Feedback is rarely easy to hear; only a few things can make a difference in how a recipient takes it. How it is given, the specificity of the feedback, and whether it’s timely or a step too late. Today host John Laurito talks about the power of feedback when given in a way that would help the recipient grow. Receiving feedback is stressful; generic or belated feedback will not help no matter how nice you are while giving it.
[1:42] Riddle riddle
[10:28] The importance of giving a specific and timely feedback
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over 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. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader.
John All right. Do you know what I’m realizing? I got to start doing, like, a bloopers reel, because this is, like, the fourth time I’m recording this episode. And I just got to tell you, I’ve just. I can’t get my words straight, but. All right, now I’m going for a temp number five. I’m going to nail it. This is going to be it. And here’s the problem. I went about a week and a half in between my last episode in this, I was traveling a lot. Lots of great stuff happening. I enjoy travel and I enjoy getting out there, but I took a break about a week and a half after creating these, so I’m sorry to keep you waiting and hanging out there. I’m going to do my best to create a bunch of episodes and release them.
John I really, really want to get to be more consistent so that, you know, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, whatever it is, these are going to come out. So I am I’m going to work hard to build up a data bank, a bank of these things, so I can release them very consistently, you know when they’re coming out. But I think for this week you’re going to see like a slew of them come out because I’m excited. I got a lot to talk about. I got a lot of stories to cheer on. You know how it is. I can’t keep these stories in. I get to share them, so I’m going to share them. I might do that. But first, let me share the winner of the Last Riddle competition because I know it’s been a little bit of time. I think it was episode 290, I don’t know, 292 maybe I had posed a riddle out there, got lots of guesses, but I want to acknowledge the winner who was the person who guessed it first? And the riddle was what goes up but does not go down?
John Well, everything that goes up has to come down except for your age. That was the winning answer brought to you by Sage Blakeney. Sage, congrats. You were the first one to guess that correctly. Big shout out to you, my friend. I know you’re a faithful listener. You’ve given me good ideas for the show. So really happy to see you win that and that. I think you know that was level difficulty of moderate. I’m going to change this up and I’m going to mix it up on the throw some really hard ones out there. But there are some easy ones, but there are some challenging ones. So here is today’s riddle. Same deal. If you get this, whoever gets it first correctly, I will acknowledge you on the future episode.
John I will also send you a book signed by me. This one right here, tomorrow’s leader. How about that? But then I’m them apples. There you go. Look at that. Okay. So here’s today’s riddle. Okay. And I need the first guess correctly. Not an approximation. Correct on this. Exactly. Here is the riddle. A 42-year-old butcher is six feet one inch tall. He wears size 12 shoes. What does he weigh? There you go. That’s today’s riddle. I’m not going to repeat it because you can hit the little back 15 seconds button and listen to it again if you want. There it is. Email me your text me. You’ve got my stuff. I’ll say it anyway. John@johnlaurito.com; That’s my email. My number is 860-573-7230. Shoot me a text. Let me know what your answer is.
John Big shot. How about that, huh? See how good you are? Okay. All right. Today’s story. I’m going to give credit where credit is due because I. I heard this story, uh, from a, um, from a guy by the name of Dan Henderson who will give a shout out to because I believe in giving shout-outs where they do I did not. Some stories I find myself some I hear from other people and I share with you. I thought it was a great one. So I believe it was Dan Henderson. So, so I hope I’m getting that right in any event. So here’s the story. I’m a big golf fanatic. I do remember reading about this. I don’t think I actually watched it. But the 1986 Masters Championship, if you know, golf, you know, there are four major championships. The master is by far the coveted one, the green jacket. This is the one that everyone is celebrating.
John Probably not to take anything away from any of the others, but this is a big one. Jack Nicklaus, 1986 Masters after round one, he was two over par. And Jack, at this point, the best golfer in the game at this point was really concerned after a horrible first round by his standards, and by most professional golfer standards, two over par puts you in jeopardy of not making the cut. So for those of you who don’t know golf, it’s a four-day tournament Thursday and Friday. At the end of Friday, they make a cut. They basically take the field down significantly, like cut it in half. You’ve got to post a low enough score to go into the Saturday and Sunday rounds and ultimately be able to win the tournament.
John So he Thursday night was really lamenting the fact that he had played so poorly, was disgusted. He couldn’t just get his mojo down, didn’t have his rhythm, didn’t have his shots. He was shank in them, hitting them off target, not shaking them, but him them off target. And he was back in his hotel room and his high school coach called him his high school golf coach and his high school golf coach said, Jack, I want to let you know, I was there. I was watching you play all day today. And I just had to give you some feedback because I don’t know if you’re noticing something that you’re doing, but I picked up on it and it’s very small, he said. When you’re gripping the club, the thumb on your right hand is actually on the right side of the club.
John Your thumb on the right hand is actually on the right side of the club. He said. What that’s causing you to do is you’re pushing it. You’re not pulling your body around enough and you’re hitting it to the right. That’s why you’re off target, he said. All I want you to do is take your thumb and move it to the left side of the club. So if you’re looking down at your hands, you know you’re moving your thumb from the right side of the club shaft to the left side of this shaft, that little tiny adjustment. That’s all I want you to concentrate. That’s all I want you to do going into tomorrow’s rounds. So Jack Allison thought about it. He said, okay, you know, that’s actually really good feedback. I didn’t even realize I was doing that with my thumb.
John The next day he went out, he made that adjustment and he started striping the ball, hitting it perfectly and ended up going one or two under par. I think in the second round went three under par in the third round and had an unbelievable comeback and ended up winning the Masters Championship with an incredible final round of 65, one of the most exciting Masters tournaments in history. Incredible. So it’s really interesting to think about that feedback. That moment now had his coach not called him up that Thursday night and maybe his coach had thought about the feedback, let’s say he just thought about it and actually had a good observation and some good feedback to give. But he’s like, you know, Jack’s busy, he’s doing stuff. He’s probably, you know, doesn’t want to hear from you, whatever, and just never gave the feedback. I don’t know, would there be a different result for the Master’s Tournament of 1986? Very possibly.
John So I think about the power of feedback. Now, here’s what was great about that feedback. Well, here’s what was not only great, it was exceptionally great about that feedback. One is it came from a point. It came from a person that truly cared. So, you know, the feedback is coming from a good place with great intention. Okay. But that’s part of it. The other part of it is he was there on site. So so Jack knew when he gave the feedback, he was in a position to truly observe what was happening and what was not. He was close enough to see it. It wasn’t like he was watching on TV. He was close enough to pick up exactly what was happening and what was not. But here’s really the magic of what it was. It was the specificity. It was such specific feedback. It wasn’t like, Hey, Jack, you got it. Your tempo is off.
John Or Jack, you got to, you know, bring your body through the ball a little bit more. Jack, you’re you got to look, you’re kind of hitching when you’re swinging. That’s not specific enough. Think about how specific his feedback was. Jack, your right thumb is on the right side of the shaft and it should be on the left side. Okay. His feedback was so specific and it was actionable. It was something that Jack could actually do. It wasn’t like, Hey, Jack, you just got a clear head, or you just got to you got to visualize a shot better. That’s not as actionable as, hey, you got to move your right thumb from the right side of the shaft to the left side of the shaft. Wow. What a clear, simple, precise recommendation.
John So the feedback was very specific. It came from a person that truly cared. It came from a credible place because he obviously knows the game and he was there. He was in a position to see this. But here was the other magic of it, and this is what we missed. Sometimes the magic of it. It was so timely. So had he waited even a day, that could have cost Jack the tournament. Had he weighed in his mind, I don’t know if I’m right or wrong or this feedback is going to help him or it’s going to screw him up even more, or Jack’s not going to want the advice or not going to be open to taking my phone call. Had he weighed in his mind too much and not given the feedback, it would never have produced the positive result it did. So a fascinating story. I love that story. And just what a great example of the power of feedback, but how to give it. I can’t even tell you how many times this has happened to me before.
John I’ve had feedback to give somebody and I either have not given it because we don’t always give feedback that we have in our mind. We could be watching a show, you know, a live performance of something. Somebody does a great job, but not everybody gives feedback. I might applause or whatnot, but not everybody says, Hey, I really liked when you hit this note when you were singing the song, blah, blah. We just sometimes don’t. If we see somebody in a business setting and they ran a great meeting, sometimes we don’t just we don’t tell them that. We just think it and we chalk it up and we change our perception of the person positively or negatively because of that. But we don’t necessarily give feedback. So what I think about is if we get better, leaders have to do this and you’ve got to teacher teams us, you have to give feedback. Believe it or not, a majority of people that have been surveyed want more feedback. They actually appreciate the feedback.
John So my guess is that if you asked all of your people in your organization did a silent poll, whatever, and you said, do you feel like you get enough feedback? I will almost guarantee the overwhelming answer will be no. And I would like more interesting. Right? Most people say, no, I don’t get enough and I would like more because it’s the only way that they can truly get better. Right. So if nothing else, as a result of this podcast and you’re listening to this, you said, you know what, I get it. I hear what he’s saying. I’m going to turn up the dial and I’m going to give more frequent, more feedback. But keep in mind, it has got to be specific and it’s got to be timely. There’s a critical, critical element. I’ve talked about feedback, perform prior episodes, so feel free to go back to that other content on it. But these two things we miss so much.
John Sometimes something gets done with the media. Hey, great job. I love the meeting. I thought it was really good. All right. You know, that’s nice to hear, but what did you like about it? What was it? Was it was it. Hey, this agenda item, when we went through the SWOT analysis, I loved how you let it and I love the question you asked. Hey, what should we continue to do? What should we stop doing that we’re doing now? Or what should we continue to do and do more of whatever that, you know, hey, I love this question you asked because here’s what it made me do, that specific feedback, right? Get what I loved, how you handle that question at the end of the session. I loved how you handled and here’s what you said and here’s what it made people think and do. Okay?
John That specific feedback, whether it’s critical or positive, it’s got to be specific. Otherwise, somebody can’t do anything with it. They can’t repeat the positive and they can’t correct the negative. Okay. Specific and timely is absolutely key. So I thought that was interesting. Again, the quick message today with a little bit of story behind it, but the power of feedback is incredible. Again, get your organization. It should I guarantee you’re probably doing half to a. A third of the level of feedback you should in your entire organization. I’m going to take a very confident stab at the fact that your organization is lacking feedback.
John And I don’t care if you’re the coach of a sports team, there’s got to be there are opportunities where you can give people feedback that you’re not or all the coaches in your team or not or all your leaders, your district sales managers, your division heads, your regional managers, your VP’s are not giving the feedback to the people below them that is going to develop them to be the future leaders of your organization. That’s the key thing, right? You’ve got to demonstrate the right behaviors. Great leaders give feedback, they get feedback. They give feedback. That’s a huge part of developing somebody.
John So let me know your thoughts. Love to hear about your challenges. Love to hear your stories about feedback, good or bad. When it worked, when it didn’t work, who gave it to you? How do they give it to you? How do they deliver it to you? There’s so much on this topic. We could go on and on and on. So I’d love to hear your ideas, your thoughts, your stories, and as always, like share, subscribe, you know the deal.
John Go down below, and give a five-star review. Congrats, Sage again on getting the last riddle and I’m interested to see who gets this one. And it’s all about speed. So text me. Email me. You know the deal, everybody. Thanks. Yeah.
John 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 at Laurito Group dot com. Once again, that’s email@example.com. Thanks, lead on!