272 - You Are Only As Strong As Your Leaders - John Laurito

272 – You Are Only As Strong As Your Leaders

In this episode, host John Laurito shares a conversation with a friend that made him realize the scope and responsibility of being a leader. Being a solid leader allows you to share what you know and look for learning opportunities for the people you work with or those who work for you. And having knowledgeable, capable, and efficient people work for you, in turn, reflects your leadership skills.

[0:00] Intro

[0:21] A conversation with a friend

[4:05] You are a reflection of your leadership team

[5:45] The measurement of success

[8:38] Here’s the bottom line

[9:32] 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, 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, welcome to today’s episode at tomorrow’s leader where we dive deep on all things leader related related to leading yourself and leading others, I’m John Laurito, your host, I hope your day is going great. I got another quick one for you here based on a conversation that I had had recently with a friend and it got me realizing, wow, this is such an important topic for people to understand.

John
A friend of mine was telling me sharing some frustrations. He works in the technology sector and sharing some frustrations regarding his organization. And he said, You know I, and this has been ongoing. I’ve heard this multiple times from him that he’s had difficulty with his leader, direct leader, and leaders in other parts of the organization, and multiple different issues.

John
One is the fact that nobody is willing to make a decision. So any decision has to pass by like 10 Different people to get approval all the way up to the highest of highest levels. So getting things done is a major challenge in this organization. So just think about that, if you literally had to go through a decision making process and involve 10 different people. And maybe it’s not 10, some of them might be even if it’s four or five different people, that’s four or five different phone calls or meetings that you have to have, in order to get something done. And this business, obviously, technology, business moves fast, very fast. So speed is of the essence, well, that was one frustration.

John
So there’s an element of fear in his organization leaders are fearful of making a mistake. Now that comes directly from the leader, right, that’s comes top down, there’s a reason why they’re afraid to make a decision because they don’t want to make a mistake. And they need somebody else to validate that they’re making the right decision. I see that a lot. The other decision or the other problem that my friend is having is that there’s a lack of communication, there’s a lack of clarity.

John
There’s so many people involved in every single process, that things get very confusing, convoluted cloudy, it just there’s such a lack of clarity. And it makes operating and succeeding in this organization very difficult. That’s problem number two. And third is there’s a lack of teamwork and collaboration. So you’ve got all these leaders that are kind of working in a silo. And they’ve got a very much of a protecting themselves mentality protecting protecting themselves and their group. So when you’re trying to get this, these leaders, which my friend is in a position of having to use the resources of multiple different departments, and trying to get them to work together is incredibly difficult.

John
And I sit after listening to a lot of this and going through it. And it’s always a fascinating conversation. But it’s so well what’s the CEO like, and his comment was CEO is phenomenal, really great, understands the business, understands the issues in the industry, understands how to communicate effectively has a great vision, people love him. And he said, he’s really good leader.

John
And I said, Well, let me say this, and I’m going to challenge you on that because I disagree. He may have great leadership traits, but he is not a great leader, if he has people and his leaders below him are ineffective. And they either don’t have the skills themselves and or they’re operating in a culture that does not allow them to truly be effective leaders. That’s his problem. So no, I would disagree. He is not an effective leader. He’s not a good leader. He may have some good traits, but he’s ultimately ineffective, right? So just think about that you are a reflection of your leadership team.

John
And I know myself and running organizations. In the past, there were times where I had gaps and holes in my team. And everybody I had to realize that everybody was a reflection of me there was no such thing as Hey, John, the read of the CEO is phenomenal. But yeah, he hires a bunch of Turkeys or has, you know, two or three people on this five person leadership team that just either don’t know what they’re doing or they’re self serving or they’re not really tied to the vision that’s Me, right? That’s my ineffective effectiveness as a leader, as the CEO, it’s impossible for me to be a great CEO, and not have great people, if I don’t have great people, I’m not a great CEO, I’m not running a great business.

John
Okay, so that that team below me now, some leaders, some CEOs, or business leaders truly enjoy the feeling of being the best and smartest person in the room, their egos just feed that they want that right. So they hire accordingly, they hire people that are not a threat to them, that they never they know we’ll never get better than them. And they intentionally make it so that they can’t.

John
And that’s that’s an issue of a leader who is just, there’s there’s ego issues, self esteem issues, there’s problems in that will never let them become the leader that they ultimately can be. So that’s part of the problem. But there’s also others that just are not really focused on hiring and developing people to the best that they possibly can. And that’s the leaders job. And here’s the measurement of success away. Kind of an acid test is as a CEO, if you stepped away and you were gone on a sabbatical for a year, what would happen to the organization?

John
So think about that whatever role you’re in right now, if you left for a year and had to hand the reins off to your team, and the others that are there, the second, third, fourth in command, whatever it is your team, what would happen to the organization of the year? Would the organization do a downward spiral and fall apart? In which case, you’ve not done an effective job as a leader? Would the organization stay on level? Would it would it? Would it keep going the way it is, that’s a sign of a good leader, would the organization potentially get even better?

John
Well, that’s also the sign of a great leader. It’s also an indication that you may be the the bottleneck in the whole company in the organization, because that’s another issue too. So pay attention. When you do go away for a period of time, go on vacation or whatnot, what happens. And we still leaders, it’s important, don’t, I used to be the leader that would call into the office multiple times a day when I’m on vacation, first of all, and I did it at a passion, I just I loved what was going on, I was really invested into it.

John
But one is I can’t really disconnect and really, truly be present during my vacation and spend time with my kids. If I’m doing that. Secondly, it sends a horrible message to the team, it sends the message that I don’t trust them. And that I’ve got to be calling it and it took my operations director, Debbie Viber, to tell me that one time and said, Listen, you know, you’re not making us feel like we can run this place when you’re calling in every single day.

John
You got to have faith in us have trust in us go away, enjoy a vacation, come back things will be even better than you left them. And you know what, when I started to listen to her and do that, I found that was the case, they started loving when I kind of went away because that was their opportunity to really do things. And I did find that things were running great when I came back, and I enjoyed vacation even more. That was fantastic. But what that allowed me to do is develop people much more.

John
And it gave me the the realization that hey, the more I put into people’s hands, the more ownership I give them, the more I empower them to do things that make the decisions, the better they become. And my A players really thrive on that they thrive on that. So if you’re not putting responsibility into your A players, hands challenged people, sometimes you don’t even know what people are capable of. So you really test them, give them something you think is above their head, see what they can do when they’re put in a situation and that type of challenge.

John
You’d be surprised you have some phenomenal people in your team, you’d even know it. And they may be at the point where they’re looking at leaving and going somewhere else because of the fact that you don’t challenge them and power them, trust them and have confidence in them. So this is really key. So bottom line message is you have your team, rather everybody that reports to you. They’re a reflection of you, your leadership team. It’s no such thing as you being a dynamite leader. And having the next low level of leadership below you be mediocre.

John
Now then you’re a mediocre leader in reality. So you have to realize that and own that. So hope this got the wheels turning, give you some stuff to take with you and make you better, make you a better leader. As always, I appreciate your thoughts, ideas for future guests and content, and the things you’re dealing with, successes you’re having challenges you’re having reach out to me let me know what content what topics do you want to hear me talk about, or interview guests about? I’ve gotten some great feedback. I got a long list of topics and yes, coming up based on your feedback.

John
So in the meantime, like, share, subscribe, all that kind of good stuff. Go down below, give a five star review, and we’ll see you next time. Thanks everybody.

John
Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of tomorrow’s leader for suggest tunes or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching. reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, Lead on!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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