#121- Getting The Most You Can from Talented People
John (Intro): I have been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good. After running companies small and large for the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic: What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to Tomorrow’s Leader.
John: All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader related, related to leaving yourself and leading others. I am John Laurito, your host. So today, today’s message, today’s idea, today’s concept is a really critical one for leaders to understand. And that is, it is not just about attracting talent to your organization. That’s part of it, without a doubt. And there are some fantastic recruiters out there that do a tremendous job of attracting talent.
John: But it’s what do you do with them once you get the talent into your organization? How do you get the most out of those top talented people and how do you keep them in your organization? You’ve heard me in past podcasts or presentations or keynotes talk about the very fact that in order for A-players to stay in your organization, they need three things. They need to grow and feel that they are growing and getting better and better. They need to feel like they are making an impact, not just an impact, but the biggest impact that they know they can make. And lastly is they have to feel valued. They have to feel important. They have to feel recognized, whether that’s monetarily or not monetarily. They have to feel important as an important part of your organization and recognize that way. If they don’t if there’s not one of those or if there’s two of those, you run the risk of losing these great people.
John: So what made me think of this topic is this morning at the gym, I go to the gym, a great gym here near Holly Springs, where it’s a huge, huge gym, top-notch facility. And they have in the gym an individual that they just hired. I don’t know this guy’s name, but he probably came in about three months ago. Now, this individual just to describe him to you, this guy is basically like The Rock. I mean, he is absolutely built like a house and a really, really impressive physique. I mean, obviously, somebody who’s been working out and doing it the right way and nutrition, everything. My guess is just by looking at him, he knows everything there is to know about exercise, nutrition, cardio, everything you’d want to know.
John: So when I first saw this guy and I’m thinking, wow, they hired an A-player. I mean, this is somebody who’s really going to be and his role, I’m assuming, is a trainer because he’s, you know, dressed in the same shirts of the trainers are, you know, short sleeve shirt, arms bulging out. I mean, just definitely an impressive guy. So I’m thinking, OK, wow, they really hired an A-player. This is somebody who is going to attract a lot of people to their training program. Now, the way a gym makes money is a number of different ways. One is a membership. A big part of it also is training. So the trainer charges a fee. The trainer gets a portion of the fee and a portion of the fee goes back to the gym. That’s why the whole concept of having trainers in your gym.
John: But this guy started maybe three months ago, and every morning when I walk upstairs, which is where the main gym is and where everybody’s working out free weights and cardio and everything like that, there’s a desk when you walk in. And at this desk is this guy sitting at the desk. It’s before you get onto the workout floor. And in three months of going there, five days a week, I have never, ever made eye contact with him. I walked by his desk every single day. I’ve never spoken a word to him and I’ve never seen him honestly, except for once or twice at the very beginning. I’ve never seen him outside or beyond, not be behind that desk. So what’s worse about that is every time I walk by, part of the reason I don’t make eye contact is I can’t. He’s not looking up at all. He’s looking down at his phone 90% of the time.
John: So I think about a couple of things. There are so many different problems with this picture because this originally went from me being impressed with this guy and having positive feelings not only about him but also about the gym, the organization. I’m thinking, OK, they’re obviously beefing up their quality of people and everything like that. It was positive which then over time became neutral because I’m thinking, OK, this guy really isn’t adding value to then becoming one of the frustrations of why aren’t they doing more with this guy, to then being angry? I don’t know why, but it bothers me. I get angry. Now when I walk by and I see him just looking into his phone, not engaging with anybody. Now I’m assuming, I’ve never seen him engage with anybody else. And I’m assuming that every single person that comes to that gym has no interaction with this guy. So what is he doing, legitimately? I think I’ve seen him training somebody once, so he’s been there for three months. So now I look at this as two problems. One is it’s partly his fault for not taking more initiative and it’s more the gym’s fault and the management and the leadership of that gym.
John: So what they did is they did one part of the job, which is getting to be an A-player, but they totally failed in terms of getting the most out of this person. So what should they be doing? Well, there’s a whole bunch of stuff. If I were running the gym, I’d have him walking around giving tips randomly to people. I mean, I look around the gym, I see people doing exercises completely wrong all the time, every single day that I’m there. There’s at least one person I could pull or point out and say, hey, you know what? Do you mind if I give you a little feedback? Just keep your elbows in. When you’re doing those pushdowns, you get a better feel in the muscle, whatever. He’s more than capable of doing that. He does zero of that.
John: Now, that would probably lead maybe 25% to even 50% of the time. Those conversations, those helpful tips would eventually lead possibly to that person hiring him for at least one training session. And if he’s going to do one that might lead to two and might lead to five and ten and whatever, it’s a door opener, right? It’s a business generator, but it’s providing value. A value that he certainly can provide and absolutely more than capable of providing and value that would be really well received by the customers there. They’d absolutely love it. I know I would. If I was working and I’m doing curls in this guy who looks like the rock came up to me and said, hey, you know, let me show you how to do those curls. I mean, I’d be like, all right, great. Show me, teach me. I’ll be the student. But no, he’s sitting there with his big bulging biceps sitting at the desk the entire time.
John: All right. Let’s assume that your policy at the gym is OK. I don’t want to bother the people working out. Maybe they look at it as a negative and that goes against their gym
philosophy. They don’t want the trainers interacting randomly, which I don’t understand. But let’s just assume that, wouldn’t you at least, I’m sure the management has seen this guy just staring into his phone, not engaging with anybody when you at least tell them, “Hey, listen, I
don’t want you sitting at the desk. I want you at least to stand up and say hello and greet people when they came in, engaging them, or at least sit-down and look at people”, whatever. I don’t care about anything other than looking into this phone. So two things that I know we’re going to happen. One is he’s not going to make an impact in this organization whatsoever if maybe even a negative one like he has started to make with me. And secondly, he’s going to leave. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. The question is when? Because eventually this guy who is talented and probably could be a great trainer is really not doing the things or being put in the situation where he can really do his best work. So that’s ultimately how this movie is going to end. I’ve seen it a hundred million different times, different companies, different organizations, same story.
John: So the question is, as leaders, you work so hard to attract great people into your organization. The question I’m going to pose to you today is, are you getting their best? OK, are you absolutely getting this person’s A-plus potential? And if not, which you’re probably not, what can you as the leader do about it? OK, what is the things that you might be doing that might be preventing this person from ultimately doing the best thing that they can possibly do and making the best impact they can to your organization, your team, your school, your company, whatever it is. Here’s a couple of things I see leaders do. Number one is they put too many rules or parameters around that person. OK, maybe this guy wasn’t allowed to interact with people. Well, that’s a dumb rule. It’s stupid. I’m guessing that’s not the case. Maybe he wasn’t allowed to go on the gym floor and give tips. Because maybe there were complaints in the past, I don’t know, I doubt it, but maybe if that was that’s a stupid constraint. They shouldn’t have done that, whatever.
John: But I do see companies and leaders that put these constraints on A-players, too many rules and limits that it doesn’t allow the player to be the player. Now, usually, rules are put into place because of problems and usually, problems are caused by mediocre people and maybe even the people at the bottom. Why would you subject A-player to limits that were created because of your B, C, and D-players? Think about that for a minute. I’m going to pause for effect. Let me say that again, why would you limit your players because of problems that were caused by your B and C and D players? Why would you do that? Doesn’t make any sense. OK, that’s rule number one. Number two is they see leaders that don’t give enough flexibility, freedom, decision making ability, empowering their people, their eight players enough so that they can do what they can do.
John: Ultimately, here’s the thing. When you get an A-player in the right role with the right organization doing the right things, phenomenal things happen. And those top people figure out as they go, they open up new doors, they figure out new things, but they have to be given the room to run if they can’t. And they’re in this tiny little lane that they have to stay and you’re just not going to get the best out of them. It’s just impossible. You’ve got to give top people the ability to give them freedom. You’ve got to give them the ability to move and be flexible and flex their muscles and do different things and make mistakes and take risks and do all kinds of stuff and think out of the box. Otherwise, you’re just not going to get the best out of those people.
John: So with that said, it’s a quick episode today on just an observation. Frustrating one this morning. I want to go into the management and just talk to them. And I probably will just hey, here’s a suggestion, free advice. You know, here’s how you can keep this guy and also help make a big impact on the customers, people like me. So whether they take it or not, maybe I’ll come back and do another episode and tell you what came of that conversation. You know what? I will do that. So stay tuned. I will do that and I will report on it and one of the future episodes.
John: So anyway, I hope this was valuable. If anything, I hope to get your wheels turning a little bit on how you can get the most out of your eight players. I’ve got tons more stuff on this. So if you think about your organization and you say, you know what, I know I’ve got people that can do more, especially my top people. Yeah, they’re doing good, but I want them to do great. And I know they can trust me. There are tons of different things you can do to reach out to me directly. I’m more than happy to share more about how you can tap into the full potential of your top people. And believe me, you get one of your top people doing better, doing 10% better. That’s a huge impact to the organization because it’s not just the impact of what they do, but they set the pace for your organization. They raise the bar and all of a sudden everybody else starts to do better. It’s like the captain of the team, the sports team that starts to run a little faster. Everybody else tends to run a little faster. They tend to come to practice a little bit earlier. Everybody else comes to practice a little bit earlier. It’s not just what your top people do and the impact of what they’re doing. It’s the impact that they have on everybody else in your organization. Think about that. That’s a great, great take away.
John: All right. Hope this helped. Again, make sure you give a thumbs up like share this. Give me feedback and comments. Go down below. Give five-star ratings and I’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks, everybody. Take care.
John (Closing): Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions, or inquiries, about having me at your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org Once again, that’s email@example.com. Thanks! Lead on!