Clay Staires: This is Clay Staires, podcast number five, continuation of why leaders fail. We are going to be talking in this session about the manager mindset and the leader mindset. As we talked about in our last podcast, we were talking about this transition from the team builder mindset, to the manager mindset. Once again the big trap that we can fall into if we’re not careful is, taking on a management position or management responsibilities, with too much of a team builder mindset. What that would look like is, I have a hard time delegating because I feel like I need to do the work with them. I feel like for me to ask them to do the work without me doing the work along with them, is wrong. I feel like they’re not going to respect me, I feel like they’re not going to like me and they’re not going to do what I asked them to do.
I need to get involved and do the work with them. Again that’s a great mindset for the team builder, But if that is still where you are when your responsibilities have expanded as a manager, then you’re not going to be able to be a successful manager because you’ll be too busy. You’ll have too much going on. You won’t have time to do your management responsibilities. Yes, work will get done, but management will suffer. Management will begin to wane. Again, the manager mindset as we grow into this. A manager, a person that is able to see through managers eyes, is a person that is able to delegate tasks to others, to increase production. They’re able to develop systems to maintain consistency. Managers love to implement plans, they’ve learned how to take plans and put them into actions, how to turn ideas into actions and into results.
Here’s another key thing with a manager, a manager has gained the capacity and the skill to be able to confront deviation from the plan. Once again, this is another real struggle when you have a manager that is primarily still thinking like a team builder. They have a hard time confronting people because they are concerned that it will hurt the relationship. Again that’s great, if you were at the team builder level of responsibility. But if you are a manager, still concerned about people liking you and still concerned about maintaining those tight relationships, then you will have a hard time confronting people when they do not stay within the boundaries.
Therefore, management will be extremely difficult for you. It will be extremely stressful for you, it is a big responsibility for a manager to be able to get rid of low performers, to be able to identify people that are not going to be able to get to a level of production, that’s the manager’s job. But if you’re too much of a team builder in your mindset as a manager, then what you will continually find yourself doing is looking at low performance going, “I think I can still get them there. I think I can still spend time with them and build the relationship. I think I can still get them. I think I can still get them there.” Three months, six months, a year, 12 years later they’re still not there and you’re still in the thought of, “Maybe they’ll get there, maybe they will. I just need to try one more thing.”
But unfortunately, it’s not going to work a manager will be able to recognize that and a manager is able to confront. They are able to confront based on policies, they’re able to confront based on written procedures. They don’t confront on personality, they don’t confront with emotion, they confront on systems and processes that are in place. The systems and the processes are the evaluator, not the person. This is a key ingredient for a manager to begin to grow in. And again, if you put somebody in a position of management before you have taught them how to be a team builder, then they won’t even see other people doing the work, they will still see themselves doing the work. So now delegation isn’t even a thought for them, they just see themselves having to do the work. They’re excited to be promoted to this new level of authority, but all of the responsibilities now they have to do everything themselves.
So managers can tend to get overwhelmed and overworked, and then they begin to bark at the people. What is it the number one reason why people leave their jobs, it’s because of their direct supervisor, because they’re overwhelmed, they are barking, they are screaming, they’re yelling, they don’t know how to do the relationship. That’s what we needed to learn at the team builder level. Once again, as you move forward, as you begin to continually expand your responsibilities in the business speaker Tulsa world, this management piece is going to be a key piece for you to walk through. If you haven’t learned how to think like a manager, then the responsibilities of a manager will overwhelm you because how you see the work getting done is how you will do the work. Business Speaker Tulsa
Myself, a lot of times people ask me about micromanagement, people get really frustrated at micromanagers, “I hate micromanagers.” I love micromanagement, I run my companies as a micromanager. I think micromanagement is important. I think micromanagement is vital to the successful running of a company. However, what I don’t like is when a person is the micro manager. I want the micro manager to be a process, a system, a checklist. The manager puts together the procedure and people follow the procedure. The procedure is the micro manager, not the person. As soon as a person becomes the micro manager, it’s overwhelming and it’s not fun. People do not like another human looking over their shoulder. I know I don’t, I’m sure you don’t either. Business Speaker Tulsa
In fact, back in 2014, had that 80% of employees find it very, very annoying when a manager doesn’t trust them or empower them, and they continue to micro manage them. Once again, simply because we aren’t thinking as expanding people’s mindsets, we’re just thinking of expanding people’s responsibilities, if we’re not careful, we can put people into responsibilities that are too big for their capacity, and they are just not able to do it. Business Speaker Tulsa
That’s the manager level. Then we have the top of the pyramid which I call the leader mindset. The leader mindset is able to look at the work, and they are able to say, “If you want it done right, give it to people that you have trained to do it.” Give it to people that you have inspired to do it. Leaders, the leader mindset is inspiring, it’s respected. Leader mindset has a confident plan of action, leaders passionately lead action to fulfill a vision. Now once again as you can imagine if you are in a position of leadership, where you are the one that needs to have the vision. I’m not just talking about a position of authority, I’m talking about a position of leadership, where you are responsible for seeing the vision and bringing the vision into fulfillment. Bringing that vision into actualization. If you are in that position, and you still have a worker mindset capacity, then you can imagine how overwhelming it’s going to be for you to try to bring that vision all by yourself, isolated, to bring that vision about.
How easy it can be to slip into a trap of getting pulled down into the weeds because, “Well, if someone’s got to do it, so it’s got to be me. Yes I’ve tried to delegate before but it didn’t work, so I have to do it.” Now you are trying to fulfill a complete vision, when you are the only one that really knows how to do the work. There never has been relationships built to the point where you can draw people towards you and inspire, motivate people. There hasn’t been procedures put in place to where you can tell people to follow a checklist. It’s just, “I need you to go do this,” and people look at you and say, “Yes I’ll go do that,” and then they go do it and they do it all wrong. Because you haven’t reproduced yourself through a procedure, using the manager mindset.
Once again I think this is one reason why so many leaders have failed, is because they step into a leadership position, they have leadership responsibilities, but their mindsets are still stuck back in the worker mode or back in the team builder, where they feel like they have to do everything along with everyone else. Again, workers all the time are going to look at the leaders and have this thought in their head, “How come you don’t do this?” They might even say it out of their mouth, “I don’t see you doing the work.” That’s simply because they don’t have a leader mindset. They don’t understand it. And you can, if you want try to sit and explain it to them, but it probably won’t work. At the end of the day or at the end of the talk they will still want you to pick up the work and do it with them. These are people that are probably on their way to customer status at your company. It’s time to get rid of them.
Hopefully this gives you an idea of why some of your responsibilities of a leader have been overwhelming. When it comes to business speaker Tulsa leadership, once again if we’re not careful, we’ll get pulled down into the weeds of the worker because we are thinking like a worker. We’ll get pulled down into the weeds of having to be the one that does all the training and all of the developing of people and all of the team building, because we are thinking that that has to be our role. We haven’t grown. Once again, if you are in this position you haven’t done that then there may need to be a season where you go back and you learn how to build team, and you learn how to put systems together.
I know for me in my life I was naturally wired in my brain to be a team builder. I love gathering people. I had a personality. I had a sense of humor. I had a natural talent to be able to draw people to me to do things. The problem was, I never learned how to work. I never learned the value of a strong work ethic. What I did is I would draw people to me and then I would make them do all the work and I would not be involved because I didn’t learn how to work. Next thing you know, I’m put into a leadership position, but I don’t know how to work, and so I would drive the people to do the work but I never did put procedures together. I never did put systems together. I never did put the checklist together. I just said, “Go do the work,” and then I would oversee the work and I’d say, “No, that’s not right. You’re not doing it right,” because again I was in a leadership position, but I never learned how to work and I never learned how to manage. All I knew how to do was get people excited and then drive them to do work.
It took me a long time, took me several years to learn that. It probably wasn’t until my early 30s that I learned – began to learn how to work and it wasn’t until my mid 40s that I actually learned about this whole thing called management. It was very difficult when I stepped into a CEO position and had to do a lot of management, but I didn’t know how to be a manager. At that point, I wasn’t afraid of the work. I’d learned how to do the work and I knew how to draw people to me but that management piece still eluded me. I did not have a manager mindset and so as a result I would draw people to me, and we would do the work together, and everybody felt great. Everybody felt wonderful. Everybody was happy except for the Board of Directors. Except for the people that were coming to me and saying, “Clay, what have you produced?” Because workers are not always responsible for the production. Team builders are not always responsible for the production. It is the manager that is responsible for the production and I had not learned how to think like a manager.
It was still about all of us doing the work together. It was a hard lesson for me to learn. I was there for 10 years and we had a lot of great things going on, but as far as hitting specific numbers I just wasn’t able to do that because of my management mindset limitations. In 2012, when I started my own company, that was the very first thing that I knew that I had to learn, was how to manage a company. Never was a problem for me to have a vision for a company, but I didn’t know how to manage a company. That is why I jumped immediately to getting a business speaker Tulsa coach, to getting a business consultant, to teach me how to manage a company. Over the course of about three years, I learned how to manage. I learned how to write systems. I learned how to write procedures, how to create checklist, how to follow procedures and how to evaluate with procedures, how to evaluate using checklist and not just using personality. All of these pieces put together have allowed me to become a much better leader, a leader that now knows how to do the work, but knows how to draw people to get the work done, and knows how to put systems together that you give to the people to follow so that the work can get done consistently and into the future.
This is what once again what I call the worker mindset or what I called The Production Mindset Pyramid. At the very lowest level is the sucking consumer. These are people that have just not yet learned what work is all about. They’re just wanting something for nothing. The next level is the contributing worker. These are people that have been able to embrace the idea of doing the work that needs to get done. The next level is the confident team builder. The person that is willing to delegate work but then do the work with other people, to build those relationships and joyfully do and confidently do the work alongside the other people. The next level is the efficient manager that is able to put together systems, and procedures, and checklists, to put order into the work. The same work can get accomplished day in and day out, not depending upon the person but depending upon the procedure.
Then finally is the leader mindset. The person that is able to delegate work to people they have trained and positioned to do the work. The leader that is not going to get sucked into the daily grind of the work because they know that they have to get their eye on the bigger picture, they have to get their eye on the vision. This is the first reason why I feel and why I have found with over 90% of the leaders that I’ve worked with over the past five years, over a hundred different workers, different leaders that I’ve worked with. This the same thing just from leader to leader to leader is that they are in a leadership position but their capacity, their mental capacity is still at the worker level. You may be able to identify with that. I encourage you to break out of the worker mindset and begin to grow up through the different levels to get yourself, to get your capacity, your mental capacity to catch up with the practical responsibilities that you have on a daily basis.

Clay Staires