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.
So You Want More Productivity From Your Team…
Welcome to the show folks. We are so glad that you were allowing us to be a part of your day today. Today we’re talking about what leaders and business owners want. So many of you guys out there want more productivity on your teams. You want excellence. You want your teams or team members operating at a hundred percent, getting results, being creative, making the business successful, driving decision making, no balls dropped, no laziness, no poor quality work. You know, these are things that we want as leaders and business owners, but the question is, “how do we get this kind of team?” It’s not just hiring, although it is an incredibly important piece. If you don’t hire excellent people, then you don’t tend to have excellent people. One of the biggest factors to this is how you view your team. You have an incredible influence as a leader and a ton of responsibility comes with how you view your team, right?
How you see those people on your team. Are they champions? If they’re not champions, what’s it going to take to make them champions? Your job as a leader is to make your team successful, not the other way around, so if you can’t influence your team, you’ll get half of their productivity and none of their loyalty. Let me say that again. If you can’t influence your team, you’ll get half of their productivity and none of their loyalty. So how do we do this? How do we get to influence our team to be greater, to drive decisions, to be more excellent? Well, that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. This is also the reason why I don’t use the word employees. I use the phrase team member and that is something that I was introduced to probably about 20 some years ago that we don’t focus on the phrase employees. We focus on team members.
Team Members vs. Employees
The difference between team members and employees in my eyes, team members are bought into the mission. They are highly productive. They serve clients while they are part of the team and have the best interest of their fellow team members at heart. They uphold the culture in the values of the organization. Employees show up for a job. They are not invested in the success of the organization and more likely to gossip, to backstab and create drama. They operate as islands. They seek their own interest, not the interest of others in the organization. Now am I saying that that’s only, you know that team members never do that? No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is I choose to view my team members as team members, members of my team, not just somebody showing up for a paycheck, not somebody who’s just showing up and is a number to be counted.
So leaders. Let me ask you, do you have team members or employees? Many times through StratPlan, it’s one of those things that I try and help people to change their DNA with how they say things, how they call things. Do they call people team members? Do they call them employees? If they call them employees I try to influence the folks that are here to say, hey, let’s try and look at them differently leaders. You’re here as a leadership team to grow in you to make you better, so let’s try and look at them in a different light. If we will call them team members, then it actually even gives them a little bit more dignity, right? That they’re not being called employees. Now. Funny story. I used to have a guy who worked for me, back when I used to have a big team that just did the events that we did.
So we used to travel around and we do all these big huge arena events, 10,000 people, all this kind of fun stuff. While I had a whole team of people that just did the logistics of the events and so I had hired a guy and when I would come in and he came out of that industry. So I’m bringing him in on a team that we treat people with dignity. We think more highly of our team members. And so I brought him in and as I walked in in the morning. If he was there, I would walk by, I mean he’d go, Hey boss, and I’d stop and I’d go, “hey, listen, I don’t love the term boss…you know bosses, it’s kind of a derogatory term about somebody who’s, you know, who is that type of dictator type of personality.
That’s how I kind of see that. So if you could do me a favor, I would just appreciate that.” And you’d be like, “Oh, it’s a term of endearment where I come from.” I’m like, “Yeah, I get that. I understand. I just prefer it if you didn’t call me boss.” “Oh no problem.” Then a couple days go by and I’d walk in, I’d walk by his desk and he’d go, “Hey boss.” And I go, “Hey, I don’t love the term boss. You know, it’s kind of a negative a term for me. I don’t love that. If you could do me a favor and just not call…” “Oh, it’s a term of endearment.” “Yeah, I get that.” The third time, [laughter] the third time I come in, I walk by his desk, he goes, “hey boss.” I go, “Hey, employee.” He looks at me, and he goes, “Yeah, I got it.” [laughter]
I’m like, “it sucks, doesn’t it?” He’s like, “Yep, I got it no more” and I don’t believe he ever called me boss ever again. You know, because once you hear it back the other direction, “Hey, employee.” Yep, I don’t like that either. So I get what you’re saying and I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it again. So just funny way of looking it when you think it’s not that important. Think about if you had people calling you boss all the time, now it’s not that they’re going to call you leader all the time, but wouldn’t you rather be referred to as somebody’s leader than somebody’s boss? I mean it absolutely changes the way you feel about that person. Now, a huge part of having incredible team members is having high levels of quality communication and learning to lean in each other’s direction. That’s why this episode is brought to you by DISC,
our personality profiles, personality tests. The number one issue when it comes to business is not money. It’s not trying to find money. It’s having a lack of high quality communication. Every single business that comes in here, it’s the number one issue that we discover, helping them to overcome that as well. The best way to get that communication is to understand your personality style and to understand the personality style of the folks that you’re spending the most time with, whether it’s at work, whether it’s at home, whether it’s your kids. The best way to do that is to go to chrislocurto.com/store and get your personality profile and personality profiles for your team today. As you go through that profile, you will be given to see the greatest ways to communicate. Get DISC profiles for your team, for your family, for you.
Also, check out the personality styles video that will change the way you communicate and learn how to win with communication. Now, weekly action steps for you to get more productivity from your team, for you to get more influence into your team, to help your team member to be getting better results or operating at 100 percent. How do you do that? Well, it’s amazing.
How To Influence Your Team
It has to do with your influence, so here’s how to influence your team every week by treating them like team members, not just employees. The first thing you can do is start by taxing the collective intelligence. Now, if you haven’t heard me talk about this before, this is one of the things that I discovered I learned early on in my leadership career, so I started leadership at the ripe old age of 21 when I was at e-trade and I became the assistant customer service supervisor, now I wasn’t even the supervisor,
I was the assistant supervisor. That was my first leadership role and boy did I think I had hit the big time, right? Twenty one years old. I’m in leadership and I’d been working since I was 14 years old, so I had had at that point, you know, a third of my life I had been working. And so now I’m in this role that has this great amazing title to it that has a leadership quasi attached to it, right? [laughter] And so I started doing the same thing that so many of the leaders that I had experienced in my past had done, you know, the things that they had taught me and that was, tell people what to do. That’s the job of a leader. Let me tell you how to do that. Here’s the problem. Let me tell you the answer. Here’s a situation going on with a client.
Let me tell you the answer. And it did not take me long for me to see that people really liked me. We had a great group of people. They liked me, I was a friend to them. You know, things are great. And then I get in this leadership role and next thing you know, I’m telling people what to do. It took me about two months for me to finally see and realize that their eyes were dimming, that they weren’t. When they saw me, they didn’t treat me the same way as they did before, that they weren’t as excited to see Chris because Chris wasn’t as involved with them as he was before. Instead, Chris is now doing the thing that he thought was the right thing to do with leadership and is telling people what to do. Well, after a couple of months of seeing this and realizing this, I decided that doesn’t work.
How To Tax The Collective Intelligence
Now the way that I was leading was not going to work. I didn’t really understand what all to do, but I did understand this, that I started to ask people for their opinions. I started to ask people, well, what would you do? What do you think about this? How do you think we should solve this? And I didn’t call it taxing the collective intelligence back then, but that’s what I call it now. I started to tax the collective intelligence. What do you guys think? How do you think we should solve this? Even if I thought that I had an answer and amazing thing happened, when I began to treat my team with dignity by asking them for their own input, an incredible thing happened, they gave it, and they felt good about it, and they felt that I was treating them like a human being… and sometimes they had the best answers and sometimes they had answers that I hadn’t even thought of and sometimes they were just really happy to be a part of the process.
While another thing happened, as I carried this on in my leadership throughout my years, the more than I would tax the collective intelligence, then all of a sudden people would have more ownership and more buy in. So when I discovered what I would just tell people to do stuff, they didn’t really have that same buy in as if they came up with the idea. So even if I knew the answer, but I asked somebody to give me their input and giving me their knowledge and their wisdom. Then all of a sudden they felt like they were a part of the process. So when we got to a solution or we got to a direction or we got to something that we were going to walk out, they now have buy in in that process, they now have ownership of that process. So one of the first things you can do, which is one of the best things you can do, is to tax the collective intelligence.
Even if you believe you’ve got the right answer. As we walked through Stratplan, a lot of the time, what I will do is, I will tell the leadership as you go back and you’re going to present a bunch of this stuff to your team, do not tell them what they’re going to do. Don’t just tell them, “Hey, you’re going to do this. This is how it’s going to happen. This is what we’re going to change.” Because what happens is, is that they’re just going to receive it as, “Oh, you figured out this thing and you did this thing down there in Nashville and now we just have to walk all these pieces out. Okay, fine. Well we’ll just do what you tell us to do.” And you’re going to get half of their productivity, you’re not going to get 100 percent, you’re going to get half of it.
So what I tell the folks around the table that, you know, we bring in these leadership teams and we go through the whole business. Now, one of the things I’ll tell them is now when you go back tax the collective intelligence, get their input. You now have this plan to go do this stuff. Don’t just go tell them. Go ask them what they would do, ask them how they would implement that. Hey guys, one of the things that we’re going to work on inside of the business is communication. Okay? So where are we struggling with communication? Well Chris, but we already know that answer. Well, let’s go ahead and ask them anyways. Let’s go see what they think, right? Because a couple of things are going to happen… when you do that they feel like they’re part of the process.
So again, they get that ownership and buy-in. But you may discover that there is even bigger communication issues than we were able to discover here. You may discover that communication isn’t nearly as bad as you thought it was because you were making big assumptions. There’s all kinds of stuff that can happen in that process, so I’m always telling, not always. Sometimes we’ve already got folks that have come through and they already know to go back and tax collective intelligence, but sometimes we’ll have some folks that don’t understand that concept and I’ll walk them through that. Go do this, get your people on board and have them be a part of the process because you will be amazed at the success of implementation when it comes to Stratplan. Now another thing you can do is treat your team with dignity and respect.
Understand that nobody goes it alone. There are some folks out there that have built incredibly successful businesses according to men, by focusing heavily on building up people to just execute stuff, you know, to get things done, but they have high turnover. They don’t have great loyalty and yeah, people may be excited because they’re a part of that company that, was super popular, or made a bunch of money or something like that, but after awhile that wanes. After awhile they kind of care less about being a part of that hip company. They can care less about being a part of that super fast growing company because it doesn’t mean anything to them if they don’t have people who treat them with dignity and respect. So another thing you can do is treat your team members with dignity and respect. There’s an African proverb that says, “if you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.” Here’s what you need to understand. You’re not going to build a business by yourself that is highly successful, right? You’re going to need people. Now I’m not saying you can’t be a solopreneur and be successful. That’s not what I’m saying at all. People are always going to be involved in some way, shape or form. Whether you’re using subcontractors, whether you’re using virtual assistance, you can only go so far by yourself. If you’re going to go a long distance, you’re going to require people, and again, you’re listening to the show, which means most likely you’re looking forward to having team members. If you don’t already, and a lot of you already do have team members, about 60 percent of you are already leaders and business owners and somewhere around 40 percent of you want to be someday.
Treating Your Team with Dignity & Respect
So here’s the deal. You need to be able to treat your people with dignity and respect. Understand that they are human beings. Understand that they are not just a number. They’re not just a cog in the wheel. They’re not just something that’s making something happen. Instead, they’re people who have feelings, who have emotions, who have families who have a life outside of your business, so treat them that way. It’s incredible when I watch people treat team members as somebody who I’m paying you to do something, you should not have any problems. You should not have any feelings. You should not have any struggles, and a lot of you business owners right now are going, okay, I kind of do that sometimes, yes you do. Why? Because a lot of times you look at the team as people who can make things happen for you instead of realizing that you’re not going to get very far with out those people.
Now on the converse, they’re not going to get very far without your money paying them. So this is a, we need each other, right? So as you treat team members, like employees, what it looks like is, they’re a number. It looks like somebody that is coming on board and their worth to you is the paycheck. So it’s kind of the converse of somebody who’s coming just for a job. This is something where they recognize that you see them as just a number, just somebody who’s there to pull off the very things that you envision. And unfortunately what that does is once again, that causes people to slow down in productivity. They’re not going to be focused on getting results, if they believe their “boss” only cares about them showing up and getting specific things done, they don’t care about what’s happened in their life. They don’t care about what’s happened in their, you know, in their day.
They don’t care about that they just lost a family member. And boy, I’ll tell you what, that since I just said that, there are some people that need a good swift pop upside the head. I’ve actually seen supposed leaders where people have come to me and they’ve said, Chris, I had a parent that died and I did not get time off for the funeral. I don’t know how. Listen, I’m sorry. This is one of those situations where I’m going to tell you, leave, just leave. Trust God. He’s got you, leave. There’s no way I’m staying at a place that would not let me have time off for a parent’s funeral. Now I understand if it is, you know, your favorite bird passed away and you wanted to take a day off, that’s on your own. We’re not going to supplement you on that one, but if somebody has something so important to them, as a relative dying, and the only thing that owner that boss could think of is, well, sorry, I can’t give you that time.
That’s probably not a place I’m going to stay. There’s no probably to it. I’m not staying there. Treat your team members with dignity and respect. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased somebody plane tickets to go to a funeral. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given people extra time off. As matter of fact, we just had a team member who was a friend of hers that went through a very difficult time in losing a father. And I’m like, go. She’s like, I’m thinking of heading down there. I’m like, go, take off. Take care of that situation. Go minister to her with presence and you know, love on her. We’re going to be okay here. Come back when you come back. So treat people with dignity, treat them with respect. Understand that these are children of God.
Understand that these are God’s kids, respect them, respect that. One of the best things you can do for your team members and treating them with respect is recognize them in front of family members. You are going to meet your team members spouses, at some point you’re going to meet their kids. Today are a brand new hire of ours. Brandon who’s only been on for a little over a week. He brought in his wife and his baby girl and it was just so sweet to see this family come on in to see the building and, you know, take a tour around all that kind of fun stuff. And while he’s holding his daughter, I mean she’s only a couple of years old. It was so funny. She turned and she stretched her arms out and it was in my direction and I’m like, “Oh, you want to come to me?”
Which she probably wanted to go to mom, pretty darn sure that you wanted to go to mom. And so Brandon hands his daughter off to me and I’m just loving on his little girl. Right? And it’s just super sweet. And then I turned to his wife and I go, listen, everybody here loves Brandon. He’s great. And by the way, he’s greatly needed. He’s relieving a lot of pressure off of the admin staff…and by doing that, not only am I treating Brandon with dignity and respect, but I’m treating his family that way as well. And it’s not fake. It’s absolute truth. That’s exactly how I feel. That’s what I’m experiencing, right? I’m super glad that he’s here. I’m super glad that he’s bringing his talents and his gifts that God has given him to this business to help you guys, to support us in doing the things that we’re doing.
So it’s truth. Be genuine. Otherwise people will see through that. Right? But by doing that, what do you think that does for him? How do you think that makes him feel when his wife hears after just a week of him being here, that the people around here think the world of them already, that we love having him here. It’s powerful people. It’s powerful. Don’t do that so that you get more productivity. Do that because you care. Do that because you love people do that because you’re treating them with dignity and respect. The great outcome is you will have incredibly loyal people. You will have incredibly productive people.
Understand Everyone Has A Root System
Next thing you can do is something that is a core value here at our business and one of our core values is understand everyone has a root system. Honor that. So for us, root system is the basis of Next Level Life.
You’ve heard me talk about it a bajillion times, but everybody has this part of their life where they have received deposits from other people, other influences that they’ve received, trainings, they’ve received good stuff, they’ve received bad stuff, they’ve received a whole bunch of junk and a bunch of good stuff that they don’t know what to do with or they don’t understand or they don’t know how to deal with it, and because of that, it causes them to have what we call surface level responses. It causes them to lie to themselves. The junk side of stuff, the deposits, causes them to have these surface level responses and tell themselves lies, believe it or not. Even on the good side…you know, if you were too loved by a parent and you know that they didn’t give you, that didn’t allow you the opportunity to learn, choices and consequences or you know, difficult, tough conversations with people in life and those things.
Then you’ve got some deposits that come from even the positive side of life that has created some of these surface level responses. So to understand that everybody comes with that. Everybody has that. Everybody experiences that so they may be very healthy in a lot of ways that is fantastic and wonderful and you love it, but they also may have some surface level responses that are unhealthy. They may tell themselves some lies that are unhealthy, so understand just like you, there’s a bunch of junk that has been deposited into your life that you’ve received or it’s become your fruit, as we say here, that you have some surface level responses that you have, some lies that you lie to yourself about and so you struggle in situations. Maybe you struggle with control, procrastination, not feeling good enough, not feeling worthy enough. You struggle with some of these things.
Understand that so does everyone else. Everybody has a root system. Honor that, so if they’re struggling, focus on them struggling, not on you receiving it, not on how it affects you, not how it impacts you. Focus on them. If you will do that, you’ll be amazed at again the loyalty, the respect that you get back from them when you realize that they may be going through very troubled times making bad decisions because of something that’s happened in their life and you support them and you try and help them to overcome that junk. Then you will be blown away at the loyalty that you get because they will understand that you actually care more about them in that moment than anything else that’s going on. Right, and if I will stop and take time to focus on my team members and love on them through difficult stuff, I will be blown away by how much they will do the same exact thing to you guys when you come through, when you come through events, when you come and visit, when you come and do next level life or strat plan, our next level mastermind, or to our next level leadership live event.
When you come through that stuff, I get to watch my people love on you. I get to watch them treat you incredibly well and the discussions, just watching the discussions around the event is powerful. I love it. It’s amazing.
Lean In Their Direction…
Another thing you can do is lean in their direction. Now this is a big piece of what we talk about when it comes to personality styles, when it comes to values, so you know, again, if you haven’t done disc, get it done. Get it in your business, get it in your family. Learn how to win with this stuff. Learn how… I always say at it’s most basic form, it’s learning how you act, how you react, how you give information, how you receive information. That’s DISC, the values piece. We’re doing the DISC plus now as well, which combines the two of them. The values piece are the things that you value most in life, the things that motivate you.
So for me it is very easy for me to understand what motivates my team members. I see it, I understand it. I know which direction to go in. If I’m going to motivate somebody, there is no point in me trying to dangle a financial carrot in front of somebody who has no economic in their value system. Right. That’s not going to be something super. You know, they’re, they’re super high theoretical but they have no economic that is not going to do anything for them. There’ll be okay with it, but they would be super happy if I came along and talked to them about, you know, some sort of cultural thing that they’re really into. We did a thing because of one of our team members that was here a while back. We did a thing with all of our next level mastermind clients on one of their retreats.
They get to come here four times a year and one of the retreats, we actually went and did leadership in the battlefield, so we’re down in Franklin, Tennessee. Where one of the bloodiest battles of the civil war happened and so we went out there and talked through, one of my team members, super high theoretical person, big civil war buff…went through and discussed leadership on that battlefield. It was stunning. It was amazing to watch all of these leaders be able to watch this battle in their mind as it was explained to them and we went through the battlefields and where all this stuff was going on and where canon fire and all this stuff and talk through how this is how this leader did this and this is how this leader responded and this is how this leader was so arrogant and this is how…
I mean it was just amazing. Right? When you understand how people receive information, how they give information, how they act to situations, how they react to situations, the things that they value most and the things that motivated them the most. When you lean in that direction, it causes you to win with communication, but it does something even bigger for your relationship. It shows your team member that they’re not an employee, that you’re not just telling them what to do and expecting they just follow your demands or your direction or your dictatorship, right? Instead it shows them that you care enough about them to be able to lean in their direction, to communicate in a style that they receive. So for me, if I’m talking to my high Cs…There’s a whole lot of I in this building. There’s a whole lot of C in this building, believe it or not, right?
We’ve got. We’ve got a good smattering of, yes I just used the word smathering, of personality styles in the building and I will lean in the direction of who I’m talking to. So if I’m talking to Daniel, who’s got a lot of D and a lot of I in him I can be very short, very direct, very to the point, he’s going to get it immediately. If I’m talking to somebody else who’s like a high S or high C if I’m talking to Andrea who’s very high C a lot of S in her as well. Then I’m going to spend a little bit more time. I’m going to explain through things more. I’m going to make sure that she understands. I’m going to ask a lot more questions. Does that make sense? Does this make sense? Because I may not give her everything that she needs to hear.
Right? And so I’m going to go through that process and make sure she understands. Again, if I’m going back to Daniel, I’m going to make sure that he’s not going to drop details because if he’s in his I mode, he may miss some details right? Where Andrea is not going to if I set her up for success, so lean in the direction of the person that you’re speaking to. I’m not asking you to become them. I’m not asking you to become their personality style, I’m not asking you to become their values, but the more you understand them, the more you can lean in their direction and then you can set them up for success. By doing so, you will have team members, not people who feel like they’re only employees. So that’s a lot of stuff that you can do right now. Make sure that you’re taxing the collective intelligence and use it.
Make sure that you’re treating the team with dignity and respect. Make sure that you understand everybody has a root system and honor that, and make sure you’re leaning in the direction of every one of your team members, whether it be into their personality style, whether it be into what motivates them. If you will do these things this week, which you will discover is… very soon, you will see that you have way more team members than you do employees, and as long as you don’t treat them like employees, they will stay team members the whole time. Well folks, thank you so much for listening and being a part of this community. If you have a minute to spare, please leave us a review on itunes so more listeners can find the content they’re looking for, and so we know these episodes are helping you guys. If you have questions, suggestions, or that there’s content you really want that would impact your week to week, please email them to [email protected]. Yes, we checked that email everyday. Hopefully this has helped you today. If it has, leave us a review on itunes so we can help more people and as always, take this information, change your leadership, Change Your Business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.