In today’s episode, host John Laurito shares a story about him reaching his tipping point and how you know when you’ve reached yours. The dictionary definition of a tipping point is the critical mass – the threshold or the boiling point. We sometimes feel as though we have reached it in our life, career, and business, particularly when we feel like giving up or realizing the need for change.
[1:09] What made John make the switch
[6:25] You know you need to make a change when you reach your tipping point
[8:07] What’s your tipping point?
John (Intro): 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 worldwide to audiences 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: Welcome to today’s episode of 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. And yes, if you’re watching me on YouTube, you notice something, I’m sporting a brand new haircut. Yes, I am. I feel great. Really great. It’s always a really uncomfortable thing to try a new person. And this was a new haircut or a person. It’s not a stylist, not a barber. She’s a hair specialist. It’s always tough switching. I hate it, honestly. It’s like switching a doctor. It’s just so much discomfort because you’re taking a big leap of faith. I’ve had like really as everybody has some really bad haircuts over the years.
John: So in any event, I was really uncomfortable. I’m happy with the results now. I’ll go back to her, but I want to talk about what made me switch my long-time hair guy and go try somebody else and go out of my comfort zone in the first place. And that’s really what it came down to is I hit my tipping point. This guy was great, is a great guy, really good guy. I look forward to seeing him talking to them and everything like that. But God, he was all over the place with his schedule. And I, you know, my brother-in-law went to him as well. And it was like, you know, always late, always late for his appointments. And sometimes there’s only a couple of minutes. Other times it would be ten, 15, 20, 25, or 30.
John: Whatever the case may be, I’m like, I don’t get this. And when you have a half an hour haircut, you know, which is whatever, 20 minutes and you got a half an hour. Listen, I got a super busy day, as does everybody. I got a time for a haircut. I got a little bit of time to get a haircut. I don’t want to be sitting in there. When you tell me my appointments at ten, I don’t want to wait till 10:30 or 10:20. I don’t have that flexibility. I’ve got time to go visit you and leave and go back and have meetings and stuff. So I just hit my tipping point. I came in one morning recently and it was whatever, 10:30 appointment and she’s like, you know, can you have a seat? And 10:40 goes by, 10:45, I’m like, what? And no acknowledgment, nothing. I’m like, I’m out of here. That’s it. And I just told her. I said I don’t have time. I’ve got I’ve got to leave. And she said, okay, I’ll get you on the books. I said, Nope, don’t even worry about it. And nothing, no apology, nothing. And I just left and I’m like, okay, I’m going to go somewhere else. Super uncomfortable to go try something else because I really like the haircuts he gave me, but it’s just not respect for my time. It drives me nuts when people are late for stuff. And you may have heard me tell the story.
John: I used to be that guy. I used to be the guy that was late for everything. I literally remember, and this is way back in the day, this was when I was my first job at a school. You think like, okay, I’m going to be super disciplined. I had to be there at 9:00 in the morning.
No, I’m sorry. We had training classes that started at 9:00 in the morning. I lived 15 minutes away from the office and I would wake up at 8:30 in the morning and I would somehow think I have enough time to jump in the shower, get dressed, eat breakfast or whatever and drive
and make it in time for the 9:00 class. I never did. I never did. I was always late. I was that guy who was habitually late.
John: And I think back and I’m like, you know what? That was something I just conditioned myself. I basically said to myself, without really acknowledging it, that it’s okay for me to be late all the time and make other people wait, or just be that guy that never showed up on time for four things. Even if it was a group meeting that didn’t wait for me, I just felt like it was okay. And it was one day when I had my wake-up call. And I just remember and I think I’ve told this story before, but I just drive in. And for those of you who haven’t heard it, driving into the office, frantic as always, at the traffic light, right by the office, still getting dressed, putting my tie on, and stuff like that and collar popped up at the intersection.
John: And I looked across the intersection and there’s my boss’s boss staring at me, making eye contact. And all I see him do is shake his head just. Just in disgust. He looks at me just in disgust. And that moment, honestly, was the tipping point. I just, it was the enough is enough moment. And I just, from that moment on, changed my ways. I’m not late for stuff anymore. Jeff freaks me out if I’m like, 10 minutes before the hour and I’ve got to be somewhere at the hour, I still get a little freaked out by that. I’ve got to be early. And if I get a class at 9:00, I should have been there at 8:00 in the morning prep to start my day, everything like that. That’s how successful people operate. Not rolling in at 9:15 for 9 a.m. I mean, who does that? No surprise. I was not successful at that point. I was barely, barely keeping my head above water struggling.
John: You know, and it’s no surprise right now, some people say, well, does changing your timeliness and being on time, does that suddenly make you successful? No. But I don’t know very many ultra-successful people that are late to everything. So it’s the aggregation of marginal gains. It’s I just started to think, okay, what do successful people typically do? Are they rolling in at 9:15? Are they here by eight? Well, most of them are here by eight. So let me just start adopting the behaviors of the most successful people. And that’s ultimately we started turning around my career. But I also I’ve never been that lay guy since that day, which was back probably in 1995. That was the last time I was late. That was it. It ended just like that, that moment. It was a decision. And what I find is there is a tipping point for you. That day I was sitting in there waiting 15 minutes for my guy to come out and cut my hair. It was my tipping point. I’m done. I made a decision. I’d rather be uncomfortable, and make it a change than put up with this.
John: So this applies in all different kinds of ways. I mean, you can think about, you know, for my career, you know, I told you I was in this nice, cushy, secure corporate job. I made a decision to finally start my own business and do what I’m doing right now because of waking up on a Sunday morning, opening my eyes, and dreading the fact that it was Sunday. And the reason was that it was one day closer to Monday which doesn’t make any sense. And I know I’m talking to a lot of you out there faced with that whole thing, it’s time to make a change. That’s no way to live life or your weekends you hate because they’re one day closer to the work. I mean, just what is the sense of that? You’re in the wrong thing. That for me
was my wake-up call. That was the pivot. That was the the the tipping point for me. And I knew I had wanted to do this so badly.
John: So that was the passion drawing me to this, but that just helped me with the timing. I knew I was going to do it eventually, but that helped me tell to, you know, figure out the timing that, listen, I can’t do this. This is just crazy. The longer I wait, the less time, the longer I have to wait to help people and do the things that I’m doing right now. I mean, that doesn’t make any sense. And I’m not having fun, so why not do what you’re passionate about and the things that you wake up every single morning and you love and you feel great. And that’s my life now. My whole life has changed because that Sunday morning I woke up and I’m like, Now it’s time. And it was unbelievable. Listen to episode number, I think it’s 100 and I go through the whole story, which is a really cool story about how I made the change. I’m pretty sure it’s episode 100. I was either 100 or 200, but I think it’s 100. Go back and listen to cool stuff.
John: So I ask you, what is your tipping point? What’s the thing that, you know, my son told me one day I was fat, getting fat. I think he’s ready to tell me that again. But anyway, now I’m 51. This was when I was 30. Something needs and he’s like your guts. Skinny, big dad. What, what’s the deal? And that was all I needed to hear. And I worked out every day in a row for a year and seven months. What the heck? Are you crazy? Well, for me, I just wanted to prove something myself. I literally worked out every day, consistently, every day for a year and seven months. I just want to see how long I could do it and how many days in a row because I was like, okay, I’m just going to if I’m going to do this, I’m I decided that now, granted, that’s not the best way to work out your body needs a rest.
John: But for me, that was a total life transformation. And it happened because of that comment, that conversation walking back in Boston after having walking with Froyo, like literally frozen yogurt, eating while my son is telling me my gut looks big. So in any event, there’s something there I know that you want to do. There’s something there that you want to drive your organization to do that you’re trying to influence other people to do it won’t happen unless there is that tipping point. There’s got to be that moment that faces you, that smacks you in the face where you wake up and you say, You know what, it is time for a change.
John: So think about it. What is it going to take for you? And think about this for your clients or your followers? Is there something that you’re on the brink of? You know, are you that guy that’s cutting people’s hair that makes it people way that you don’t even realize that? I don’t even know if he knows at this point. This was a month or two ago. I don’t know if he knows how many clients he’s lost because he’s late. I didn’t tell him I should have, probably should, but I don’t even want to bother. I’m just going to move on. I vote with my feet. I do different things. I’m not going to be his client. He’s going to see that. But bottom line is, there’s always some. And there’s a trigger, there’s some kind of tipping point that will prompt massive change, massive action, even if it means discomfort. As a leader, you’ve got to know this. You’re leading your own life and you’re responsible to help lead other people’s lives as well.
John: So I hope this was helpful for you. Let me know. Send me a message. Whatever it takes. Give me ideas, thoughts on future guest, future topics, all that kind of good stuff. You know, this group thumbs up, like, share, subscribe, all of the stuff you love to do, whatever. Have a great day. Thanks for joining us here.
John (Closing): 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 email@example.com Once again, that’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Lead on!