261 - Know Who You Are Trying To Influence - John Laurito

261 – Know Who You Are Trying To Influence

When you’re a new leader, you aim to influence everyone with your vision. You make them trust your leadership and let them know why you do the things you do for your organization. In this episode, host John Laurito shares tips about leadership. The secret to good leadership is that you’re authentically you.

[0:00] Intro

[0:20] Storytime!

[3:07] The most important principle of leadership

[4:57] The beauty of leadership is being true to yourself

[5:20] Do a self-check

[6:07] Here’s the bottom line

[7:13] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, and 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’s 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, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep into all things leader-related, related to leaving yourself and leading others, I’m John Llevado your host. And I wanted to share a story today. That’s weird, right? Your story. I never share stories. But yeah, today’s daily story. So I was chatting with somebody earlier and I was recounting this story and we were talking about turning around organizations and one of the times in my career, which was a kind of classic turnaround job as I had taken over an office that was ranked out of 110 offices number 100. 

John So I went there specifically with the mission of turning around this office that really had not had any success for the most part and not had had not been used to success. And what’s interesting is success and winning basically become a habit, and you become very used to that and things that you are doing, you have that certain mentality and you just it becomes your norm. While the same thing is true on the opposite side, if you’re not used to winning and you’re used to losing or not having success, it becomes almost expected. So I walked into this organization and that was clearly the mentality and the attitude that people had. They just had not experienced any success. And ultimately, we’re used to and very complacent and used to not winning. So I remember I did my first day speeds. 

John I had it all planned and basically talked about the vision of the organization and where we’re going and how we’re going to get this place to number one. And basically this clear picture of where I wanted to go, what it felt like, what the culture was like, what the people were like, how we found and brought in people and how we develop them and train them, and how what our rhythm was like in the organization and the pace and the trust level and communication and everything. And obviously, going from 100 to number one, you have a whole different type of organization. And I got done. I felt great about this presentation. 

John I felt like I really I was certainly passionate and and and speaking with conviction and I thought inspirational. I think, you know, for the most part, it was. But a couple of days went by and I remember talking to one of the managers and I said, Hey, where’s that guy that was sitting in the front row? Like, you know, blond hair and, you know, beige shirt. And they said, Yeah, I don’t, I don’t really know. I’m like, What do you mean? You don’t know? They’re like, Well, we haven’t seen him since that day. After your presentation, he left. I said, literally, he just left and never and hasn’t come back at all. And they said, Yeah, and literally, sure enough, that was the last moment we ever saw this guy. He left and never came back after my speech, so I thought for a minute, I’m like, wow, I almost took it hard. 

John I’m thinking, Jeez, what did I say that was that offensive? And what I ultimately realized was one of the absolute most important principles in leadership is that when you try too hard to influence everyone, you don’t influence the right people. And what I realized at that point is that was exactly what should have happened. Now, maybe the way he went about it should have been a little bit different. Maybe he sort of, you know, formally resigned or something, but versus just vanish. I mean, I think I was that scary or anything like that, but that was the way he chose to do it. 

John But in reality, that was the best outcome because clearly, he did not buy into that vision or possibly think he had it in him to do what was expected or run as fast as I was asking everybody to run at that point, he just didn’t want to be part of that journey. And maybe even the destination appealed to him, but he just was not willing to do what I was asking everybody to do. So he self-selects it out. In retrospect, it was one of the best things that could have happened because as a leader, what’s as important as getting the right people on the bus is also getting the wrong people off the bus. You have to do that, and I see leaders. 

John The mistakes sometimes that people make is they’re trying so hard to influence everyone and draw everybody in that they lose sight of the very message that they have and the vision that they have. They try to take this great vision and they adapted it to make it likable and appealing to everybody. And then you lose what it is. It’s like a piece of artwork when you have this great piece of artwork. You know what? There are people that are just not going to like this piece of artwork. That’s OK if you tried to, does that develop and create this piece of artwork that everybody loved? I don’t think that could exist because everybody’s got a different taste than opinion. So part of the beauty of leadership is you as the leader, being authentic and being you and speaking with conviction and being willing to turn people away. 

John Or off or just ultimately have people sign off and say, I don’t want to be part of that, that’s OK. Not only is that OK? That’s an important part of the whole leadership journey, so my message today in this short podcast is just a little self-check every once in a while to say, You know, what am I thinking too hard? Before I do the speech or before I make this decision or before we roll out this strategy, am I thinking too hard about appealing to everybody? Or am I thinking more strategically about how this will be received by the right people? And I’m not saying that you consciously exclude people from your thought. 

John But if you’re trying too hard to make something that everybody swallows and feels great about, ultimately you lose the very essence of leadership, which sometimes is making tough decisions or going into new directions that people may be uncomfortable with. And that’s a really important part of leadership. So the bottom line message is to influence the right people. Identify in your organization who the key people are that you need to influence and make sure they understand the vision and the journey that you’re about to take and what you need to do together. Those are the people you need with you, hip to hip charging up the mountain, so to speak, and they’re the ones that are going to influence other people to jump on board as well. 

John So I hope this was helpful. Again, another short one six minutes for those of you, I know there are people out there that just love to make you know, Hey, a daily to do is listen to a podcast. I’ve heard people say, Hey, you know these two, three-hour podcasts out there? I like yours because they’re short. Well, hey, I like them too. Because they’re short. I get to give you a quick thought quick tip and then say sayonara. So then even it’s Friday. It’s a beautiful day. Hope you’re getting a chance, although you’re probably listening to this on a different day. But enjoy the nice weather out there. 

John Stay healthy. Stay happy as always. Like, share, subscribe. And I always appreciate your ideas for future guests and future content. And of course, go down below. Give a five-star review and we’ll see you next time. Thanks. 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.

John Thanks, lead on!

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