Today we’re talking about the worst kind of leadership. Now some of you are probably sitting there thinking…I know what this is about, I’ve had terrible leaders before. Some of you may be thinking, oh gosh, is this going to be about me today? It’s possible!
The kind of leadership we’re talking about today is selfish, disrespectful, and childish.
- Leadership by its very definition means to lead people a title, an office, a desk, a business card, or even having a team does NOT make you a leader.
- Your job as a leader is to make your team successful, not the other way around! When you make them successful, you never have to focus on what whether or not they’re getting stuff done for you, right? That’s the whole concept.
- Punishing a team member is the worst kind of leadership in my book
- If you’re focus is on you as a leader, you will miss important teachable moments
- Bad leadership happens when you make it about you
- Punishing your team through blame, yelling, or other tactics will cause you to lose the respect and loyalty of your team
Key Action Items:
- Discover the absolute worst kind of leadership [7:43]
- What NOT to do in leadership, the actions that hold your team back [8:25]
- How to assess your own leadership [11:45]
- Get out of the Leadership Crazy Cycle [14:04]
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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.
Welcome to the show folks. Today we’re talking about the worst kind of leadership. Now some of you are probably sitting there thinking, I know exactly what that looks like. I’ve had that leader before. Some of you may be thinking, oh gosh, is this going to be about me today? Is is the stuff he’s going to describe, does that include me? It’s possible, it’s very possible, right?
That’s the reason why you’re listening to the show. You’re wanting to grow in your leadership. You’re wanting to grow in your personal life. You’re wanting to grow in the way you run or lead your business, so that’s why we share the things that we share. This is stuff that I’ve experienced in life that helps me to lead other people to either do or not do these things. That’s where I’ve grown my leadership from, right?
Good experiences, bad experiences, probably most of it from failures, right? So leadership by its very definition means to lead people a title, an office, a desk, a business card, or even having a team does not make you a leader if you think otherwise, you’re a Dork, right? If you think that having a title makes you a leader, you really do not understand the concept.
One of the reasons I can help leaders and business owners to succeed is experiencing bad leadership. And again, learning what not to do and what to fix, and that’s where we’re talking about the worst kind of leadership here today. If you want to know if you’re a leader, it’s very easy to do – turnaround is anybody following you? If they’re not, then technically you’re not a leader. Your goal is to lead people to something or to do something, especially something that they may not do on their own right.
Your goal is to lead people. As we say here, your job is in leaders to make your team successful, not the other way around. So that is why we’re talking about the worst kind of leadership. And today’s episode is brought to you by next level life. Do you ever find yourself asking in life? Is this it? Or find yourself feeling unfulfilled, stuck in the same old stuff, but never moving forward. And it’s not just affecting you. It affects your relationships as well. It’s just frustrating, isn’t it? What if you could wake up every morning with a clear purpose? What would it look like to have healthier relationships with less conflict? Where would you be in five years if you had clarity, purpose, and peace? Probably a big difference where you stand today. I know it’s possible because I’ve been where you are, asking myself, is this what the rest of my life is going to look like?
So let me tell you there is a better way. And it starts with next level life. You can go to chrislocurto.com/discover to take the next step. Next level life is a two day personal discovery experience. It’s a one on one personalized event where we guide you through a process to help you get unstuck in life, improve relationships, and discover what’s holding you back from freedom and peace. So if you’re struggling with discontentment, regret or not feeling good enough, and if you’re filled with anxiety or your relationships or liking, don’t keep going through the motions every day. Learn how to move past the things robbing you of peace. Go to chrislocurto.com/discover and take the next step for a better future.
Back to our topic for today, the worst kind of leadership. We’re going to talk about how to avoid the worst kind of leadership now. Probably one of the first things that I remember from early on in my childhood and my youth, I should say that when I first really experienced really bad leadership and it was something that I recognized was bad leadership.
So let me just kind of share this story with you. I started playing football as a little guy in what we called out on the west coast. It was called Pop Warner football. So we were just little guys, teeny tiny. The two biggest sports I played was skiing. I raced in skiing and during the summertime I played football and I played all the way up into high school and over the years I was a wide receiver. I was tight end, I was a punter, I was a kicker.
And when I got to high school football, I mainly played cornerback, you know, by the time you get to high school, they narrow these positions down a little bit more during a play. I was tackling a player in a way that’s slightly jacked up my ankle. It didn’t break it, it didn’t, you know, rip anything or anything like that, but it messed it up. It hurt it decently. It might’ve been a good sprain or something, but I remember I was down for a few days trying to be a tough guy. I didn’t say anything about it and I attempted to take care of it myself at home and the next day, which happened to be game day, I could barely walk. I was struggling. I went to the game that day, but I didn’t suit up. I mean, it was pointless.
I couldn’t actually walk. I wasn’t gonna be able to get out in the field and play. When I saw my coach, I told him what I did and that I couldn’t play. He didn’t say anything to me. He just walked away and believing that he understood exactly what I experienced. A couple days later, my ankle was healed at, I think it was like three or four days later and I was ready to hit the field, so I practiced fairy well every day. But on game day, the following weekend I sat on the bench up to that point. I had never been in a game that I didn’t play unless I was injured. And I think I only had one other injury back in pop warner, which was a bruised elbow a whatever the funny bone thing is, came down on a helmet that was not fun.
So it didn’t make sense to me I didn’t understand why I’m sitting on the bench. I’ve played every game except for, you know, something years before for the next three games. I found myself not playing each game. I would go to my coach and tell him, “Hey, I’m ready to go in,” and he would always say, okay. Finally, towards the end of the fourth game of being benched, I asked the coach, and when I say being benched, I wasn’t literally sitting on the bench. I just wasn’t being played in the game. So finally, after the fourth game, I asked the coach if something was wrong and he looked at me with just disdain. Now this has been five weeks and he looked at me and he said, don’t ever tell me when you can play. You ask me. And I was absolutely shocked and frankly speechless. I couldn’t believe that for four weeks in a row, four games in a row, he kept me out of playing ball without ever saying a word without ever telling me why.
I realized that this was horrible leadership. This is an authority in my life and this is how he’s choosing to respond. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only time I would see a leader treat their team member the same way, so the worst kind of leadership for me is punishing your team because that’s not leadership. Punishing is not leading, so understand that, especially when it’s all about your control. Listen, I do not want you to think at any way, shape or form what I’m saying is that you can’t hold your accountable. I’m the accountability guy. I’m the guy who teaches all the time holding people accountable, choices and consequences. If you make a bad choice, you’re going to get a consequence that goes with that, so please don’t look at this the same way. What I’m saying is the worst kind of leadership is the kind of leader who punishes their team for stuff.
Instead of taking the teachable moment, instead of leading them…lead me in this situation. Don’t rip your team’s head off. Don’t withhold information from a team member because you’re upset. Don’t start blaming team members or throwing people under the bus because you’re out of control. The worst kind of leadership is the kind of leadership that’s all about you, about being in control, about protecting you, defending you, about not being out of control and not allowing situations to be things that you work through as a leader.
The worst kind of leadership is the kind of leadership that rips people’s heads off and blames people all the time and throws people under the bus or withholds information from a team member because you’re upset. That’s not leadership. That’s terrible. That’s just crap. It’s not good. It’s not beneficial. It doesn’t benefit anyone, even the person doing it. The reason why people do stuff like that is because they believe that they’re protecting themselves and in the end what’s happened is they’ve lost all respect, all loyalty of everybody else, so make sure that you’re not doing that.
It’s more about control than it is about making people successful. If you lead this way, you will lose the respect and loyalty of your team. You will also miss out on the teachable moments which so much of leadership is all about. So much of my leadership is all about teachable moments. There has to be accountability leaders get in there and hold their team members accountable, but not by beating them up, by guiding and leading them to solve problems and to learn. They need to know what they’re doing wrong. Champions want to fix what they’re screwing up, right? They just may not know what they’re screwing up. So for me, at 14 years old, I did not realize that if I couldn’t walk, that I was screwing something up by telling him I wasn’t going to play, instead of asking me if it was okay, I had no clue.
I had no clue, but that teachable moment was lost when he didn’t stop and go, “are you asking me or telling me?” Giving me the opportunity to respond. Right? So instead of having even greater respect or loyalty from my coach, I lost it. If you don’t want to be this leader, then great, you’re on the right track. Now, since we’re talking about the worst kind of leadership, one of the biggest pieces that you need to be a great leader is communication.
A big piece of everything that we’re talking about today is communication. So if you do not have quality communication on your team, get it with DISC profiles. If you guys have been listening to me for any length of time, then you know that the number one issue when it comes to business, when it comes to family, when it comes to friendships, is not having high levels of quality communication.
The best way to get the communication is to understand your personality style and understand the personality styles of the folks that you’re spending the most time with at work or at home. Go to chrislocurto.com/store, and get your personality profile to day. Get it for your team members and family members. Get DISC profiles for you and your team and get started on the best ways to communicate today. Back to what you can do, the weekly action items, the things that you can do right now to avoid being the worst kind of leadership here. Two things that you can take action on this week. Stuff you can do right now. The first thing you can do is assess your own leadership. Are you punishing your team or are you setting them up for success? Ask yourself how you’re leading them, and if you have some people that trust you, you can ask them for input as well.
If they don’t trust you, then they’re really not going to tell you the things that you need to hear. They’re going to tell you the things that they believe you want to hear, so ask yourself the questions, are you ever punishing your team or someone because you’re frustrated? Ask yourself the question, are you more focused on what they’re not getting done for you instead of what you’re not doing for them? If the answers yes to either of these questions, then you’re making leadership all about you. You’re not setting your team up for success. Now, I understand this. I understand that a lot of you are actually in that place where leadership is about you. Why? Because nobody taught you. Nobody taught you how to lead people well. Nobody taught you how not to make it about you. Nobody taught you how to set team members up for success.
That’s why we do what we do for a living. Our goal is to constantly train you to be a better version of yourself as a leader, to be a better version of yourself as a wife, as a husband, to be a better version of yourself. You’ve got to learn this information, so a lot of leaders that come through next level mastermind, a lot of leaders that come through StratPlan have never been taught how to lead, so our leadership tends to be all about them. So take a hard look at yourself. Assess yourself honestly.
Ask yourself these questions. Are you punishing your team? Are you focused on what they’re not getting done for you? Instead of making sure that they’re successful in their role? Here’s the great thing about it. When you make them successful, you never have to focus on whether or not they’re getting stuff done for you, right?
That’s the whole concept. If you make them successful by default, you become successful. Number two, get out of the leadership crazy cycle so that you have time to lead people. The leadership crazy cycle. This is one, this is the number one lesson that we push in next level mastermind for our clients. This is the first thing that they need to go through. We’re going to have some people on in the next month or two talking about the impact of their leadership and how it took them years to decide to kill the leadership crazy cycle, but when they did, how much it changed their business, how much it changed their leadership.
So the leadership crazy cycle to its most basic form is when you’re so overwhelmed and you’re so caught up in doing tasks and things, and you’re focused on your identity or your worth coming from the things that you accomplish in a day that instead of spending time leading people to success, you spend time doing tasks and being overwhelmed.
You spend time not knowing what you got done today because by the end of the day, you’re just. Your brain is on fire, right? Your brain’s just smoking. If that sounds like you, if you’ve ever been in this place where you know you just don’t even know you get home and your spouse, what’d you do today and you’re like, “a lot, but I don’t know what it is.” If you’re overwhelmed with all the things that you’ve got to accomplish, you are stuck in the leadership crazy cycle. It’s causing you not to lead and it’s keeping you under a mountain of tasks. When you’re out of it, you have the freedom to set people up for success and invest in them instead of staying stuck in poor leadership, right? Because anybody who’s stuck in the leadership crazy cycle is not leading. That’s the key. That’s the point.
When you’re overwhelmed with all the tasks that you’re trying to accomplish in a day and you’re not duplicating yourself and you’re not getting things off of your plate that you should not be doing. One of the things we do inside that lesson, that’s a big lesson that we teach. One of the things we do in that lesson is asking people to calculate their hourly wage and then take a look at some of the tasks that they’re doing and ask themselves, would you pay somebody else on your team the amount of money you’re taking home to do that task? Oh boy, that is an eye opener, so we’re going to be doing an episode on the leadership crazy cycle and how to get out of it soon, so don’t miss that. We did an episode on the ground work of what it looks like to set up your team for success.
So make sure you go back and listen to episode 72, Where successful leaders spend their time. We’ll link to that in the show notes as well. So if you are in leadership in any capacity, you have got to care more about your team than yourself. You have to set them up for success. You have to be looking for the teachable moments. You have to care even if somebody is doing something against your leadership, even if somebody is not respecting you as a leader, look for the teachable moments to help them to see what they can do better.
Help them to grow, help them to be successful. If you will do that, then you will technically be a leader and you will most likely be moving in the direction of being a great leader. Care more about your team than you do yourself.
Folks, thank you so much for listening and being a part of this community. Now, if you have a minute to spare, please leave us a review on itunes so listeners can find the content they’re looking for and so we know these episodes are helping you guys. If you have questions or suggestions or if there’s content you really want that would impact your week to week, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We check that email every single day. Hopefully this was helpful for you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, Change Your Business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.
Leadership by it’s very definition means to LEAD people! A title, office, desk, business card, or name plate does NOT make you a leader!
If you think otherwise, you’re a dork. Yep, I wrote it. Why am I so passionate about that? Well… there’s a reason I help leaders, entrepreneurs, and team members succeed: years of experiencing bad leadership.
Growing up in Lake Tahoe, I played two main sports – ski racing and football.
I started football as little guy in Pop Warner and played up into high school. Over the years I was a wide receiver, tight end, punter, kicker, corner back, and free safety. When I got to high school football, I mainly played cornerback.
During a play, I tackled a player in a way that slightly jacked up my ankle. Trying to be a tough guy, I didn’t say anything about it, and attempted to take care of it myself at home.
The next day, which happened to be game day, I could barely walk. I went to the game that day but didn’t suit up. When I saw my coach, I told him what I did and that I couldn’t play. He didn’t say anything to me, he just walked away.
A couple days later my ankle was healed, and I was ready to hit the field. I practiced well every day, but on game day I sat on the bench. Up to that point, I’d never been in a game that I didn’t play unless I was injured. It didn’t make sense to me.
For the next three games, I found myself not playing. Each game I would go to my coach and tell him I was ready to go in, and he would always say, “Okay.” Finally, toward the end of the fourth game of being benched, I asked the coach if something was wrong.
He looked at me and said, “Don’t ever TELL me when you can’t play! You ASK me!”
I was absolutely shocked and frankly, speechless. I couldn’t believe he benched me for four games without ever saying a word, without ever telling me why, and for such an incredibly lame reason.
I was the kind of kid who always gave his all. I missed all of 2 games from injuries in years and had played through all kinds of injuries. I never would have thought that I had to ask if I could sit out a game, when I could barely walk.
As a teenager I realized this was horrible leadership. Unfortunately, it was not the only time I would see a “leader” treat their team member this same way. For decades I’ve watched and experienced leaders who are more about control than they are about making people successful.
Punishing a team member, and possibly the team, is the worst kind of leadership in my book. It’s selfish. It’s disrespectful. It’s childish! I lost any respect and loyalty I had for that coach. At the very least, he had a teachable moment and he blew it.
If ever as a leader you decide to punish a team member, get out of leadership. If not to save yourself from your own misery, at least do it for those you want to make miserable!
Question: Have you ever worked for a punishing “leader”?