Most of the time, John Laurito talks to leaders in this podcast, but today is different. He reaches out to both leaders and team members about underutilization. How do you know if you are not showing your full potential? As the leader, how will you check if your team members feel seen and heard beyond their roles? That’s what John will talk about in today’s episode, so make sure you tune in.
[0:28] Do you feel like you can do a lot more?
[2:54] As a leader: ask these great questions
[4:56] If you are the underutilized team member, do this…
[7:55] Before jumping the gun and finding a new role, try to reach out and CREATE the opportunity
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 is 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!
John 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, I am John Le Rito, your host. I hope you are having a great start to your new year. We are now almost in February. This year is flying by Grazie. So I want to talk today about a topic that I know if you were a leader, this is an issue for you or has been at some point, whether you realize it or not. Also talking to those of you who are in this situation that I’m going to describe, and that is when you’re in a situation where your role, you feel like is not fully leveraging everything you have to offer, basically, you are underutilized.
John So my question is how many of you have felt or maybe you’re feeling right now like you can do a lot more, you can contribute a lot more to the organization that you’re a part of, but your role, just or whatever the circumstances are just not allowing you to do everything that you really feel you can do to make an impact. Now, first, let me talk to leaders out there of organizations, and this may be your one and the same. You may be the leader of the organization, yet you feel like you can’t do what you truly have the ability to do. Maybe you’re in the wrong organization, wrong industry, wrong role, whatever it is. In which case I’ve said this many, many times.
John There are three reasons that top people, players like yourself, leave an organization. One, it’s because they are not growing, ultimately not growing to the degree that they want to. Secondly, it’s because they’re not making the impact, not an impact, but not making as big of an impact as they know they can make. And third is that they just don’t feel valued by you or by the organization. They may love you. They may love the company. But if one of those three things is not there, it’s just a matter of time. I’m telling you at some point they’re going to leave. So this whole dilemma of somebody really feeling like they’re underutilized, you know, maybe the role that they’re in, they’ve just got it kind of wired tightly and they know what to do.
John And they’re, you know, they’re self-reliant achievers with their role, but they just they know they have more to offer and their role just doesn’t allow them to do that. This is a big problem because at some point that individual that’s not being fully utilized is going to leave. They’re going to find something that does some opportunity that allows them to do what they really have the capability of doing. So again, the question is not if the question is when is that going to happen? So first of all, as a leader and I’ve been in this situation before, where I sense that somebody is really has a lot more to offer. Now, if that’s the case, I’m going to give you just a really easy conversation.
John A few questions you can answer. But even if that’s not the case, even if you don’t see the signs, these are great questions to ask your key people. These are absolutely critical and this and this will actually uncover this. Usually one is is what you’re doing right now in alignment with your goals, in other words, is your role and what you’re doing is this line up with what you want to ultimately be doing? And secondly, which might be a good follow-up to this or even that’s the end of that same question. What does it look like down the road? What is your desired career path? Where do you want to be in three years, five years, or 10 years and then just shut up and listen?
John They will tell you they’ll paint a picture for you of what they want to do, and ultimately the goal is that that can fit in the organization somehow. Now there may be some people that have just this vision that doesn’t align with what your vision is or the company’s vision, in which case that’s OK. I’d rather find that out now than two or three years down the road or even a year down the road and be surprised by it. Either way, I win by asking that question. Okay, I get a great answer. And then the third question is, are we tapping into everything you have to offer right now? Do you feel like you are contributing the most that you can contribute? Are we giving you the opportunity to contribute the most that you can contribute?
John And again, just shut up and listen, OK, you’re going to get some really valuable information. OK, so those three questions, I’ll say it again. One is what you’re doing right now in alignment with your goals. You’re not only short-term but long-term goals. And secondly, what are your long-term goals? What are your career goals? What do you see for yourself? Three, five, 10 years down the road? And then the third question is, are we tapping into everything you have to offer? Do you feel fully utilized, in other words, that you’re putting all your skill sets to the test?
John OK, those are three key questions now, if you’re on the other side of this and you’re that person that feels underutilized, and I’ve dealt with a lot of people like this and myself, I felt like that at different periods of time in my career. This is something that is really it’s got to be initiated by you. Don’t wait for your leader to identify the fact that you’re under because I know it. I’m talking to you. I know you’re not happy. You’re not full. You’re not truly fulfilled because you know you can do more. You know, it may feel easy and, you know, routine.
John And yeah, you can do this in your sleep loss and that’s going to wear off and become really mundane and boring. And just it’s not going to be fulfilling. And you’re either there right now or you’re soon to be there, in which case nobody wins. That means you’ve got to look elsewhere. The company loses, too. So the first thing before you start looking elsewhere have this conversation with your leader and just say to them, you know, and just think of think before even this conversation. Think about the organization as a whole. What problems exist that you might be able to help solve?
John Don’t think within the boundaries of what your current role is. Just think about your skill sets, your passion, your desire, what you have to offer, what problems exist in the organization that you can help provide a solution to, OK? Secondly is what opportunities are there that we’re not taking advantage of that you can help take advantage of these two things are what keep leaders up at night? Geez, what problems do we have? What do I know about? What do I don’t know about what? How do we solve these things? Trust me, your proposed solutions to these problems, just the fact that you’re identifying, Hey, I see a problem or I see something that will become a problem. And here’s what my suggestion is to solve it.
John Here’s how I can fit into that solution. I will tell you that conversation will probably be one of the most effective and best conversations you’ll ever have with your leader. If nothing else, it shows them that you really care. It shows them that you’re thinking big picture about the business that shows them you’re smart, you have initiative. And if they don’t put you on task and put you in motion, so to speak, to solve that and maybe a larger role, trust me, you are on their radar screen, you’re in front of mind for them, and that next opportunity maybe something they tap you on the shoulder for. OK, so what problems are there in the organization that you can help solve, and how and what opportunities are we not tapping into that?
John You see ways to tap into and capitalize on, and you can be a part of that. How can go to your leader and have this conversation? Initiate it? Maybe tougher, maybe uncomfortable, depending on the relationship you have with your leader. But I promise you it will be productive. There’s nothing worse than being in a role where you’re just feeling like you’re giving 50, 60, 70 percent because that’s all the role allows you to. It’s not you being lazy. I get it. It’s just the role doesn’t really give you the opportunity to flex your muscles and really do the things that you have the talent to do.
John So before you go through the hassle of looking for another career or another job opportunity in your industry or different industry, that’s a major change. See if you can create that opportunity. I actually have done that. I’ve run organizations that I had on a number of cases. People come to me and say, Hey, you know what? Here’s something that we can do a little bit better. I think I can help with this. And here’s how I remember creating specific roles for individuals because they brought that to me and they were right, and it was a huge success and it wouldn’t have happened had they not come to me and had the conversation.
John So keep that in mind, there may be a great role for you in your organization, maybe your leader or the company just has not thought of it. So go to them, bring it up, talk about it. Ways that you can solve a problem or capitalize on an opportunity. All right. So that’s my food for thought on a Monday on a beautiful Monday cold Monday, but a beautiful Monday.
John Hope you have a great week. A great day, as always. Like share, subscribe. All that kind of good stuff. Give me ideas for content, great speakers, and go down below. Give a five-star review and we’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody. 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!