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Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast #88: Perspective Principles Part 2

May 20, 2020
Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast #88: Perspective Principles Part 2

In Episode 88 of our Executive Leadership Podcast podcast, we continue exploring John’s 11-part approach on perspective and share tips for choosing and changing your perspective.

As a leader, what kind of perspective is being revealed on your team?  The RightPATH 4/6 Behavioral Assessments is a powerful tool for you as a leader to use to understand the individual perspectives of your team and coach them in the right direction.

Download our Learning Guide for this podcast!

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Hello, and welcome back to the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast. We’re still social distancing, but we’re still focusing on increasing your ability to fully engage your team in these very trying times. I’m Perry Holley, a John Maxwell facilitator, and coach, and I’m still connected technologically with my partner and friend Chris Goede, who’s the VP at John Maxwell company. Chris, how’s it going in that fancy studio of yours? It is going well. For me, I think my family’s ready for me to get a new studio. But it is going well, and I’m excited to be here. And I really love what we’re doing right now where, you know, we’re just taking John’s content on he has come to a place where, you know, every Monday, virtually he’s sharing his thoughts and sharing an incredible message really around perspective and Perry’s kind of taken that lesson and broken it down. You know, this is kind of part two, and Perry will talk a little bit about what part was just part one in just a minute. But I really love it. We’re just taking this, and we’re just talking about what it looks like in our life? We were just spending a longer time than we probably should have before recording this just talking about what we’re dealing with as leaders and what that looks like? And I even admitted to Perry, I said, Barry, that’s not the right perspective for me to have that. That’s one situation, one comment.

So I love what we’re doing. And I think now more than ever; people have a challenging time not only leaving and dealing with their own emotions but others as well. And that takes perspective. And we need to really understand what that looks like. So, before we get started, though, you can find John’s full session. If you haven’t been able to access that or even the learner guide that Perry develops for us. You can find that at, and you can also go and leave a question or a challenge that you’re having a comment, want to know more about the 5 Levels, which really is the foundation of everything that we do. Just leave us a comment there. And Perry, I would love to talk about it, address it, get back with you, and help you solve them. So Perry, as we dive in today, what I’d love to do is just have you bring everybody kind of up to speed on part one, and then a little bit about where you want us to go today in our conversation.

Super. Yeah, this is an 11 point lesson that John gave on perspective, he started at all by giving us what I lean on a lot, just reminding myself that the way that we view things will determine how we do things. And as I have meditated on that, and really just observed it and the people that we work with and coach and interacted with both in my home and in the community or at work. I am finding that this is a fantastic concept that you can really grab on to how you develop perspective, and you can choose. By the way, let’s go ahead and give away the punch line. You choose your perspective. And can you change your perspective? Absolutely. And can you coach it in someone else I believe you can. And then a lot of times, we react, and we don’t really see how we see things. We don’t think about it being a choice. And we kind of default to it. So John’s teaching, I think, is a very intentional approach to having a perspective, and a leader, as we said, is revealed. In times of crisis, we’re not made in times of crisis, what you are comes out when you’re squeezed. And so the perspective is a big piece of that. I noticed this reminder. This is a three-part series. We covered three on the last podcast. On this today, we’ll cover four more of these principles, perspective principles, and then we’ll wrap up with the next four on the next podcast. But just a reminder, the first three were number one is that everything worthwhile is uphill. Use picture John, as you showed last week, 

And you know, it’s always uphill. But now it’s really uphill. So just realizing that it’s going to be that way. Number two, I love this that there’s always an answer that may be hard to find. You have to look at the work. But there’s always an answer around this as it is in our crisis today, we’ll find the answer may take some time with there’s an answer that and number three, allowing and this is not my favorite because we have to allow adversity to help us discover who we really are. And adversity does kind of show you who you really are. I was wondering if, as you think about those three, which one? I said my favorite and my least favorite. Where do you fall on those three, Chris?

 Yeah, I think all of them really resonate with me as even like you kind of alluded to as you’re explaining them. I’ll tell you which one resonated with me after I had this thought that I want to share with you when you said everything worthwhile is uphill and I’ve seen John do that image, and I know other people have as well. That’s not my favorite. And the reason it’s not my favorite is because the second half of that statement is, unfortunately, too many of us have downhill habits trying to accomplish that. Yeah, uphill hopes, downhill habits. Yeah. Right. And you know, to your point, you made a comment you said, Now more than ever, things are even maybe more vertical than they’ve ever been. This means, if we’re not careful, our habits will go the exact same way down because we get into a rut. And so, I have a little bit of conviction that I thought I would just share it with our listeners for just a moment just, but for me, the one that really resonates with me the most and I’m learning right now leading through this leaving a team, being a part of the leadership team in John’s organization being in meetings and, and having conversations at the highest level is that there’s always an answer. You know, I, we get worn down as leaders. It’s not easy, we get tired. And what we do is we give up on the fact that Yeah, there is a solution out there. There is an answer out there. We’re going to talk about some different things that get us to those answers. So I don’t want to take any of that away. But one of the things that led me to think about that we will not be talking about in perspectives. So I’ll go ahead and talk about it just as asking the right questions, you know, like, and doing it in a way to where you don’t feel like you’re a detective. But you’re just brainstorming and thinking and asking questions. And what I love about this is always an answer. Your first 10,20,30, maybe a hundred answers are not the answer to solve the solution. But it is creating a movement for you to find that ultimate answer to what you’re trying to accomplish. Yeah. And so with that in times like these tough times, and Nope, maybe it’s not even in a time like this, but we are going to lead through tough times. Just remember that man, there’s always an answer. And that’s something that I’m really kind of fleshing out and learning right now. 

For sure. Well, I listen to you as we looked at these four today, we’re going to move quickly. There is a learner guide at I would encourage you, as we should all as leaders be thinking about these for ourselves, are you choosing your perspective? And are you doing it intentionally, but also want you to think as a leader, as you look at your team, what kind of perspective is being revealed as people are being squeezed, there’s a lot of uncertainty, what’s coming out? And then how can you help coach that through awareness, and then maybe through some of these principles, coach them in that way of improving their perspective, because I think it’ll improve everything your team is capable of doing if we have the right perspective. 

So, the number one for today, the number four overall, John said you have to develop a positive life stance. And he really talks about life being full of the good and bad and that you can’t generally control the good or the bad life kind of flows at you. Some of it’s going to find you no matter what you do. If you have a negative stance, it’s just going to make everything the good and the bad worse than if you have a positive stance is going to be better and that you choose what stance you have. So let me stop there and get your thoughts on how that affects you in the way you lead your team? 

Yeah, I was just sharing with you. I had a call this morning with one of our partners, a very large organization. And I asked the question before we got off the phone, because our team is very intertwined with their leadership across the country, and I said, Man, what can we do to serve you guys better like what is needed right now? Like, do we need to change anything? What are we missing? And this is what he said to me. He said, I’ll tell you the one thing that you could just encourage your team to speak to our leaders around the country is continue to stay positive. Right and then we wouldn’t have a conversation leader. I think this is so important for you just to understand. I was telling Perry I heard Andy Stanley last week make another profound statement which is just par for the course with him when he’s teaching leadership. He said, leaders Listen, they need to hear your voice more than they hear your words right now means you don’t have to have the perfect words. But what he’s saying ties in with even this, this illustration that I’m talking about with that just happened today this morning. And he’s saying just be an encouragement to our leaders. They’re wearing a heavyweight right now, from all of their team and their team members. They’re working on the culture of the stores in the offices, and they’re positive. But then that the team goes home, right? That gets filled, whether the watching news or maybe they’re dealing with some personal things and that positivity leaves and they come back the next morning, and as a leader. It’s a stance, just like John said, You’ve got to take that positive stance on a daily basis. And it’s not easy, right? It’s like there’s no two good days and a leader’s life. And it is a choice. And so now more than ever, I would just encourage you to keep that positivity. And make sure Now listen, don’t have we’ve heard parent I talked about this, don’t have your head in the clouds. But make sure that from a positive, you have a life stance and a positive leadership stance, your people need to see that in you kind of more than ever.

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I just, I know this is number four. I can’t believe this is not number one, when I was studying this, I go, Wow, if you can do all these other 10 things and you’ve got a negative life stance, but probably none of the other 10 matter that much because you’re going to make everything worse. So while it’s number four, I think it should be number one and I really resonated that it didn’t say to have a positive attitude or positive outlook. This is much bigger than that. This is broad, sweeping broad across your life stance. Yeah. Wow. So I can actually be testing myself just watching when things happen at the grocery store, and there’s no very uncertainty about how you flow in the store and how you get, you know, what you can buy and what you can’t buy. And just the way somebody would kind of say something and I would have one type of response I stole my wife said, I went negative, like, Don’t challenge me on how many pieces of chicken I can buy. Why, and I would truly everybody’s under pressure, have a positive life stance, and move to what’s possible. We talked about that earlier. But you know, the status quo is kind of over. And we need to think about what’s new and what’s possible. And it’s a choice. So I would encourage leaders in your work, in your home, in your community, to be watching yourself on what to do first? Do you have a positive view of things and just give positive regard to a positive outlook to things even if they’re negative coming at you, you choose how you respond to that? 

Yeah, think about how many times you briefly touched on this, as you kind of intro this first perspective, think about how many times you’ve solved problems with another issue, another team member, another situation when you both were being negative about it, how did that work out? I immediately go to some personal things that I probably should not have done that came at from a negative. And so just make sure that, that you just have a heightened awareness. I think that’s what we’re trying to talk about. It’s just making sure we know it’s gonna be tough. I know it’s gonna be hard, but just make sure you have a heightened awareness about that during the time.

As you said, your team, everybody’s watching you. If you’re negative, boy, it’s gonna it kind of feeds off of you. And so people are watching you all the time. They’re going to do what they see John says that people do what they see. And that it’s a very visual sport, this leadership stuff we do. And so be careful about that. And then if you do find yourself, this is one thing my wife and I did here in our home, which was we were looking at things kind of negatively, we just shut off. Where’s that coming from shut off the new shut off. People with agendas just you know, get your facts. Don’t dwell in back and forth from folks. There’s a lot of negativity going on, don’t let it hit you, because people are going to see how are you receiving it? That’s how they’re going to receive it. 

So that’s a perfect segue very into the second perspective principle, right? Where John talks about it just says, Hey, you got to really feed your faith and starve your fears. What you focus on, he says, expands and as a leader, it’s okay for us to not have all the answers, right? To focus on the fact that we are going to have a little bit of fear and acknowledge it be transparent. We talked about that a lot on this and then identified what is causing that fear. I love that you talked about that even just from a personal standpoint, so that you can begin to talk about that with your team members. Right. So a lot let’s just give some just a generic example. The way that the country has shut down and the things that have gone on, there are a lot of businesses that are financially hurting. Yes. And I think that you have team members that are fearful, not only of what we’re going through but also for their jobs and for the future of the organizations. And I would challenge you as leaders to be open about that and say, yeah, this is I am concerned about this, but let me let’s talk a little bit about how we can and then you go into some other things about doing what you can in order to be able to face that fear, acknowledge it, begin to work through it, and you don’t have to have all the answers in this situation. So just make sure it’s even Perry’s point. You know, find out what’s feeding it, and then make sure that it’s not controlling your mindset, your perspective as a leader because it is contagious with your team. 

Yep. And appreciate it. When John gave this message. He goes, listen, nobody’s without fear. I have fear, John says “I have fear” I go man. Me too. In any, if you think about this whole thing started, have you felt any of this uncertainty weigh in on you? Of course, you have. And it’s just normal to do that. So what would you do? Or what could you do? If you found yourself kind of feeding the fear is to name it. Just say what is it I’m fearful of? I remember when I first started speaking, and people say you look very comfortable on stage. Are you not fearful of being up there? You’re not nervous. I am a bit but in the years before I just name it, what are you afraid of? I’m going to fall off the stage. I’m going to fall flat on my face. I’m going to look, what is it I’m afraid of, you know, am I going to die? No. Okay, well, that’s the worst that could happen. I fall off and die. Okay, that’s not going to happen. And then I just stop worrying about things that I really can’t control any way and start focusing on the positive side, kind of looking forward, not backward. And it really helped me a lot to say, Can you name the fear and then move past it? We’re all going to have it but don’t feed it, let it go and feed that positiveness. Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Number three, which is number six overall says, realize that motion influences emotion. It’s hard, it’s hard to say, look it up and I mess it up. Motion influences emotion. And John really talked to you about turning negative emotions into positive action. And that there’s something that you can actually teach others to do and that. tell you the crisis never leaves us the same. You’re going to come out of it better or worse, you’re not going to stay neutral in this time. I always love that he talks about don’t wait until you feel like doing something, do it, and then you’ll feel like doing it. that’s I get that right. I know. Yeah. And I am talking about a personal obligation. Just share that with my kids last week because both of them are collegiate athletes and sometimes they get into a little bit of a funk and they’re sitting around like I don’t feel like working out today. And I go look, go put your workout clothes on. Ah, no, no, no, like, you have to begin to take action. Okay? In order to drive the emotion of I gotta go work out and then once you don’t feel like working out, well work out and you’ll feel like it at the end. Don’t we all feel better? You know, after we do that, I think also in this, this kind of perspective about motion for me, this is kind of the personal is we talked about in my team a lot in regards to I just need a launching point. I just need a foundation somewhere to say, okay, where are we at today? Like, what is it that we are struggling with? What is it that the opportunity we’re trying to change? What is it, whatever, and then once I go back to stating that, what once I do that, then I can build off of that and begin to get motion by taking, you know, a little bit of baby steps? Okay, great. So the sprint this week is this, here’s what we’re going to accomplish. Now, when times are good, that is probably something we would accomplish in a day. But now we’re working at trying to figure out how to accomplish this in a week? Right? You begin to set where you’re at, set the benchmark, set the foundation, and then begin to say, what are those small steps that we can take that then over time that’s going to influence bigger steps, but even more importantly, the emotion of the team? And the culture and the team of what we’re working in? Right?

I always think of a story of my I have a couple of nephews who are US Marines, and one of them was on a marine pilot. And we were talking about, you know, how do you fly under tough, you know, battle type conditions? What if you’re here, are you fearful are there all these things going on? And I thought, what a great example, and he said, Well uncle Perry it’s navigate, navigate, communicate, I go what? he does. Like, oh, man, let me write that. Yeah, I did. I thought, wow, this is pretty cool, which and I’ve heard other people this too, but it is military pilot command is if you’re hit if you’re in this crisis, aviate, you got to continue to fly the plane if you stop that then you’re dead. So you got to continue to aviate. And then you got to navigate Where are we going? Where can we go from here based on where we are we continue to fly, where are we heading to, and communicate? Communicate that plan, you know, we’ve got the navigate, here’s what we’re going to try and do communicate that to the rest of the crew that’s on the plane with you. So I love that in these times saying, you know, you got to keep the business moving forward, you got to aviate, you gotta keep moving. You can’t stop doing the business, you’ve got to navigate Okay, now what’s possible, and take that action even though you don’t feel like it, and then communicate over-communicate that you repeat this several times about over-communicating to the team. This is what we’re doing and we’re all in this together. And there is an answer. And so you start seeing these perspective principles all start to intertwine, which I love that a lot. 

Yeah, that’s a great story. I love that and I have a feeling we may see that one of your upcoming lessons or books. And as John says, you’ll give them credit. I’m sure you know, the theory, but yeah. First time I gave him credit the second time. I heard mine. Yeah. Especially since it’s in the family. I love that. 

Well, listen, the last perspective. I know this is one of your favorite books of John’s really comes from where he’s at this, which is just made today count. Like, I know for me personally. I can find myself as a leader, as an individual contributor right now. At the end of the day, maybe looking back on Hmm, did I really grind it out today. Like, did I accomplish what I needed to do? was I able to whatever the XYZ whatever your KPIs are, right, because maybe there’s a little bit of uncertainty? Maybe it’s a little bit of a difference in my schedule. Maybe I have. I’m dealing with something we’ve called counseling sessions, you know, versus coaching sessions. No at the end of the day, did bid I make today count what that looks like it my encouragement for you before I let you talk a little bit about this because I know it’s kind of one of your favorite content pieces for me is I want you to understand that, that may be discouraging, because you may look back and you say, I don’t feel like I made today count, but I want to challenge you because today’s times are in uncertainty, they are different. And so what counts today to your people may not have counted back in the previous COVID-19 situation, and it definitely won’t be moving forward.

And so you’re going to have to adjust but I just want you to make sure that you’re thinking about how you make today matter and have a plan going into it. And then at the end of the day, evaluate that plan. And just be careful not to be too critical of yourself as a leader because your KPIs may not get accomplished at all, but you may have spoken to some other team members’ issues and KPIs and problems. And so all of that is helping your team and your leadership prepare for us to come out of this. And so I’ve dealt with that personally, you know, I’ll be like, Well, I didn’t get anything accomplished today, you know, and I began to think about the day and maybe I was a little bit too hard definitely wasn’t around my KPIs. But it was about my team, my people, my culture, or the enterprise as a whole. Yeah, well, this is yes, my favorite ideas I’ve changed my life some 15 years ago and a book he wrote called Today Matters. I swear I’ve never read a book called Today Matters. A man Oh, man. And the whole idea about you know, yesterday is gone. I should learn from it. Tomorrow is not promised and I’m but I’m looking toward it. But today is what I really have. And am I making the best use of today in time and, you know, I can lose money. I can make more money, but I can’t make more time. And so how am I actually using today? John had a very simple phrase, he said, Are you preparing or repairing, preparing for what’s coming and doing the things today that prepare you for what’s next? Or are you not doing the right things today and then you’re tomorrow are you spending today repairing for what you should have done yesterday? And I found myself the answer was I was doing a lot of repairing and scrambling and trying to fix things that I hadn’t done the day before. So just really having a process and a plan for today. I’ll tell you why this touches my heart right now and this time we’re in is that it’s been very tempting. I’m a very disciplined person you know me I get up I do it’s been I’ve been tempted just to back off lay down and watch Netflix stop I just it’s all the uncertainty and I had to remember no today matters you can’t just turn away from that and these things when the comments are my life one of my bumper sticker I need a big bumper for this but it is small things done daily, consistently over time, compound into remarkable results. If I can just do the right small things today consistently over time that will compound into remarkable results and again people are watching you are you taking the I don’t feel like you do it until you do feel like it and but that taking those small actions and until your point are you giving yourself a break it’s okay to take care of you a little bit during this time too So as part of my process is I’ve been getting up every day at noon as close as I can to whenever my business ends and go for a walk and don’t have to listen to a book and I don’t have to do you know personal development while I’m walking which I normally do, I can actually just enjoy the beauty and maybe think and enjoy the sun and take care of Perry. So today is a big one. I think this one’s a game-changer. Consistency compounds I love that last night you had now I do have to tell you, you had to be a little concerned there for just a minute because you said every day you get up at 12 that sounds like some of my teenage going on around the house. Perry, you’re an early riser five o’clock we got this podcast cuz I got to talk to you. I didn’t mean to say that I got up out of my chair at 12. There you go. Yeah, you leave your office. And I think that is wise to do. You know, one of the challenges myself, my wife has challenged me, which is like, hey, you’re used to getting up walking around being at the office connecting with people as much as you go in your office and maybe check your steps lately? Yeah, okay. Yeah. No, she’s like, they might be under 100. So why don’t we know which I have an incredible leader for a wife as well? Well, let me do this. Let me wrap up. I’m gonna read off to you kind of where we’re at. As far as principal perspectives, just to kind of remind you of where we’re at on the first seven that John shared with us, give you a thought or two, and then Perry, I’ll let you kind of close it out. 

The first one, the first three that we shared from the first perspective session that we did, number one, everything worthwhile is uphill. We’ll talk a little bit about that today as well. Number two, there’s always an answer. Number three, Allow adversity to help you discover who you really are. And then we go into the four that we covered today, which was to develop a positive life stance. Number five is feed your faith and starve your fears. Number six and seven was realized emotion, influences emotion, and then today matters make today count. My challenge for you is this. You know, we talk a lot about how we allow outside influences to change our perspective. We always have to start with ourselves, leaders, we have to go first. And so here’s how we’re gonna challenge you when you feel yourself becoming negative, and it happens to all of us. What I want you to do is I want you to stop as Perry challenged us to go back and say, what’s the root of that? Where’s that coming from? And then change that. Here’s what I want you to do when it comes to your team. When you see them and feel them, hear them being negative. It’s coming from a negative perspective on their behalf. I want you to begin to ask them questions about where that’s coming from. Don’t go right up to them be like, Man, you sure are negative today, kind of like Perry was before we started the call today and I had to talk about how but you know, don’t do that. You’re a great communicator, as a leader, you know what you’re doing? Go up, check-in personally on them, and then begin to ask questions about, you know, where you feel that perspective is coming from that drive in that negative behavior, you will have a fascinating conversation with that team member. And those are the two things two areas that I really want you to focus on. This next week. As you take some of our thoughts away regarding perspective.

Very good. Next week, we’ll cover the last four. But I’ll just tell you, I went ahead and put the leader guide out there now for this episode. And for last and it has all 11 and I did something a little different. I included our notes that we’re using today so you don’t have to listen. I think there’s a lot of potential growth for all of us on these 11 topics. Again, you can find that at, and I hope that you’ll go there. Please leave us a question or a comment. We love hearing from you there and you can learn more about us and about the 5 levels when you go there, If you haven’t said it in a while we do appreciate you joining us and these are uncertain, unprecedented times, but we’re enjoying doing it together. This is all today from the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast.

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