How To Kill The Leadership Crazy Cycle
“Three years ago I was throwing orders at people, running around like crazy, missing deadlines, feeling stressed, working until 9, 10, 11:00 at night because I had to…versus today where it’s just fun again, I’m having fun doing this because I’ve got the time to enjoy it.”
~Bo McDonald, President/Founder/CEO of Your Marketing Co
So many leaders and business owners are stuck here, in the Leadership Crazy Cycle. You end up in this crazy cycle and never getting out of the rat wheel. You get things done, but they’re not getting done well. Your team is probably just as stressed as you are…
Here’s how to get out of this vicious cycle:
Your 5 minute assessment to see where you are in the Leadership Crazy Cycle… Before you can get out of it, you have to diagnose it. Learn the things keeping you stuck. Then you can start getting traction and getting yourself out of this cycle:
Getting out of the Leadership Crazy Cycle…with Bo McDonald:
Chris LoCurto: …we get on the call and the first thing you say is, “Chris, I have led my team for 30 hours this week and it’s exhausting.” Exactly! That’s how that works. And then the next thing you said, which was I think the big powerful piece was, “I wish I would have done this two years ago when you told me to do it,” and now you’re seeing phenomenal results and the crazy thing is you are so NOT alone in not implementing right off bat.
Bo McDonald: I know one of the big things that really held me back was doing a lot of the work myself. I really started trusting the employees because we started hiring better. We started really getting a great culture and not just the let’s have a pizza party on Fridays culture, but culture of now almost 20 employees who buy into what we do. They care about what we do. Some of the comments I hear from the staff, especially the new employees are, I’ve never been anywhere like this where everyone really gets along and has each other’s back and for them to come in and recognize that is huge.
Bo McDonald: So it was about this time last year where I really started taking the steps to say, I’ve got to get clients off me. I’ve got to get some of this task saturation off of me. Then finally in December, I pulled the trigger…keep reading our interview here.
Bo McDonald: Three years ago it was me throwing orders at people running around like crazy, missing deadlines, feeling stressed, working until 9, 10, 11:00 at night because I had to, not because I wanted to versus today where it’s just fun again, I’m having fun doing this because I’ve got the time to enjoy it.
Chris Locurto: Welcome to the Chris Locurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.
Chris Locurto: Welcome to the show folks. Hope you are having a fabulous day where you are today on the show. We have a very special guest and I wanted to bring him on to the show because he is killing it as a business owner and leader.
Now the results in his business are: the growth of the team, there’s more productivity he’s developing leaders in his business he’s no longer stuck in overwhelm or task saturation, which is something that most leaders are in, his clients are being taken care of exceptionally well, and his focus is where it needs to be to make the business successful, which is spending time leading his team to success. So if you would do me a big favor, welcome Bo Mcdonald to the show, Bo welcome.
Bo McDonald: Awesome. So glad to be here. Thank you.
Chris Locurto: So good to have you on, love having you on the show. Love hanging out with you. Obviously a you’ve been with us for quite a while in a bunch of our processes, but we had a fantastic call awhile back because of where your leadership is now. Now you’re in a place in your leadership where so many people want to be. So today I want to kind of, I want you to share how you got there, what you’re doing, and I want you to give some advice to our listeners.
Because it’s a world of difference when people can hear other people being successful at stuff. You are killing the leadership crazy cycle. We’ll talk more about that in a minute, but I just want you to kind of help people to see that this is not only doable…
Bo McDonald: That is the truth. I was probably the worst case scenario for quite some time, and we did a StratPlan, I think it was about two and a half, three years ago, task saturation came up in every single thing that was holding us back and it took me that long to actually act on it and if I could, I know this is probably 30, 45 minutes of podcast. I can shut it down right now and just the advice I would give you this, just stop it, just do it. Don’t do what I did.
I waited too long and if I had taken your advice, if I’ve gone through what we didn’t StratPlan and just did it when I showed up three years ago, my life would be so much different right now. I’m glad I finally did do it, but I think of all the pain and suffering that I’ve had to go through for the last three years because I just, I was, I was too afraid to make the right decisions.
Chris Locurto: I love the call we had and I love your Bob Newhart thing. Stop it. Just stop it. We had a call a couple, I mean, just a while back. It was a while ago now and I loved it because you know, we get on the call and the first thing you say is, Chris, I have led my team for 30 hours this week and it’s exhausting. Exactly. That’s, you know, that’s how that works.
And then the next thing you said, which was I think the big powerful piece was I wish I would have done this two years ago when you told me to do it and now you’re seeing phenomenal results and the crazy thing is you are so not alone in not implementing right off bat. One of the big things that we push for all of our folks and our next level mastermind and Stratplan and that’s killing the leadership crazy cycle. So kinda tell us more about, so that people know where you are, tell us more about your business and how you got to where you are when you started the business. How many people are on the team, all that kind of fun stuff. What does the business look like now? All that kind of stuff.
Bo McDonald: We’re celebrating 10 years this year. When I started 10 years ago I was actually rebuilding business. I lost my first one after the recession because I just did stupid things between that and just a bad economy. I wasn’t set up. I was young, stupid. Wish I had known what I know now, but it was just me in, at a desk in a bedroom 10 years ago trying to start this thing over again.
Took a big chance, hired a full time employee at a whole $24,000, which was about what I was making at that point too. And little by little we were so successful we just kept adding more people and adding more clients and adding more people and adding more clients. And I’ve listened to your podcast for quite some time and you struck out on your own. I’ve got to do something and I didn’t know what that something was. I didn’t even know what I needed I just knew that we already had a successful business.
I didn’t what I could change to do that. And boy was I wrong. There was a lot of stuff I had to change. I was, I know from the last podcast I did with you, the accidental leader, never anticipated growing the business past about four or five employees and I started working with you we were about six or seven at that point and I thought being a good leader meant holding a pizza party and you know, saying nice things every once in awhile, but I was a terror of a leader.
I started realizing that when went through DISC, started working with you more, started to quicken myself to handle stress better, to get rid of the fear. And I think everything really came down when we did a StratPlan with y’all couple of years ago, we really laid out what was holding the business back.
Bo McDonald: And it was hard for me to do that because, look at us, we were a profitable business, we were growing. I couldn’t imagine how could it get any better than that, and fear and task saturation were the two things that came out in every category that we talked about. And fast forward 10 years, still fear. There’s still a lot of fear in the decisions I make.
But when I took ego out of it, I know one of the big things that, that really held me back was doing a lot of the work myself. I really started trusting the employees because we started hiring better. We started really getting a great culture and not just the let’s have a pizza party on Fridays culture, but culture of now almost 20 employees who buy into what we do.
They care about what we do. Some of the comments I hear from the staff, especially the new employees are, I’ve never been anywhere like this where everyone really gets along and has each other’s back and for them to come in and recognize that is huge.
Bo McDonald: So it was about this time last year where I really started taking the steps to say, I’ve got to get clients off me. I’ve got to get some of this task saturation off of me. Then finally in December, I pulled the trigger, started to move some clients over to some team members that I knew could handle them. And my big fear was, well, if they’re not working with me, they’re going to hire us because, because me, ego, nothing more than that.
That’s all I can sum it up with, and I’ll be darned if we still don’t have those clients today and they’re happier than ever and probably more happier because they have some of my team members who can give them more time. And one of the things that you warned me about and in that planning session, as I start getting the task saturation off, what am I going to fill my time with a where’s that self worth going to come from? And my self worth came from the tasks that made me feel good.
Bo McDonald: But now I’m filling that time with the leadership, that was one of the tips that you gave me… for every hour you can get task saturation off, fill it with spending time with your team. And it’s paid off so much. It is exhausting because you’re dealing with, with people. And as a High D, just get it done. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s so rewarding to know that we’re making money because we’re serving clients and we’re serving them well, but the growth that I’ve seen in my staff.
The personal issues that I’ve seen them overcome, the things that I’ve been able to lead them through It’s helped us as a team because we have green and growing staff members, but in their personal lives, the things that I’ve seen them overcome because I’ve been able to invest in them and been able to spend time with them. Like I said I wish I’d done this three years ago.
Chris Locurto: I think that’s one of the most powerful things I want people to hear, because, and I know you said ego in there and we’ve known each other for quite a while now. I can say, sure, there’s some ego in there, but I think there’s more fear that was holding you back than anything, right? The fear of what if I’m not the one doing this?
Bo McDonald: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s probably a control thing too. If I’m working with that client, I can control the situation. If something happens, I can do this and I realized I’m wasting money if I’m paying a salary to someone and not trusting them to do the work, that means that I’ve got the wrong person or I’m not leading the way I should be and I knew I had the right people.
Chris Locurto: Exactly where you were, is where so many entrepreneurs and so many leaders, I should say business owners. It’s so funny to me to realize most business owners don’t consider themselves entrepreneurs. Most business owners and most leaders, we have a lot of business owners and CEOs and presidents that make the decision that you did. This is the toughest thing for business owners.
Most business owners become a business owner because they don’t want somebody telling them what to do. They don’t want the accountability. They don’t want that help. I’ve got this. I’m going to do it on my own, and a lot of folks in leadership, same kind of concept. I don’t want to go and seek this help because I need to show that it’s me who’s making it happen. You’re one of the few people who made the decision and you even, you stated it, I remember years ago when you even said, hey, I need your help because of this.
In this area, I don’t know what the crap I’m doing. I need to know what I’m doing. And that ability to be vulnerable, that ability to not be held back by fear is what started you in this process. Do you agree with that?
Bo McDonald: Yeah, absolutely.
Chris Locurto: And that ability to go, I don’t know all the things that I don’t, you only know what you know, you don’t know what you don’t know, that ability to be able to say that is the very thing that drove you into being where you are today, which is the very thing that holds so many people back is the, I don’t know if I can do that, but what am I going to find out? What am I going to experience?
So I applaud you for being vulnerable and saying I know I don’t know, I need to go find out those things. So as the business kept growing, back in those days, you know, like you said, it’s been 10 years of growth. What was on your plate? Where were you spending your time,
Bo McDonald: Everything is the truth. I was doing client services, I was doing some accounting, some accounts payable. We’re an ad agency so I was doing some creative director work. Probably the only thing that I was not doing was graphic design and that’s because all of the graphic designers locked their keyboards because I knew how dreadful that would turn out and that is, that’s pretty darn truthful. So that’s about the only thing that I was not doing in the business and we had 20 ish clients and about 10, 15 employees at that point.
Chris Locurto: And how about your team? Where were they spending their time?
Bo McDonald: They were spending the time on task saturation too. Because part of the problem with being task saturated as I couldn’t get the stuff fast enough so I would create fires within the team because something would sit in my email and I finally get to it and I’d have to pass it off to them. It would be a rush. You know, this email came in from a client. I’m just now getting to it. So now you have to go to this project really fast.
Chris Locurto: So, adding to their task saturation. And folks, I want you to understand this. It’s incredibly common. The number one lesson that we push into our next level mastermind, we push it into our strap plan is what we call killing the leadership crazy cycle because it is common to get stuck under a mountain of tasks or to get stuck in the leadership crazy cycle. So Bo, how would you describe the leadership crazy cycle? What does that phrase mean to you?
Bo McDonald: It’s really just doing things without purpose. Stuff was just getting done because it needed to get done. It’s, gosh, it’s like a whirlwind. I mean, every day you’re just trying to get stuff done and I think that the biggest issue is the team suffered because of it. As I look at, as I look back at the time that I can invested in, that what I can walk around the office and sit down with some 15 minutes and I can say, how are you doing? And actually sit down and have time to listen to how they’re doing, what it’s done for the culture…
Bo McDonald: We have good employees who are loyal. They care about what they do. They’ll go to bat for us. You know, they’re not clock watchers and, and I think because they see that not just myself, but we’ve got a leadership team now that leads the same way. They see people care about them. So it’s, as the economy keeps getting better and better, the labor market keeps getting tighter and tighter. We’re not losing good people and it’s not because we’re paying them the most. It’s not because it’s a google or facebook or the cool place to work just because they know that they’re going to be taken care of and that we actually care about them because I’m not task saturated.
Chris Locurto: It’s already a cool place to work. It’s always been a cool place to work, but there’s this difference of even if it’s cool and your leader is task saturated and you’re getting rushed stuff and you’re having to crank it out because your leader was, couldn’t get to it fast enough and now you’re task saturated. It doesn’t matter how cool the place is right?
Bo McDonald: Yea, we could be working out of a warehouse at this point. Everyone is just happy to be able to come to a place for eight, nine, 12, 23 hours a day, whatever, whatever that particular day looks like and know that there’s, there’s no gossip, there’s no drama. There’s no cliques. Now a couple of years ago they would come in and they’d be afraid what’s going to set Bo off today. You know, they were working in fear too. I think just having a place where they can come and know that there’s a plan, that the work isn’t just last minute, that they can actually enjoy what they do. If they’re a graphic designer, they can sit there and work on a project and put thought into it and have fun doing the work too.
Chris Locurto: I love to hear not only how much it’s impacting you, but obviously how much it’s impacting the team because that means that as they go home, it’s not just impacting the day at work. It’s impacting their night with their families. You know, their, their spouses, their kids. So for me, everything that you just said there, that’s, you know, that’s the leadership crazy cycle.
It’s the process of doing so many tasks, trying to build your team, trying to build your business, trying to grow and do and do and do that you’re overwhelmed under a mountain of tasks. But what happens is that you start to gain identity and I think this is something that so many leaders don’t understand that they’re doing, is that they’re getting their identity, they’re getting their worth in doing the tasks. Because for some strange reason, and it’s not a strange reason, I mean we’ve been led this way, we’ve had bad leaders in our past that have been trained by bad leaders in their past that teach us that the more things you do in a day, the more valuable you are, the more you’re worth to the company is.
Chris Locurto: And for leaders, that’s why I call it the leadership crazy cycle, because you’re going to have people that are going to do tasks that their job is to do nothing but tasks. But for leaders, your job is to make those team members successful, not to spend your every day giving your team five minutes today of your leadership because you’re spending so much time in tasks.
And you know, like you were saying Bo, “There’s nobody else who can do this the way that I do it, so I better just keep doing it.” Which obviously keeps you in that cycle and working, whether it’s you working eight hours a day or if you’re working 16 hours a day, you just feel like that rat on a wheel. You get things done, but they’re not getting done well, as you were saying, that stress of, you know, I wasn’t even able to get to this email yet.
Chris Locurto: Now I’m getting into it. It’s a fire. Let me go ahead and dump this fire on somebody else’s desk, which obviously stresses everybody and keeps you in that task saturation. So, folks, here’s what we’re doing for you. As you’re listening through this, we want you to kind of understand this. We want you to, to know a little bit about what we’re talking about.
So we’re going to give you, the killing the leadership crazy cycle assessment, and that’s a part literally of our next level mastermind program. So this is what Bo has gone through. Everybody in our next level mastermind program that’s done this assessment. We want you guys to take this to see where you are.
So I’ll tell you guys how to get ahold of that at the end of the episode, but we’re going to give that to the listeners for free, and I’ll explain more on that at the end of the show. So, it’ll help you to understand whether or not you’re stuck in the leadership crazy cycle. So back to being in that cycle, what was your day today as a business owner? What did it look like when you were entrenched in the cycle? What were your biggest frustrations?
Bo McDonald: The biggest frustration, especially coming out of StratPlan, is not being able to execute those things because I didn’t have time. The three days that we spent with you, we came up with some great things, but I could never find the time to do them. Which we just couldn’t move forward if we didn’t tackle that stuff. There’s a few things that we accomplished that were easy wins for us.
There were new products that we wanted to launch, there were things that we wanted to streamline processes that needed to be changed, but I couldn’t find the time to work on that stuff. And it was, it was holding us back. And one of the things that you brought up, an opportunity came to me, about two months ago that if it had come to me three years ago, there’s no way that I would’ve been able to handle that.
Bo McDonald: And it was just out of the blue, someone called and said, Hey, do you want to buy our business? And it fit perfectly with what we did. The same industry, the same type of business. And you know, we’re two months into that now. As I look at all the work that’s gone into it. It was a perfect opportunity that landed in our lap that if I didn’t have the time to work on the strategy and in putting this deal together, we never could have pulled it off. And it would have been a huge loss for us.
Chris Locurto: The timing on that was so God to be able to look at this and see that we, you putting the effort into killing the leadership crazy cycle, going through all this stuff that we teach and you were doing all the other stuff that we teach as well. Just this is one of the things that was holding you back was a specific place, but once you did the ability to… I’m now thinking of all those business owners out there that are going, oh, I can buy more businesses this way. No no, this fit. This was great.
What an opportunity. It would have sucked not being able to take the opportunity because of being stuck in the leadership crazy cycle, but because of where you are now, this is complimentary to exactly what you’re doing. You didn’t just go buy a completely different business and now you’re dumping energy into that correct?
Bo McDonald: Yeah. This was something already operating. Actually one of our competitors and the guy was ready to retire and I think the biggest compliment I got was when he said, I didn’t want to just shut this down. I know your reputation in the industry. I see how hard your team works and what a great team you have and I hear what all of your clients say about you and I wish I could have accomplished that.
Bo McDonald: I wish that was true. To hear that was just because I know how much time and effort has gone into to do what we do.
Chris Locurto: Yeah. I can say as somebody who has connected with you and all the things that you’re doing and, and trying to help you guys to grow a business, the difference between the Bo of today and the Bo of years ago is a massive difference because you have changed your leadership and you have become somebody who already cared about your business.
You already cared about your business, your clients. You just needed to know the things that you didn’t know and be able to work on those things. You know, I actually haven’t asked when your team members in a while, but there was a time for a long period that I would just say, so tell me the difference. What do you see as the difference in Bo now compared to a while back? And everybody, they just get those big eyes and like, oh, it’s a big difference. Now we can see that. So I think you are being a little humble in that.
I think for him to see that, I mean it’s exactly where you guys are. You guys are killing it and doing such great job. So what is it like now? What are you working on now that you couldn’t before you? Obviously this is one of those things, but what’s it like now to be where you are as a leader?
Bo McDonald: I didn’t think that this would be one of the things that would come out of it because being, you know, being a High D having to converse with people and in full sentences and talk to people. It’s certainly not one of my strengths.
Bo McDonald: But the time spent with the team. We launched what we call fly future leaders of the YMC last year. You have to apply for it, there’s a bunch of things that you have to meet in order to apply and write this long essay, talking about your leadership philosophy and where you want to go. And not just within the team, but life and we choose two of them. It’s a year long program, this is the first year we’ve done it and I’ve been so blessed to see two people go through this this year.
One that when she started with us, I didn’t think I’d hear two words out of her and she’s been compelled to join toastmasters. She is joined rotary, the personal growth that she seen this year, interpersonal, and she’s got a lot of stuff in her Root System that has held her back and just the leadership skills that she’s learned going through this. And the second participant, just the grief that she’s seen from the leadership side, there’s places that we want her to move up to and she’s equipped to do that.
She, she understands what being a leader means, that it’s not just, you know, throwing tasks at someone or telling someone what to do. She understands our leadership philosophy and she’s equipped to come and take more tasks off of one of my other leaders so that we can keep growing and she can help lead people too from a young age.
Chris Locurto: So let me get this straight. Am I hearing that because you killed the leadership crazy cycle because you’ve been so heavily focused on your leadership, you now have people that are developing into, and by the way folks, this is such a great process of the future leaders because you’ve put this thing in place. How are we going to get people into leadership roles, but because of those efforts, you now have people that are stepping up into leadership roles or getting themselves prepared for it.
Bo McDonald: Yeah, I know it’s one of the mistakes…The biggest mistakes we could make is as we continue to grow and opportunities rise to lead one of our teams is to put someone in there who doesn’t understand what leadership is, could quickly just unravel all of that hard work that we’ve done.
So myself being able to pour into our younger leaders, the next generation that wants an opportunity to move up and I get that feedback from them too. That they’ve enjoyed spending time with the team. I hear their frustrations and some of the things that they encounter that I encountered five years ago that I can lead them through…sometimes they have to learn the hard way, but sometimes it’s easier for me to share with them. I did that, don’t go there,
Bo McDonald: it’s gonna hurt.
Chris Locurto: There’s nothing like being able to help people because most people, you know, young leaders or people wanting to be in leadership, are going to go and they’re going to try and impress and, and do all these things and protect themselves from looking like they’ve screwed up and all that.
So it’s so great to be able to be there in that guiding factor in saying, this is okay, trust me here, don’t do this here, push here. You know, that is making your team members successful. So how does it feel for you to see people moving in that direction?
Bo McDonald: We look at our client’s report cards about once a quarter. We look at their growth and their results and that used to be the biggest thrill that I get and I still love it because it shows that we’re doing good work, that the work that we’re doing matters, but the biggest thrill I get now is when I meet with the team and they share something that happened that week and how did you handle it? What did you learn from it, and they’re soaking all of that out there.
They’re seeing what I’m doing or seeing what the participants in the fly program are doing and they’re all becoming leaders. They don’t have a leadership title, but they’re all taking ownership of it and not just in the office, but to know that there’s 20, 20 lives that I’m responsible for on a daily basis and when I see some of the personal struggles and I see how they react to it versus how they would have reacted to it or how they used to react to things.
Knowing that I’m growing good people, that they’re going out and it’s impacting them personally. That’s the biggest thrill. I’ll say the checks rolling in every month or our clients always pay on time. They’re great, but the biggest reward I think that that I get is knowing that I’ve got the time to invest in them now and they’re hungry for it and they’re better because of it.
Chris Locurto: Just kind of give us a picture of this. You had six to seven people struggling, you struggling as a leader. Businesses being successful, but you’re stressed. You’re task saturated, you’re overloaded. The team stressed, how saturated overloaded. You’re now at 21, so three times as big as you were and you are now in a different leadership position, compare the picture of Bo with 6 people stuck in the leadership crazy cycle compared to Bo now with 21 team members where you are/
Bo McDonald: Three years ago, it was me throwing orders at people, running around like crazy, missing deadlines, feeling stressed, working until 9, 10, 11:00 at night because I had to, not because I wanted to versus today where sometimes I still work til nine, 10, 11:00 at night because I want to, not because I have to… projects that I’m passionate about that I want to see through.
I have a team that knows what has to be done. They don’t need an order. They don’t have to be told that this needs to get done. They just work as a well oiled machine. Everyone knows their roles because of the KRAs that they have and they understand what success looks like. They have each other’s back. They care about the clients. If a problem comes in from a client, something was messed up. There’s no finger pointing back and forth. They go to fix it, ask questions later, and I don’t have to go meddle in it. Very rarely do I have to go say what happens and what do we need to do to fix this? They’re just doing it.
Chris Locurto: So powerful, now a piece I need these leaders and these business owners and if you’re a business owner you’re a leader, so I need all these leaders to hear and we kind of touched on it a couple of times. What kept you from deciding to kill the leadership crazy cycle?
Bo McDonald: Fear. That came up time and time again in our StratPlan, why didn’t we make this decision? Why couldn’t I do that or haven’t I done this yet? It was fear and I would constantly go to what is the worst case scenario if I were to do this, it’s different than thinking “What good would come of it?” I would always think of what is the worst possible thing that can happen if I told this client that I can’t work with you anymore, but this person’s going to work with you.
They’ve got so much more time. I’m still behind the scenes to work on stuff for them. I would instantly think, okay, great, they’re going to fire us. I think there’s probably two different types of business owners listening now. One who’s got, maybe it’s just themselves and they just struck out, they were working for different plumbing company and they’re a great plumber and they said, I can do this myself.
Bo McDonald: Start now, start the next higher you make be intentional about it. Find the leader, find a better plumber than you stay out of it, and let them do what they’re good at. Or someone like me waited way too long. They got in. They might have six employees or 16 employees and you think, I just can’t turn this ship around. We’re too big. We’ve got too much going on.
I can’t just stop doing this. You don’t have to do it at all in one day I did it in phases. I knew that I’m going to be used to clients over here. I’m going to push more of this over to my accountant. He’s better at that than I am and he’s going to do it right the first time. Instead of me having to go to rework it. It doesn’t happen overnight, so if, if you’re just starting out, do it right from the get go. If if you’ve got a bunch of employees and you just think it’s impossible to do it, it’s not, just step by step.
Chris Locurto: And I think the big thing is is that you weren’t in trouble three years ago. You had a successful business. Things weren’t going nearly as well as you wanted them to, but you could have continued like most people do. Like you just said, you could have gone for 20 more years, you know, bumping into the same problems, bumping into the same situations, being frustrated, but still making money because most people put their success on the bottom line you know, if we’re in the black, then we’re doing good.
We’re being successful and not realizing that the bottom line is so much easier to obtain when you lead people, when you actually lead people and allow them and teach them and develop them into being successful in their roles. The bottom line happens, I mean, would you agree where you are right now? How much has this impacted your bottom line by making the decisions to focus on killing the leadership crazy cycle?
Bo McDonald: You see our numbers every quarter when we send them in, it has been amazing. You’re way over budget, you don’t have expenses. We have a team that can handle it. I don’t have to focus on where’s everything coming from. Now I can focus more on what are the processes that they can change, what’s holding us back, what piece of software do we have to get rid of and replace so that we can keep being successful. I think the biggest, the biggest thing that I see if I had not done this, if I had not started working with you a couple of years ago, started killing the leadership crazy cycle, we would probably have the same number of employees we’d have the growth, we would have the number of clients, but I could see turnover being a much larger factor.
There’s no mission or vision. It would be a dreadful place to work because the folks that come here and practice their craft wouldn’t be able to do it and enjoy it. It would just be doing tasks. Our clients wouldn’t be as happy because we would just be doing work to get it done. I can see it being a total 180. If we had not made that decision a few years ago
Chris Locurto: And I think one of the other pieces that a credit to you getting to this place is one of the pieces that held you back also was that thought, “I’ve still got 10 of our biggest clients,” You are talented man. You’ve been phenomenal.
Not only to build this business, but you come with an incredible talent that your clients love and they look to you and go, well, you know, Bo is my guy because… and one of those thoughts was nobody’s going to be able to take care of the clients like I do. What was the thing that you shared with me after you pass those clients off?
Bo McDonald: One, they’re still with us. Two, they’ve raved about the folks they’re working with because of the quality of work they’re getting. It’s not that it wasn’t quality before, but now they’ve got someone who can spend two, three hours in the day working on just their stuff instead of me who had to rush through it or put it aside for another day or go spend a Saturday or Sunday working on it.
They have people who I’ve been able to spend time with and bring it up. It’s also gotten me getting out of the task work, you know, being an agency might call and say, hey, we need a flyer for this event. I don’t have to do that anymore. I can work on their strategy that’s going to help them grow and let our team implement too.
Chris Locurto: Folks, I need you to listen to this. Leaders, listen to this. In a situation where you may be super talented with your clients. You may be super talented with the gifts and talents that you have that you’re implementing.
But because it’s keeping you stuck in the leadership crazy cycle, you are probably giving it nowhere near the amount of effort, attention, love and care that another team member could, who isn’t working on the accounting, leading leaders, leading team members having to buy new buildings, because I think you guys are on your third building change or you’re going to your third building and in just the last three years, right?
Bo McDonald: Yeah. We will be. We’ve been in this office for two years and which our second main one we’re closing on our new office in October.
Chris Locurto: I remember when you guys moved into that office, you’re like, well, we got a lot of extra room up in these areas. Moving to a new one. When you’re bogged down in all of this stuff. Again, the leadership crazy cycle, then what you don’t realize is that there may be somebody on your team who can give your clients way more attention.
Who can do the thing that you’re still holding onto? Give that way more attention. This is why all of this, everything you’re hearing today is the reason why killing the leadership crazy cycle is the first lesson we push out into our next level mastermind program into our Strat plan. Whenever we’re going through setting up stuff and Stratplan, this is the first lesson that we’re pushing to these leaders to say, you’ve got to go through this, you’ve got to kill this because it’s going to hold back all the other pieces.
Chris Locurto: And that’s why it’s something that also, it’s a process. So truly killing the leadership crazy cycle requires understanding some of your root system, your implementation and accountability processes, some things that you’ve been experiencing, you know, like Bo has a shared today that vulnerability of, “Oh, I thought this. Come to find out it’s this.”
So that’s why we spend six weeks of intense focus on this program as you’re leading your business, right? So this is something that we spread this out and give you time to solve this sucker because it’s big, but it’s also the thing holding much of your business back. So Bo, what would you tell? What would you directly tell the leaders that are listening right now? What advice would you give them if they’re currently stuck and we know they are. So what would you give them as far as being stuck in the leadership crazy cycle?
Bo McDonald: I think you’ve got to start somewhere. You know, like I said, if you’re an established business, six employees or 60, I been there. I thought it wasn’t possible that I could get this stuff off of my plate and get to where I am today. Don’t get me wrong,
I still have a long way to go. I don’t want to pat myself on the back too much from say I’ve arrived. I probably never will, but I just had to start somewhere. It was just a matter of putting a plan in place that here’s one thing that I can tackle to get these two things off of my plate and recognize which team leaders I could take that to. It was also growing the leaders up so that I’m going to give you more responsibility Person A, which means you’re going to have to push off more of your task saturation too.
Bo McDonald: It’s really understanding the talents of your team, setting them up for success so that they’re not going to get bogged down in task saturation and ended up where you are and it’s just a big rolling cycle. You get those two things off of you and figure out that side, take two more things to this person, make sure they’re equipped to do it, and the more that we do that, the more we see these hidden talents of the team members that we say, oh my gosh, you are so good at that. Why is this person doing it? Let’s let’s utilize that talent and and get this off of you.
Chris Locurto: It’s amazing when you don’t dump a fire on their desks that you can see where their gifts and talents lie.
Bo McDonald: Yeah, it’s like losing weight. You go into it and go to the gym once in a while you haven’t lost 50 pounds and for the first trip to the gym you have to do the things that your coach is telling me to do and some of that’s just common sense stuff.
Chris Locurto: How come I haven’t lost weight yet?
Bo McDonald: Exactly.
Chris Locurto: Well, if I can summarize, so considerably less stress, less frustration with…because there used to be frustration with the team members being task saturated and not getting things done completely or you know, I mean I always got everything done, but they’re under fire, so there’s a frustration that they’re feeling, which actually rolls back up to you as a leader going, why can’t my team get this done?
Come to find out, oh well their task saturated as well, but the ability to train the leaders up, the growth that you’ve seen in your team and your leadership, the growth in your revenues as well, and the growth in you, as a leader who is able to now focus on even purchasing other competitors, not, not that you’re going after competitors, but being able to be in a place that you can take on more. Does that sound like all the things that have happened?
Bo McDonald: It is. In short, it’s just fun again. I’m having fun doing this because I’ve got the time to enjoy it.
Chris Locurto: I love it. I love it. Well, Bo, if you could go back and talk to a young version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Bo McDonald: Hire people better than you. I looked at myself and I was doing everything and I thought I was great at everything and once I understood what my weaknesses were and I could find people who are much better at things than I was, it costs a little bit of money. I had to make some investments, but it paid off big time. I found passionate people who want to learn that are NOT just here for a paycheck and treated them well and gave them responsibilities. They’re so much better than I am.
Chris Locurto: Smart leaders hire people that are better than they are, what they’re doing. Fearful leaders hire people that are less than every single time. Well, brother, I so appreciate this. You are a phenomenal leader. You’ve done an incredible job of leading your team, growing this business and more than anything, I think the big key is that you made the decision. Like you said, you got to start somewhere. You made the decision to go learn the things you don’t know and to go implement the things that you need to. So again, I appreciate you being on the show. Thank you so much for doing this.
Bo McDonald: Thank you for all you do. You’ve been an integral part of our team just the last couple of years. We wouldn’t be here without you.
Chris Locurto: It has been a blessing. It’s great to be a part of the team because I do feel like that with all of you guys. I feel like I get to be a part of that process and it’s always great to be shown up whenever you come to events because you always come up with better dressed than anybody else in the room
Chris Locurto: Bo always shows up and it’s just like, oh, I wish I could wear that. That is quite a jacket. So folks, you just heard this, you are stuck in this place. You know what it’s like. You’re experiencing the leadership crazy cycle. How do I know this? It is every single leader that comes to us, it’s every leader that I’ve worked with. There are very few people that I’ve ever discovered. I think of Ken Blanchard as being one of those guys that has done a phenomenal job of not being bogged down in stuff and focusing on his team.
Chris Locurto: He has a different perspective that he looks at when he does that kind of stuff. Everybody else that I’ve worked with has been stuck in the leadership crazy cycle and I’m not saying that Ken isn’t. He just does a really good job leading his people and leading his team. I know what it’s like for you be stuck there. I know what it’s like to be bogged down.
I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed. I know what it’s like to be struggling because your team doesn’t seem to be pulling off the things that they should be and I noticed like to discover that you’re the problem and what is the real problem? Nobody has taught you how to do this the right way. That is why, again, this is the number one thing that we push into our programs. The leadership crazy cycle is more than just overwhelm.
Chris Locurto: It’s more than having a full plate. We have a five minute evaluation you can do to see where you are in the leadership crazy cycle. So before you can get out of it, you have to diagnose it and maybe you’re just struggling with certain areas of the leadership crazy cycle and not others.
It’s important to find out, so the leadership assessment is from our next level mastermind program and it’s going to educate you more on the things keeping you in the leadership crazy cycle by taking it. Then you can start getting traction and getting yourself out of this cycle. Super easy to do this. Go to ChrisLoCurto.com/292. That is today’s episode, ChrisLoCurto.com/292 to get the mastermind leadership assessment. It’s free. It takes you five minutes, so get that now. Thanks again Bo for being on the show and givings us your advice and insights on the leadership crazy cycle. I appreciate that
Bo McDonald: Pleasure as always, thank you.
Chris Locurto: And like I said, Bo is a phenomenal leader and he and his team are great to work with. So Bo, if I am a bank or credit union, where can I find you?
Bo McDonald: We are are yourmarketingco.co. We’re all over social media and facebook. You can see our crazy antics.
Chris Locurto: I love all the pictures. I don’t spend a ton of time on social media, but whatever I do, you guys are either at a party with clients or bands or crazy dinners. So I love it. So one more time they can get you at
Bo McDonald: yourmarketingco.co.
Chris Locurto: Fantastic. Well folks, hopefully this has helped you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, Change Your Business, change your life, get out of the leadership crazy cycle and make sure you join us on the next podcast.