experiencing culture problems or that stuff that just breaks down trust and unity on your team? Well, if you can relate to any of this, this is a pretty typical leadership story and situation. Here’s the thing though, it doesn’t have to be that way and we can help you solve these things. We can help you become the leader that solves these problems and leads their teams to greater success. I want to introduce you to the Key Leaders Program. This is an ongoing leadership development program that gives you the lesson track, coaching and accountability you need to become the leader you can become. To actually implement what you’re actually learning in this program. If this sounds interesting to you or you want to learn more information, contact Holly at holly@chrislocurto.com again, things fall apart without great leadership and intentionality. If you want to solve the problems that are holding you back from being a great leader, we can help you with this program. Get in touch with Holly at holly@chrislocurto.com

Construction in COVID.

All right, we are back. Last week we talked about kind of deconstructing uh, us, our leadership, our business. Um, what did it look like? What did our training look like coming into this situation? How did our training hold up for a lot of us, a lot of folks have discovered that, uh, they weren’t trained for a time like this. They weren’t prepared for time like this. So we’re gonna kind of walk through, uh, on this front side, three laws of training, three things that you must know when it comes to training.


Law Number 1

Law number one, “training forms the foundation of every organization’s culture”. Here’s the deal. Plain and simple. Either you are going to be training your culture, setting your culture, teaching your culture, recognizing your culture, forcing that into your leadership, your team, your business or people are going to bring somebody else’s culture into your business, into your team. It happens every single time. There’s a lot of you out there that actually have recognized this and have not known what to do about it. You can see you’ve got a great team of people. You hire somebody. Next thing you know, there’s just this cultural piece falling apart and not understanding what it is. What you can see is you can see that it’s that new person has brought that into your team. So here’s what you have to understand. You have to be training. You have to be setting the training for your organization. If you are doing this, if you are making it happen, you will be the one training your culture. We’re going to get more into culture here in just a little bit, but you have to understand foundationally training forms the foundation of every organization’s culture. That’s law number one.

Law Number 2

Law number two “Training is the act of cultivating diligent, consistent disciplines”. So a big piece of being successful at any time. It doesn’t matter if you’re going through failure, it doesn’t matter if you’re going through downturn. Just being successful is having consistent disciplines, knowing exactly what you do, knowing exactly how to be diligent, knowing how to do the same things that are making you successful day in and day out. Well, here’s the great thing: You can actually train a lot of this folks, when you have proper training in place. Law number two says, if you’ve got great training in place, then you are creating, you’re cultivating diligence, you’re helping people to understand what it looks like to continue to do the thing that is successful. You’re also helping people to create consistent disciplines. What do I do when? What do I do when this thing goes, this direction? What do I do when this thing fails? What do I do when this thing is successful? Creating those disciplines that help them to know this is what I do every single time over and over and over again. Right? So training law number two, “Training is the act of cultivating diligent and consistent disciplines”.

Law Number 3

Law number three, “Training determines a team’s resilience to future challenges”. Now I want to kind of hit what Webster says about resilience cause I really think this is important to understand right now. Um, Webster says that “resilience is the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused, especially by compressive stress”. So think about that for a second. Is anybody experiencing that right now? Has anybody gone through some compressive stress, uh, during this whole COVID season, the last couple of months? Has anybody experienced deformation during a time where your business has been impacted by the decisions of others? I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced that. So the question is how has your team experienced it? Is your team responding? Are they, are they coming back? The capability of a strained body? How is, how is your team doing through this process? Are they coming back to recover its size and shape after a process like this? Webster’s also says it’s “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. So we have this misfortune that’s been put on us, you know, a lot of business shut down, a lot of fear that’s been pushed out there. How has your team responded? Have they been able to come back from this, have been able to work together to be not only successful during this time, but how do we adjust? How do we reinvent? What do we do? Has your team been able to come back to that same shape that they were before? If you’ve got phenomenal training in place right now, if you’re noticing that the team is not, you know, maybe you’ve got a lot of struggling going on, a lot of folks that aren’t taking great responsibility or just don’t know what to do. Maybe you have, maybe you’re the leader who’s struggling with this. Maybe you have leaders under you that don’t know what to do. This is all pointing to one very important thing. How do we train up during this time? And so that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.

So here’s the first thing, and this is probably the most painful thing. One thing you have to understand before you get into any of the things I’m about to talk about, there is a reason that for all of our coaching programs, all of our membership sites, there’s a reason that Killing the Leadership Crazy Cycle is the number one, the first lesson we push. Because if you’re not able to do this, if you are stuck in the leadership crazy cycle right now and you’ve probably experienced a lot of that, then guess what? All the things I’m about to teach you aren’t really going to matter. Why? Because of your inability to implement. If you are stuck in overload. So what’s the leadership crazy cycle? We talk about it all the time. That overwhelm that, that heavy task that you as a leader, you as a business owner, you have so many things on your plate that by the time you get done with your day, you know, you did a ton of stuff, but you don’t have a clue what you did. If somebody was to ask you what your day was like, your answer is probably “crazy”. Uh, it was fast. Uh, what’d you do? “I’m not really sure, but I know it was a lot”.

Guys, leaders listen to me. I am not saying that you’re not going to have times like that, but here’s what I want you to learn from me: That should not be your everyday. If you are in the leadership crazy cycle where you are feeling overwhelmed more than not, there’s a problem. If you are stuck in this cycle where you have way too many tasks on your, on your plate, you are spending less than five minutes a week training people and I laugh at that, but here’s the deal. Think about it, leaders, how much time are you spending leading your team members to success? The crazy thing is you’ll probably come up with a pretty small number. It’s probably not a whole lot of time, right, and I mean actual leading. I don’t mean just, you know, Hey, they keep coming to you with questions because you’ve not jumped in there and help them out and set them up that you’ve got to solve their problems. I’m talking about proactively leading people to success. How much time are you spending every single week? If you’re not able to do that, you have to ask the question, and I’m not saying all of the other events stuff, I’m talking about the leadership time. If you’re not able to get in there and lead your team to success and make people successful, then you have to ask the question, “Why?” If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your leadership, if you know that you have way too many tasks on your plate, then you have to ask yourself the question, why? So here’s the deal. You must kill the leadership crazy cycle. You must do the things it takes to get out of that process. Start getting some things off of your plate, delegating them properly. We’ve got, that’s why we have this huge lesson on all of this stuff. Make sure that you’re delegating this stuff properly to set other people up for success so that you can get in there and lead them well.

It’s always kind of a funny thing as we go through this, or when a new clients come through into one of the coaching programs and they start this, uh, killing the leadership crazy cycle. Every now and then somebody will go, now, Chris, are you putting more tasks on my plate? Yep, we sure are. We are. For a short period of time. You’re going to have to actually work a little bit harder to be able to get a bunch of this stuff off of your plate onto folks who need to be doing it. And one of the questions I ask is take a look at all the things you’re doing. We do this whole process called “love, hate, delegate”, which is listing out the things you should be, the ultimate outcome is we’re listing out the things that you as a leader should be doing and all the things that you should not be doing. And then you take a look at that, that delegation list and you ask the question, how much do you get paid an hour? So if you take your salary an hour, what you pay yourself or if you’re a leader in a business, what your, what that business pays you by the hour and you look over that delegation list. What you were going to discover is you are way overpaid for a lot of stuff on that list that we should be getting that to somebody else because you’re getting paid to lead. You’re not getting paid to do those tasks. Or at least you shouldn’t be getting paid to do those tasks. So what do we do to get those off of your plate so you can lead your team members to success?

So we have this great story, um, from Cindy Taylor at Carolina Therapy Connection. One of our clients, uh, and Cindy, what she does her, her practice, uh, works with kids. They do speech therapy, they do physical therapy, they do all kinds of stuff helping- it’s pediatric therapy care, uh, and they do all of this amazing, amazing work. It’s just fun to watch them as one of our clients changing lives like crazy. Well, guess what happened? COVID comes along and their doors are technically closed, right? And so here is a leader who instead of, just closing the doors went crazy. Went ballistic to discover, what can we do to fix this? And very quickly went to doing teletherapy for the next couple of weeks instead of closing their doors. Now here’s some amazing, amazing pieces. This is a leader who coming in was stuck in the leadership crazy cycle, plugged that process and went like crazy to kill the leadership crazy cycle and is at a place where she is leading this team like crazy, like doing a phenomenal job of leading them to success. Well, here’s the deal. She is leading a team of high S’s and C therapists. They’re high S’s, they’re high C’s. These are therapists that are helping these youth that are helping these children, right? She led them through a huge change. So here’s what I want you to understand. If you’ve not done personality styles, why have you not done it? Make sure you get this in this, in your business. We’re going to talk more about this on an episode coming up. We’re talking about people who absolutely hate conflict. We’re talking about people who hate change, high S’s and high C’s. Don’t like change. Well, guess what? She, she led them through this huge change of actually going from being able to have people walk in the door, seeing them physically helping them, you know, leading them, guiding them to doing everything online. Not an easy task to do, right? Doesn’t matter what the personality style is, but then taking folks that this is conflict for, if she had not done a phenomenal job ahead of time, this could have been disastrous. Not only did she lead her team of high S’s and C’s, but they educated their clients through the whole process. So they jump in and they’re teaching their clients how this is going to work, how we’re going to make this happen, what are the adjustments, what are the things that we’re going to do differently? And she led that team to make sure that all of the clients were set up for success. If that’s not enough, they adapted to keep the clients served and keep the revenue flowing. So during this process, while they’re taking care of their clients, guess what’s happening? All of the people are still getting paid. She’s got her team that is still working. They are taking care of these youth that need this. They need to be taken care of. They need that physical therapy. They need that speech therapy, somebody that’s helping them. How terrible would it be if they would go a long period of time without getting physical therapy, without getting speech therapy, right? So big powerful pieces. Not only did they keep serving their clients, but they also kept revenue flowing. If that’s not enough, they all learned a new skill set in the process. So because we have a leader who has killed the leadership crazy cycle, and by the way, you don’t ever fully kill it, it comes back, you just gotta keep killing it, right? It just happens for a short period of time. When it does back, you’re able to get through it really fast because we have somebody that has killed the leadership crazy cycle. She was able to adapt her business lead, personality styles that don’t like change because of conflict through huge change and potential conflict. Lead the team to lead the clients and educate them and reeducate them on a new process. Serve the clients like crazy, keep revenue going on top of that, they all have a new skill set. Now this is something that they can do if needed, and it may even become a new product line for them. Who knows? But it’s definitely a way that they can serve and take care of their clients. All of this, because a leader was not overwhelmed every single day, not stuck in that leadership crazy cycle. So again, we went through a lot of the painful stuff. This is kind of one of those painful things.

We’re going to start going through the construction and we did the destruction. We’re going to go through the construction process of helping you to look at the things you need to be focused on, to train your team, to be set up, to deal with situations like this. So, uh, we’re going to hit the core competencies. So we’re going to hit seven different areas, seven things that you need to be focused on to build up instead of destroy it. So these practices help you to get more clarity and control on your leadership and on your business.


So core competency number one is communication. You’ve heard me say it a billion times. Communication is the number one issue inside of every business, every single time, every business that comes into our programs, every business that comes in a strap plan, communication is always the number one problem. So what do you do to make sure that your team is set up to communicate well? Whether things are normal, whether they’re in crisis, where they’re having to work remote, whether you’re having to shift and adapt or whether you’re having to reinvent. Here’s the key. Leaders shape how communication happens. So leader, listen to me. It is you who shapes the communication on your team. “Oh, Chris, I got leaders above me who are doing all that”. No, no, no. You’re still the one who communicates to your team. My job is to set my team up. My job is to communicate incredibly well so I can move my team in a direction period. So, leader, you shape how communication happens on your team. Yes. You may be first, second, third down the line. It doesn’t matter. You’re still responsible for how your team hears information, how they receive communication to be having static team meetings. “Ah, Chris, they never really worked out that well. It, it, it just gets to a place where nobody has anything to say. Well that’s because you’ve not prepared for your team meetings”. So before you get into any team meeting or any meeting period, you have to ask the question, what’s the purpose of this meeting? So for us, Monday morning is a massive amount of communication. We bounce from meeting to meeting to meeting all. In fact, almost all day Monday is built with meetings. So the types of meetings I’m going to tell you, you need to be doing. You need to be doing company meetings, you probably need to be doing individual team meetings. You need to be doing leadership team meetings. Guys, there are so many companies that come to us that do not meet as a leadership team. Oh my gosh, it is incredibly important. You must have a leadership team meeting. You’ve got to get on the same page. Whoever the top leader is, you need to be leading your leaders on how to lead inside of your business. So you need company, possibly team meetings, definitely leadership team meetings. And then you need individual meetings. How do you make sure that every individual is set up for success? How do you make sure that you’re communicating to a team member how to make sure that they’re accomplishing their KRA’S to make sure that they’re communicating well with other team members. So these are all different avenues for you to spend time with team members, communicating, teaching communication. It is very common, uh, in staff meeting for us or especially in our leadership team meeting that we will bring up problems in situations and I will constantly put it back on the leader and say, how do you think we should solve that? If we’re in staff meeting and somebody brings up a situation, I have no problem going, Hey guys, what do you guys think we should do? How do you think we should handle this? And actually walk through a process of helping them to make the decisions. It’s up to you, leader so that they don’t come to you for every single decision, right? But you’ve got to teach that process. You’ve got to be able to communicate that to them. So utilize those tools, those meeting times to make sure that you’re communicating the right stuff. Prepare the meeting ahead of time, make sure that you’ve got staff meetings set up, make sure that your leaders are speaking into their areas and talking about the things that are going on. Now another tool that we use for communication, uh, around here is ASANA. Now, we use that absolutely as a project management tool, but there are so many aspects of what we do that our team lives in that program. Now, um, they’re not paying me to promote that. It’s just something that we have found is a really fantastic tool to keep our team on the same page. You guys may have some other tools out there that you’re using. Make sure you’re using the tool. Another thing is be careful how much people use things like text and emails. For me, I will always tell you that if you’re going instant message, somebody as I do my air quotes, if you’re going to text somebody, if you’ve got an instant message program inside of your business, then it better be because you need an answer to something right away. If you don’t, if you can wait a couple hours, go to email. If you have a great system where you can communicate in that system and they can get back to you in that system, great. Utilize that very well. But big key here is if you are not teaching, if you are not training communication inside of your business, then you can’t be surprised that when you get into a crisis or a downturn that people don’t communicate really well. So number one, core competency is communication.


Number two, culture. Okay. So we talked about this last week where, uh, you know, asking the question, “how did your culture hold up”? I think a lot of people have discovered, not like they thought it would. Nowhere near as good as they thought it would. Uh, there’s definitely some struggles for us. We are going to say that culture is actions and attitudes. How do, what is your attitude toward the thing that’s happening, the thing you’re doing? How are you treating the internal client? How are you treating the external clients? So how did your culture hold up during this time? Uh, I can tell you a lot of folks felt very overwhelmed. We have heard of a lot of companies that culture just kind of tanked that the, you know, people aren’t working. They’re supposed to be working remotely. You know, and again, this is probably why a lot of those businesses are probably going to be closing- where people aren’t taking it seriously. They probably had a decent number of team. And these are all assumptions on my part because I don’t really know any of those businesses, but they probably had a decent number of team members that were working a j-o-b. That the culture wasn’t that they came to do something bigger than themselves. So here’s the deal, your culture for a lot of folks, a lot of people recognize that their culture did not hold up the way that they wanted it to. We asked this question in, in the, uh, the episode last week, part one of this, you know, how did your culture hold up? Well, a lot of folks, uh, actually realized that it didn’t hold up the way that they thought it would. Um, it wasn’t as strong as they thought it would. Here’s what you have to understand. If you were experiencing overwhelm in your culture, you know, and for us culture is actions and attitudes. What are your attitudes towards what’s going on towards people, towards, you know, the work that you’re doing toward your leadership, any of that stuff as well as what are the actions that you do? How do you respond to stuff? How do you act in these individual situations? How do you act when you with clients, internal or external? How do you respond to stress, uh, crisis, any of that kind of fun stuff. So if you felt overwhelmed in your culture, then this is a place you have got to train people up. How do we respond? Now for us, one of the heavy things we constantly teaches, you take care of the clients, whether internal or external. Everybody is a client to you. How do you take care of them? We teach jump in, solve problems, take care of things. I can tell you it was actually, it was good and kind of frustrating when all of this stuff immediately hits and everybody’s remote and you know everything is shut down and we’re trying to figure out what’s going on. My team is chomping at the bit. Chris, what can I do? What can I do? What if I do this? I even had a team member who was like, Hey, how about if I just watched the kids of the other parents, you know I can jump in and and do babysitting. What can I do? That is a phenomenal culture guys, where people don’t want to sit by idly and know that they’re being taken care of cause we paid our people this whole time, know that they’re being taken care of and not actually do something about it. Right. That is great culture where people are looking for how do we serve these clients? How do we serve people inside? How do we serve people outside? I didn’t even have to say anything before I could even jump in. My team was already making things happen, making sure that they’re reaching out to clients, seeing if there was anything that we can do, if there’s anything that they needed. That is a phenomenal culture. You have to train those things guys. You have to decide what you want as your culture. What do you want it to look like? How do you want people to respond? What do you want for actions and attitudes in all situations, including what do you want them to do when it comes to a crisis, when there’s a downturn, when there’s something like this. So you need to define what you want that to look like and then get in there and make it happen. Force it. Get your culture into your team. Get your culture into your business and as you see people not responding, call it out. Fix it. Have accountability. As you see people doing a great job with it, call it out. Try and find people doing more right than wrong. We, every Monday we’re always talking about how somebody has done something really well in our team. You know, we’re hitting, you know, great job with this client. Great job taking care of this great job, great job, great job. Because we want to recognize all of those things, right? If all we did is call out the bad stuff, pretty soon nobody would have want to take any risks. So you have to make sure that you’re finding people doing things right. So culture is number two, core competency.

Taxing the Collective Intelligence.

Number three, taxing the collective intelligence. Here’s my question for you. What habits do you have in place for you to gain more wisdom, knowledge than you actually have? Think about that for a second. How do you go about growing and learning and finding out other perspectives, other opinions, other thoughts? What do you have in place of the great things about our Next Level Mastermind Group is that they are, it’s like a brain trust for them. These are people that not only hold up each other’s arms as they’re going through difficult situations or guide and direct or speak into, but they are people that they are walking through the same stuff as you know, they’re in a group of people all going through the same type of things, right? They all understand. They’re all leaders. Many of them are business owners, right? So they understand what they’re going through. So my question is, what are you doing to tax the collective intelligence? I constantly will push on my team to speak up and give information. I want to know what they think. I want to know what their opinions are. Now, obviously, as you followed me for any decent amount of time, I’m going to say according to personality style, you’re going to have to prepare certain people. You know, if it’s a high S or high C, you’re not going to go to them for brainstorming immediately, right? They need time to process. Otherwise they’re not going to give you the best answer. D’s and I’s, they can give you an answer to heartbeat. It’s probably not going to be completely full of great information, but you’ll have an answer pretty darn quickly, right? So maybe give them time. Think through this process, but what I want to know is how would you do this? How would you handle this? There’s a lot of times I teach leaders, even when you know the answer, utilize your team to get them thinking. Utilize your team so that they’re giving answers so that you’re building in this training of come up with an answer. Come up with an answer. Come up with an answer. You know even if you have to give them time to process, you’re training them to think for themselves. If all you do is have all the answers, if all you do is answer everybody’s question, then what’s going to cause them to think for themselves in the time of need? What’s going to cause them to think for themselves during a time of crisis? So be training, but you’ve got to start with you. You have to start asking the question, Hey guys, here’s the situation. How would you handle this? Hey guys, here’s the thing over here. This client has this problem. What do you think about that? So start teaching people that you are not supposed to have all of the great answers I want all of us, not all, it might not be all kind of depends on, you know, whatever the situation is. But I want people to give input. So A, I can see if somebody’s looking at something from a perspective that I am not B, maybe I learned something that I didn’t know. C I’m teaching my team how to think for themselves. So make sure that you are training your team to tax the collective intelligence.

Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities.

Number four is clarifying roles and responsibilities. Now, this is a big piece in a time such as we’re experiencing right now. I can tell you, and I’ve shared this way, I believe I shared this on last week’s episode that for my team, one of the things that we have discussed is, Hey guys, uh, you may be an admin somewhere and very soon you’re going to be helping out in marketing because we need to make sure that we’re making any shifts or adjustments that we need to, to continue to serve our client. And so if, for example, uh, we’ve got one of Catherine, who takes care of all of our folks as they come in. She sets up the events, she takes care of all of the cooking and stuff. And my gosh, she does a great job with that. Pretty fantastic, einkorn scones this morning that we were enjoying. So she does a great job of taking care of our clients as they come in. She takes care of setting up the StratPlans, she takes care of setting up the, um, the, the retreats for the Next Level Mastermind Group. Here’s the deal. We’ve had a few weeks where nobody showed up, right? Because they couldn’t, you know, a lot of folks didn’t come in. So we had to push some of those events to get everybody in place and making smart decisions. So in, during that time when we’re, I’m talking to the whole team and I’m saying, Hey guys, we’re probably going to be making some adjustments. So some of you are going to be working in areas that you haven’t been before. I have to look at that role and ask the question. Normally she would have 16 hours taken up serving Next Level Life clients in a week. What do we do with that 16 hours now? How do we adjust that? Where can we point that? How can we ever help out with different events or plan stuff in the future sooner or, or, or right. Or she jumps in with marketing and she’s helping to do something like, I don’t know, social media, whatever it is. So we actually went through our roles and asked the question, what can we do with this person now? You know, is there still a lot of stuff on their plate and their current role? Do they have capacity to help out in other areas? And one of the areas that we push people towards is marketing. You know, how do we get people into marketing and helping to solve some of the problems or issues that we might have there or to get ahead of the curve, you have to spend time clearly defining, clearly explaining what not only those roles are, but what those responsibilities are. So if this is something you’re training on a consistent basis, like let’s say KRA’s is a big thing that we talk about here, making sure that you have successful care is in place. If this is something that you’re teaching on all the time of here’s your responsibilities, here’s the outcomes that we expect and here’s how we’re going to hold you accountable to it. If you’re training that well, if you’re following that process, then when it comes to making shifts in a time like COVID19, You know, in a time of crisis or a time of downturn, then it is not difficult for people to make the shift, at least in the understanding right now. Maybe difficult to get into the new role and become, you know, trying to create some talent in there or you know, become good at doing what they’re doing, but when they understand how carriers work, this is what you expect of me. This is what accountability looks like. When you’re teaching all of those things, then it’s not difficult for them to understand what’s expected of them. So make sure that you are clearly, um, defining clearly expanding, explaining your roles and responsibilities and make sure you’ve got great accountability in the process.

Controlling Fear During a Crisis.

Number five, controlling fear during a crisis. Now this is a big one. Uh, this, this whole situation. There is still a ton of fear that is wrapped around coven 19. I’m still seeing people, even though there is a ton of evidence out there about how horrible this shutdown is, even though there’s a ton of evidence out there on who’s actually dying and how something like 90 to 94% of them, I think Italy was reporting 94% had something else. Even though the secretary of health and human relations literally came out and explained, if you had a heart attack and were brought to the hospital and you were dying of that heart attack, but then you contracted COVID and still died, you were counted as a COVID death even though she came out and explained this, that the COVID deaths, almost all of them are still built around somebody having something else as a problem before they die. Even though all this has happening, there is still a ton of fear, a ton of fear. Leader, this is important to you because if that fear is coming from your team members: A, it may be spreading inside of your business and B, it may be spreading to your clients. So great thing is, as my team knew from the very beginning, they knew before I even shared guys, we were not going to go into this thing fearfully that when I did share it, people are like, yup, we knew that’s exactly what you were going to say, but thank you for sharing it. Right? It is vitally important for you to make sure that you are leading your team on controlling fear and not allowing that to get out of hand. Not allowing that to be something that transfers to your team, much less transfers to your clients. So even though I’m not worried about it, it’s something I’ve continued to talk about. Why, who knows? Maybe somebody on my team is getting bad information from somebody else. I don’t believe anybody on my team are watching the fear networks. I could be wrong, but you may have folks that are, you know, sitting there day and night watching this crap on TV and just seeing all of this fear mongering. So what do you do it? You have to lead them to get control of this. The first thing you have to express is gathering quality perspective. Now perspective doesn’t mean any more than point of view. However, quality perspective is making sure that you are gaining every aspect, every view, circling the problem, the situation, the opportunity, whatever it is and gaining as much perspective as you possibly can, as much information as you possibly can before making decisions. So what happens if somebody is fearful about losing clients? Maybe somebody is fearful about losing wages or how this is going to impact their family or or, or you can, you can fill this in. So here’s the deal. You need to make sure that you’re asking them to gain as much perspective as possible. Ask as many questions around this as possible. There’s a couple of tools that I like to use all the time. One is what’s the impact? Whenever I see somebody that becomes super fearful about a situation, then I’ll usually just use a tool and ask them to gage the impact. Hey, if this does happen on a scale of zero to 10 what’s the negative impact? Like what do you think? What do you think could, what do you think could happen? What do you think? What might actually might happen? And almost every single time the answer as well, it’d probably be about a three or four. So really not that crazy negative. Well, no. As they gain some perspective, they start to realize that the fear isn’t necessary. It’s actually overdone. That the negative impact is probably less than it. It is expected in their minds. I’ll do the same thing on the positive side, so a lot of times it’s about something, somebody taking a risk in a situation or you know, going after something, I’ll say, well, what happens? You know, what is the potential positive impact if you do this? Oh gosh, it’s probably an eight almost every single time. Eight’s the number. It’s probably an eight. Okay, so now that we have better perspective on that, we don’t have to be as fearful. Another thing that I will ask all the time is, what is the worst thing that can happen? And let’s be, let’s be literal here. What is the worst thing that can happen if this happens? And what you will discover is as people will talk through it, they will realize that it’s nowhere near as bad as they are making it to be in their minds. Here’s the deal about fear. Fear is always projecting something that has not yet happened. Now, there’s two types of fear. There’s the fear of being chased by a lion. That’s a legit, Hey, if you’re being chased, make sure you’re not the slowest person, but then the fear that we’re talking about right now is that that emotional fear where I’m creating something that hasn’t actually happened yet. When you walk through these perspective pieces, then what you see is it’s just nowhere near as bad as you think it is. Help your team, train your team to go through great perspective gathering so that they can take control of fear in times such as this. Now, Viktor Frankl said, “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”. So if you’re doing a great job teaching people to get rid of fear than what they may discover is, Hey, leader, I can’t do anything about this. Great. If we can’t do anything about it, do we change? Are there pieces that we change about us? How do we make sure we don’t stop at, Hey, the world is coming to an end, Is there something else that we can do and it might be changing us?

Close Out Your Day.

Number six, close out your day. Again, this is another powerful piece that we teach in killing the leadership crazy cycle and teach leaders to teach their teams. Guys, especially right now, you’ve been hearing me say this for a long time. This is not a difficult tool. This is not hard to do. Schedule at the end of your day, a set block of time to close out your day. What does that mean? The most basic form of this is you know what you’ve been working on. If you’ve done a to do list the day, if you closed out your day the day before, then you’ve got a list of priorities. You’ve been working through those priorities all day long. What’s left? What haven’t you done? What’s coming up next? Take a look at the priorities on your plate and reprioritize today before the day is done. Even if you work later, right? There’s many times that I’ll work beyond setting up tomorrow, but at least I’ve got it out of my brain and I’ve got stuff prioritized, so when I walk in the door tomorrow, boom, I know exactly what I’m going after. Your team needs to do the same exact thing. You need to train your team to close out their day so that when they walk in the door, they don’t lose an hour or two bouncing back and forth between this task and, Oh wait, I’ve got to go do this task and I’ll wait. This thing needs to get done all I’ve got to go back to the first task, set it up, block it, put it by time, do whatever you need to and then get things done. It is the most efficient way for you to get in and get things knocked out. What you’re then doing is you’re operating from priority and if you prioritize well, you’re knocking out the most important things and you’re doing it in the most efficient way. What we normally do is we work all day long. We are tired, we are exhausted, we go home, we come back the next day and the first question we ask is, what was I working on? What do I need to jump on? What are the things I’ve got to do? Let me check through my emails. Let me see what’s important here. Let me check this thing. Nope. Prioritize it. Close out your day, every single day, every day. Have I made this point clear yet? Make sure that you’re doing this every day. It’s the greatest efficiency to make sure, especially in a time like right now where we need people, a lot of folks are, you have less revenue come in. Some of you have actually taken your salaries down a notch. So to make sure because, and I know a lot of you don’t want to let team members go. I get that. I understand. So if we are going to make sure we’re focusing on the most important things, we have to prioritize it and then leader, here’s what I want you to do. Meet with the team members the next morning, right? Those that you need to get with, sit down for five minutes, hit me with your priorities and if you need to reset the priorities, do it. Don’t let them go through their day working on things. Especially right now, especially right now, that don’t matter to the bottom line. That don’t matter in making sure that you keep the business open, that don’t matter, and making sure that you can continue to pay people. So you may have a lot of folks in your heart is I want to keep paying my team members. I’m right there with you. I’m right there with you. I’m paying all my team members, everybody’s still on board, but you gotta make sure that you’re doing the things. If you need to adjust, if you need to reinvent whatever it is the most important things that are going to bring money in, the most important things that are going to keep that bottom line in the positive, right? So it doesn’t take much to do this. It takes training to do this. If you will train your team, then every single day they do the same thing. They get towards the end of the day, they’ve got a spot of time, they reprioritize like crazy, put all that stuff in for us. We do it in ASANA and then if you come by and meet with them for a few minutes in the morning and go, let me, let me take a quick look at your priorities. Or even you can just look at it and uh, there ASANA for if you’ve got a manager, right, right. Or whatever program you’re using. Then you can look at their priorities and ask the question, are they doing the most important things? Are these the things they need to be working on? It’s powerful guys. I know it sounds, Oh, it’s a to do list. No, it is not. It is helping your team. It’s training your team to prioritize the most important stuff in the most efficient way. Setting them up for success.

Direction for the future.

Number seven, direction for the future. Now listen, adaptation is a positive result of good training. A lot of you are making, uh, you know, you’re adapting to your situation. We did, we had our Next Level Leadership Live Event where, uh, we open that up to the public and we have a lot of people that come out and we knew pretty early on that that was most likely not going to happen. We weren’t gonna be able to see people live. So we adapted, we did the live stream and my team turned right and made it happen, right? We adapted, we made it happen. It was successful. So here’s the deal. There is a huge importance of providing direction for your team as you go forward. If you’re going to adapt, they need to know that it’s not just a shift. They need to know that it’s not just a change. What does the future look like? What’s your plans right now? Some of you are saying, Chris, I haven’t even thought that far. Why not? Why are you not doing that? What are you doing to look into the future? And then set the direction for that. So if you adapted and now this is a new normal, you need to teach that. You need to train that. You don’t need to leave your team questioning what’s going on. Train on where we’re headed, train on what we’re doing, and again, it may be, Hey guys, this is the direction we’re going in for the next, I don’t know, two or three months, we’re going to see what happens. But communicate that. Make sure they’re hearing from you what direction we are currently going in. Make sure that they hear from you, what’s your plans as a, as a leader, what’s your plans as a business owner? What does their job look like? I’ve shared with my team guys, if this continues and it keeps shutting down business and people don’t have money, we’re going to have to keep making adjustments as we go, but we’re not going to stop serving people, but it may look different in house. We’re going to have to do some things differently. So make sure that you keep setting direction. This is where we’re headed. Here’s why we’re going this direction. Here’s your responsibilities, here’s the accountability that’s going to be a part of it. Here’s all of these foundational pieces, right?

So folks, if you will train your team on all of these areas that we’re talking about right now, then it doesn’t matter what situation is going to happen, right? Shy of your whole industry shutting down. If you have a downturn, if you have a crisis, then your folks are ready to respond. They know how to respond, they know what to do. Keep in mind, you need to be training. Yes, we want you to train for success, absstatinkinglucly. We want you to be moving in the direction of being very successful, but make sure you’re training for those times of failure so you’re helping your team to be set up and prepared for when those times happen. Well, folks, we hope this information has helped you today.

Again, our aim is to train you up to be doing these very things, to get you primed and ready to be able to execute on the very things we’re talking about, to implement the very things that we’re teaching. And if you have not gotten our free toolkit, the free leadership, make sure that you go to chrislocurto.com/toolkit. There is some great free teachings in there that is going to help you in this process. So 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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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.