“If you drop the ball on the follow-through, people will not follow you.” – John Laurito, 2021
In this episode, host John Laurito talks about how good leaders can become bad ones. He talks about some of the ways that good leaders can move in the wrong direction. John shares five ways or reasons why good leaders lose their influence to where people become repelled and will no longer believe in their vision. Understand that a leader’s work doesn’t stop when one gets traction; it goes on and on if you want to keep your team’s success going.
[1:11] Not showing interest and care towards people
[2:36] Breaking trust
[3:56] Losing your A-game or edge
[6:02] Not doing what you say you’re going to do
[7:56] Reduce communication
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 leading yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host today and every day. So I spend a lot of time on this podcast talking about how to become a better leader. I’m going to tell you today how to become a world leader. Yeah, you may say, why are you doing that? Well, I think you need to know some of the ways good leaders actually move in the wrong direction. And I’m going to talk today about five ways that you can actually lose followers. These five things are some of the biggest reasons why people, leaders go from having lots of influence to losing their influence, losing followership, followership, or people will stop following their vision where people will not be attracted, but actually ultimately be repelled by this individual cell.
John: Listen to this. If any of these apply, you gotta fix it. Trust me, none of these will work. If you want to be an effective leader, ears are very important. People want to know that you care about them. It’s not enough to say it. You’ve got to show it. And if they sense that it’s more about you than it is about them and your interests are for you and it’s selfish and it’s not about them and helping people or helping the organization, then they will alienate you. They will stop following you. They may get a sense of it. They may wonder, they may scratch their head, wonder if it’s a case. They see it, they confirm it.
John: Now, he or she is not out for my best interests. I’m out of here. OK, when it becomes more important about you, I have heard leaders literally say, hey, if you guys don’t work harder, I’m not getting my bonus. Whoa. I literally heard a leader say that one time. I’m like, you what? You absolutely shouldn’t be in your role. Absolutely should not. Even that should absolutely never come near you. If that’s how you’re thinking. That’s one thing. And that’s bad enough. But that’s actually coming out of your mouth. That’s unbelievable. But believe me, if it’s just front of mind for you, it’s going to come out in one way or the other. People are going to know, hey, this person is really pushing me because they’ve got a threshold coming up that they got a big bonus for.
John: And it’s convenient that they want me to do more of X, Y, Z, because it ties to their bonus, not because it’s better for me. OK, that’s a big mistake for a leader. That’s how you lose followers. OK, number two is that you break trust. You can do this a lot of different ways. You can go back. There’s two episodes. I did two parts one and part two. I think there are ten different ways that a leader can lose trust and break trust. If any of those happen and you break trust, you will lose followers. You might not right away.
John: But ultimately, people want to know you care about them. They want to know that you can help them, that you can actually have one need to have the confidence you can help them and that they trust you. If they don’t trust you now, this could either be there’s all kinds of different ways. This could be because you have a hidden agenda, ulterior motives. You’re not true. You don’t tell the truth. You’re not transparent. You’re not authentic. You aren’t even verbal are nonverbal. You don’t look at them. OK, I talked about the story of how I started my career in a whole different office because my boss would never look at me. He would ignore me during our one on one meetings, literally. And I got so frustrated and aggravated that I had no trust for him because he had no regard for me. That’s a way to break trust.
John: And once you break trust, I’m going to be doing an episode coming up on ways to regain trust when it’s lost. That’s tough to do. You can do it. It’s tough to do. But once you break it, it is the first sign of a declining organization and a declining leader. That’s number two. Here’s number three. Real simply, I don’t really know how to put this other than you lose your edge, you lose your A game. People want to follow people that are really great at what they do, but that are fully engaged. They are fully engaged with what they do. I had a a baseball coach once who was and he really was a fantastic coach. But his real goal was to be a kicker in the NFL. And so during our practices, he would kick the football and that’s when we would run to the football. That’s how we got exercise.
John: But it bothered me a lot because here I was obsessed with baseball and my coach, who I really wanted to follow and take advice from and just I wanted to win with him. Here he was. And more important to him was a whole nother sport. That’s at least how I took it. And I felt like his head wasn’t really in it. His head was more into him becoming an NFL player. Awesome, great for him. But I think that to me was a lack of engagement on his part in what we were doing. I just know it affected me and it affected my willingness to want to follow him when I’m in an organization.
John: When I was, you know, in any organization my leader is not 100%. Committed to what we are doing, it is really hard for me to be committed. So just think as a leader, your organization, if you’re a ten something, assume your people are eight. If you’re an eight, they’re going to be a six. If you’re a six, they’re going to be a three or four. So if your work effort is a six, they’re not going to be in eight or 10. There’s no way they’re going to be a reflection of you. If you’re not fully engaged, they’re not going to be fully engaged. And guess what? The people that want to be engaged are going to follow somebody else. They’re not going to follow you just like me playing baseball. I’m like, OK, I’m going to look for a different coach, so to speak. I wanted to follow somebody that was fully immersed in the whole sport that was important to me.
John: So when you lose your edge, your focus, your passion, that’s a way that you’re going to lose followers. No, for real. Simply, you don’t do what you say you’re going to do. I see leaders do this all the time and I get it. Listen, you might have ten appointments and a day. You’re meeting with fifteen or twenty whatever. You’re meeting with a ton of people. But if you were to go to a doctor and at the end of that 15-minute visit, they prescribe something for you and they said, hey, it’s going to be waiting for the pharmacy and you get there and there’s no prescription sent in and you got to go call the doctor again, remind him or her that, hey, you told me I needed a prescription. I came here and it’s not here. Guess what?
John: That you’re probably not going. I want to go back to that doctor. It’s the same thing for any leader. That’s a test. When you say you’re going to do something people are watching to see, are you going to do it? I see this with new leaders all the time. That’s like the first thing their new followers are saying, OK, is he or she going to really do what they say they’re going to do? OK, we’re going to make a strategic shift. Are we going to do that? OK, hey, we’re going to climb up this mountain. Are we really going to do that? Hey, as the leader, here’s what I’m going to do for you and here’s what I’m going to be here for, OK? Are you really just going to watch? They’re going to wait. They’re going to watch.
John: And that’s either going to be a defining moment that moves you in a great direction and gains more influence and more followership or it’s going to move in a bad direction. All right. Do what you say you’re going to do. We used to have a guy I’ve told this before. We
used to say this. He was walking around with his black book, what do we call it, the black hole notebook. And he would just say, carry around this notebook and he’d be talking to you and say, hey, what’s on your mind? What do you need help with? And you tell him and you write it down. And then he never did anything with it. Nothing. There was no follow-up. So he’d write it down. And it was like he just threw out the notebook like it wasn’t even there was no purpose to it.
John: I’m like, dude, what? I don’t get it. What do you do? And then eventually it became a joke. You literally were like, oh, yeah, you pulled out the black hole notebook. OK, number five, no, fifth, no, fifth, No. Five ways to lose followers. This is one that you may not realize, but it’s a common one that’s important if you reduce your communication. You don’t believe me. Try it. Not really. You don’t want to do this. But if you stop communicating or diminish the level of communication, it is absolutely inevitable that you will have an impact on your influence with this person. If you’ve been communicating with somebody on a daily basis and all of a sudden goes once a week, there’s no nothing. And there’s a whole lot of reasons for this.
John: One is they assume all kinds of stuff. Well, is he or she not communicating with me because they don’t care about me as much, do they? Not like me as much. Am not doing a good enough job. I mean, it really is a big major head trick for them. So you have to realize your change in your communication pattern will have an impact if you’re a frequent communicator and then if you are infrequent or infrequent, you go too frequently. That will have a difference one way or the other, positive or negative. But I’ve seen leaders in times where they don’t have all the answers. And this pandemic that we’re just coming out of was a good example where things were cloudy, the future was not certain.
John: There were leaders that just kind of took a back seat. They’re like, OK, well, let me just wait till the dust settles, and then I’ll get out there and lead. You can’t do that. That’s not what leadership is all about. You have to communicate, communicate, communicate, communicate. That’s how you will gain followers. So if you’re catching yourself and you’re saying, you know what, that team of people that is under my leadership there and I’m not interacting or communicating with them as much, guess what? What’s happening is a silent decline of your influence with that group. I promise you, it’s happening. You don’t even know it. You don’t even realize it. Nobody is raising their hand and saying it, but it is happening.
John: So jump in there, get back in and increase your communication. All right. So those five things again, number one, it becomes more about you versus them. OK, not good. Not good to you. Break trust in any way. You break trust, you’re going to lose followers. Number three, you lose your edge. It’s evident that your A game is not the. You’re just not as focused, you don’t have you’re not putting in you’re not 100 % committed people, your top people don’t like that they’re not going to follow you anymore. Number four, don’t do what you say you’re going to do. If you drop the ball on the follow-through, people will not follow you. Wow. I just made a rhyme. If you drop the ball on the follow-through, people will not follow you. Wow, that’s magical. I’m a poet. I don’t even know it. If you drop the ball on the follow-through, people will not follow you. OK, you said it three times.
John: Number five is you drop your communication ok. Your communication goes down, your influence goes down. Communication goes up, your influence goes up. That’s an easy measure to think about. More communication, more influence, less communication, less influence. Those are the keys to making sure you have great leadership and great influence.
John: OK, so a little self check there. You ask yourself, am I guilty of any of those five? All right. And to me, an email, let me know, should be, you know, give me a call, whatever, all that kind of stuff. As always, I appreciate you listening. I know many of you listen to every
episode. I love that you give me feedback. Keep listening. Thumbs up, subscribe, share, give me comments. Go down below. Give a five star review. Greatly appreciate you and I will see you next time. Thanks. Bye.
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!