302 | How to Lead with Excellence and Hire Talent

If you’re a leader or business owner, you know the power of a strong, cohesive team. You know how awesome it is to have a unified team you trust that can make calls without you…

Do you know how to:

Take a sabbatical knowing you set your team up for success while you’re gone?

Give criticism without demotivating?

Ask the right questions to set your team up for success?

Attract excellent hires?

In this episode, you’ll go inside Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event…where you’ll hear me answering leaders’ and business owners’ questions on becoming an excellent leader and day-to-day operations.

You’re going learn leadership tactics through real life business examples.

Here’s how to lead with excellence:


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

Welcome to the show folks. Today is an exciting episode. We got some great stuff that we’re going to be talking about. Well, we’re always talking about great stuff, but we have a great exciting launch that we’re going to tell you about today.

First, if you’re a leader or if you’re a business owner, either one, you know the power of a strong cohesive team. You know how awesome it is to have a unified team that you trust that can make calls without you. Do you know how to take a sabbatical, knowing that you set your team up for success while you’re gone. Without worry.

Do you know how to manage criticism and conflict while still motivating your team? What about how to ask the right questions to set your team up for success or even how to attract excellent hires? In this episode, we’re going to take you inside the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Eventwhere you’re going to hear me answer leaders questions.

We’ve got a business owner who’s taking a four-week sabbatical and struggling to trust his team to get things done, and by the way, if you have been listening to lately, I just took all of my leaders on a two-week trip away from the office. Not a single problem, no fires, no problems. The team freaking killed it. They did an excellent job and we were not surprised about that, so we’re going to talk about that. There is a church leader who is struggling with strong pushback on negativity and meetings.

There’s a leader who wants to know how to set up his team for success, and a business owner struggling to hire because she only wants excellence. So you’re going to learn leadership tactics through real-life business examples. You’re going to get answers on leading personality styles in difficult team members to success, when to give out consequences as a leader, how to hire excellent team members and how to manage criticism, conflict, and pushback as a leader in meetings.

Now, today’s episode is brought to you by the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event which we are launching today. Today is the day. It is open, today is Cyber Monday and we are giving you a phenomenal deal since it is Cyber Monday. So, before we get to that, let me ask you what is standing in the way of your business goals?

Maybe you sprint through your days exhausted, balancing the workload of 10 people. Maybe you’re always putting out fires rather than having time to strategize maybe your revenue expectations seem way out of reach. Get the tools to solve these frustrations and lead your team to success in 2019 at the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event.

In three days you can get the tools to accomplish your growth goals, create a culture of champions, control your time, and change the way you do business. And today only, this is a flash sale for today, the Cyber Monday flash sale you can get up to 30% off of your tickets.

Now, here’s the transformation. Just some of our clients have seen 8,169% net profit increase in one year, gained 30 hours a week back, 46% gross profit increase in one year and 25% team productivity increase in 8 months. Guys, that’s a lot! That’s coming off of this event. Now today you can save up to 30% off of each ticket.

This is for 1 day only during Cyber Monday, so don’t miss it. It’s up to 30% off for only 1 day. This sale ends at midnight tonight, so go to ChrisLoCurto.com/events and get your tail to this event to get the results you want in your leadership and business. That’s ChrisLoCurto.com/events. All right folks, get ready to hear these leaders phenomenal questions as we take you inside the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event.

A business owner struggling on where to start.

What would you advise somebody who’s business started out as a part-time business and grew and evolved but you find yourself facing the struggles and issues within…with employees and things…very few written systems in place, where’s the best place to start?

So for me, the key is we have to take and start to begin with a quality structure. Why don’t you start there because you already know that’s an area that you guys are weak in. If you don’t have the very things that we’ve taught on, how could you possibly expect great results? How can you possibly expect anybody to be held accountable to a KRA that does not exist?

How can you possibly expect a part-time business to become anything more than that if we run it like a part-time business, now, obviously it’s been 19 years, so we’re pretty much past part-time business, right? Um, so you then have to say, what, what goals do I have?

What’s my goal for the business? What’s the, what do I believe the mission is that God is teaching me? We just did back in August, we did a Mission and Vision from my point of view of what we should be doing. I believe every single business needs to have a mission if you’re a believer, but I believe your mission should come from God. Now, when I say a mission, I believe what a mission is, is the purpose of the business. This business that we have right here, our mission is to worship God by loving his children and guiding people and organizations to a greater perspective.

That’s our mission. So we do that every single day because that’s our mission. We are able to base a vision, which this is where people get stuck. What is a vision? A vision is simply this…how many people have been to the beach?

We’re going to the beach. Do you know what it’s gonna look like when you get there? Do you know what you’re going to do when you’re there? Do you know the restaurants you’re going to go to when you go down there? This is not very difficult, right? You can see being at the beach, that’s your vision. The strategy or goals, people always mess this up, they’re literally really the same thing. The strategy is how you’re going to get there.

The vision must align with that mission. The strategy must take us to that vision. So instead of looking inside the business and go, well, do I fix people first? Ask yourself the question, do we have a solid mission that we believe in? Do we have a quantifiable, tangible vision? Now vision’s change. We’re going to grow a vision, grow vision, grow vision.

Every time we do a StratPlan with a business, we have a vision. We move in that direction. We accomplish a great deal. Guess what we do? We reset vision. The days of setting 10, 20-year visions and believing you’re going to hit, those are well gone. Jim Collins calls it a BHAG. We want to hit here in 10 years, but we’re going to redo this over and over and over and over again because things change at lightning speed.

If you have that, then you have to figure out as best as you can. Again, obviously, we would love to help with any strategy. You have to figure out how are we going to get there? Then you have to take a look at your weaknesses. What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from getting to that vision? So if you go in from the other angle of saying, we’re not doing what we want to do, let’s get accountability.

Accountability to what? Well to KRA’s. What are the KRA’s for? Because we have to tell people what to do. For what purpose? Does the KRA aline with a strategy that aligns with a vision that’s coming from a mission? If it’s not, and many businesses do this, why are those people on your team?

We will hire people because it sounded like a good idea and five years later go, what’s that person do? Well, they do this. Why? Does it align with what we’re trying to do nowadays? No. Well then let’s repurpose. Let’s do something else. So with that in mind, don’t just fix a thing. Get the bigger picture in mind, make sure that it’s solid.

Make sure Andy, it’s something you want to do. Move in that direction. Get the KRA’s in place, get the accountability in place, get all of this stuff we’re talking about…understand that communication is probably your biggest issue because it’s everybody’s biggest issue. Put all those pieces in place. Move them in a direction, hit that vision. Get that strategy in place, hit that vision.

A business owner who’s taking a 4-week sabbatical and struggling to trust his team to get things done.

This is Daniel. I’m in my company, we’re right at our 15th-year mark this year and we’re taking a four-week trip out west as a family. Over the years as an Entrepreneur, my family has often suffered because I’ve been working like a crazy man. How can I find the balance of telling them I’m taking four weeks sabbatical, get used to it, staying connected, but yet being with my family, those four weeks.

Yeah, that’s a fantastic question. There are 2 aspects to that, which is obviously how do I let the team know that you’re going to have to go on without me for four weeks? The reason why you’re asking the question is because there’s the concern that they won’t do a great job while you’re gone. That they’ll do good, but is it going to fall apart?

The team has to understand the mission that they’re on. The team needs to see that the work they do is bigger than themselves. If they can see that…when I leave, I don’t worry about my team. I don’t worry about them. And the reason why is because I know that they are crazy about what we’re doing. They know this stuff is bigger than themselves. They’re going to keep busting it.

If they can see that we’re doing something bigger than us and it’s not just a j.o.b., that is vitally important to them being able to continue to work as unto The Lord. That’s the other thing. They need to realize they’re doing work as unto The Lord, and if they can see that, then they can care about this, care about changing lives, caring about people. Now you’re very close to it. And I know you and you’ve done a great job leading your team as well, but being this close to that time, it’s almost like a crash course. Can you get that done by the time you leave?

Possibly not. Can you get the team all feeling like they’re on a great mission? Possibly not. So what? Start. Focus. Make sure that they understand. Make sure that they care about what they’re doing. So that’s one thing. Another thing is that I always want to make sure that I have some sort of metrics on my team so that I can measure. That has nothing to do with going on vacation.

That’s just not being able to see where my team is, what they’re accomplishing, all of that. If I’ve got some sort of metrics, you’re going to be able to tell if they sat around and did nothing. You know you want to be able to see that things are getting done and how they’re taking care of people. One of the greatest things you can do is show up back at work and this is not how a lot of leaders feel, they fear showing back up at work and seeing that everything went okay.

Am I right? I mean, that’s an actual fear. Some people are like, well, crud, I guess I’m not needed. Great! Fantastic! That’s a good thing. So for me, that’s a pure joy when I’m able to show up and go, everything went well. Nothing’s broke. If it did, they took care of it. That is perfect for me. The second side is four weeks on vacation without checking in at work.

If you were, if you were a Solopreneur then I would say that’s possible. That you could completely unplug from your work for four weeks total. Would I unplug for four total weeks with the business size that I have now? I don’t believe that I would.

Unless it was some crazy thing that I was doing that I felt like it was a God thing. If I were doing something specific and just getting away and doing a sabbatical and there was no interaction. That would be a different type of thing that God’s never called me away for four weeks. This is a family vacation, I believe that’s what you’re saying, correct?

Yes. So for me, the family needs to understand that we’re going on vacation and Dad is going to do a little bit of work. I would have those scheduled times. I would have scheduled check-ins. If you do not set those parameters then you’re always tapping on your phone and be like, oh no, this, yeah, I’m having a blast.

This is great. And you’re answering emails and all that kind of stuff. Don’t waste your time on that. That doesn’t even give you good quality time back with the job, with your own work. So instead set parameters set times. I just took, not too long ago, I had to take a week away because I knew we were running so hard I’m like, I have to get away from the office so I can work on something specific and not be interrupted.

And it’s not because my team just interrupts me, it’s because we have so much going on I had to literally get away and I wouldn’t respond except for certain times. And so I did my stuff, got my things done, responded when I needed to. Everything went well, we took care of things. I went back to work. So I would set specific times, even if it’s not, you know, give yourself whole days without checking in on work if you possibly can, but then set some time to say, guys, at this point, Daddy’s got to work.

I have to get some things done. I have to take care of some things, knock it out and then get back to having fun. But make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay focused on that family during that time. You’re doing phenomenal things. You’re showing them that you care about them, you’re loving on them, you’re having time with them and you’re showing them the importance of work.

Now we’re not doing that because, oh, I just want to teach them on work on vacation, but because we’re doing four weeks, yes, there’s still an importance here that I’ve got to solve the thing that puts food on our table. So when you’re with them, be with them. Be a blessing when you need to do work, do the work. Does that work? Excellent.

A church leader struggling with strong push back and negativity in meetings.

Mike, Executive Pastor, how do you handle a situation when in a team meeting, one of the team members or more than one seems like they’re constantly giving pushback which is bringing negative stuff up. They’re productive team members, but it seems like in meetings they have a tendency to pull the meeting down.

I know what you’re talking about. That’s not just in churches, that’s in every meeting. Let me ask this question, “does a lot of the stuff that they’re pushing back on have to do with change?” Yes. Okay. So very possibly high S Personality Style, high C Personality Style and the things that are being brought to the table are conflict. Especially if it’s a high S, the conflict is the thing that they can’t handle.

Now, is it possible that they’re shooting holes and go and that’s not going to work because of this, that’s not gonna work. Yeah. That happens too. Okay, so very possibly high C, high CS. So there are two things that are happening here, conflict, which they absolutely hate. They cannot stand conflict and so they will shoot it down because change is conflict. And so they see change and they don’t want it, It’s uncomfortable.

Sometimes it brings pain. They will end up shooting stuff down in hopes that we won’t go forward with this and then I don’t have to change. And then I can stay where I am and how I am. That’s. That’s immaturity in the S profile as well. Again, age does not matter. It’s just they don’t understand themselves very well. If they’re shooting holes in stuff that is the C in them, most likely they will shoot holes and believe they are helping you. “But don’t you see? I just showed you how this isn’t going to work.”

Once again, immaturity in the high C Personality Style. Maturity with the S would be, “how do we make this happen?” Okay. How do I get on board? What’s my part? What do I have to do with this? What am I going to need to change? Maturity and the High C. I love giving stuff to high seas to shoot holes in, but I have a policy, for every hole you shoot in this, you plug it with at least one plug or come up with three. Give me something. Don’t just tell me it’s bad.

I love having C’s on my team because I know it’s my weakness. I’m not the detail guy. I’m the 30,000-foot view guy. I coach people, I hope people. I do all these pieces, but I’m not the detail guy and so I need detailed people in my life and I want them to shoot holes in stuff that I don’t see. Which by the way, for those of us that are I’s and D’s is painful because you’re shooting holes in my baby. Come on, this is my thing. When you become mature in your personality style, it’s allowable if they can solve it. Do not shoot a hole in something unless you solve it. We’ll have team meetings sometimes and I’ll be talking about something guys, what do you think about this?

And it’s like, no, it’s not going to work. All right, so how could it work? And you just watch some of the team members start plugging the hole because they see them. So both of those areas, most likely when they’re bringing the negative, the hope with the negative from the S side is you’ll change your mind. The negative from the C side isn’t necessarily that you’ll change your mind. It’s a, hey, look out for this pitfall I just showed you what’s going to go wrong with it. Fix it. Does all that make sense? So point those things out. Hey listen, if you want to shoot holes, I have no problem with you shooting holes in it.

Tell me how to fix it. How would I solve the thing? And if the answer is always, well I don’t know, then don’t shoot any more holes. Obviously, it’s not something that we can discuss in here. But I would go even further and I would ask, hey, what are you feeling when you hear this? What are you experiencing when you hear this? When you hear this thing of change, how does it make you feel? Well, I just don’t like it. Why don’t you? Is it because you’re going to have to change as well? Yeah. Okay. How can we work through that? Try and work through those processes with them? If they ultimately can’t get there and you’ve done everything you can to lead them in that process and direct them and guide them and help them to see where they’re coming from, and they ultimately can’t get there, now we’ve got to put in some consequences with this.

You’re choosing to do this, we’re going to have to put some consequences in. But try as hard as you possibly can to get them there.

A leader who wants to know how to set up his team for success.

Paul Caris. When you talked about that it’s a leader’s responsibility to make your team successful. What do you do to determine what your team needs to be successful?

Ask questions. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. It is amazing to me how many leaders don’t do that. Whenever you come through any of our events, we have a phrase, especially for those folks that have come through StratPlan, ask a freaking question! Because people don’t do that. When you’re looking to make your team successful, I want to know how you’re going to be successful.

What are you going to do? Most leaders stop right there. Hey, can you do this? Well, of course, I can. Fantastic. You’re hired. Terrible process. How are you going to do this? What are you going to do in this situation? What if this happens? I know what I know and I want to test them on it and I want to see how they would respond, how they would react to something. If they don’t know how to solve the problem, how do I get them there? I want to know, do you have the tools? Do you have the training? Do you have the software? Do you have whatever’s necessary to make this happen? If you don’t, then how do I solve that for you? Once I have set you up with those pieces, if you’re still not able to get the task done, now I want to find out why.

What’s blocking you? What’s holding you back? What’s stopping you? We were just talking about the high S’s in the high C’s. A high C who is immature in personality style will backburner stuff. If you give them a task and they go, well, I don’t know how to do this. It goes on the back burner. You come along a month later and you’re like, hey, where are you in that task? While I haven’t done anything with it yet. Well, why not? Well, because nobody’s explained to me what to do. Why didn’t you ask? Well, I figured you’d come along and tell me, and so as you look for those pieces and you watch and watch and watch, ask questions, why is that there? Why are you here? Help me to understand why you put that on the back burner. Help me to understand this. You start to pull pieces out and see.

You see the person. You see the decision making process. That’s when I go to town, start filling it. I want to fix it. Most fixers want to see a problem and fix it. I want as much perspective as I possibly can so I know what the heck I’m fixing. You know, it’s the whole, if you hear a lion don’t run yet, find out where he’s coming from, you might be running at him. Right? So instead piece, piece, piece, piece, piece, until I get to a place of, okay, this is what you need, this is how I can make you successful. Then I want to do everything I can to make them successful. If they ultimately can’t get there, it may be a capacity issue. Maybe they don’t have the talent to get there. Maybe they don’t have the passion to get there. Maybe whatever is in their life that they can’t get there. So all that makes sense. Definitely. Fantastic. Thank you, sir.

Decision-making in business.

Hey Chris. My name is Edgar Vargas. My main question was about decision making. You know, everybody struggles with decision making. And I know you had a podcast with Jim Collins and it was a big two sessions about it and you mentioned risk profile change, I was wondering if you can refresh me on that because that’s very helpful.

You’ve been with me for a very long time if you’ve heard that podcast. Absolutely. I was talking with Jim Collins and he asked me the question, he said, you know, if you found out you had cancer right now, what would you do? I said, I’d hang up this phone and I’d go to the doctor right away. He said, what if it didn’t change for six months? And I said, well, that’s a totally different story. I do a ton of things differently. He said, that’s our problem. We don’t understand the risk profile many times. So just like I was just sharing, a lot of times we in this culture, the American culture, believe it or not, there are other cultures that don’t do this. Like we do.

We go right after something, we attack it, go make it. Oh, there’s a problem. Go fix it. Go do it. Instead of going, oh, there’s a problem, is anything going to blow up in the next 15 minutes? No. How much time do we have? Nothing blows up for three hours. Okay, we have three hours. How do we fix this? What do we know about the problem? What’s causing the problem? Are there multiple fixes? Is there a gentler fix? Do we have to just go explode the thing in a barrel? By gaining all of that information, it changes your own risk profile because the concept is this is the risk and here’s the problem. So we have this much time or we have this much time, or maybe we only have this. There are certain things you just gotta go, go do it. Go make it happen, go solve it.

Bam, Bam, Bam. Go. And there are other times you have plenty of time. So with my team, one of the things that I do on a consistent basis is I’m always teaching. I’m always guiding. I’m always training. I’m always doing something to help grow them. About once or twice a year, what they’ll hear from me is, hey, something happened. I don’t have time to explain it, do this, go make it happen, go and then I’ll explain it afterward because the risk profile is very short. So that concept of how much time do I have to get the best quality perspective so I can solve the problem. A lot of people will get into it and especially when it comes with physical problems, like let’s say something like cancer. If you have a physical problem and your risk factor, if you discover well, nothing really changes for this period of time.

A lot of people will spend all of that time feeling horrible about themselves and just waiting for the thing to happen because they’re so down. You now have an opportunity. You have a window to gain as much information as you possibly can and change it. As leaders, we have to look at situations and do that very thing. We have to understand what our risk profile is. We have to understand how much time we have. If we don’t do that, then we might attack something and we didn’t do it the right way and now we got to fix it again and it’s a problem.

A business owner struggling to hire because she only wants excellence.

I have a regulatory compliance company that I own. How do I grow my company but still maintain the same quality and personal aspect that I bring to it? And I do have very high expectations for myself and whoever works for me, any, all my team and they love their job, but I have a really hard time hiring other consultants because, well honestly I just want them to be better than me or as good.

I am somebody who has high expectations. My expectations are love people well. Understand the client puts food on our table. I expect that you understand that. I expect you to do your job with excellence. I expect that you’re not going to be perfect at it and I’m going to help you and train you and we’re going to have to figure out things. So I have very high expectations. My team knows it, they’re very comfortable with it.

We have quality, talented people, but we need more. But I am somebody because I’ve come, I’ve been doing this for so long that I will not hire people that can’t be lead well. That is huge for me. You watch people that are more concerned about their bottom line and they’re more concerned about their growth, that they will throw people in like crazy to try and make money and you end up hiring people that you got to rehire again and rehire again and rehire again, or you put people in place and they have no clue what they’re doing and nobody’s over them, but hey, they’re in a seat. They’re warming a seat somewhere. Woohoo! That’s so great. My job, my goal is to balance that. I want to make sure I have plenty of quality leadership to quality team members. If I can’t lead you, and if I don’t have leadership that can lead you, I don’t want you on the team yet. Because what’s going to happen is you’re eventually going to lose all interest in being there. It’s just going to become a j.o.b. You’re going to do half the work and I’m still paying you. So that’s one aspect of it. The second aspect of it is when it comes to hiring, we need another person to come in and do Next-Level Life‘s. It’s it takes a special person to put other people first and not allow them to abuse you at the same time. To be able to care more about another person and getting their lives changed and not allow yourself to be manipulated.

It takes a special type of person to be in that role. And so for us, we’ll go through as many as we need to. This is not my business, it’s God’s and so I will go until I get the right person. However, I do understand that it’s my job to make them as good or better than me, not to hire somebody and expect that they are. That’s the colossal mistake that 99.9% of leaders make. Well, I’m hiring you. You should be able to do this. You said you were great. You should be able to just do this thing. That’s not absolutely true. Joel, when he came on board and we started walking him through, he has just blown up in every area and in the business. He’s done such a phenomenal job and when it came to doing Next-Level Life’s, I was looking at this and going, wow, you can do this, but this is going to be a long process.

This is stuff that I have known and done for decades. How do I get this into somebody? He happens to be the right person. It took three months to get him where he was like, he’s got this and he can run on his own now. He also is doing his work unto The Lord. He also cares about people. He doesn’t work a j.o.b. He is very passionate about that, but I still to this day, we still after events, we’ll sit down and go, okay, what about this? Have you heard about this situation? What about this? What do I do here? And we’ll still coach, and he’s been doing it for a long time. My goal is to make people that are going to grow and be phenomenal and hopefully better than me.

So a quick follow-up question to that. In the meantime, while you’re looking for that person or those people, do you turn down work? Yes. Alright.

Yes. Now, here’s what you’ve got to understand. I’m not like everybody else. This isn’t my business. It’s God’s. We’re changing lives. Do I hire somebody to halfway do a Next-Level Life and put your life in their hands? Heck No! There’s no way I don’t. I don’t need the money. I don’t care. I will not take that money. Anything we do, I want you to step in and go, well, that was worth way more than I spent everything. I want it that way. And so in that situation, I’m going to trust Him and I’m going to pour into him. Well, there you have it folks! Fantastic questions. That’s just the Q&A time. We have 3 days of powerful lessons and that is just the Q&A time during the VIP session with some great, fantastic question. So don’t forget today you can save up to 30% off of each ticket. Now, this is a one day only sale during Cyber Monday, so don’t miss it. It’s up to 30% off for one day. And again it ends at midnight tonight. Go to ChrisLoCurto.com/events and get your tail to this event to get the results you want in your leadership and business.


7 ways to lead a negative team member

When leaders throw team members under the bus

How to spot potential leaders on your team

Don’t miss it – get $200 OFF your tickets (valid through Dec., 18, 2018).

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Here’s the transformation our clients have seen, after implementing Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event lessons:
  • 8,169% Net Profit increase in One Year
  • Gained 30 hrs a week back
  • 46% Gross Profit increase in One Year
  • 25% Team Productivity increase in 8 Months

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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.

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