Host John Laurito talks about the four questions that your followers are asking. You need to understand that you are influencing people in your team, business, or company as a leader. The four questions discussed in this episode are probably the most common and most important.
[1:25] Can I trust this person?
[2:36] Does this person care?
[6:11] Do I want to go where this person wants to go?
[8:41] Are you doing the right things and working together as a team?
[11:02] Aided vs. unaided brand awareness
[12:26] Can this leader take me to where he wants us to be?
[16:32] What topics do you want John to talk about in these podcasts?
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 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: 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 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. I hope your May is off to a good start. It is now May 4th, 3rd, or something like that. We are flying through the year. Beautiful weather outside. I’m just, I’m happy, I got to tell you. I’m happy. I’m not one of those guys that is influenced by the weather that much. But it is hard to not be a little happier, a little more upbeat when you’ve got beautiful weather going on outside, birds chirping, and sunshine in. You can actually sit outside sometimes. I actually do work sitting outside. I shouldn’t say sometimes a lot. I do work plan keynotes, I’ll plan podcasts, I’ll do some follow-up, some emails, all that kind of stuff. Sitting outside in my backyard. I love it. Try to get outside in this great weather.
John: Okay, today’s topic, we’re going to talk about the four questions that your followers are asking right now. These are questions that you ask yourself when you’re deciding whether or not you’re going to follow somebody for how long, how significantly you’re going to follow them, and how much you’re going to allow yourself to be influenced by someone. So as a leader, you need to understand these are the questions that are in people’s minds. All right. So let’s get started.
John: First question is, can I trust this person? Trust means a lot of different things. Part of it is, okay, is this person telling me the truth? That’s one level of trust, or do they lie? Do they tell the truth? Can I count on what they say as fact? Second, the level of trust or part of trust is a belief that this person is who they or say they are. So are they authentic? That’s another piece of trust. So do they. Do their actions line up with what they say? Are they putting up a false facade? Are they putting up some type of false image of who they really are?
John: The other part is, do they can I count on them to follow through? Can I trust the fact that they’re going to do what they say they’re going to do? So not even their actions are in alignment with their words. But is there a good follow-up if they tell me, hey, I’m going to follow up on this question that I’m going to expect to hear from them. That’s trust as well. Another piece of it is the trust that there’s not a hidden agenda that this person really, truly is
after. My best interest, which ties into the second question that people are asking themselves. The first is, can I trust this person?
John: The second is, does this person care about me really simply do they care, or do they care about my interests and what’s important to me and my future and ultimately the things that are going to be to my benefit. Now, this is really important because you’ve got to realize
there are a few different aspects to this, right? One is if I if I’m following somebody, but I know they have no idea what my goals are and what I’m trying to do, and what I’m trying to accomplish. Well, then I simply know it’s not so much that they don’t care anything about me, but they haven’t taken the time to really understand what’s important to me.
John: So I know that person. I’m not going to say that person really has 100% of my back and my best interest because they just don’t know what it is that I’m looking to do. So they have to ask the question. So the first thing is a leader, just ask yourself, how well do you know your people? Have you asked them what their goals are? I’ve talked about a great question, which is really simple write this down if you’re ever in place to write this down. If we were three years from now and you were ecstatic with things both personally as well as professionally, what’s happened, that’s just a great, short, kind of open-ended question to get the conversation going. You can’t, you almost can’t ask that question too much.
John: Listen, when you get the answer, write it down. When you get the answer, revisit it in future meetings and future conversations. I’m telling you the power. That is incredible. But you have to know you have to ask those questions. You can’t help somebody get somewhere where it’s like an Uber driver. You know, somebody gets in the car and they just start driving. They don’t know what the destination is, although I guess in the Uber app you put it in the destination. But you know what I’m talking about, right? You need to know the destination. So that’s the second question. Does this person care about me?
John: Now, I’ve seen and heard leaders do some horrendous things and they may not even know that they’re doing horrendous things that totally, totally erase any chance of them getting somebody understanding or feeling that they have their best interests at heart. I’ve heard leaders talk about their own bonuses and hey, team if we do this, this is a big bonus I get. Just don’t even go there. Don’t talk about your comp. I mean, why would you talk about your compensation? That doesn’t mean anything. People don’t care about that. That’s the surest way for people to understand and really see that you’re after your own best. Risk more than theirs. Now, I have seen some leaders that have said, Hey, team, I want to be very transparent with you. If we reach a certain level, it means that I get an extra bonus or whatnot. And if we do that, I’m going to take that bonus and I’m going to give you a part of it, or I’m going to do this and that to benefit you. So you know, that that that’s different. Okay.
John: But I’ve heard leaders actually talk about that they get higher comp or what. Hey, if you don’t do this, I’m going to miss this bonus. I just I can’t even believe that. I remember when I started my career, I had a leader that talked about his ability or inability to pay his
mortgage based on what I was doing. I’m like, You know what? I don’t I’m trying to pay my own car payment. I don’t care about your mortgage. I mean, I get it, but I listen, I’m struggling. At that point, I was just trying to keep my head above water. That was the last thing I needed here. And he was earning ten times the amount of money I was. The bottom
line, people do some stupid things sometimes. So that’s question number two. Can that does this person care about me?
John: Question number three is really important. Do I want to go where this person wants to go? Do I want to go where this person wants to go and wants to take me? This is all about vision. Now you have to realize something. This is not just about the destination. It’s also the journey to get there. So if I’m working with somebody and I’m developing somebody and hiring somebody in, then then I need to be clear on what the vision is, not just with the organization, but also with their role. So, hey, if you do the things that I’m telling you to do and you perform really well in this role, here’s what it means to you. Three years, five years, or ten years down the road, here are the career option opportunities. Here’s the career path and here’s how your role can enlarge. Okay, that that now I’m getting down the road, right? Of painting that clear picture. Now, I also have to be clear on what the road there is going to look like.
John: So if I paint this overly rosy picture and I don’t set the clear expectations that, hey, you know, it’s going to be really tough. It’s like saying, hey, you know what, let’s do a marathon. The initial vision might be more positive in the sense of, Hey, yeah, be really cool to cross the finish line of doing a 26-mile race, you know, and, you know, arms up and all this stuff. But hey, do you realize how much pain goes into that? You realize how many times you’re going to have to face this, you know, demon inside you that’s telling you, hey, I don’t want to. Don’t get out of bed, don’t run. It’s raining out. It’s cold that you’ve got to paint a clear picture, right? So it’s not just the destination, but it’s what it’s going to take to get there. Do I want to follow this person a great leader is somebody who articulates that vision and articulates it over and over and over and over again?
John: People need to hear things seven times four to sink in. That’s the truth. Seven times before it truly sinks in. And I’ve experienced a saint once talking about the vision. Once a year is not enough. You’ve got to paint the picture. And I will tell you, it’s got to be so clear that people understand what it will look like when they’re doing the right things to get to that vision. So for example, I used to talk about in the room when I was running Hertford office, I remember, you know, we had a really kind of dysfunctional organization. When I went to take it over, it just was everybody was kind of out for themselves. Everybody was working in silence. It just was totally the opposite of a winning team and a winning culture.
John: And I said, you know, one of the things that would tell me that we are doing the right things and working together as a team is when you see a client in the lobby that’s meeting with an advisor and you know it’s not yours. Right now, what I see is people just, you know,
pass by that person. If the receptionist is not out front to greet them, they just pass by the walk. My baby, it’s not my client. I don’t really care. What tells me that people are really starting to get in is when I see people asking that client, Hey, are you being helped? Can I help you? Even though that has that’s not your client, right? That’s one of the signs that you get it and you understand it’s more about just yourself. It’s about the organization. So so that’s an example, painting the picture of what truly would happen. Hey, when we’re really winning and we’re on the right path to being the organization that I know we can be.
John: Here’s another thing that I see happen. I will see people share their successes, not in a bragging way, but they’ll share what they’re doing that’s working in the effort to help other
people do the same. Hey, here’s something I figured out how to fix a problem. And if you’re having this problem. But if you are, here’s a fix to it. That to me tells me that somebody who’s thinking about the organization bigger than themselves, that’s a sign that we’re doing the right things right. I should see people when they’re doing a tough task, like prospecting calls, that they’re grabbing somebody else and saying, hey, you know, what, have I got to make some prospecting calls. Why don’t we do it together? You know, you’re helping not just yourself, but you’re helping somebody else do a task that’s tough as well, right? That’s thinking about the organization as bigger than just themselves.
John: This is how a great leader communicates. They give specifics and examples. People just sometimes don’t understand what that really means and what it looks like. Okay. Hey, when we get here, here’s the result. Here’s the with them. What’s in it for? For me? What’s in it for you? When we get there, what it means is that when we truly are the company that I know we can be, you’re going to go to parties, you’re going to go to social gatherings, and people will say the name of the company in a really positive way. You’ll hear it because one of your colleagues was interacting with them. It will make you feel proud and better about the organization because there’s a positive buzz around going about the organization. You won’t have to tell people there’s something called unaided and aided brand awareness.
John: Aided brand awareness is where people might go to somebody and say, Hey, can you name the top five financial planning firms? Or can you pick out this list? Rather, this is aided. Can you pick out on this list who were the top financial planning firms? And they’re looking at a list of, you know, 20 companies that are aided brand awareness. Unaided brand
awareness is where somebody is saying, hey, can you tell me what are the top three financial planning companies? And they’re naming that bang, bang, bang that’s unaided, an unassisted brand awareness. That’s what I talk about. That’s what I would talk about as a leader. Hey, I want to get to the point where when you ask, you know, we run a landscaping service. When we ask people, hey, who’s the best landscaper out there in Wake County or in North Carolina or in Massachusetts? Our company name comes to mind that comes out of people’s mouths, bang, that’s unaided brand awareness.
John: So these are the things that a leader does to paint the picture of truth, what does it look like when we are on track or attaining our vision? Right. That’s what it’s all about. I see leaders missed this part a lot. Okay. So that’s the third question. Do I want to follow the lead or do I want to go where he or she wants to take me?
John: The fourth piece of this, fourth question that they ask is, can this leader take me there? Are they truly capable of taking me there? Yeah, it’s one thing if I said, hey, you know what, I’m going to be I’m a basketball coach. This is me speaking. I’m going to develop a basketball camp and I’m going to make you the best basketball player you could imagine. I’m going to put you in a position where you are going to be scouted and you’re going to be highly sought after for the NBA. Now, it wouldn’t take people long to watch me play basketball to figure out there is no way in hell that John Laurito is going to train me and develop me to become a world-class basketball player. There’s just no way, as much as I may want to, as much as I care about them, as much as they can trust me and what I say.
John: And I’m authentic. Although that would be an argument for not being authentic. And as much as I might paint that clear vision. Hey, wow. Who wouldn’t want to be selected for
the NBA? I’m not the guy that’s going to take them. They’re clearly out of my league. Right? So. So I’m not that person that’s going to get people to follow me and join a basketball camp. They might join and realize pretty quickly, you know, I’m in the wrong camp unless I brought in the right talent to train people. Right. I could organize it. I could start an organization like that and lead it. I couldn’t execute on develop deliver the training that’s needed to get people to that level. Right. So part of this is so if they saw me in that situation and I was building a team of highly talented basketball coaches, that’s different, right? But if it was me out there coaching them, well, now he’s not going to be the one to take me there.
John: So part of this is, do they have confidence in you? Have you demonstrated a track record of success in what you’re trying to do? Right. Sometimes you got to remind people of that, too. Hey, listen, because they didn’t see you in your prior role, they didn’t see you potentially in your prior organization. They haven’t seen a resume. They may have seen you on LinkedIn, but, you know, they don’t really know. Sometimes you have to remind them and you have to let them know, hey, here’s what I have done. But here are also the mistakes that I’ve made. Here’s what I’ve learned from my mistakes.
John: My job is to help you avoid those mistakes. I don’t want you to go down the same painful path that I did. I want to get you in a year to where it took me five years to get. And I know I can do it because I want to help you veer away from some of those bad roads or bad decisions or things that I did. I am the person that can help you do this. You don’t want somebody to who it just came naturally, right? You want to follow somebody who had to figure it out. I know what you’re going to be thinking. I know your temptations. I know exactly what decisions you’re going to be likely to make because I made them. I could talk. I can read your mind. I could tell you exactly why you’re going to go down the wrong path. And I could tell you exactly where that’s going to go and why you need to think, rethink things. I’m the one who can shed some light on that stuff for you. It’s not just about the success I’ve had. It’s about more importantly the failures that I’ve had and I’m going to help you avoid them.
John: Okay, so now you’re talking like a leader, right? This is somebody that I really want to follow, right? This is somebody that I understand, okay? He cares about me. I trust him. He’s authentic. He’s been vulnerable. He shared with me. He hasn’t just had successes. He’s had
failures. Okay, I get it. And yes, I do want to get to where he’s trying to take me. And he is the person. Yes, got it. Now I’m going to follow that person. That’s what it comes down to. Right. So these four questions are really key. I’d love to talk to you more about these. I could go to each one of these for an hour and we’ll do some follow-up ideas on these topics.
John: But I want to hear from you. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I know a lot of you’ve been reaching out, which I really love. I appreciate, you know, that I sit outside on phone calls with some of you and just talk through some issues. That’s a blast. I love that stuff because number one, that helps me become better because I understand what’s going on in your world and it helps me share some of that with other audiences. So, so many of my topics come from you. So as listeners and I don’t care where you’re I know we’ve got listeners in countries, 66 different countries around the world. I don’t care. So, shoot me a note on WhatsApp. Shoot me a note on Facebook, on LinkedIn, whatever. I don’t care. Just get in touch, and let me know to email me at John@lauritogroup.com Okay it’s easy on my
website Johnlauritocom. It’s my name so reach out and let me know what’s going on with you.
John: In the meantime, I hope this was really helpful. Like, subscribe, and share. As always, I greatly appreciate your ideas for future guests and content and go down below. Give a five-star review. I just saw a review. I’m just going to give you a little shout-out here. Just came in, I think the other day or today. I got to start doing this actually. I’m going to start giving some shout-outs to my people that are giving me reviews. And here we go. Hold on one sec. Bear with me here.
John: Okay. This was from R.P Sheck just the other day. Gave me five stars, too, many times. Folks try to give advice without experience. John talks authentically and vulnerably about his career as a leader. R.P., thank you very much, my friend. And I’m not sure if we’ve talked or met, but feel free to reach out to me. I appreciate the review, the five-star review. Keep them coming, please. That helps get this podcast in the hands and in the ears of the people that really need it and want it. So thanks for your help. Look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks, everybody. Bye.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Once again, that’s email@example.com. Thanks! Lead on!