Where are you blind to unhealthy leadership? Learn how a C-Level leader discovered his blindspots, and the steps he took to become a healthier, more equipped leader.
Some of his struggles may sound familiar…
- Bogged down in tasks that aren’t his strengths
- Anxious about outcomes
- Worried his team doesn’t have complete confidence in him as a leader
Learn what the healthiest version of yourself, and your leadership could look like:
- What an unhealthy leader looks like [0:28]
- Common leaderships struggles we’re blind to [7:26]
- How to get to the root of unhealthy leadership responses [7:45]
- 2 takeaways that can start to change your leadership and business this week [12:09]
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Chris LoCurto: Is your leadership as healthy as you think it is? That is coming up next.
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 I am going to tell you a story about Steve, but instead of a big version, big picture version of a story, I’m going to give you a look into his daily life. I’m doing this because after coaching leaders for decades, I know how story resonates with most leaders, so here we go, so it’s 6:00 AM the alarm goes off and Steve hits snooze, nine minutes letter screeches again and he shuts it off and rolls out of bed. Steve stumbles toward the shower and starts getting ready for his day. As he’s getting ready, he’s reminded of the pressure he feels in his chest. His mind also races toward everything he has to get done today it’s now 7:30 AM and Steve is driving to work. He’s thinking through the day’s schedule, the tasks that he has to do that he knows aren’t his strengths.
They weigh on him. The three meetings he is leading add to that anxiety. He wants to make his team happy and for them to have confidence in his leadership. It’s now 8:00 AM Steve walks into work. He puts on a big smile, shakes hands and asks everyone how their evening was. Then he sees Shelly. He immediately feels guilty because he knows she is still waiting on something from him for the project she’s working on and then it’s Tim who’s been underperforming for a while now. The entire team sees it, but Steve can’t pull himself to make that hard decision. It’s now 9:00 AM and Steve goes to lead his first meeting. He knows he hasn’t fully prepared for it. There just isn’t enough time, but he knows how important this meeting is because it has the potential to really drive the outcomes that they need. 9:34 Steve’s wife texts him.
He feels that familiar guilt knowing she’s frustrated because he keeps saying yes to too much and is overwhelmed with work. He re shifts his focus back to the meeting. 10:05 and Steve leaves the meeting. It went fine. He didn’t get the most out of it but didn’t think it totally flopped either. Steve then goes and settles into his desk until lunch to do the task he’s been putting off the ones that take longer than he thinks they should. It’s now 1:00 PM and Steve leads his second meeting of the day. It goes great. He walks out feeling confident like he could never fail. He then makes a few calls to encourage team members and touch base with a vendor. Now it’s 3:00 PM and Steve’s third meeting is underway. A disgruntled employee speaks up shares with the team how he feels the processes being used, are highly dysfunctional and making his job very difficult.
Another employee pipes up in agreement. Steve’s heart that was just on cloud nine sinks fast. He knows he just lost the room. He feels the pressure of his team’s unhappiness. He’s overwhelmed with the thought of everything that needs to be changed to get things where they need to be. He starts questioning his leadership ability. He feels unqualified and feels like his team is watching him fail and they’re starting to doubt his leadership. So he works until 6:30 PM trying to make up ground and show his team how dedicated he is. His wife texts at 6:25 asking, when are you coming home? The guilt rushes back and piles on with the anxiety and overwhelm. Folks, here’s what I want you to know. Steve is an actual person and he’s given us the okay to walk through this process. Now we’ve changed his name. It’s not actually Steve but Steve, while he is a real person, he is also in fact a lot of the leaders that we coach.
So on this episode we’re going to be talking more about Steve and what healthy leadership looks like. But before we dig deeper into his story, I want to tell you about our next level leadership live event. Now, it only happens once a year and tomorrow is the last day to get your tickets. I’ve never seen a leader that’s had everything that they wanted. Out of thousands of leaders that I’ve coached most are probably a lot like you. You wish you saw greater productivity and less drama from your team that you didn’t spend your energy putting out fires, that you had more time to invest in your family and the things that you enjoy and you felt more equipped to lead your team to success. The only thing that’s holding leaders back from the results they desire is having the right tools and you can get those tools at the next level.
Leadership live event. So if you’re young, old, new, experienced, struggling, or really successful, this event is for anyone who is ready to learn from 25 years of best practices that get proven results. It’s not about short term fixes. In three days, I’m going to teach you how to have sustained revenue growth to generate greater productivity from your team and get immediate momentum toward the results that you want. It’s going to be detailed, practical, and loaded with how to’s. From the lessons we’re teaching, our clients have seen an average of 46% increase in gross profit in one year’s time. That’s one year’s time. These clients run normal everyday businesses and your business can have the same level of success, so if you’re ready to see those results, go to ChrisLoCurto.com/events and get your tail to this event and invest in your leadership and business.
I can’t wait to see you there. All right. We are talking about Steve and you may hear Steve’s day and think, ouch man, that is rough. He needs leadership coaching or you could hear it and think, wow, that’s me. Here’s the thing. I know Steve personally, he’s a fantastic leader, amazing leader, but when he walked into our program, he was like most of our other clients and believed that he was the only one who had these struggles. It is a fantastic thing whenever we bring on a new group into our Next Level Mastermind and they come to their very first retreat, I will usually ask a question and say, how many all feel like you’re the only ones that go through this and the brand new peeps raise their hands and the veterans laugh because they’ve all been there. We always think that we’re the only ones going through this stuff.
Listen, the reason why I teach this stuff is because I used to be a Steve, right? I used to experience that kind of stuff early on in my leadership career. So the stuff that you learn from me are from failures, man. It’s from the stuff that I’ve learned over decades of growing, learning, teaching, and leading people. But you’re not alone. So if you’re experiencing this and you’re going, man, that sounds a lot like me, well then guess what? There are a ton of other people listening to this that feel the same way. So let’s dig into his story more and I can’t wait to tell you about his transformation. So you heard some of his struggles: stressed out, saying yes too much to things, the strain on his marriage, bogged down in tasks that aren’t even in his strengths, the anxiety that comes when he needs to hit the outcomes, the worry that he has about his team not believing in him as a leader.
So much of this came from his Root System and he had literally no idea. So if you haven’t heard us talk about root system, go back and listen to the understanding your root system podcast, the episode, and we’re going to put a link in the show notes and all that kind of stuff. Then you’ll get so much more out of this episode. So Steve’s root system. Now the surface level responses that Steve was experiencing was feeling responsible for other people, was people pleasing. So if you haven’t seen this in other people or you haven’t seen it in yourself, then here’s kind of how people pleasing can show up. You feel the need to praise, to feel good. You might praise other people so that you feel better about yourself. You feel uncomfortable. If somebody is angry at you, you might feel like a crazy loss of worth
if somebody feels angry or somebody, even if somebody appears to be mad at you, you’re probably losing a good amount of worth in the process. You’re assuming a whole ton of stuff. You’re assuming that people are mad. You’re assuming that people think your leadership sucks. You know all of these assumptions that flow in. You say yes to way too many things, way too many things. Why do you say yes? Because it’s pleasing people. I know I want to help this person. I want to take care of this person so I’m going to say yes to this thing. Even though I just said yes to seven other things and they all have to be accomplished in the same timeframe. You feel burdened by the things that you have to do. Now in Steve’s words, these are Steve’s own words. “It was very much a burden that I put on myself.
I felt I had to make other people happy or that it was my responsibility. It’s shaped a lot of areas in my life. It’s just not healthy how much energy I invest in trying to do that. I can’t say it was a conscious thing, but it was something that would really weigh on me. I created a lot of stress in my life.” So those are Steve’s own words. If you ever experienced that, if you’re relating to that right now, and I don’t know anybody who’s listening to this that doesn’t relate to at least one piece in that, and a lot of people relate to the whole thing. Those are the experiences that he was putting on himself. He was taking on way too much and having really poor boundaries, not being able to say no if you haven’t heard the statement. Every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else, right?
You have a limited amount of time in the day. So every time you take on something else in an attempt to people, please, every time you take on something in an attempt to in your mind, convince yourself that you’re helping somebody else, then you’re saying no to something else. You know, as we talked about in Steve’s end of the day, he’s saying no to being home with his family. I’m not saying that you can’t work late, and I’m not saying that you know that you have to, I’m never going to be the person who works 40 hours a week. I don’t even believe in that. I believe you do the work that you’re called to do, but when it’s affecting your marriage, that’s not good, right? So you need to have quality, healthy boundaries. And what poor boundaries looks like is relationships that are difficult or dramatic.
You’ve seen that. You’ve experienced that. You find that decision-making can be a challenge, right? Because what decisions do you make? Do you make a decision that hurts somebody? Do you make a decision that puts somebody, you know, at the back of the line, do you make a decision that you know, may wear you out and cause you to be overwhelmed? So decision making can be challenging. You find that you have guilt and anxiety and you find that you’re tired for what appears to be no reason. Again, Steve’s words are, “I’m a High D I personality. My wife has a 99 S and C.” So obviously talking about personality profiles folks, if you’ve not done disc with your team and get it done. “Polar opposites. My need to just do things that other people ask to make other people happy, created a lot of stress in our relationship.
I had to say in quotes, yes to everything.” So Steve’s Aha moment after realizing all this experience in this was after two days of gaining perspective and walking through his next level life, there was a breakthrough. Now I can barely scratch the surface on this podcast, but here are two high level takeaways that started to change him and change his leadership for the better. The first thing was knowing how much self worth was impacting his daily life and leadership. He finally saw how much self worth he was getting by being productive and in any given moment the productivity was feeding his worth and that was that leadership wall that he kept hitting. Never seeing it. That productivity is not your worth. Now it’s your work to the business, right? But when we are getting are worth from productivity, we’re not even efficient. We’re not even necessarily doing the right things.
The key thing that he saw there was that productivity was feeding so much of his worth and he didn’t want his daughter to grow up believing the same thing. Literally again in his words, “after going through next level life, here’s how I described it. Now I feel comfortable with where I’m getting my self worth. I know quickly now if I’m out of line and if I just need to readjust.” That was a big powerful piece. The other piece was being able to focus on his strengths. Again, in his words, “it’s a lot easier for me to embrace what I do well and not get trapped and the things that I don’t do well, which has been the previous years, the last four years before my events, and allowed me to focus on more of my strengths rather than some of the things that just don’t come easily to me.”
So let’s take a look at Steve’s life now. Specifically when it comes to his leadership and at work, and again, I’m just going to read you what he says. “It’s amazing. Once the curtain’s pulled back on that and we really dig a lot deeper with my team members and understand each other…I’m able to share what I struggle with so much easier because I know. That makes a big difference in how open we can be with each other and where we can get as a team. The big thing that I think helps me as a leader is so much of it comes back to understanding myself. It’s so important for me and for really anyone to understand who they are. I’m able to engage others. It’s changed every aspect of how I lead. There’s just this openness and comfort with me and with others that is just so different than before.”
Powerful, powerful stuff that he’s experienced since coming through his next level life. How it’s affected his leadership, because Steve invested himself. His marriage is stronger. His daughter’s going to grow up not believing that our worth comes from productivity, not believing that our worth comes from people pleasing. His team’s unified. And again, this is somebody I know, we’ve changed the name. But I know I’ve seen the unified team. It’s gone to a completely different level. The communication is immensely improved. And now that he’s not focused on pleasing everyone else, he can actually laser focus on the most productive and important work. He has a clear mind. He’s got, you know, vision of his strengths and the tools for when he gets off course or out of line as he phrased it, to be able to pull himself back into this place of not seeking worth in the wrong places, not feeling like he’s worthless, not feeling like he’s a failure, not making all the assumptions that his team thinks that he’s not good.
So here’s my question. What would the healthier version of your leadership and your life look like? What new outcomes would you see? This is not an injection of motivation or a series of life hacks, you know, to last you a few weeks and there’s a lot of people out there selling stuff that gets you motivated for a few weeks and then you’re back to the same spot. It’s a personal plan for your strongest life and goes deep into the why to create real lasting results and freedom. So if you want to learn what the healthiest version of yourself and your leadership looks like, if you want to change your family tree, if you want to change, the way that you feel, the assumptions you create, the overwhelm that you have by not being able to say no by saying yes too many times, then go to chrislocurto.com/discover so that you can learn more and take the next step.
Learn more about it. That’s all I’ve you’ve got to do is learn more about it. ChrisLoCurto.com/discover. Well folks, if you haven’t already, make sure you get subscribed so you don’t miss when we release new content. Make sure you’re getting the notifications and not missing it in a noisy world of social media and email. Go to iTunes or the podcast app or wherever you listen and hit subscribe. Also, do me a big favor. This is a favor to me. Give us a review. Leave us a review. Even if you just do the stars, you know, just click. How many stars do you think this podcast is worth that allows us to reach more people and you’d be doing me a huge favor. So hopefully this has helped you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.
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