Our opinions about something or someone can be difficult to change, especially when it is based on a bad experience. Today, host John Laurito shares why that is not a good thing, especially in leadership — letting a one-off terrible experience cloud your judgment may make or break your business.
[0:47] The red-eye
[3:56] Allowing temporary conditions affect your opinion
[6:07] What it means in leadership
[7:44] Think about it…
[10:04] Leaders, a piece of advice
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been in 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’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 on all things leader-related to leading yourself and leading others, I’m John Laurito, your host on this beautiful President’s Day of 2022. It is February 21st and I just got back from a fantastic trip to Los Angeles to visit my son, Nick, who’s out there and just had a blast. I was out there with my daughter Skye too and just loved it. I loved it until I had to take a redeye back last night, which absolutely sucks. There’s no way to say it, any other different, any differently. For those of you who don’t know what a redeye is, that’s a flight that leaves Los Angeles at 11:00 at night on a Sunday, as it was, for example, and arrives at 7:00 in the morning.
John Although this one is connected in Atlanta, it’s bad enough to take a redeye. But when you have to get off the plane and jump on another one at 5:00 in the morning, it is miserable. So in a perfect world, you’d sleep through, you know, 90 percent of this plane, this flight. But for me, no, I didn’t. I slept for about half an hour. I just cannot sleep on planes. I take melatonin sometimes and but that knocks me out for the rest of the day. So needless to say, I didn’t take anything last night, and I’m paying the price for it. So, um. But I’ll tell you, I don’t know, I don’t know how they can possibly make these seats smaller.
John I’m six, three, 245 pounds. I do not fit in most of these seats and this plane was packed. No upgrade opportunities. Nothing. And it sucked. I got to say, and I know it’s not just me. I feel bad for the people that I sit next to. Like, I look at the faces as I’m walking down the aisle and the just sheer, you know, utter shock or just they’re praying. I mean, the look in their eye is just this look, I’ve just been horrified as I start to approach and get nearer to their eye or their row, and they know that the empty seat right there likelihood is, is me sitting in this one? I was in the very last row 40 most planes and have 40 rows. I was row 40 and this poor little small lady sitting next to me. I just felt horrible.
John But I don’t know about you, but I do this thing when I’m falling asleep, I just don’t know why I just have this dream or something. That and so maybe there’s something. So some of you out there are dream analysts and could tell me it is like I have a dream. And it only seems to happen when I’m on a plane and I have a dream that I’m like falling off of something out of the plane, off of a bed. I don’t know what it is, and I just jerk suddenly. So in this brief half-hour of time that I was sleeping, I was awoken because not only did I jerk my whole body and scared the crap at everybody near me, but I must have made some guys sound real. And all I know is I scare the crap out of everybody around me.
John I mean, can you imagine just it’s like, I mean, literally 4:00 in the morning. It’s peaceful. Quiet. The cabin is dark. Everybody’s sleeping, including me. Everybody, I’m still. And all of a sudden you are just, you know, scare the I scared the crap out of me and just these poor people next to me. So I’m sorry because I know I ruined your sleep, too. But anyway, I’m not a good guy to have next to you on a plane. Especially ready. So, all right. In any event, tonight’s today’s topic. Today, I want to talk about the concept that many leaders face.
John Many of us face in general, when we confuse conditions and allow them to kind of paint, we paint a broad brush of our opinion on an experience or a person or a situation or an opportunity based on conditions that are actually temporary. And I’ll give you an example. It’s kind of like going to Disney. I love Disney World. A lot of fun being there a bunch of times, as I’m sure many of you have been there before. If you go at the wrong time, I mean, Florida in the summer is really uncomfortable. So I don’t have you ever been to, but do Disney when it is brutally hot? I have, and I will tell you, it is not very fun. It really is. Not now Disney is a really fun experience. But if you go there where it’s really like the brutal humidity and the heat that Florida has to offer to you in July and August and whatnot, it is really not fun outside whatever way you dress it up, it’s just not. It sucks the fun out of it because you’re dripping sweat the whole time, so you got to really choose the time that you go.
John But you know, needless to say, Disney is a phenomenal experience as a lot of fun, and it’s a blast. But I think about that if that was the only time that ever went to Disney and it was that time when it was really, really hot, I’d be tempted to think about Disney in a really negative way, right? Just be thinking. In the end, I didn’t have a good time, you know, I don’t want to go there. I don’t like it. I don’t like Disney. In general, it’s not a fun experience. In reality, it is. But if my only experience was with it was during like this massive heatwave and I went on a day or a couple of days where I was, you know, super high humidity and really, really hot, and I was really uncomfortable.
John Well, yeah, you know, my experience is going to be warped. I’m going to have a negative outlook on this whole experience at Disney. But it wasn’t Disney, it was the conditions that I experienced Disney in. So what does this have to do with leadership? Well, leaders all the time, we’re in charge of making decisions. You’ve got to make really important decisions, and those decisions are based on your opinions of certain situations, of people of opportunities, whatever the case may be. One of the most critical things a leader has to do is strip away the conditions that might affect positively or negative, negatively their feelings. About what they’re looking at, so, for example. And as I’ve said, many, many, many, many times, we’re all leaders. We are. Whether you’re in a leadership, formal leadership position or not, you are in charge of leading your own life.
John And I have seen people make decisions where they have left great, great jobs with a great career path, and they left that job with a great career path and great future because of one person that one person created a condition for them that really made it unpleasant. Now, maybe that was their boss. Now I get that. I mean, that’s really you can’t like, really avoid that. If your boss is making your life miserable and you’re not enjoying your career because of that. But I’ve seen people actually make a decision because of one person. They left the company, they left an opportunity.
John They made a totally different career path. And it wasn’t. The career wasn’t the company wasn’t the opportunity. It was one person and I’ve seen them leave. And then that one person shortly after ends up getting replaced, moved out. They leave, somebody else comes in and that person’s like, Wow, why did I leave? So I encourage you to think about this. You know, we’ve all dealt with different times in our lives that are difficult, right? We’ve gone through different periods of time that affect how we think, how we feel, and ultimately how we perform. So if you’re a leader and you’ve got somebody in your team that might not be performing well and let’s say they have been a strong performer consistently, but this period of time, they’re not. It might not be because of what you think it may not be, because your instinct might be, well, maybe they’re not cut out for this anymore.
John Maybe they’re losing their interest. Maybe they’re just not working as hard. Maybe they’re just not cut out for this specific responsibility or opportunity, aim, or whatever. Maybe that’s not the case. Maybe it’s just something that’s going on in their life that’s impacting their performance. I mean, think about if somebody is going through a really tough time. Personally, it is really hard and I’ve been through it myself. I remember times. I remember my mom when she had a stroke, my mom had a stroke. When I was in my, I think it was the fifth year the business and I was in leadership. And as much as I tried to keep things going and thank God, she’s alive and well, she’s doing fantastic. But this was a really, really scary time.
John I mean, really scary. She actually worked with me. I saw her every day. She came into the office. She was my, my operations person of my business and my practice. I relied on her side from her being my mom. She was part of my business and she suddenly had this stroke, and I remember just the next number of months being horrific. It was horrific. And as much as I tried and worked my butt off to make sure that my business didn’t go off track and that my leadership performance and everything, my roles and responsibility in the organization I was meeting, if not exceeding everything I had to do. It was impossible. I found myself doing things that I would never do, forgetting things that I would never forget.
John I just was not in that mental frame. It was not. It was not. It was impossible for me to be the player that I wanted to be. I just couldn’t because I was dealing with this situation when my mom, that was so important. So you have to realize as a leader, you’ve got people that may be very, very talented and very willing to perform and do what their role and responsibility is. But there may be some stuff that’s going on and sometimes just asking the questions of what might be happening or what conditions might be making me feel a certain way about whatever I’m looking at. Sometimes when you strip away the conditions that ultimately lead you to a better assessment, whether it’s a person, whether it’s an opportunity, whether it’s just a business decision that you’re making, the conditions affect how we feel ultimately.
John And sometimes they negatively or positively influence them when they should, not unjustly, they positively or negatively influence that. And it’s temporary. Those conditions are temporary. So just a cautionary word of advice. Something to think about based on experiences based on things I’ve seen with leaders. You know, I’ve seen people that have left their career not because it was the right decision, but they were not having success. And I would. What I would encourage you to think about is ask yourself the question Would I be thinking about leaving this career, this business if I were having success? Because that may change the entire picture, right? Usually, we love the things that we’re very good at. When we’re having success, we tend to be more passionate about it.
John We love it. But that lack of success might be just that. A period of time to get this business going or whatever it is, and you may not be making the right decision, I almost left financial services at a period of time, not because I didn’t love it, but ultimately because I just was not having success early in my career. And I figured You know what? This is miserable. I didn’t like it. And who can blame me, right? If you’re not successful and not doing well? It’s easy for you to not like something. And I asked myself two questions. One is, do I think I can do this business, and do I want to do this business if I was having success?
John What? I really enjoy it. Yes. The answer to those questions was yes. And I kept going. And that was those were important questions for me, too to ask. So again, just think about that. The conditions that exist right now are warping your perception or perspective of what’s going on with that person with this opportunity, whatever the case may be. I’m here. If you need me, reach out.
John I’d love to hear the things that you’re going through right now. Challenges are things that you have on your mind. Different problems, opportunities, whatever the case may be. I’m here for you. So as always, appreciate your listening. Like, subscribe, share all that kind of good stuff. Go down below. Give a five-star review and I will see you next time. Thanks.
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. Thanks, lead on!