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Executive Leadership Podcast #196: Why Leaders Make the Shift From Perks to Price

July 14, 2022
Executive Leadership Podcast #196: Why Leaders Make the Shift From Perks to Price

The business environment is always changing, and to excel, every leader needs to make ongoing “leadershifts” — changes that positively enhance personal and organizational growth.

Shifting from Perks to Price is the Cost Shift. Great leaders don’t think about what they can get. They’re focused on what they can give.

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Perry Holley:    Welcome to the Maxwell Leadership Executive Podcast, where our goal is to help you increase your reputation as a leader, increase your ability to influence others, and increase your ability to fully engage your team to deliver remarkable results. Hi, I’m Perry Holley, a Maxwell leadership facilitator and coach.

Chris Goede:     And I’m Chris Goede, executive vice president with Maxwell Leadership. Welcome, and thank you for joining. We hope that maybe if you’ve been listening to us for some time now that you’ll jump over onto YouTube.

Perry Holley:    Uh-oh.

Chris Goede:     Yep. They’ve been working on it. And finally they said, “Okay, it looks like you guys can go on YouTube.”

Perry Holley:    They told us we had a face for radio.

Chris Goede:     We do, we do. But someone sold them a bill of goods and we’re now on YouTube. So we’d love to have you jump over, be a part of our YouTube community as well. If not, just continue to listen, whether you’re doing this at your lunch break, your work ride, maybe you’re exercising. But if you want to learn more about even just what we do with organizations from a coaching standpoint, consulting standpoint. Maybe it’s even you want the learner guide to follow along. I want to encourage you to visit, and you can find those resources there, or leave a comment or question for Perry or I.

Well today’s topic, as we continue our series on Leadershift, the book that John wrote, we’re going to talk about why leaders make the shift from perks to price. And man, I hope you’re making this shift, because if not you’re not going to have perks for too long. And so we’re going to continue this series today. And we chose these specific topics based on what we’re seeing and what we’re hearing from our corporate partners, our corporate clients. And so as we dig into this, I know this comes directly from some of your experience personally on some of the coaching calls that you’ve had.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. And just putting it simply, a leader can be focused on what they receive as a leader, or what they give as a leader to others. And it really came from a coaching conversation where I just sensed that the leader was giving me a lot of the challenges they were facing, was really a lot about what they weren’t feeling, the respect or the perks or getting whatever they thought that they should be receiving as being a titled leader in the organization.

So it seemed like they were a little personal or selfish. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that. Why does that come up in us that, as a leader, we have to have that perk?

Chris Goede:     Yeah. The motivation is really about the perks of leading or maybe even where their parking spot is. Right? I know some of you’ve probably seen this poster where they have this big open parking area inside a organization at the very front. It says, whatever, president, vice president, whatever. Like, okay, great, that’s why I want to lead. It’s not for the parking spot, but some do.

Perry Holley:    Right.

Chris Goede:     And they want to be in control. They want others to kind of do what they say. They want maybe a nicer corner office. They want higher income. All those things, while they may come with some of them that should not be the driving factor. And so we need to shift away from that because that can’t be what motivates you or them to lead. And we need to make sure that the motivation really comes around other people, as you begin to increase your influence in your leadership.

And remember this. There’s a fine line in leadership between influence and manipulation, and it’s the motive behind. So Perry’s talking about here with these comments around where we’re going, is what motivates you, the motive behind why you’re leading people? And so will you help the leader you are working with make the shift? That’s the question that I’m asking.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. For me, I thought about it and reading some of John’s input on this about clarity in with yourself about what leadership is about. Why are you a leader? There definitely are perks that are going to come your way. Just by having a title, you’ve got something that’s going to be associated with that.

We did a podcast a while back called The High Calling Of Leadership, and I got really affected by some conversations I had with people about why they were in leadership, why they were leading. And I got the impression that it was about some status, ego type of thing. And I thought, no, that’s not it. The high calling of leadership is really about others. It’s about moving a team to a greater good. And I thought how much in grasp of reality are you with your own reality about what leadership is about? Why are you doing this? And I want them to get clear about reality.

Chris Goede:     What’s the statement that the difference between expectations and reality is disappointment. Right? And I think as we begin to take our leadership journey and career, for me and speaking directly for me, my expectations may have been a little bit different. Not necessarily even about around perks, but just maybe the involvement and what it would take, which kind of the reality, which leads me to the statement: The reality is everything worthwhile is uphill. It’s going to be hard.

Perry Holley:    Yeah.

Chris Goede:     It’s not an easy journey.

Perry Holley:    Do you recall when you were an individual contributor, did you want to be a manager?

Chris Goede:     I did.

Perry Holley:    Yeah.

Chris Goede:     I did. Now there’s some that don’t.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. But I recall specifically. I mean, I with IBM as a sales guy. I’m in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m watching these sales managers, and they got all kind of privileges it seems to me.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    And I think I want to be one of them.

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Chris Goede:     Oh yeah.

Perry Holley:    But why did I want to be one of them? Because I wanted-

Chris Goede:     What you saw.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. I wanted to have that privilege or whatever that was that came with that. And that was the wrong motive from the get-go.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. I think leaders don’t really understand. So the motive starts. Right? But then, man, the challenges and the difficulties that come along with that. And here’s my point in making that. The perks, going back to the perks versus the price. The perks, man, they’re superficial. They don’t last. They go away. But man, when it comes to the focus around the people, then that stuff stays with you forever. Right?

You get phone calls. You get emails. You get people that say, “Man, because you invested in me.” And so just have that right motive. But understand it’s going to be hard. And I think if you have the right focus, it’ll help you through those difficult times. And it’ll allow you to have that hope for the future.

I also want to say this, as we’re talking about this. It is going to be hard. It is going to be a pill. And at times it is lonely. We don’t talk a lot about this, because you want to be rallying the troops. You want to be with the team. But at times leading certain things, certain projects, certain times and doing it the right way is going to be lonely.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. And I’ve heard John use those words you just used about hope and hard. That you want to keep hope, optimism, alive and hope for the future and what we’re doing. But you need to be in reality of it’s hard. There are hard parts of being the leader.

Another thing I want my leader to understand when I’m coaching in this area is that you are the example. That you should be paying the price. People should be seeing you paying the price of doing great leadership. And I think sometimes that perk-based leaders, is that a term? Can I say perk-based leaders?

Chris Goede:     It is now.

Perry Holley:    I just made that up.

Chris Goede:     It is now.

Perry Holley:    They have a tendency to command others to do things that they’re really not doing, or don’t know how to do, or wouldn’t even think of doing. And I like a leader that leads from the front, that leads by example, that says I’m willing to pay the price of being in there. And that really to me is what paying the price is, is I’m in it with them. I’m not standing back getting the perks of their hard work. I’m in the hard work.

Chris Goede:     We’re setting the foundation here, just so you know, like there is a price to pay for leadership. It’s not just sitting back, to your point, looking at the sales manager, saying, “I want to be able to have a company car. I want to be able to go flights. I want to go play in golf tournaments.” Like all those perks that end up happening. And so realistically it is hard and there is a price to it.

And so the essence of this, John talks about it, is kind of the know the way, show the way, go the way. Right? So as a leader, you need to understand that. And here’s three statements that John would say. He’d say, “Follow-me leaders believe in themselves before and more than others do.” So you got to have that believe in yourself, invest in yourself.

The second one is, “Follow-me leaders set expectations for themselves before and more than others do.” And then the third comment here is, “Follow-me leaders make commitments to themselves before and more than others do.” And so it’s that price that you’re willing to pay, the price you’re putting on yourself to be able to have influence and lead people.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. That’s lovely. Even just the words follow me, are they part of your vernacular with the team?

Chris Goede:     No.

Perry Holley:    I wasn’t asking you directly.

Chris Goede:     Oh, I thought the team asked you to ask me that on the podcast though.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. Why are we not following?

Chris Goede:     Yeah. Yeah.

Perry Holley:    All right. The third thing I really want these leaders that I coached, the word, it’s one of my favorite words in leadership is consistency.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, man.

Perry Holley:    You can’t just pay the price a little bit and then, okay, I’ve paid the price now I’m going to go back to my office and I’m going to go enjoy the perks of this. Is I really want, if I’m going to be that price you talked about, putting others first, showing the way, being an example, doing the hard things, setting expectations, holding people accountable, really mixing it up with the team and leading by example from the front, I can’t just do that sometimes.

I need to be consistently being a part of that. I need to be consistently a part of their world with my team and showing that I’m leading from the front. I’m with them in it. And it just sets me apart from somebody setting up for perks.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. You’ve heard that statement of where you have to give up to go up. And I think once you kind of figure this out and you’re paying the price, I think you have to give up even more if you want to kind of stay up. And if you desire to lead at higher levels, you need to keep paying the price. I love this right here, that you put in my notes, where it says consistency provides security for others. People know where you stand and they depend on you. The highest compliment you can receive as a leader is that.

I think in today’s age of leading people in organizations, in the culture, two words that aren’t talked about, two competencies that aren’t talked about a lot, is consistency and calmness. Now not all of us are wired for calm. So I bent towards that because I have a little bit of a wiring towards that. But I think both of those things are extremely contagious and at times are tough to do. But it’s the price of leading.

Perry Holley:    Well, let’s do a little back and forth with you on that. I love you say, so consistency provides security. I would say consistency establishes your reputation. Which to your point about calm, it’s contagious.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    And if things are going sideways and your team looks at you and you’re not calm, that’s a bad reputation to have. And so people are watching you. We talk about that all the time. People are watching you all the time. If you deliver consistently, it really helps you develop influence with others through that.

Chris Goede:     Here’s what I love about what you said in regards to reputation. Leaders understand this. Your reputation walks in the room before you do. It shows up in a meeting. It shows up on the phone call before you ever get there. And so you need to make sure that you understand that, because I think that being consistent keeps you in that leadership conversation in that leadership game, and it keeps you from the whole swing back and forth. Right?

We’ve all worked for that leader before where we just didn’t know what type of day it was. And you play in that emotional roller coaster of, do I ask this question? Do I not? Do I go into that meeting? What am I going to hear in that meeting? Again, remember back to my statement of your reputation precedes you. It walks in before you. And so I feel like as a leader, part of a price you need to pay is learning. If it’s not natural wiring for you, develop a learned behavior to be consistent.

Perry Holley:    And I’ll say that consistency compounds.

Chris Goede:     Oh, I love that.

Perry Holley:    The reality is that none of these things we’re talking about really feels amazing. It’s practicing, studying, showing up, working hard, asking questions, changing, trying, failing, trying again. But it’s all necessary for what we’re doing. And so when I continue this consistency, it compounds over time as people on the team begin to see what the hard work of leadership is. Now they know the reality of it, they’re saying, “I want to be a part of what you’re doing, because you’re showing yourself for me and for the team.”

The price you pay every day to reach your potential is what you’re going to be communicating to others. So I love that consistency really sets forward where we’re going for results.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. I love that. I think as I wrap up one of the things, when you said that’s a tremendous statement. And most people understand and dig into the compounding of their money. Right? We all were like, “Okay, [inaudible 00:14:23]. ” And you go through that. But man, do you think about what is happening with your time and your investment and the price that you’re paying in leading people and the fact that’s compounding? And then what’s the result of that? And I think that’s a powerful statement.

As I close, here’s one thing that I want to just mention. John wrote a book called The Leader’s Greatest Return. And when we think about the return on investment, we think about our return, we often go back to the financial return. So if I invest in X with somebody, what’s going to be the return on that? And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we talk about perks to price today, and we talk about the leader’s greatest return as I wrap up here, saying that there is a price that we will pay to develop, invest in, and add value to people.

But here at Maxwell Leadership, we believe in adding value to leaders that’ll multiply value to others. We believe that everybody deserves to be led well. And in order to do that, you’re going to pay a price. But I promise you this, just like back to the title of John’s book, it will be the greatest return on your time and on your resources that you ever, ever invest. And so I want to encourage you to make that shift from perks to price when it comes to leading people.

Perry Holley:    Thanks, Chris, great stuff. And again, just a reminder, if you’d like to get the learner guide for this episode or learn about our offerings, or maybe leave a question or a comment, you can do all that We do love hearing from you. Please leave a question there, and we’re very grateful that you would spend this time with us each week. That’s all today from the Maxwell leadership Executive Podcast.

1 thought on "Executive Leadership Podcast #196: Why Leaders Make the Shift From Perks to Price"

  • Randall Selby says: July 20, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Just listened to the podcast. So awesome and I’m actually attending podcast from our senior pastor tomorrow. It’s a a leadership luncheon. This was great information. I’ve heard from leaders on our business team that your reputation always precedes you. Loved part lead by example and good leaders lead from the front, never asking anything of their team they wouldn’t adding or hadn’t done themselves. I listened to The Leaders Greatest Return and it was amazing. I look forward to the podcast and following the Maxwell team on utube.

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