Leadercast 2019 Highlights and Notes

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I had the opportunity to attend the Leadercast 2019 Simulcast. Speakers this year included Andy Stanley and Patrick Lencioni. What I consider to be the best sound bytes and snippets are at the top followed by full notes:

My Top Snippets

  1. Recruit Doers over Thinkers. It is easier to educate a doer than to activate a thinker.
  2. Start your day with the right mindset.
  3. Hire tough so you can manage easy.
  4. Focus on your own authenticity. Nobody can be you the way you can be you.
  5. Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less – CS Lewis
  6. What is mine to own first?
  7. The days are gone when you can be a my way or the highway leader.
  8. We get what we allow – Henry Cloud

Theme For This Year : Building Healthy Teams

Andy Stanley – @andystanley

Hiring employees is NOT the same as building a team.

If you don’t know why something is working when it’s working, you won’t know how to fix it when it breaks.

When you are successful you need to do autopsies on your success.

4 Essentials of Healthy, High Performance Teams
They are comprised of people with extraordinary clarity around what, why and how along with a predisposition toward execution.

  1. Select performance oriented people and position them for maximum impact. Recruit Doers over Thinkers. It is easier to educate a doer than to activate a thinker. Positioning is critical – The right person put in the wrong place will feel like the wrong person. The Pharaoh Principle – Pharaoh put Joseph in charge because he had the idea and the vision from God. He ignored the org chart. Sometimes we need to ignore the org chart – put your best people on the most important projects
  2. Clarify WHAT and WHY. You have to do this so the team knows what the objective is (How to win). Every team wants to win but that can’t happen if people don’t know what the definition of a win is. This focuses energy and resources as well has helping to spotlight things that are off purpose. You need people with fresh eyes and give them a voice – The longer you are in an organization the more you become blind to the culture. This clarity lays the groundwork for organizational change. People always resist letting go until you tell them where you want them to go
  3. Organize to the WHAT. If you don’t do this people will work around the organization – the organization is in the way. When this happens your best people will leave. Is our organization getting in the way of the WIN?
  4. Orchestrate and Evaluate Everything. This is how we do it here until further notified. Orchestration is the elimination of discretion at the operating level of the business (Consistency). It is the playbook for the team. Evaluation is how you refine your culture and make things better. If this is missing the organization gets stale. You must create feedback loops that keep you closely connected and emotionally preoccupied with the mission-critical events of the organization. The higher up you move in the organization the more likely you are to become disconnected from the critical events.

Caroline Leaf – @drcarolineleaf

There is a difference between the mind and our brain.

The mind is the ability to THINK, FEEL and CHOOSE. Our brains respond to our mind by creating physical structures to store experiences.

Our brain is actually composed of billions of quantum biological computers.

The need to manage our minds – Focusing on extrinsic things, toxic things, stress causes damage not just to the brain but the body.

Being intentional about what we put into our minds. We need to be intrinsically driven rather than extrinsically driven.

The solution to our problems are not more medication but neuroplasticity – training our mind, mental self care.

Leaders need to help their teams become more stress resilient.

Start your day with the right mindset.

  1. Tune into signals from our body
  2. Ask Why Questions
  3. Write Down Thoughts, Attitudes and Mindsets
  4. Reflect and Edit

Ginger Hardage – Southwest Airlines – @gingerhardage

Part of Southwest’s culture it that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and they look for that trait in employees.

Culture is contagious and leaders define the culture. One size does not fit all with culture – what works for one company may not necessarily fit another.

Hire tough so you can manage easy.

Start by taking care of your employees! Happy Employees -> Happy Customers -> Happy Shareholders

5 Lies About Corporate Culture

  1. Culture is someone else’s job. Truth – Culture building is everyone’s job, especially leaders.
  2. Our values are on the wall. Truth – Culture is not a faucet you can turn on and off, you have to continually work at communicating it. This has to be at work through the entire employee life cycle – starting before you even hire an employee.
  3. Culture is fluffy. Truth – Culture can drive the bottom line. Return on Culture – Chick Fil A, Trader Joe’s and Southwest Airlines. High profitability and customer service.
  4. If I empower my employees, I might lose control. Truth – Employees who have freedom in a framework are more effective. Framework with no freedom is that terrible customer service experience we’ve all had – Processes with no human judgement involved.
  5. We can’t afford culture. Truth – A lot of culture things are free. 1) Live your values every day as a leader 2) Boost your leadership visibility – spend time with people where they are 3) Be inclusive – involve your team in decisions 4) Put storytelling front and center – people remember stories

3 Action Steps

  1. Create a T chart and write down values on one side and stories on the other. Be a collector of stories.
  2. Ask your employees to describe their job in the company. A job, a career, or a calling
  3. Join unstoppable cultures email list

Carla Harris – Morgan Stanley – @carlaannharris

What is a healthy team?

  1. A team that embraces authenticity
  2. A team that embraces collaboration
  3. A team that embraces conflict productively
  4. A team that embraces differences
  5. A team that embraces encouragement (taking risks and lining up together when there are differences)

Many organizations have promoted the best producers but we need leaders that can motivate and inspire people.

The days are gone when you can be a my way or the highway leader.

Leaders have to be intentional:

  1. Focus on your own authenticity. Nobody can be you the way you can be you. Many people are not comfortable in their own skin and gravitate towards people who are. Authenticity is essential trust which is essential to any relationship.
  2. Building Trust. We are all competing around innovation and this means our companies are going into unknown territories. You can’t do this without trust. You build trust by doing what you say you will do – over and over again. She works to add value by understanding what people care about before she makes an ask.
  3. Creating Clarity. People have to know what they are playing for before they can perform.
  4. Creating Other Leaders. One of your jobs as a leader is to create other leaders and to do that you have to empower and develop other people. Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should. Same is true about the way work gets done – people may not do it the way you would but as long as it gets done its good.
  5. Diversity. If you have homogeneous thought in your team you will have gaps when you deliver. Don’t overlook talent and put people in a box. You need ideas because innovation is born from ideas and ideas are born from perspectives.
  6. Innovation. You have to teach your teams how to fail in order to innovate. If people fear failing they won’t innovate.
  7. Inclusivity. You have to solicit other people’s voices. Ask for the team’s help in coming up with solutions to problems. Ask people by name – at least 4 times. After that people will know to give input.
  8. Using Your Voice. You have to be willing as a leader to call out difficult thing and not leave things that need to be said unsaid. Candor.

Craig Springer – @craigmspringer

Healthy team culture rises or falls not on whether we make mistakes but on how we handle those mistakes.

When we hide mistakes it gives them power to damage our teams and our culture.

3 Keys of Mastering Mistakes

  1. Creating a culture of radical responsibility. Leaders have to take ownership of mistakes. These are culture shaping moments for the team. What’s mine to own first?
  2. Learn how to repair relationships. Say I AM SORRY. Sometimes the most powerful thing we can communicate is an authenticate heartfelt apology. Apologies need to be specific and account for what we are sorry for and the impact it had on the other person. AVOID USING THE WORD BUT. Make a tangible course correction. Look at what you did wrong and take action on what you can do to make it right.
  3. Build a rigorous review. We have to talk honestly about what was achieved and how it was achieved. This requires measurement but also an assessment of behavior on the goal. We want people not just to achieve performance goals but also behavioral values.

We get what we allow – Henry Cloud

Patrick Lencioni@patricklencioni

The Ideal Team Player Has 3 Virtues

  1. Humility – This is the core virtue. Hire people who put others before themselves. Be careful not to mistake though a lack of confidence for the presence of humility. Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less – CS Lewis
  2. Hungry – Strong work ethic (But not a work-a-holic), willing to take on extra things to help others. This is tough to develop in people sometimes later in life.
  3. Smart – Not intellectual smarts but EQ – Emotional Intelligence. People who understand how their words and actions impact the people around them.

People who are 0 of 3 on these values need our prayers – these are people struggling at the basics of life.

The Pawn – People who have Humility but aren’t Hungry or People Smart
The Bulldozer – People who are Hungry but not Humble or People Smart
The Charmer – People who are good with people but aren’t Humble or Hungry

The 1 for 3’s are usually pretty easy to spot and deal with.

The Accidental Mess Maker – Humble and Hungry but aren’t People Smart (Easiest To Deal With)
Lovable Slacker – Humble and People Smart but aren’t Hungry
The Skillful Politician – People Smart and Hungry but not Humble (Project False Humility, Most Difficult To Deal With)

Ask everyone on your team what their weakest trait is of the 3. You as the leader have to be honest about yours. Then as the leader of team you have to help them develop those traits they are weakest at. Ask the team to give each other accountability. Accountability is the key. The consistent accountability from the leader and the team will cause one of 2 things. They will either improve or leave.

Hiring People – We have to stop believing that technical skills are more important than people fit. When the people fit is bad it is disastrous – this doesn’t mean not hiring people without the right technical skills.
• Conduct Non Traditional Interviews – Get them out of the office and in an informal setting. See how they deal with a restaurant or running an errand.
• Ask Questions Multiple Times – When you have a doubt in your gut, keep probing.
• Scare People With Sincerity – Tell people they will love it if they are humble, hungry and smart but if not they are going to hate. Tell them.

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