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Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast #89: Perspective Principles Part 3

May 27, 2020
Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast #89: Perspective Principles Part 3

If you improve your perspective, you will improve your outcomes. In Episode 89 of our Executive Leadership Podcast, we round out our three-part series on perspective by uncovering the last four of John Maxwell’s 11 perspective principles. 

The RightPATH 4/6 Behavioral Assessments is an excellent tool for leaders to understand their own perspectives, as well as the individual perspectives of your team.

Download our Learning Guide for this podcast!

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Hello and welcome to the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast, we are still social distancing, but we’re still focused on increasing your ability to fully engage your team to drive remarkable results. I’m Perry Holley, a John Maxwell facilitator and coach, and I’m still connected. Technologically, he’s in the bunker. You are still in the bunker, I see you there with my partner and friend, Chris Goede, Vice President at John Maxwell. And that is the bunker, isn’t it? Chris?

It is. That is right. Yeah, I know the team all the time, because I have a virtual background. If you can’t see us visually, that I’m in the office holding it down for everybody while Perry, you can see he’s at the penthouse. Yeah, he’s got I think Atlanta in the background of the windows. But listen, I know we say it said last time we’re closing we’re so grateful that you’re with us during this time as we talk about leadership and have been kind of uncertain times. And we’ve changed our, our process, like a lot of people, have. And we’re just coming at you with some real lessons that we’re learning and dealing with and experiencing ourselves based off of John’s principles. John, you know, did an incredible lesson on perspective. And so we’ve taken that we built a three-part series around it and Perry’s got some content for us that we’ve been able to kind of expand on. 

He did a learner’s guide that not only includes all three parts but actually even some of the notes that we’re working off of. So if you want to visit John, you can get that learner’s guide there, you can leave us a question. You can learn more about the 5 Levels of Leadership, which is the foundation of everything we build off of. Please do so we’d love to have you leave that for us. So, Perry, we get started. For those that maybe didn’t listen to Part One or part two, give us a little bit of recap from where we were and then kind of where you want us to go today around content.

I’m sorry, there’s people that don’t listen to all of our parts, though. Yeah, that’s right. Okay. All right. It’s part one, where we covered the first three perspective principles, and they were everything worthwhile uphill. Number two, there’s always an answer. Love that. And then number three, allow adversity to help discover who you are. Because what comes out when you’re squeezed, that’s who you are as generally what happens in a crisis. And in the last episode, we talked about the next four. So number four would be to develop a positive life stance, love that. Number 5 was feeding your faith and starving your fears. Whichever you feed will win. We don’t want fear to win. Realize that motion influences emotion so you may not feel like it will do it until you do feel like it. And then finally, one of my favorites today matters and about making today count. Are you doing the small things daily you need to do to continue moving forward? I was wondering now I always ask you each episode about which one was resonating the most with you in the past week since we’ve seen each other? What do you? What are you seeing?

Yeah, I mentioned this, you know, last week a little bit of an example for me. And in our team, if you asked me to pick one of the four that we did last week, it’d really kind of make me realize the motion influences my emotion or our emotion as a team. We use an incredible assessment tool, and we have a great partnership with the RightPath resources. And in there, what I love about it is not only you know, is it a behavioral assessment profile, but then it kind of drills down on on the why behind that when you get all the way down to the sub-factors of kind of how I’m built, how wired one of us one of the sub-factors and you notice very well, you coach on this a lot and knowing your team and knowing your people is really concrete versus abstract, right? And so for me, the way that I’m wired, I’m more on the concrete side and I need something to begin to build off of to create motion. So we took it a little bit step further and began to challenge my team saying, Listen, it’s hard for me to just sit down and come up with an idea or come up with maybe a solution to an opportunity we’re trying to face right now during a time like this. But here’s what I want to do. I want to have a meeting. And I want you guys to bring a couple of your thoughts and ideas together around this, or what would it look like for us moving forward around this and so I planted some seeds. And then we had a great conversation off of, Hey, this is what it could look like. And then for me, personally, as a leader, I was able to kind of build off of that, and it changed my emotion about the future of training and development, you know, around leadership because I at times may have been ready to walk off the ledge, you know, but yeah, so for I appreciate you asking that question and kind of how we fleshed it out. It’s really just realized that a little bit of motion, not a lot, just emotion to step here, then It really impacts my emotion as a leader.

I appreciate that. We learned this on Week One. Two years ago, when we started doing this podcast, I said, How do we work together? Because we’re both kind of subject matter experts in this space and how is that going to work? Are we going to, you know, but heads or go after he goes, now you told me, I, you’re a creative, so I’m more of the abstract guy. He goes, I’m with concrete. If you can float the idea, I can pile on as a man that absolutely works. I can give you an idea. Because I’m thinking about them all the time. And then you can pile on to that and make it better. So it’s as if you know that in your business, as you said, I’ve been working with your team, what a great way to work together and to collaborate and to build great things and not have to do it yourself. Not anybody on the team does it themselves, but we’re doing it together. Yes, sir. Great truth on that. Yeah. Well, let’s jump. I just want to encourage you as you’re listening to these last four of the perspective principles, think about it for yourself for sure. And, also, think about your team and are you able to coach perspective, if you see a bad perspective, just reminder that the way this all started was the way you view things will determine how you do things. And so a great indicator if you’re not doing things that you need to be doing or not doing the way you need to be doing them today in crises when adversity strikes, check your perspective. 

And so John’s given us a lot though to work with here. And again, these are all 11 in the learner guide on the site. So number eight, the first one for today is reflected like this is such a great one to reflect, don’t react to uncertainty. And John really monitors us to really reflect and review on a daily basis about what’s going on and asking great questions and talking to yourself in a positive way and directing yourself and then basically being sure to take action. I think he had a comment in there about If you just reflect, and don’t take action, you’re a philosopher. You’re not a leader. I thought that made me laugh, too. So where do you think about this reflecting thing? I know it’s busy, people don’t really spend a lot of time reflecting. But I’m finding this to be quite valuable.

Yeah, and I would tell you this, the more stress and the more tension that we have as leaders, the bigger gap you better have in your life for reflection. And even if I’m challenged when it comes to reflection, I’m challenged. In the area of journaling, a lot of people reflect and journal, which I know I’ve been challenged. People challenged me, and I’ve got to get better to do it a little bit. But I got to get better at it. And I would challenge you to do this even if you don’t want to journal. There’s got to be some time in a day when things are like they are right now in our business community, with our teams that we literally will just stop Everything around us, the internet, social media, absorbing content, dealing with employers, team members, whatever it might be. And you’ve got to get to a point where you begin reflecting on how we need to respond. What does that look like goes back to the principle that, you know, I know you I’ve heard you talk about which is, you know, are you taking time daily to really think we challenge executives all the time to do it on a quarterly basis of getting away from everything. That’s a getaway retreat for themselves just to think that’s quarterly, no monthly we challenged him to do it, you know, maybe twice, maybe spend a day twice a month. And then we even talked about on a weekly basis that looks like we’re telling you right now, that when tensions are the way they are, and things are hyped up, it should be done on a daily basis.

Right. I love that. He said, reflect, don’t react because I’ve taken those to be opposite. So you say if I’m not reflecting on what’s going on, I have a bigger chance of being reactive. And that’s generally not a good thing. I used to wait until I’m in London, taking a picture of the Mind the Gap sign on the tube there that says, remind me that I need to have a gap between what’s happening and what my response is. No gap equals reacting, bigger the gap, more response. And if I have that, in that gap, if I can reflect and think through things that I have a real chance of moving past it, and probably have a much better response that’s going to help the team and help me to grow in this situation.

I have three more. So let’s jump into the ninth one that John talks about, says adversity makes you relatable to others. And this is something that Perry and I talk about often. And I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot around perspective, but we just know that this is a pain point for leaders and for us. And so we want to make sure we continue to communicate to you in times like this. Our people need to trust us. All right. And we talked about the fact that, you know, Greg hotels told me one time that you know, the trust will come from being, you know, authentic authenticity to trust an accelerator, and be vulnerable with them. And it’s okay, we’ve told you this before. If you don’t feel like you have permission, and you listen to our podcasts on a weekly basis, that’s on you, because we said, your team, it’s okay for your team not to know that you do not know the answer whatsoever. But what they do need to know is that you’re in it with them. I think that you’ve got to communicate that verbally, you know, a lot of people now I saw a statistic that the massive amount of people that are working remotely and may continue working remotely for the next four, six, twelve months, okay? And so when that happens, you need to understand that you have to communicate at a higher level to your team, especially if you’re not able to see them visually, letting them know that you’re in this with them. You understand the situation Maybe even share some personal stories about some things that you’re going through, you know, like our CEO, Mark Cole, when this first came down, we had our first leadership team meeting, when we realized we were going to shelter in place. Mark said, Hey, let me just give you a couple of personal examples of some things I’m doing personally because of what I think said. And then he spoke into some things, both financially, both whatever, whatever, and I was like, man, this. Yeah, like this dude, he’s dealing with the same thing that I’m dealing with when I go home. And right then and there, just being vulnerable with us, being empathetic with us, allowed us to connect with him. We already have a great connection but connect with him on a deeper level. Because you thought he was going through the same thing that you were not only professionally but personally.

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Yeah, this is big. And I think a lot of leaders set themselves apart like I’ve got the answers. I’m above this poor, poor you guys. You’re in the middle of this, but I’m okay. Finding that the best and you said it right there. Just sharing stories about how you’re struggling or how you’re dealing or how your family you know, you and I were we started our time today by reconnecting, we haven’t seen each other in a week. And we just started talking about some things our sons are going through and how we’re helping to do that. And I just find that connection that people really connect better with people they can relate to. And if you’re all perfect, then out there and you got all the answers. I can’t relate to that. Because I don’t, I’m not perfect, and I don’t have all the answers. When once your people know that you’re in this with them. In any adversity, in any crisis, you find yourself that they begin to relate more. I always wondered why when I was a young father got some counsel from someone that said, if you want to make your family close, tight, yeah, I want that guy to go camping. I said, Why would I do that? Just because he goes because something always goes wrong. There’s hardly ever a camping trip where there’s not some, you know, the tent fell down or we it started to rain before we got it put up or mom fell in the creek or, you know, whatever happened and he said it’ll be a little contentious at first but about three to 5 days after it happened. 

You’ll be amazed at the connection you have on your team. You remember when mom fell in the creek when the greatest? And yeah, because you develop that connection in tough times, if you manage it correctly, and he was absolutely right. We think back about those times and we laugh about them now. Because we have tightness in our family. The same thing on my team at work is we talk about the struggles, and we kind of laugh about them and we move through them and now we have something we can relate to each other. So I love that.

Before I throw it to you to go to the third perspective principle, John says a lot with new initiatives to everybody that’s kind of in the room. He says now listen, you’re going to be able to look back at some point time and say, I was in the room. When we made that decision. I was in the room when we talked about that I was in the camper, the tent, or maybe it was my family in the hotel room when we went camping when that happened, right? And so being able to have that thought and that mindset around knowing that your team is going to be able to say, Man, I can remember, you know that I was in the room. I think that that’s something that came to mind when you just shared that story about camping. Right?

And when you’re saying that I’m thinking about what our first principle today was, reflect, and so what would I reflect on? If you’re not reflecting right now on what’s going on in this crisis and what you’re learning and what you’re noticing from your team? Just making some notes because Krista said something interesting. When you look back on this time, let’s say we’re a year down the road and you look back on the pandemic crisis that we’re going through, what will you remember and what will you have learned? What will you kind of laugh about what you wish had done? And I think they don’t lose a, you know, great opportunity here to grow. And that really goes to the next one, which is number 10 of 11. It says, always look for the big picture. If you and I just, I’ll just keep it simple and pass it back to you. But John got me on this one, I said, What is what does that even mean? He said, if you’re looking at a narrow picture, a small picture, it’s usually looking at you. And if you’re looking at a big picture, you’re really opening the aperture and looking at all this going on, you have to look at others. And you look at the team and you look at how we’re going through this together. It’s not about me, it’s about us in the team.

You know, John gave a great illustration one time when he said, Hey, do you think as a human being were selfish, and I was like, Oh, where’s this going? Right? And what he said was I just remember this illustration is completely down a rabbit trail like period it you talk about when you look at a picture. Okay, so we’re talking about looking for the big picture. Well, what is the first thing that all of us do? When someone takes a picture of a group, right, who’s the first person that we look at? Look for me, I look for me. Everybody else could look great. And if I don’t look good on me like that’s a horrible picture. So I just thought about that as an illustration as we think about that, because our team needs to know that we’re looking at the entire picture.

We’re just when I noticed when you’re recording, you keep looking at yourself. You’re not looking at me on the screen here. That’s right. That’s right now I really know, yeah I’m fixing my shirt. If you think about that, but that illustration that he used, which is brilliant, because we all do it, the first thing a person will look for is pictures. Okay, so now take that illustration, and let’s talk about what we’re going through as an organization, or as a team right now. And we got to make sure that we’re not just looking at how it’s affecting you personally as a leader, or the particular situation or maybe even your department. Right, let’s begin to look at as a team and say, how is this affecting our organization? How is this? How is this affecting one of our, you know, our cross-functional teams? And can we reach out? And can we? Do we have any, can we help them? Can we add value to them? Or can we serve them? Or what are some new opportunities and new ways that we can begin to do business? And those, you know, I know everyone listening has great questions that they probably have been asking themselves about the way that they currently do business. And the way that they’ve changed doing business in order to keep the bigger picture, but you just look at how many different organizations have changed the way that they are delivering products and services and whatever it is, in order to meet the demands right now and today’s term and you go, man, you that’s amazing that you have changed that quickly. And obviously in the big picture of things that’s going to help your organization down the road. So I just gave you some of those thoughts to say as leaders make sure right in this situation that you’re not taking a picture and then just making sure that you look good in it, although Perry and I are the pictures We probably looked at already, it’s exactly, yeah.

Alright, wrapping it with number 11 says adversity makes people stronger. And this is really about, you know, strengthening. When you go through hard things, you just get stronger. You strengthen those muscles. And I always appreciate a quote by Marcus Aurelius that says that what stands in the way becomes the way and that we often think life’s idea lets you share, but I always thought, Why is Everything so hard? And you’ll hear John say that you hardly get two days as a leader in a row that are good. And why does it appeal? Because if it were downhill, you’re coasting, there’s really no value in that there’s no growth in that there’s no getting better in that. There’s no moving the ball forward. Everything we’re doing is going to have some struggle with it. And generally, Everything in my life, I’ll let you speak to you, but Everything in my life that I’ve learned that’s worthwhile. I learned in adversity. We tend to analyze adversity. We don’t really analyze the big great victories that we have, maybe we should, but we tend to look at the adversity more. So I grow more, I learn more, I do more when I come through hard things. Yeah, I completely agree. I think some of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned in life were through tough times. Not in the moment, right? And we don’t see it. We don’t want to be learning it. But when we come out on the other side, there’s no doubt about it. That’s some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned. And I learned this. As a parent. I know you can agree with this when you see some of your children going through adversity, and we just want to rescue them. Right? And, and then you have to check yourself and you have to say, no, wait a minute, like, I’ve got to let them go through this. I’ve got to let them learn through this. Right. And you heard me saying that go through this and learn through this, that there’s a keyword right there that I want you to understand. And so you got it as hard as you got to back out. Same thing we need to be dealing with our team members and the exact same mindset that we need. To be having as leaders around the adversity that we’re going through as an organization, as a team, as a business unit, whatever it might be. 

I heard John. And I’ll kind of go into the kind of a wrap up in a close with this, but I, I heard John the other day, I can’t remember exactly who said it, but he was quoting somebody, and he was basically saying, Hey, you know, you can’t get to the other side of the up from a growth standpoint of what you’re going to learn and how you’re going to flourish and how you’re going to succeed without going through the middle of it. Right. And so he’s talking about this different thing. And then he said something else that I thought was really important for us to share. For those of you that follow John on the minute with Maxwell, he was quoting, I think that I think it was Phyllis’s bottom was who he quoted from it, and he said there are two ways about meeting difficulties. Okay. So one of them is that when you come up with the different All you try to alter it. So like how do I alter the difficulty in order to meet the needs of what I needed difficulty with that may happen sometimes. But how often can you really alter the difficulty? How often can you and I right now alter What’s going on? We can’t, right? So then he says that’s the first way. And you may find some situations that may work. But the second way is you alter yourself to meet the difficulty you’re going through. 

Again, it comes back to as I kind of, you know, wrap up in a challenge leaders man, it starts internally. It starts with you. And so when we look at the four that we covered today, we talked about reflecting, reading and don’t reacting. Okay, great principle. adversity makes you know, relatable to others. Love that right makes you human. And then always look for the big picture. And adversity makes people stronger. There are lessons to be learned. People are going to remember meetings, they’re going to remember hearing you Voice not necessarily the words that you’ve said, as I mentioned, you know, in our last podcast that great quote from Andy Stanley. And so my challenge for you is, as leaders, you know, Mark Coles wife. She’s a strong leader herself, herself named Stephanie and she tells, you know, mark a ton, and he won’t talk about this, but she’s like, man, listen, you are a leader, you are made for hard times, like, this is like, this is your realm, like, let’s go, let’s get in there, you know, she’s given them like, for me, it’s like a pregame speech. Right? I’m getting all excited.

And so I think leaders, you know, you are where you are, and you have the influence that you have, because you have been successful as an individual contributor, and you’ve been successfully leading teams. And now it’s no different. It’s just the landscape has changed a little bit. And so you may have been playing a certain board game, and somebody called a timeout. And we all walk away from that board game, right? But then you come back, that board game is not going to be different. And so what are the things that we learned? learned while we were away from that board game, what are the things we’re going to do differently as a leader, and as an organization, and make sure that you are not. So right in your own mindset that you don’t allow other people’s perspectives or other perspectives, to challenge some of your thoughts. And so that’s just a little bit off the top of my head as we kind of wrap up this series that John gave us on perspective because this is so key. This is the foundation of the future of your leadership.

Absolutely. And I’ll encourage you to go to that download. The learner guide has all 11 plus our notes that are there working with your team working with your family, you’ll start to notice your own perspective and the perspective of others becoming a coach, to yourself and to others on how to improve your perspective because you will improve your outcomes. Because the way you view things will determine how you do things. We always love hearing from you if you want to go to that website, leave us a comment or a question or learn more about the 5 Levels of Leadership. We are so grateful for you joining us in this trying and uncertain time. But we’re looking forward to going through it together. That’s all today from the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast.  

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