Questions And Answers From Our Live Chat

Recently, our EntreLeadership team introduced a new way to help business owners and leaders. Every two weeks, we are hosting a Live Chat, where I answer your questions for an hour. Our moderator is the incredible Branden O’Neil. If you didn’t get a chance to take part, here are some of the questions and answers.

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Guest: I’m at the bottom of the food chain at my company. Why do I need EntreLeadership?

CLo: You don’t if you want to stay at the bottom. Your goal should be to better yourself, even in the place you’re currently sitting in. If you want to be a better leader, the best way is to learn before you’re actually a leader. Spend the time now learning how to influence people, create change, inspire and actually run a business.

Lisa: You are so right, Chris. This is exactly where I am with my business right now.

CLo: People don’t realize they can actually lead UP. You totally can, but it starts with influence. Spend time becoming a person of influence, and you’ll become a leader no matter what seat you’re in.

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Liliana: How do you deal with ending a business relationship with a friend because it’s not good for your business?

CLo: Business relationships with friends are difficult. You always wonder where the line is. I can tell you how I look at it. I believe God has entrusted me with a business, and it’s my calling to make sure that I lead that business to glorify Him. Therefore, if ANY relationship is affecting what I’m supposed to be doing, I need to point it out and act accordingly.

You have to have the strength to look at a friend and say, “I’m sorry. This is God’s business. I want our friendship to stay a friendship, but I have a responsibility to Him on how I run this business.”

Branden: Chris, would you say it’s better for a relationship to be honest than to pretend like nothing is wrong? In my experience, it seems that dealing with situations is always the better way to go.

CLo: HECK yes!!! A lack of communication will destroy any business or relationship!!

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Jonathan Henry: Leaders are clearly tasked with “creating change.” A number of leaders are really good with dealing with external changes, like the economy, the government, but very few are good at dealing with internal changes, like employee culture and behaviors. How do leaders get better at promoting internal changes for the better?

CLo: It’s all about being intentional!! You have to make a decision that the company needs to go in a direction for the better, and then be extremely intentional about how to get there. If you want a culture that is all about recognizing people, you have to teach about it.

Then, you have to actually LIVE it day to day … theeeeen, you have to repeat it.

So many leaders think that all they have to do is tell the team how they want things and it will magically take place. That’s so not true. Be intentional and teach what you want in your culture.

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Question: What would your advice be to our excellent guests?

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18 thoughts on “Questions And Answers From Our Live Chat”

  1. Here’s my attempt at testing livefyre for comments.
     
    Great Q&A!  I can relate to these guests’ questions. 1. I am not in a position of leadership currently as a title, and I have found EntreLeadership so invigorating.  The principles can be applied in any scale and I have been able to become better at what I do as a training consultant by utilizing what I’ve learned through the book, podcast and blog comments.
     
    2. I had a business relationship with my best friend from college right after graduation.  We were truly young and inexperienced and made many mistakes in our business. We made zero money in two years. Her dad supported our business by paying the rent and lots of our expenses.  We only made enough money to pay utilities for our office and had no money coming in otherwise.  I expressed that I felt very uncomfortable and we went separate ways.  Unfortunately she passed away at age 25 and I was never able to repair the relationship. I regret losing the friendship over our failure in business and missing out on the opportunity to spend the last year of her life together.  Business and friendship rarely mix. It’s not worth it!
     
    2. When I was a team leader a while back, I thought “telling them” over and over how to work efficiently and improve was enough. We had very serious gossip issues in the team and I had a very hard time confronting problem behavior.  A few team members were sabotaging the culture for the whole team. It was very painful.  I pretty much let them take over due to my fear of conflict and confrontation. It hurt our work and caused lots of stress.  We should have done lots of pruning on this team, like Dr Cloud talks about in “Necessary Endings.”   Many people with strong personalities on the team were fighting the new organizational culture we were trying to implement.  We could have been a lot more being clear and intentional and saved everyone many headaches.
     
    Thanks for the post, I hope the comment issues get resolved! 

  2. stevenrkirkpatrick

    Thanks for sharing for those of us who didn’t make the chat.
     
    I’m in a similar position to the person in the first question and I’m hooked on EntreLeadership and it’s principles. While I like what I do, I hope to work my way up and I see now the importance of strong, servant leadership. I want to learn to lead as my responsibilities grow gradually.

  3. When do you do the Live Chat????
    “Guest: I’m at the bottom of the food chain at my company. Why do I need EntreLeadership?” Ummm……it almost feels as if this person is saying they like their spot at the bottom of the food chain. No matter where a person is, if they want to go “up” at all, they have to continue learning and improving. Some people think continuous learning is a bad thing… I love it! 🙂
    “Liliana: How do you deal with ending a business relationship with a friend because it’s not good for your business?” Not really answering this question… But it reminds me how a friend and I are considering starting up a business once I get settled into my current job. He’s the product…I’m everything else. We don’t want to go into business together unless we do it exactly right. For example in terms of our relationship, have a contract/understanding drawn up, roles defined, and keep other things like God and our families as priorities over the business. I know there are other things, but I don’t feel like typing that long 😉
    “Jonathan Henry: Leaders are clearly tasked with “creating change.” A number of leaders are really good with dealing with external changes, like the economy, the government, but very few are good at dealing with internal changes, like employee culture and behaviors. How do leaders get better at promoting internal changes for the better?” INTENTIONAL is the word!! Some employers get so caught up with how the “outside world” is affecting their business and how their business is affect the outside world, they don’t give the time and attention they need to to their employees or other internal matters. 
    THANKS for sharing! I just feel so inspired now 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for sharing, could you post the audio from the Q/A?  I would love to learn from all of the messages you addressed.  I hope I didn’t miss the answer to the question I sent in…

  5. I loved the first question, regarding being a leader, no matter what seat you’re in.  
     
    I have recently stepped into a unique situation at my job.  I am stepping down from supervisor into a staff technologist role, therefore I will continue to lead, but now “officially” only from the trenches.
    Although my title states otherwise, my boss (and HER boss), as well as the team I am now working with have all indicated to me that I am still considered a leader, the “go-to” person on my new shift.  
     
    It’s nice to still be considered a leader by my leaders and peers.
    A title is just that.  It’s not a label of who you are, or what your influence or reach is on your team.

  6. “People don’t realize they can actually lead UP. You totally can, but it starts with influence. Spend time becoming a person of influence, and you’ll become a leader no matter what seat you’re in.” — This is so valuable. I work with a company actuary who is feeling mighty down where she works. Everyone seems to be crapping on her from all sides, simply because she’s doing her job. (Keeping people from breaking the fine points of insurance law with their products) 
     
    I’m thinking learned helplessness. Pavlov. Feeling paralyzed and powerless to change anything. That’s where she’s at right now – and man, it’s really hard to try and bring the message of managing up and trying to take responsibility for where she is instead of blaming and finger pointing. 
     
    Her situation, though hard, is one of developing stronger influence – or simply find another job. (Which she is not willing to do at the moment.) 
     
    Such a valuable lesson – always think: what can I do to change my current situation. Act. 

  7. Some questions from my end:
     
    — How do we sustain in a work environment where trust is lacking and suspicion is reigning among the members of the team?
    — What do a subordinate do when the leader fails to listen even after our repeated attempts?
    — How do deal with boss who are always hurtful and never care about their team members?

    1.  @uma_maheswaran Hi Uma – I’m not Chris, but I have a few thoughts for you…
      1. If your boss is not supportive of you – and even abusive in ways – and If talking to the boss doesn’t work – is there someone above your boss who could step in to fix things? 
       
      2. If the environment where you are has totally gone bad, I wonder if it’s time to find a new job? Perhaps sometimes this is the best option. If you can’t influence to create change, perhaps removing yourself fromt he situation is the healthiest option?
       
      3. What would Jesus do?  If removing yourself from the situation is not possible due to your current economic situation or responsibilities….
       
      Pray for your enemies. Maybe your boss isn’t your enemy, but you know what I mean. 
       
      Listen: Do you have Itunes? I suggest you subscribe to http://mosaic.org/hollywood/mosaic-podcast- specifically the message called : The Way To Freedom. 11/27/11 –  it talks a lot about Jesus’ response to oppression. Maybe you can find something inspirational there. 
       
      I sure hope this is helpful. 
       
       
       

  8. Love the idea of sharing “leading up” – teaching leadership skills to EVERYONE on the team – not just the team leads. 
    About being intentional with internal change – it requires a great deal of FOCUS, dedication and commitment to the change – and to the “why” it must change.  When you know “why” – you can handle any “how”.
     

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