In this episode, host John Laurito talks about what you can do as a leader of an organization to become valuable, indispensable, and irreplaceable. It’s not about keeping trade secrets but more of the skill, knowledge, and wisdom you can provide to others. He also shares an excellent tip for everyone to make the rest of 2021 great and kickstart 2022 in the best way possible.
[2:46] John’s valuable advice as we near the end of 2021
[4:04] What would it take for you to become so good and impactful?
[6:24] John’s experience of having mentors who are admirable and made a huge impact
[7:53] How do you do fewer things better?
[9:06] Breaking the mold and zero-based budgeting
[10:47] This is your challenge as you approach the last few weeks of 2021
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 leaving yourself and leading others.
John I’m John Laurito, your host back with you again. Yes, I know it’s been a long break. It’s been a couple of weeks, I’ve got to be honest with you since I’ve been here in the studio recording episodes for years, so I’ve got lots of ideas, lots of content built up. I was traveling. I did a couple of keynotes in Scottsdale, Arizona, that was a blast. My son Nick joined me in Scottsdale and for the first time ever saw me speak live, which was a thrill. It was really cool. He was sitting in the front row and it was just really what a phenomenal experience. And I got to say, if you’ve not been to Scottsdale, you have got to go out there. For those of you who are out there or have been there, you know what I’m talking about. It is an incredible place. I was presenting and we were staying at a resort called the Talking Stick Resort, which is gorgeous.
John I had a room with this beautiful balcony overlooking mountains and unbelievable scenery. So waking up in the morning and having coffee out there and just wow breathing in that air. What a way to start your day. I mean, he cannot get any better than that. So we had a fantastic time playing golf on talking to the golf course. We hiked Pinnacle Peak, which is incredible. Those of you were on my Facebook friend list. Take a look. You’ll see pictures. Just absolutely incredible. So. Nevertheless, it was a fun, really fun week, a couple of weeks here and I’ve been busy like crazy, but back at it creating podcasts. So I’m really excited about these next few topics. So what I want to start off with and right now, those of you might be listening is different beer at a time. It is October 20th, 2021. We are 10 weeks away, believe it or not, from the end of the year, which is unreal. In reality, 10 weeks this year has flown by.
John I know every year tends to fly by this week, as this year has flown by, so we’ve got 10 precious weeks to do everything that we’re trying to do in 2021 and prepare for a great start to 2022. And I’m talking to those of you who are intent on making next year even better than this year. I’ve got some very, very, very valuable advice for you. And every year at this time, I get excited for a couple of reasons. One, I love holiday time. Of course, I’m a huge fan of Halloween. Again, those of you on my Facebook feed, you can go back and see my crazy outfits every single year. But I love all holidays this time of year. It’s just fantastic. But I also love the fact that this is the time of year where if you stay focused, ultra-focused on the next 10 weeks, then kind of look at this sprint to the finish line, so to speak.
John It does two things for you personally and professionally. So whatever goals you have in mind, if you can eke out as much as you can in this next 10 weeks, not only does it close out your year strong, but it also sets you up with all that momentum and all the activity that you’re doing. It sets you up for a great start to 2022, and every year I say if I can get out of the gates fast and have January be a great start, a great month. It’s hard to not have a good year when you have a great first month of the year. It just gets you off feeling good. You’re ahead of pace or you’re on track and it’s easier to stay on track. So I really put a lot of emphasis on January. So let me give you a couple of things to think about.
John I look at and I coach people on this all the time. I work with executives on this and work with teams, and I say, think about how you or your department or your organization can become indispensable and irreplaceable. And what I mean by that is adopting a mindset that what would it take for you to become so good and provide so much value to your organization that there is no way the organization could reach its goals and fulfill its potential without what you are doing, without what you are contributing? It’s that impactful. And we all know when we think about an organization, I don’t care if you’re a coach of a soccer team, you’ve got that one player that’s two players that, wow, if they’re there, you got a really good chance of winning. If they’re not, you’re in trouble.
John They’re that valuable to the team. So think about is your organization and your part in that organization? What can you do? What would it look like for you to contribute at such a high level that you are indispensable? And when I say irreplaceable, irreplaceable, that you do what you do so well? Well, I forgot to turn my phone off. You do what you do so well that you couldn’t bring somebody in to replace you. OK, now I don’t mean that from the standpoint, and I want to be really clear on this as a leader, your job is to develop other people and do such a great job. You develop them to be even better than you are. That’s a critical job of a leader. And the best leaders I know do that, but that’s part of what I’m talking about. You’re so good at developing other leaders that you just you’re like this almost breeding factory of great leaders that you are indispensable and irreplaceable.
John You’re that good at developing other people. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about having the mindset that, OK, let me protect these secret ideas, and the secret way of doing things is not to tell anybody and share anything. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about providing so much value in developing other people and or what you do in that organization that you’re indispensable and irreplaceable. OK, there’s a guy. If you go back to one of my earliest episodes that I interviewed Larry Post, who’s been an incredibly influential leader to me personally and professionally in my life, he was one of my first leaders when I came into the business. I learned so much from him. And one of the things that was incredible. We had an organization with probably 500 leaders. This was at Ameriprise, and I remember going to conferences.
John And I remember I think it was Peter Vilardi, who’s also another one of my mentors who I’ve been working with for many, many years, a close friend. I think it was him that stood on the stage and asked Larry to stand up. And he asked anybody who has been developed by Larry at one point in their career to also stand up, and it was literally, probably half of the audience was probably 200. Out of the 500 people that stood up here was one guy, Larry Post, that had such a major impact on the organization that, like 40, almost 50 percent of the leaders in that organization came from him. I mean, that was mind-blowing. Think about that type of person that has that much of an impact. That’s a that’s a market dominator. That’s an industry mover. That’s somebody who has so much influence and impact. They change the landscape.
John . And it’s the ripple effect of years and years later of those leaders developing and then doing the same. That’s unbelievable. I admire that so much and respect that so much and respect and admire him so much. So that’s what I’m talking about now. Some pieces of advice when you go in and you’re starting to think about closing out this year and next year in order to become indispensable and irreplaceable. What you have to think about is how do you do fewer things better, not more things, not how do I expand and add, you know, 15 more skill sets, but how do I actually do fewer things? But even better, the most successful people that I’ve seen are people that do that. They’re very good at doing fewer things better in order to do that. And again, you think about, you know, a pilot flying a plane, you’ve got the cockpit with a zillion different buttons and dials and switches that the pilot knows what every single thing does there.
John But he or she is going to focus on probably three controls three dials, three meters, three whatever that whole flight because those are the three things that are most critical to flying the plane. Think about that for you, for what you’re doing and the impact you’re trying to have and becoming indispensable and irreplaceable. What are the things that are most critical? What is most important right now and don’t get caught into the mindset of just relying so much on what you’ve already done? Sometimes you get to break the mold so much, it just starts like a blank canvas you literally have to take. It’s all bets are off the table. Everything and what I’m talking about is there’s something called zero-based budgeting, which means when you’re creating a budget, many times it’s OK, what did we spend this year?
John And that’s going to help dictate next year, what do we spend in marketing and operations and compliance and advertising and production and materials, whatever? And that determines what we’re going to spend and we kind of go off what we’ve been used to doing while zero-based budgeting is starting from zero. And unless you can justify the reason for what you’re doing and return on what you’re making an investment on, then you don’t do it. So the concept applies to what you do in your daily life and in your work and the whole rhythm of your week. Don’t just get caught on doing. They caught up on doing things because you’ve been used to doing them that way. Hey. All right. I do like twenty, you know, one on one meetings with people every single week.
John I got to do that. No, you don’t. You actually don’t. You don’t. You’ve got to actually look and say, Is this really critical? This is really making a difference. Yeah, we always have an hour and a half leadership meeting every single week, and we need to do that. No, you don’t. Maybe you do. But start with the assumption that you don’t and build the justification for what you really need doesn’t need to be an hour and a half. Could we do what we’re doing in an hour and a half? Could we do it in half an hour? Maybe you have a three-hour meeting. Can we do that three-hour meeting in two hours? Can we do it in one hour? What happens if we were only able to do it for an hour? Could we get it done? Challenge yourself.
John Fewer things done better. OK, so some thoughts as you would kind of approach these last 10 weeks of the year, this is the time where it’s put the pedal to the metal because I will tell you again, it has a dual benefit of closing out 2020 in a great way and get in 2020 to start it off in an awesome way. So I’m going to talk more about this in the next couple of episodes on some specific things you can do to apply. Some examples of this to really get again this year finished off the right way, and next year finished started off the right way.
John So thanks for listening. Appreciate it. As always, share subscribe. Like all that kind of good stuff. Please go down below. Give a five-star review. I cannot tell you how important that is. I will check in a minute to see the reviews. I promise the five people that since the last episode gave reviews, I would send a signed copy of my book Free, so I will check that and be sure to send that to you. That promise still is out there. So if we haven’t gotten five, so I certainly hope we have, then you’re in. So check it a five-star review. Put your comments down there. I will send you a signed copy of tomorrow’s leader personally from me. Free. All right, cool. All right, everybody. Thanks for joining. We’ll see you next time. Bye.
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@johnlaurito.com. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!