In this episode, John Laurito shares a story he recently encountered that traumatized him. Hint: it has something to do with his weighing scale. On a serious note, though, he talks about the two easy things you can do to be more self-aware. This is a very short episode, but ultimately a thought-provoking one.
[0:28] John’s traumatic experience
[2:22] Giving ourselves TOO much credit for things that we do well, and turn a blind eye on the things that we didn’t
[4:26] The importance of tracking
[4:53] Ask feedback
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 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! All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader-related to leaving yourself and leading others.
John I’m John Laurito to your host today, tomorrow, every day thereafter for the rest of your life. So I recently had a very traumatic experience in the morning. I normally have my normal routine of which one of the things I do is step on the scale and I am six, three, two hundred and forty-five pounds. And recently I saw a number there that I had never seen before in my life and it was 250 and it was alarming. So immediately my thought was, Wow, did I grow? Did I get taller? I mean, that would explain it, obviously. And I snapped out of it. But truthfully, I did say in my mind, OK, well, what? What is wrong with the scale? There’s got to be a problem with the scale. In fact, I stepped off and I stepped back on. I stepped off, I stepped back on, I stepped off. I stepped back on still the same weight and I’m thinking, OK, either the scale is definitely just not calibrated, right? Or maybe it’s not lying right on the floor.
John I get a towel for my bathroom, so I’m like, you know, maybe it’s a little uneven. I moved it around, stepped out again. Sure enough, that same number 250 staring back at me and I’m just, you know, totally dumbfounded. I’m like, I don’t. That doesn’t make any sense the prior week in particular. And it was over the course of a week I had eaten really well. I had, you know, worked out every day, almost every day. I mean, nothing was dramatically different. And so I have concluded that it’s a problem with the scale. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. So I went to Amazon. I loaded, I founded some research, found a great scale. I put it in my cart just about to press the button and I just realized, OK, how about taking some ownership, John? All right. Let’s actually really think back to the last week. And let me think about how my diet was an exercise and all that stuff.
John And as I start to go through it immediately, which we all do, we tend to give ourselves credit for the things that we do well or more credit for the things we do well and we turn a blind eye to the things that we don’t do well. So immediately I’m thinking, OK, yeah, I had can one tuna, few lunches. I had salmon, I had broccoli, I ate healthy, I had eggs, you know, I kept a really pretty stable diet and a good diet. And then I realized, Oh yeah, that’s right. I did have that Chicago deep-dish pizza. Ooh, yeah. And then Saturday afternoon I had a burger who and then I had brunch on Sunday, and that was bacon and all kinds of stuff and hash browns. And yeah, you know what? I had tacos one night I had. I had, you know, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
John I had all kinds of stuff that didn’t normally fall into my diet, and I started to look at that. I’m like, OK, well, yeah, I guess I did. Actually, I went out to eat like five times that week that the five nights a week, you know, I basically had no semblance of the diet that I really give myself credit for. Have it. And it’s interesting because, you know, we do that all the time. We do that. And I started using it a long time ago as an app called Life, which I got away from. And that was great because every day I put in what I ate, I would calculate how many calories we can make carbs, protein, all that kind of stuff. And it was staring at me right in the face. So you cannot deny this is what’s going on. This is the behavior of the activity that’s leading to this potential result. They should not have been surprised. I was surprised because I wasn’t tracking it. So one of the things I talk about with leaders all the time is just the importance of self-awareness. Most successful people in general and leaders, in general, have a very high level of self-awareness.
John They don’t turn a blind eye. They are brutally honest with themselves about what they are doing that’s contributing to their success and what they’re doing that’s not contributing to success, and sometimes we need some help to figure that out. And that’s where tracking comes in. So if there is a part of your life or a goal that’s important to you. Are you tracking the things, the activity, the behaviors that go into accomplishing that goal? So if I’m training for a marathon, am I tracking my pace on my track and how many runs I do on my track and how I feel on my track and what I put into my system, my body before a run, and how that makes me feel. That brings a heightened level of self-awareness. As a leader. Sometimes it’s hard to know where we’re good, where we’re not what we’re doing, right?
John Well, we’re not because people just shy away from giving you feedback, especially if you’re not in a leadership position. It’s sometimes tough for people to lead up to you, but you can ask for feedback. You can get a coach that’s working with you, that’s going to provide that feedback he or she can. See you in action, maybe you go through different scenarios and ultimately give you some really valuable feedback to be more self-aware. Again, we give ourselves more credit than we should and we then feel better about the things that we should not feel good about, and that prevents us from changing our behavior. So think about this for a minute. How much time do you spend on your phone every single day and just estimate? And then the other estimate is how many times a day do you pick up your phone?
John Just estimate that and think about that for a minute. Write it down if you’re in a position to do that. OK, now if you have an iPhone, go to your iPhone, go to your settings feature or button. And if you look at that second group down there to where it says screen time at the bottom, hit that button. Now, if you go to the right about the halfway point of that screen, right below the bar graphs, you’ll see it’s a see-all activity. You click that and now you will see what your daily average is for time on the phone. It’s probably a lot more than you thought it was. If you scroll down a little bit, it will tell you what apps you use. Now, when I saw that, I had a lot of hours per day, seven hours per day. I’m thinking, OK, well, that’s you know, I’m doing emails. I’m on calls. I use my phone a lot.
John But in reality, if I look down and I see apps that will verify when I’m using my phone for, so if I see tock up there, that’s probably not reality business, versus if I saw an email or phone or something like that. That’s the beauty of this thing. And then if you scroll down, even more, it’ll tell you how many times you’ve picked up your phone. Was it ten? Was it 200? You know this is reality. So sometimes we just refuse to accept the fact of what reality looks like. Sometimes we don’t even want to know those numbers. But if you’re truly committed to change something and change your own behaviors or change your organization’s behavior, you have to track it. There are just two ways easy ways you can increase self-awareness, track what you’re trying to be self-aware of, track the things that you’re doing that will lead to the result you’re trying to get to, and look at it.
John Don’t just track it, but look at it. Then secondly is to get feedback, get outside perspective so that you take your blind spot out of the way. That is very valuable, very easy to easy, easy things you can do to become more self-aware. So there’s your lesson for today. Hope that was helpful. Again, as always, I love your ideas and suggestions on different topics and guests, so please keep them coming. As I know many of you are doing, if you haven’t checked out my book on Amazon, tomorrow’s leader, how the best leaders get better in a fast-changing world. It’s out there. Take a look. Greatly appreciate your reviews and your feedback. And as always, like subscribe, share this show and go down below, give five-star ratings. Thanks, everybody. Have a good one!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!