192 - The Growth Loop - John Laurito

In this episode, John Laurito talks about the growth loop. It starts with doing things to gain control of your day-to-day life. Understand that gaining control makes you feel stronger, which leads to confidence. When you have confidence, it allows you to manage your fears, and then you’re more willing to do things — even those that make you feel uncomfortable. When you start doing things outside your comfort zone, you either fail or succeed and guess what? Both lead to success which gives you a sense of control; that’s the growth loop. Tune in to hear John’s tips and techniques (both common and not) on gaining control of your day.

[0:00] Intro

[0:43] Today’s topic — the 3% concept

[2:54] What is the growth loop?

[4:46] Gaining control in your day-to-day

[9:02] A few uncommon techniques to help you take control of your day

[14:19] Here’s the growth loop

[18:09] Outro

John Over the last two decades, I’ve 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’s 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. All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader related to leading yourself and leading others. 

John I’m John Laurito, your host today on this beautifully rainy day in Holly Springs, North Carolina. I don’t know about you, but I love rainy days, not always, but on certain days where I want to get a lot of stuff done and just stay focused. It’s kind of this great background music as I’m embarking on my day and just kind of keeps me centered. So hopefully you’re having a day like that. What I want to talk about today actually ties in a little bit to this. 

John I know many people have heard the concept that for you to grow as an individual and for you to help other people grow, a big, big part of that is stepping outside your comfort zone and doing things you either have not done before at all or haven’t done successfully. The bottom line is a comfort zone is defined as what makes you comfortable is where you are when you’re in it and what makes you uncomfortable. Whatever that may be, is stepping outside their comfort zone. But a big part of growth happens by doing this. But yeah, right. 

John That’s easier said than done. OK, I get it. I got to face my fears. I got to do something that scares the bejesus out of me or whatever, but doing it and pushing yourself to do it is a whole different thing. So I want to actually take it back. And I want to take another concept that I talk about to help you get to that point where you actually can step outside your comfort zone. And I don’t care who I’m talking to, I know everybody has a limit to their comfort zone. There’s something out there that you’d like to be able to do, whether it’s something you haven’t done before or something you haven’t done very well before, that may create some discomfort or just downright fear. 

John So I’m going to give you a little bit of a tool that’s going to help you overcome that and push yourself outside that comfort zone. And the results of that are going to be fantastic. And for those of you who’ve done it, you know it. Every time you look back, you did something uncomfortable with the success or failure. It always led to something positive. We’re going to talk about that as well. So I talk about a concept where it’s all about finding the three percent that makes the other ninety-seven percent happen. 

John So I’m going to actually apply this concept. What it is, is figuring out, OK, just as it says, what is the small, tiny stuff that one lever that if I move this lever, it’s going to make an impact on everything else. So it’s a kind of ripple effect. It’s going to have this domino effect and help make everything else a little bit easier to do, or in some cases, it’ll actually take care of everything else. So I’m going to apply that to this concept. OK, so my goal is I want to grow. And a part of that is I want to step outside my comfort zone and do new things that scare me right now. But I’m stuck. How do I get myself to do that? 

John Well, let’s take it back. I want to talk about something I call the growth loop, and I want to take it back to the very first part of the growth loop. We’ve all had different days and I’ve had periods of time and I’ve had some recently where I did not feel like I was in control of my day, at least not to the level that I wanted to. And sometimes you feel that way just with your life in general. You know what I’m talking about periods of time where you feel like you just don’t have you’re not at the driver’s seat or you don’t have your hands on the wheel. And it’s ultimately you feel in some cases like maybe something spinning out of control. I know that sometimes people feel you feel like your life is spinning out of control. 

John Control is a really important thing. And when you have those days where you feel like you were in total control, you know what I’m talking about? It feels amazing and it feels amazing. And the reason why is we as human beings feel better when we can chart our own course and we can make the things happen that we want to make happen. And when we are on defense or in the passenger seat of the car, we ultimately are there for the ride. But we really can’t control the direction or how fast we’re going or what’s ultimately going to happen through that day. 

John So if we start with the concept of control, I want to talk about first how you gain control in your day. I’m going to give you some really specific ways to do this, and I’m going to talk about how that actually helps you through the growth loop because it absolutely does. One thing affects another, affects another. So let’s talk about how you create more control in your day. Now, I’ve talked before about daily routines and things like that. That’s a big part of it. I mean, you have to have something that starts your day in a very deliberate way versus just waking up and. OK, let me just see what happens today. 

John You have to kick start your day in some kind of way. That is a routine that’s deliberate and that’s going to create a certain out. In terms of how you think, how you feel, and ultimately what you’re doing, and I’ll give you some examples of things that I do and things that I’ve talked about, and the things that I’ve seen other people do that start their day in a very deliberate way. We’ve talked about going to the gym, whether it’s exercise, you do anything, I don’t care if doing to push-ups or if it’s going to the gym for two hours or it’s running two miles, whatever it is it’s getting, you get your body moving and doing something. 

John That’s an example of something that gives you control, that sucks to wake up early in the morning and do that or push yourself to go to the gym on a rainy day. But once you do it, you feel like you’ve already overcome a big, big obstacle that 90 plus percent of people can’t do. That gives you a sense of control. So that’s one thing that gives you control, is doing something, you know, other people are doing and something that, you know, you want to do. That’s not easy to do. 

John But let me talk about some other things that give you a sense of control. One is and I will tell you, I’m a horrible meditator. I’ve talked I’ve heard many, many people. I read a book called 10 Percent Happier by Dan… I’m a draw blank on his name. I have his book up here somewhere. And I’ve had a great, great book. And it talks about a this is a guy who’s in the media who had a panic attack on live TV and ultimately went through the whole journey of learning how to meditate and the difference it made in his life, which ultimately was made him 10 percent happier. 

John I have tried really hard to meditate. My mind is always going a million miles a minute. It’s really hard. What I figured out is a really easy way to do it. I use the Calm app, it’s C-A-L-M, and I do a little ten-minute, seven to ten-minute meditation, guided meditation in the morning. And I will tell you, I’ve gone back and forth on this and I just kind of get started again with it. And it makes such a big difference that little seven to ten minutes segment of time where somebody’s guiding you through it. It’s an easy way and ultimately gives you a little bit of feeling of control in that day because you’re starting to kind of clear your mind and clear the path for a really productive day. 

John Here’s a couple of things that give you control. I’ve talked about a journal. Here’s why journaling makes sense and here’s why it’s so easy to do. And I’ve got one that’s called day one. That’s an app. And you can do it on your phone. You can do it on your computer, whatever it’s called ‘Day one’, you can draw on it. You can write up, put pictures in there, anything you want. It is a really cool, easy-to-use app. And it’s just it’s a journal. But what I find is it’s a great way for people to start to control their thoughts. And it’s really a means of self-talk. Right. For those of you of journaled before, it’s kind of sometimes you’re venting, sometimes you’re basically writing notes to yourself. But this unbelievable feeling of getting out on paper and it’s just this stress reliever is number one. 

John But it’s also a way for you to control some of your thoughts. When I’m putting it down and I’m writing things, hey, I’m going to do this. I’m going to really work on this. And my goal today is this or here’s what frustrated me yesterday. Here’s what I’m grateful for today. Whatever the case is, that gives you a sense of control. So that’s number two. Here’s another thing starting your day just literally with the to-do list where you say, OK, here are some things that I need to get done today, and here’s the most critical things. Here are some things I’d like to get done. I don’t need to, but here’s my need to list that I’ve got to get done. 

John That’s also a sense of control because you’re now setting a destination and setting goals for your day, which gives you this feeling of confidence, which we’re going to talk about in a couple of minutes right off the bat, because you’ve already just said, here’s what my plan is for the day. But here’s a couple of things you may not have thought about before. Those are maybe more common, more talked about ways to bring control into your day. But here are a few of the things that you may not have thought about. 

John One is to track something. Yeah, I said track something, track anything for the day. Here’s what I find. And I don’t care if you’re tracking what you eat or your calorie intake. You’re tracking your workouts, you’re tracking your water intake, you’re tracking how much you’re spending. You’re tracking how many steps you take, how many pages you read, whatever. The cases track something for the day because it ultimately gives you a feeling of focus, track your time, track how many times you say hello to somebody you have never met before, or whatever. Track something in your day because it gives you a feeling of power, gives you a feeling of control, and it gives you a feeling of confidence any time you’re gaining some control over any aspect of your life, even if it’s a small thing, you’re starting to gain a feeling of control in other areas. 

John There’s that spillover effect. It stick to it for a few weeks, you’ll see what happens, you’ll just naturally get the sense that you’ve got other parts in your life control, even though it’s that one thing I track certain things in the course of my date, my week, I track my weight, I track activity for and results and work. I track all kinds of stuff and anything I tend to track, I do better. Better with. That’s another byproduct of it. Here’s another thing. You have to go into your day deciding what you’re going to say no to in order to make the things that you want to have happened to happen, you have to clear the plate and you have to be able to say no to certain things that will get in the way. 

John What I’m talking about is it might be interruptions, it might be distractions, might be social media, might be certain times when you’re tempted to go on your phone, maybe people there might be certain people that you need to say no to. There might be certain things that come your way, requests that you don’t even know about at the beginning of the day. But people are through the day, especially if you’re a CEO or a senior leader of an organization. You get all kinds of people coming to you. They will be pulling you in a direction that is not in the direction that you’re trying to accomplish for the day. You’ve got to be good at saying no. 

John If you say yes to everything, you will never have control of your day. I know many, many people that get plagued by that. They just say yes to everything. Somebody comes to them for something. Yeah, sure, I want to help. And yeah, that’s a nice thing. But you’re giving up control in your day as well as many, many other things. If you know what you’re going to block out, you know what those distractions are. You have to have a method to block them out. 

John How are you going to block them out? What are you going to say when somebody comes to you and says, hey, can you do this? Hey, I really need your help on this. Maybe I’m going to just say, hey, I don’t have time today. I’ll do it tomorrow with you or hey, you know what? I don’t have the ability to do that right now. But I’ll tell you who is great at this. See, this person, they’re even better than I am at this. Whatever method you’re going to use, you have to have a method. Otherwise, you’re not going to be very effective at saying no to the things that you can that you have to block out of your day to make it productive. Here’s another thing. 

John Decide who will be part of your day. I’m a huge believer that the people that you surround yourself with absolute influence you in terms of how you think, how you feel, and ultimately what you do. Absolutely. Whether you realize it or not, whether you admit it or not, the people you are surrounded with are influenced by you and vice versa. So the great thing is I have pretty much free reign to pull almost anybody, at least in my circle in my day. It could be a text. It could be a call. It could be a meeting. It could be in person. It could be virtual, whatever. Maybe it’s not somebody I don’t know. But I’m going to read something that they wrote or I’m going to watch a podcast or video that they did. Whatever it is, I have the ability to pull that person into my day. 

John Even celebrities, famous people, anything, really anybody. So I have control over that. And I have to say, there are some people that I talk to that when I talk to them, I feel more motivated. There are some people when I talk to them, I learn something. I’m smarter. There are some people that are really good at helping me sort through problems. There are some people that help me really be reality-based and they’re not afraid to tell me the truth. So I have different people that will give me different things. And I have to be deliberate about that. 

John Even if you just say, hey, I don’t have to plan my whole day around this. But if I say, OK, there’s let me think of one person that I am going to bring into my day specifically today, because I want to gain this from them, whatever. Maybe it’s just that they make me feel good. They put me in a positive attitude. I’ve got a big presentation I got to do. I want to talk to this person beforehand because they always make me feel better and I feel looser and I’m ready for my A-game, whatever the case may be. OK, so let’s move on. 

John Those are some ways and there’s more and I’d love to hear from you about some of the things that you’re doing to gain more control in your day. But here’s the beautiful thing. Here’s the growth loop. When you have more control, you gain a sense of control. What that does is give you a feeling of strength. Control leads to strength. You feel stronger. And guess what? When you feel stronger, you ultimately feel more confident. So control leads to strength, which leads to confidence. I get questions all the time. How do you become more confident? 

John This is how you do it? This is a part of it. Now, I’ll tell you how you get even more and more confident. What confidence allows you to do is it allows you to manage your fears. It does not eliminate them, but it helps you to manage them, which then helps you do something that is uncomfortable or more things that are uncomfortable or do more things in. General versus sitting back and waiting for things to happen, it gets you into more action mode and it creates more energy, it creates more activity, it creates more emotion, it creates more results. 

John Everything stems from the confidence to do more. And ultimately, that’s what you’re after. Now, when you do something uncomfortable, you got to outcomes, success or failure, at least by your own definition, whatever that may be. And I got news for you. Both of those will help you grow successfully. What that does is now great, awesome. I’ve got this huge boost of confidence. I’ve done something successful that I haven’t done before, at least to that level. And now that goes right back to infusing me with more confidence. And then that helps me manage other fears and that helps me do more things that are uncomfortable. This thing just self perpetuates. 

John OK, that’s the great outcome that let’s say I fail. It said, don’t do what I wanted to do. I stepped outside my comfort zone. It was not successful. I called that person that was on my chicken list, so to speak, that I knew I wanted to call, but I just was afraid of it. And the call didn’t go well. OK, now, from the failure of at least that’s something I’m going to take away as a learning. And guess what? Any time I’m learning and whatever that is, hey, maybe my approach was wrong, maybe my preparation was wrong, maybe they threw something at me that I just wasn’t ready for. 

John Whatever the case may be, I now have a learning that came from that, that I can apply in the future. But what that learning does is give me a sense of guess what control. OK, now I have more control. Now I gain more strength. That strength gives me more confidence either way, whether it’s success or failure, that’s the growth loop. And ultimately it starts with gaining more control. 

John So I hope that helps to break it down a little bit in terms of some of the things on a daily basis you can do to give yourself more control. And then the impact it has on your overall confidence and your overall growth is huge. It’s the tiny, tiny stuff you do every single day that just adds up over time. That’s it. So get yourself in the right rhythm. Get yourself in the right kind of momentum and the right cadence for your day. And ultimately, that starts with the beginning of the day. How do you kick start your day? You got to get something going for yourself. 

John So I hope this gave you some ideas, some thoughts. Got the wheels turning no pun intended there with cadence. But then I hope you enjoy your day. Make sure you like subscribe. Give me feedback, all the things that you like to hear in future episodes as well as future guests. I’m getting a lot of recommendations and thank you. 

John If you haven’t got a chance to check out my book, tomorrow’s leader of the Best Leaders Get Better in a Fast-Changing World is available on Amazon. Check it out. I greatly appreciate those of you who have purchased it and also give me some feedback. And of course, I love to get feedback on Amazon, too. 

John So go on there and give five stars in your comments and all that kind of good stuff for now. Thanks. And I’ll talk to you next time. Bye. 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 John@johnlaurito.com. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on! 

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