Chris LoCurto : Welcome to the show folks! We have a very special guest. Cindy Taylor is a wife, a mom. She’s a leader. She’s a business owner. She’s a licensed occupational therapist and she’s an implementer, like crazy. The things that she gets done in her business at the rate she does is incredible to watch. She owns Carolina Therapy Connection, which works with children and teens to reach their goals by collaborating with families to create the best therapeutic plans and care and they do a phenomenal job.
So I wanted to bring her on the show because there is a lot to learn from Cindy. In the last quarter, listen to this, in the last quarter, she has turned her business and leadership around her team is unified and working toward a shared mission and goal, feeling like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
The team is happier and more motivated. The efficiency in the business has increased dramatically with the systems and processes put in place, including holding people accountable, which by the way, most businesses are not doing a good job with that…and she’s out of the Leadership Crazy Cycle. She’s trusting her team and delegating more and having time to enjoy our family and enjoying going to work. So please welcome to the show, Cindy Taylor. Cindy, welcome.
Cindy Taylor: Hey Chris. Thanks so much for having me on I really appreciate it.
Chris LoCurto : It is so good to have you on and I’m glad we can do this. While right now there’s a hurricane heading your way, so…
Cindy Taylor: yes.
Chris LoCurto : Yeah. We’re glad that you’re still here too. We’ve got you on the phone praying that everything goes well with that. You are killing it in your business, so I just want you to share, tell us a little bit more about your business. I love your instagram, the kids and the stuff you guys do is just. Oh, I love it. I’m always liking those pics, but give us a little overview of how you guys got started and where you are now.
Cindy Taylor: Yeah, sure. I got started about eight years ago actually. We just celebrated our eighth birthday, September marked eight years for us. We provide occupational, physical and speech therapy services. We actually focus on pediatrics, but now we’ve expanded services to adults as well, so we’re just rocking and rolling. We’ve got a clinic in Greenville, North Carolina, and we do home visits. We go out into the community. We serve some schools in the area as well.
Chris LoCurto : It always looks like you guys are having a blast. Like it looks like you guys have a lot of fun there.
Cindy Taylor: We do. We totally do. So that’s something that’s definitely changed now since getting out of this Leadership Crazy Cycle and we’ve been implementing some of the things that we’ve learned just through your lessons. On thing we have been doing a lot lately is just celebrating. That’s one of our core values now is celebrating small victories and it’s just fun. We just have such a good time and it shows our kids love coming here. Our team is amazing. It’s awesome.
Chris LoCurto : So you guys started expanding, you made some new hires and what happened? What happened in the business and for you as a leader?
Cindy Taylor: During the time that I was really deep into this crazy cycle that I was actually introduced to you guys through a mutual friend. We were in the midst of some huge changes happening at our clinic. I had just hired 3 new therapists all at the same time, we switched to a different electronic health record system.
We moved all of our billing in house and got rid of our outside billing, new office director and billing specialist. All this time we’re starting construction to expand our clinic space so it was chaotic to say the least. I was being pulled in a million different directions, trying to do every job in the business… Act as a therapist with my own case load, help the other therapists by solving their problems. There was just a really uneasy feeling in the clinic amongst our team. We were just all going in different directions at the same time while we’re expanding…it was crazy.
New Speaker: So what did your operations or your processes look like at that time?
Cindy Taylor: We really didn’t have anything set in stone. We were kind of all flying by the seat of our pants. We were making new hires without good training program. We were, like I said before, I had hired a new office director and I just didn’t have anything set in stone that was his job description. We were just kind of all kind of going through the motions and like I said, all kind of going different directions. We really didn’t have any set in stone policies and procedures that we were all following. Definitely not a mission, a vision and core values either that we were all basing our work around.
Chris LoCurto : So definitely you would say there was a decent amount of frustration, some overwhelm?
Cindy Taylor: Oh, for sure. Absolutely.
Chris LoCurto : For the folks that don’t know, when we’re talking about the leadership crazy cycle. There’s so much overwhelm. There’s frustration, there’s lack of trust. Your team’s not as productive. There’s struggles with leadership and communication. That is what we call the leadership crazy cycle, but some of our other leaders and business owners describe it as like exhausting, stressful, not productive, constantly spinning your wheels, all that kind of stuff. How would you describe what’s the Cindy Taylor definition of the leadership crazy cycle? What does that phrase mean to you?
Cindy Taylor: Well, for me, I would say exactly that. I mean it was just a crazy cycle, it took control of my entire life and all of my time. When you’re kind of caught up in like this endless list of tasks and you just lack a clear direction. It’s like having tunnel vision and getting wrapped up with working in the business instead of on the business. That’s how I would describe it.
Chris LoCurto : And the thing is is that, you know, again, we call it the leadership crazy cycle because this is what the leadership is focused on and for me at your level, everything that you’re doing at that time, wearing all those hats, keeps you from being productive. Because you should be leading the team to success using the gifts and talents that you have as well and not spending so much time bogged down in the junk. But that’s exactly what we’ve been trained to do. That’s what we’ve been taught. You know, the leaders that we had before us.
That’s how they did things, it’s that process of doing so much that you’re overwhelmed under a mountain of tasks and you get stuck. And for some folks, that’s where they gain their identity is being stuck in all those tasks or their security or their worth because they tell themselves that “I’m doing so much stuff that I must be good. I must be productive. I must be worth something.” But instead you end up in this crazy cycle working 14, 16 hour days and never getting out of the rat wheel. You get things done, but they’re just not getting done as well. And I’m assuming that because you’re stressed out, your team is stressed out and probably stuck in task saturation as well.
Cindy Taylor: Oh Gosh. Absolutely. Everybody. Basically, like you said, my day was comprised of just making lists of things to do, checking them off, but basically doing every job in the business. It wasn’t me doing something that a leader should be doing. I was just not leading at all. If I wasn’t taking care of my team, I really wasn’t. I wasn’t even taking care of myself at that time. So it was tough.
Chris LoCurto : What were your biggest frustrations as a leader when you were in the leadership crazy cycle? So we know that you’re wearing a lot of hats and everything, but is there something that you were just like, this is driving me nuts?
Cindy Taylor: Honestly, I think the main thing for me was
Cindy Taylor: the fact that because we had done so many things and just a short period of time all at once, I just had so much on my plate. I just bit off way more than I can chew. I was trying to train new employees and get them doing what they were supposed to do and I didn’t even know what they were supposed to do at that point. I’m trying to train them and getting frustrated with them because they don’t understand, but I really wasn’t teaching them the way they should be taught. That was frustrating for me. Just feeling like I have to wear every single hat and not trusting my team members. That was the biggest struggle for me.
Chris LoCurto : So, what drove you to that decision where you’re like, okay, I know that I need to change. There’s something I need to do. I need to change it. It’s either got to be the business, it’s got to be leadership. It’s going to be something. What drove you to that?
Cindy Taylor: I think there were two things that made me realize, okay, I need to change something. Number one was realizing that I needed to hold myself accountable. I had all these great tools from all of your lessons and even the next level leadership live event. It just sounded so amazing to me. Nothing was gonna change unless I started implementing some of these lessons, so I think that was the first thing. Just realizing, okay, Cindy, you need to hold yourself accountable. This is not gonna change unless you start just making these changes and it was a slow process and one that took a ton of work upfront, but is now paying off.
And the second thing. The other difference for me was just to trust my team. I think I got to the point where I said, you know what? I need to trust these people. I hired them for a reason. I need to trust them to be able to do what they need to do and teach them how to do it and check in with them and hold them accountable. So those are the two things that really changed for me.
Chris LoCurto : Folks I hope you’re hearing this because Killing The Leadership Crazy Cycle is one of the most important lessons that we teach our Next-Level Mastermind clients. It’s the first thing that we push into the program. Now this year we’re also teaching it somewhere else, one of our focuses that we’re going to be doing an in depth lesson on at this year’s Next-Level Leadership LIVE event. This is the place we taught it in 2016 and it made such an impact on businesses that it became the starting place for the next level mastermind program.
Like you just said, it’s tough. It’s not easy. There’s a lot to it. I love it when folks are killing it with this process because yep, it takes a lot to put in your already busy. You’re in the leadership crazy cycle and we’re giving you this thing to say, hey, if you will do this extra work, it’ll actually be easier on the other side. So what are the biggest wins since you started implementing The killing The leadership crazy cycle?
Cindy Taylor: Now we have a clear mission statement, vision statement, core values. I have so much time now to meet with our leadership team and all of our team members, we developed this amazing mission, vision, core values. We’re teaching them throughout the day. Our relationships have deepened. We just have so much fun together. Really. We all have come together and we really share these core values. They just mean so much to us implementing this new mission statement even to our families and the kiddos we serve, just has meant so much to all of us. I think that has been a huge game changer for us. The mission statement, vision and core values for sure.
Chris LoCurto : That you guys have direction.
Cindy Taylor: Absolutely.
Chris LoCurto : You know what your purpose is, you know where you’re headed, you know what you believe. I’m sure you’re a go getter before this, but you’re definitely a go getter as we get to see you and watching things like I say through social media, it just looks like it’s so much fun. But the thing that I want leaders to hear is you go from a mountain of stuff to the comment you just said, I have so much time to spend with my leaders, which is exactly where you need to be is leading leaders. I’m assuming that carries on over into your family as well.
Cindy Taylor: Oh Gosh. Absolutely. Well beforehand I was working like crazy. I wouldn’t go anywhere without my computer or my phone answering emails or
Cindy Taylor: doing something. I was going to the gym on the treadmill with my phone, trying to get emails answered. It was crazy. Um, and I really took a toll on my family and my kids. We have twins that are four and a half and you know, it was not fair to them because at night I was rushing to try and get them to bed so that way I could start working and then not finish until late and get up early in the morning and do it all again.
It was just never ending. And, and now I just, I have more time to spend with them, with my kids, my family. I enjoy my nights now. My weekends, the amount of stress in our house has definitely decreased for sure. I think the biggest thing is just slowly starting to learn how to set healthy boundaries in all aspects of my life. The one thing that I did and I’m constantly doing is
Cindy Taylor: evaluating the list of tasks that I’m doing throughout my week, that it just gives me a greater perspective what I’m doing. And that has had really helped me kind of start initiate all of this. So writing down all the tasks, and saying okay. Is this something that could be better handled by somebody else on our team or can it not? Is it something that I have to do? If it was, I would delegate. Biggest thing for me was not only to delegate it because I was pretty pretty good at delegating before, but I wasn’t good at
Cindy Taylor: following up with them, really teaching them, following up, but then and then holding them accountable. That was the biggest thing and I think that has definitely made a huge difference for my team members too because now they know what they’re expected to do. It’s kind of a guessing game to them and we have it written down. We have the KRAs and the KPIs that have been a huge accomplishment and game changer for us.
Chris LoCurto : There’s so many leaders, like you just said, now they know what it looks like to do the thing they’re supposed to do because so leaders get in this place where they’re so overwhelmed and delegation is, I need you to do that. You’re not doing it correctly. Why aren’t you doing it correctly? All right, let me just go ahead and take it back.There isn’t the time to train well, there isn’t even the understanding of what quality accountability looks like because so many people…
I always say this as people come through the program, is that if you come from a church background or something like that, then accountability has a really negative connotation to you because it’s usually somebody beating you over the head with a Bible telling you how horrible you are and how wrong you are, and that is absolutely not accountability. It’s helping people be successful at what they’re supposed to be doing, which you can’t do if you’re stuck in the leadership crazy cycle.
Chris LoCurto : The part that you’re talking about right now is what we call love hate delegate, and that’s a big part of what we teach in this lesson. So it’s taking you time to discover all the things you’re doing and the things you should be and you shouldn’t be. Then delegating those properly, which people don’t know how to do that as well a lot, but then having the accountability. So you’re actually giving things to team members who were probably task saturated at the time or struggling because they don’t know what accountability looks like. They don’t know what winning looks like for them. And by putting all of that in place, it relieves stress on them. Does that sound pretty accurate?
Cindy Taylor: Absolutely. And they love it, they ate it up. They’re like “this is great. Now I know exactly what my expectations are.” And there’s ways to measure it so we can sit down and say, okay, have you met these goals? If now, what do we need to do to change? What can I help you with? What’s not working to help you achieve these? So it just gives us more structure and direction like you said.
Chris LoCurto : There’s a ton of things that you’ve shared here. Is there anything that surprised you. Is there anything on the other side you’re like, “oh wow, I didn’t realize that we’re really good at doing this, or wow, that freed us up to do these processes” or is there anything that surprised you?
Cindy Taylor: What surprised me the most was honestly not trusting anybody. I don’t know why I felt like I had to do everything. And I would give them a task and feel like, okay, do you need my help? I’ll just go ahead and do it for you. Really trusting them and developing deeper relationships with them. It just opened my eyes to a whole new world. I mean really, I just become more personable with them, the team, and they’ve just become more of a family to me, so I think that was huge.
Chris LoCurto : There’s so many leaders that do not realize the very thing that you just said. You hired competent people. When you hired them, you didn’t hire incompetent people and figure, well, I just need a warm body in the seat. You hired them because you believed they were competent. You believed they could do the job, but they came from the same background as you did. You know as the rest of us we come from bad leadership or bad training or people who don’t know how to do this stuff and so the amount of productivity.
I would love to be able to put a number on that and say, wow, once we did this stuff, we put all these things in place. Now our people are this productive because just by realizing that the surprise of how competent they actually are means that they’ve actually had to become incredibly more productive. Do you agree with that?
Cindy Taylor: Oh yeah. And what’s so funny about the entire thing is before I was constantly looking at those numbers. Why aren’t you hitting productivity numbers? What’s going on with the schedule? Why are people cancelling?
Cindy Taylor: I was constantly focused on the number aspects of it. Well, when I actually took a step back, and realized, “okay, let’s
Cindy Taylor: take care of these people, let’s check in with them, truly check in with them and say, ‘Hey, I am here for you. I am on your side.'” That has made all the difference. Because now they want to achieve. I mean they want to be successful. It was totally different. This is kind of what changed my perspective about it too because I thought your team is what makes you successful, you know, and now it’s totally the other way around. I need to make them successful. I need to set them up so that way they are able to do what they do best and it just shows they are now way more productive our net totally gone up. It’s amazing to see.
Chris LoCurto : So if you were talking directly to leaders and business owners are listening to this… what advice would you give them if they’re stuck in this leadership crazy cycle?
Cindy Taylor: The first thing I would say, the most important thing, is you are definitely not alone. This is extremely common with business owners and leaders in general. I did not realize that myself. I thought I was the only one in the world going through this. I felt really, totally defeated. I kept telling myself, “I can’t believe I would let my business get this way…Not take care of my team this way.” So I would definitely say you’re not alone. This is not something that everybody learned. I didn’t, I was just kinda thrown into it.
So some advice I would give is to really sit down and set aside time to really gain perspective on where you are sending most of your time. What are you doing the day? This was one of the very first steps that I took and it was just extremely eye opening for me. And then it’s important to just go through the steps of that love, hate delegate process that you were talking about. This is really going to help you organize your time better and spend more time working on the business instead of in it. And then just implementing these strategies and holding yourself and your team accountable. It’s key. It’s huge
Chris LoCurto : A lot times when we add new teams to the next level mastermind program, we bring them in on the retreats. We will bring something up and I’ll ask them, “Hey, how are the only ones who struggle with this?” And it is hilarious because the newbies all raise their hands and all the veterans are laughing because they were the ones raising their hands, you know, the last time around. Because we do believe we get in this place…That’s what I love about the time that all the leaders and the owners spent together at the event is because we think that we’re the only ones going through this and we think, “Well, we don’t want to show that we’re struggling with this. We’ve got to show a good face. We’ve got this, we’re strong. We’re great.”
To see that somebody else, even with successful businesses, it’s not like the only people who struggle with this are people who don’t have a bottom line. People making tons of money, lots of net profit, struggle with the same exact problems and it’s the thing holding them back. So I love that you shared that. Knowing what you know now and seeing the success that you’ve seen, which is still a relatively short time, what advice would you give yourself two, three years ago?
Cindy Taylor: The biggest thing I would tell myself, would be to build them up and focus on making them successful. Because when your team is successful, it shows in their work and their interactions with our kids and the families serve. That’s the main thing. I mean I was so focused on our customers, making them happy, but really it’s your team because when your team is happy, then they produce a good product. Their product is their service and then everybody is happy. So I would say focus on my team more and I would also say too, just take it one day at a time. Don’t be so hard on yourself. This too shall pass…
Chris LoCurto : That’s so true… we can tend to say, “What’s the answer right now? I need to know the what is the answer right now? What do I do today?” And unfortunately the quick answers don’t give a longterm solution. So powerful stuff, folks, weekly action items. Now listen, the leadership crazy cycle will keep you your business and your team stuck. That’s what you’re hearing Cindy say today and you’ve probably experienced that.
You’re probably experiencing that right now. The beautiful thing is you don’t have to stay there, so I want you envision where you want your leadership or your business to be. You can get there, but you have to get out of the leadership crazy cycle. Now, if you listened to episode 292, you heard Bo who is again, a veteran of the program, and if you just heard how Cindy got out of this leadership crazy cycle, it’s impressive, the timeframe. It’s impressive what Bo’s been able to do.
Chris LoCurto : It’s impressive what a lot of these leaders have been able to accomplish because they had the tool to do it. So you can hear this lesson. You can learn it, you can deep dive into it and take action at the Next-Level Leadership live event. We would love to see you there and see the same results regardless of where you are.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your leadership. It really is something you can implement at any time, and for those of you that are just starting out, there’s nothing better than to make sure you’re doing it right before you get stuck like the rest of us did. So folks, you can go to chrislocurto.com/events to get your tickets today. Don’t keep holding yourself back. Get the stuff you need to get out of that, change your leadership. It will change your family. It’ll change the stress of your team. All this stuff that you’ve been hearing Cindy talk about today. Cindy, thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your advice and insights on the leadership crazy cycle. I know that has meant a lot to a lot of people.
Cindy Taylor: Thank you so much for having me. It was a lot of fun, and I just I love your team. I love you guys. You’re amazing.
Chris LoCurto : Oh, we love having you as part of the program. We love seeing you. We love getting to hang out with you all the time. You’re just always a great person to talk with. We’re going to be praying for you guys that everything is safe with the hurricane coming through, so you definitely have our prayers on that. If somebody is looking for a fantastic place for occupational speech, physical therapy for kids and teens and adults, now where can they find you?
Cindy Taylor: So our website is Carolinatherapyconnection.com We’re on Facebook and on Instagram, we’re all over social media.
Chris LoCurto : Once again, Cindy, I really appreciate it. Thanks for coming on and doing this.
Cindy Taylor: Thank you, Chris.
Chris LoCurto : Well, folks there you go. Hopefully that helps you. You know, our goal, our goal is to get you the information that changes your life, the stuff that helps you to solve the issues, the struggles. It’s not just about getting your leadership right, your leadership affects and impacts every part of your business and your life. So hopefully this has helped you today. Hopefully you’re going to join us at the next level Leadership Live
Chris LoCurto : event. As always, take this information, change your leadership, Change Your Business, change your life. Join us at the event, and join us on the next episode.