Clay Staires: This is Clay Staires, let me get a little closer to this microphone. This is Clay Staires, podcast number four. Today our topic is on why leaders fail in business speaker Tulsa. It’s a very common experience that we have in business speaker Tulsa. Did you know that out of a Gallup Poll, 78% of our employees in the American workforce right now are disengaged at work and 24% of those are actively disengaged.
Forbes Magazine in 2014 said that 86% of businesses and HR leaders believe they do not have an adequate leadership pipeline. 61% of leaders reported feeling overwhelmed by complexity. 52% of C-level leaders do not think their direct reports have the skills to assume greater leadership roles in the company. 65%, says the Barna Research Organization, 65% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first began their job.
You guys, this is a leadership crisis. This is a leadership problem. It’s not an employee problem. It’s a business speaker Tulsa leadership problem. Jim Rohn and his conversation and his comments in, if you want more than you’ve got you must become more than you are. As a leader, are you struggling? As a leader, are you overwhelmed? As a leader, have you become, yes, as a leader in business speaker Tulsa, have you become overwhelmed by the minutiae?
As a business speaker Tulsa leader, have you become frustrated? Have you become disappointed and even angry to the point where you are simply overwhelmed by the daily details in your business, in your responsibilities? Question here is – where the comments here is, don’t wish that it were easier, wish that you were better. So how do we grow as leaders? What are the main reasons for this leadership failure across-the-board?
Because it is not only in business speaker Tulsa, we find it also in government. We find failure in leadership in the home. We find it in churches. We find it in city governments and so on across-the-board. So, what are these reasons for failure in business leadership? I want to discuss two primary reasons why I see leaders fail in their businesses. Why leaders fail in their responsibilities?
The first one is what I call a production mindset principle. The production mindset principle is simply, how you see the work getting done will determine how much you are able to accomplish. The idea here is how you think of the work. How you portray the work. How you see it. How you perceive it. Getting done is going to determine your choices in how you address the work and how you begin to do the work.
When you see the work getting done, you see yourself doing it. Then when it comes that time to get a job done, you and only you will be the one doing the job. You will have a tendency to think that this is my job to do, and when you think about delegating it to other people, you will have a tendency to say, “I don’t really have anyone to delegate to. There’s no one that’s going to be able to do it as well as me.”
So you will do the work. Also when you see yourself doing the work and not other people then what happens as your to-do list gets longer and longer, is you will begin to get overwhelmed by all the things that you have to do. Again, we go back to the delegation thing. There’s nobody qualified. I don’t have anyone to delegate to. I tried to delegate once and it didn’t work and so I’ve stopped delegating. What is the phrase, “if you want it done right, you’ve got to do it yourself”.
This is how a worker is going to perceive the work getting done. This is how a worker is going to finish that sentence, if you want it done right; you have to do it yourself. It’s very common, and unfortunately what happens is, we enter into leadership positions with that same mindset. We have a worker mindset. If you can imagine a pyramid where at the very bottom of the pyramid – I want to give you some different levels because these levels build on one another, and as you grow in your responsibility, as you grow in your leadership in business then what will happen is your mindset actually has to grow. Your mindset has to grow along with your responsibilities or else you will continue trying to achieve responsibilities or fulfill responsibilities with the same mindset that you had when you first entered into the workforce.
So let’s start with that first mindset that many many people enter into the workforce with and this is what I would call the sucking consumer. This would be the person that enters into the job and their primary focus, their primary purpose in coming and getting the job is so they can get a paycheck. They don’t have any strong interest in actually doing the work. They just want the paycheck. They are looking to hide. They are looking to blame. They’re looking to point fingers.
They are looking to have the appearance of busyness, but they do not have a clue and nor do they want to have a clue on actually producing results in the company. Again, this is what I call the sucking consumer mindset. It’s almost like they need to carry a plant around with them to replace the oxygen that they are taking up every single day in our companies. But you as a business leader, I know that you know of these people could probably get pictures in your head right now of these people that are in your company that they are simply sucking consumers.
That’s not necessary that they are bad people. That they are wrong or anything like that. It’s just that they are actually sucking resources from your company every single day. I’ve had people come to me and say, “Hey Clay what would I do with these people that you call sucking consumers. What would I do with them? What would I do? The answer is very simple. You fire them. You get them out. Because if you hold on to sucking consumers what will happen is they will actually begin to suck your culture.
They will begin to suck the energy out of the workforce and out of the workplace. Your star employees will see these sucking consumers with no consequences and they will begin to lower their expectations. You won’t be able to hold on to star employees if you hang on to too many sucking consumers. So, there are things that you can have in place as far as in your interview process and filters that you have a place that’s for another podcast, but there are filters that you can put in place to keep yourself from hiring sucking consumers.
Unfortunately, so many businesses do not have that and so many business leaders do not think that way. They are just hiring in a hurry. They are hiring because they’re hurting and they need to fill a spot as quickly as possible. So they hire somebody and they just get a warm body in a position. This can set you up for too many sucking consumers in your company. So, we want to stay away from sucking consumers.
Want to move to the next level as we move up the production mindset pyramid. This next level – again remember the definition here, is how you see the work getting done. The next level of mindset is the contributing worker and this is when we think of hiring people. This is what we want them to be thinking. This is how we want them to be visualizing the work. A contributing worker, once again, when they finish the sentence, if you want it done right they will say you got to do it yourself.
This is a wonderful, wonderful mindset for the worker; because we want them to come with an idea of I need to do the work. I need to come, be productive. I need to get busy. I’m not waiting for someone else to do it. I am going to do it. Once again this contributing worker is a key to a growing business. A contributing worker, they will also say in their minds, someone’s got to do it. If I don’t do it, there is anybody else here to do it. A lot of times a contributing worker, if you ever been in a place where you’ve tried to help somebody on a computer and you’re trying to teach them something on the computer and you’re looking over their shoulder and they are kind of clicking in the wrong spot.
You’re going to get, no don’t, no don’t click there. Okay. Go back yet, no, don’t, okay stop that and finally you will just say move out of the way and let me do it. This is a contributing worker mindset. You’re not doing it fast enough. You’re not doing it well enough, so just get out of the way and let me do it because I know how I want it done. Again, this is not necessarily a wrong mindset.
At the worker level down lower in the organizational chart this is exactly how I want my workers to be thinking. Do it. Do the work. Unfortunately what this can do as well this mindset is can definitely get us into a position where we begin to isolate, because it’s all about me doing the work. I’m the only one that can do it. There’s no one that can do it as well as me. I can’t give the work to somebody else because they won’t do it like me. So that sets you up if you’re not able to grow out of that.
It will begin to set you up for overwhelming circumstances when you step into greater measures of responsibility. It’s the worker mindset that gets us into that place of feeling like we are running on a hamster wheel. We’re doing doing and doing and doing and doing but we’re never getting anywhere, that is a worker mindset. And again it’s a great mindset for people to have at the worker level on the organizational chart.
But if you’re not careful when you get promoted into a supervisor or in promoted to a management position or, oh lord, if you get promoted all the way to a leadership position, and if you still have this worker mindset, then the responsibilities will wear you slick. The responsibilities will wear you out. So I spend most of my time, probably 90% of the business leaders that I work with are struggling in their position because they have responsibilities that– or maybe I should say this, they are in positions where they have– how should I say that?
Probably 90% of the business leaders that I work with are struggling because they have a worker mindset and yet they are in a leader position. And so when they see the work getting done, the responsibilities of a leader, the responsibilities of a manager, they address all of those responsibilities with a worker mindset. “I have to do it.” “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.” “Well, someone’s got to do it.” “If I don’t do it no one else can.” And this can lead to very quickly getting overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a leader.
And you can no longer lead because you get pulled down into the weeds of the everyday grind of what needs to get done. And we’re not able to delegate. Another thing with the worker mindset, if I step into a leadership position even a management position and hold on to that worker mindset, then what that does is it sets me up– I don’t remember what that was, I’m just going to move on– So this is the contributing worker. Again, it’s a great mindset. It’s a worker that can come to work every day and they contribute. They come and they’re thinking of producing, they come and they’re thinking of getting things done. This is a contributing worker.
The next level as we move forward, as we grow and expand in our ability to see the work getting done in new ways the next level is the confident team builder. Another way to say this is the supervisor or, another way you may want to say this is the– what is another way to say this team builder supervisor. The confident team builder, this is a person that has been able to move beyond seeing the work done all by themselves. They’re able to see problems and use teams to solve the problems. They are able to motivate and gather people toward them to do the work together.
Again with this same sentence if you want it done right a confident team builder is able to see the work getting done with the team. So if you want it done right, get a group of people to do it with you. Key word there is with you. You’re able to draw people together and work with them and do that. Do the work alongside one another encouraging one another, and accomplishing tasks together. It’s a huge step and it’s a huge step from the worker mindset.
Again, if you’re locked in that worker mindset then you won’t be able to see the work getting done with other people. So once again you tend to isolate. But here we are now in the confident team builder mindset where you have gained the skills, you have gained the knowledge to be able to draw people to you. So you can do it with other people. And this is key, now eventually we’re going to be seeing the work done without you being involved with you being– Clay is not in the room but the work is still getting done. But right now it’s a team builder. You are actually joining forces, joined locking arms and doing the work with the other people.
The problem is that so many times we take strong workers good workers in our company, the companies that are able to produce. And what we do is, we promote them directly to management and we skip over this level of the confident team builder. And as a result, now what happens is you have a manager who is responsible to get people to do work for them but nobody wants to follow them. Nobody wants to do what they’re telling them to do because they didn’t come through the level, the mindset level of team building. Learning how to gather people to, you how to build relationships and build teams.
I was in Oklahoma City one time speaking to a group of about 200 government managers and I asked them by raising their hands, how many of you have spent a season of your life specifically and intentionally learning how to build teams. Not just going on a weekend team building trip you know doing the trust fall type of thing, but actually entering into a season in your life where you are focused on learning how to build teams and build relationships and inspire people and motivate people.
Zero people raise their hands. Not a single person raised their hands. So here we had over 200 people in management that had not gone through this season of their life learning how to think like a confident team builder. And now here they are as a manager and their primary struggle is trying to get workers to do the work that they are asking them to do. And good luck. It’s very very difficult unless you begin to see the work getting done as a team which does include you getting involved. The claim, I’m a manager I don’t have time to get involved. I’ve got to do this other stuff.
Exactly, you’ve skipped over this key level of the confident team builder. And now your responsibilities are so broad that you don’t have time to get in roll up the sleeves and do it with the group. So we have to re-evaluate and we have to readjust our time schedules because we have skipped a level and we have to go back and learn how to build teams. If you continue to crack the whip as a manager, you continue to bark the orders. It will only get worse and worse and worse.
In my companies before I promote somebody out of the worker level on the organizational chart and I ask them to come up to the next level, which in my organizations the next level is not management. The next level is what I call a team builder or a team leader or a supervisor. The primary responsibility there is for them as a strong contributing worker to actually influence the habits and the mindsets of other people.
Can you influence other people to be like you? And once I’m seeing that influence at the worker level then and only then do I invite people into the team building level, into that promotion. Yes it’s okay if you want to promote somebody and then begin training them. But it just becomes very difficult on them as well as confusing with everybody else. As opposed to promoting those people that already are showing the fruit of being a team builder. Inviting them to that level of team builder and then beginning to expand on their skills.
Then once we are at the team builder what we’re wanting to do is draw people further to the next mindset because again responsibilities are going to expand. As you look forward into your life you can probably imagine your life becoming more and more complicated. Because there’s going to be more responsibilities there’s going to be more pulls on your time and more pulls on your emotions.
So as we move forward our life tends to get more complicated. The problem is, that for so many of us we don’t expand our thinking. We are taking on greater responsibility but our capacity is not growing at the same rate. And therefore we get disengaged workers and we have 86% of our leaders feeling overwhelmed and overworked, and 61% of those leaders that have dropped in self-esteem since they have taken on their responsibility, because they feel like they’re failing all the time.
So this next level is what I call the manager mindset. Now, the manager mindset, they are able to delegate tasks to other people, so that they can increase production. Now again, if you put a team builder in a management position, what you’ll get is a manager that feels like they always have to do the work with the people. They struggle delegating a lot of things because they feel that they have to always be with the people, doing the work with them. Really what we need from a manager is delegate so you don’t have to do the work.
A good delegator and the reason why we delegate is to increase production, not just to increase so everybody feels good. But we want to increase production and a manager mindset is able to do that. A manager mindset is able to develop systems, to maintain consistency of things. So at that team, builder what the team builder is beginning to do is they begin to show signs of– they actually write down processes and systems and checklists. “Here’s how I’m doing this – I want to make sure that I keep doing this the same way so I’m going to write down my process.” This is the major difference between a team builder mindset and a manager mindset.
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Clay Staires