Skip to content

Executive Podcast #203: How Leaders Find Their Eagles

September 1, 2022
Executive Podcast #203: How Leaders Find Their Eagles

Today we are talking about the characteristics of high impact players. Some of these traits are natural
giftedness and some can be developed. As a leader, you should look for and promote these skills and
attributes as you look at developing the next generation of leaders.

Want to enhance your organization’s leadership culture? Learn more about our 5 Levels of Leadership private workshops HERE – Offered virtually and on-site to meet your organization’s health guidelines.

Download our Learning Guide for this podcast!

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, I’m Maxwell Leadership Facilitator and Coach.

Chris Goede:

And I’m Chris Goede, Executive Vice President with Maxwell Leadership. Welcome, and thank you for joining. Just as a reminder as we get started, if you want to learn more about the five levels of leadership, which is really the methodology of out the basis of everything that we teach, facilitating coach with organizations, their culture, their health around the world, you can visit MaxwellLeadership.com/podcast. There, you can also download the learners guide and you can leave us your name and information and we’ll be back in touch with you with any questions you might have.

Well, today’s topic is titled How Do Leaders Find Their Eagles? And I love this question because ever since I’ve known John, he’s talked about leadership and he’s talked about Eagles and how do you find them and where are they, what do they look like? And so we’ve had many conversations. This specific question, really in the conversation that Perry’s going to kind of pull out today in the content was from a listener of ours, Danny. And we’re grateful Danny, that you’ve given us this idea and this topic. And you ask this question about having people on your team that have a high level of impact on the rest of the team, becoming contagious, right? Carrying the culture, carrying that. And where they’re not just good at their job, but they make a difference with the rest of their team.

Perry Holley:

Yeah. So, thank you, Danny. And I think this might be your second question you’ve gotten through to us. I appreciate that. Keep them coming.

Chris Goede:

Keep them coming. That’s right.

Perry Holley:

Danny referenced that in sports, you often hear that this is a great clubhouse guy, that they, not just on the field, what they do, but it’s how they impact the team. I thought today we could talk about some of the characteristics of these high impact players, some of those traits, their natural giftedness, but it’s also some learned behaviors that I think we can talk about there. And I think as a leader, to your point, what John would teach here is that we’re looking for… we’re really looking for, actively looking for and promoting, these types of skills and attributes. They’ll actually help me as a leader as I develop my next generation of leaders. So I’m always kind of want to be aware of who are these high impact players so that I can leverage them for the future.

Chris Goede:

That’s right. And we talked about the five levels as the methodology, as we kicked off kind of everything we build our foundation off of. Actually John in the five levels talks about this concept of how to find your Eagles. And this is something as Perry was just talking about, you got to be very intentional about and you have to be looking for it. And then this really becomes a skillset of individuals that is level four in the five levels of leadership, which is really around people development. And you see people that are investing in not only their leadership, but also developing others around them and on their team and they’re positively affecting that culture of development, they’re doing it themselves, people see that. Raising tide raises all boats and they’re also very intentionally looking at and developing other people.

To be a Successful Leader, You Need Feedback on Your Leadership.

We’re excited to announce our new and improved Organizational Effectiveness Survey (OES). The OES gathers feedback from employees to give leaders and management the knowledge and action plans needed to develop a more effective and productive work environment. Our new version measures 4 areas of your business: Leadership, People, Strategy, and Performance. 

Perry Holley:

Well, I picked eight or nine of these attributes or probably more, but I mean, I want to make it manageable. I did place this in the learner guide.

Chris Goede:

Okay, good.

Perry Holley:

I’ve used this myself as a little spreadsheet that has here’s the name of people on my team, here are the attributes and I’m just observing. I’m making observations of people on the team that do these. So we’ll share these. I’d like to get… as a leader yourself, how do you-

Chris Goede:

Wait a minute, did you say you’re going to share your spreadsheet and is my name on the spreadsheet that you’re sharing in the learner’s guide?

Perry Holley:

That’s confidential.

Chris Goede:

It’s a template.

Perry Holley:

Yeah, it’s a template. I’ll share the template.

Chris Goede:

That’s right.

Perry Holley:

See how you rate against these characteristics. But the first two attributes of high impact players are these are people that make things happen and they see and seize opportunities. So not only they’re making things happen, they’re looking around for ways they can seize opportunities.

Chris Goede:

Yeah. I think this is so important. These two attributes is, as leaders, as people, we need to contribute and we need to make sure that we know what our KPIs are, we know that we’re hitting them, we have to absolutely make sure that it’s getting done and then we got to be looking for opportunities. And so when you say those two attributes, I think as a leader, I think that’s huge for me to be watching out for as I look for Eagles. I think internally and externally. Now let me pause just a minute on this. We’ve talked about this where you and I know that from a culture standpoint, it’s much easier and maybe the DNA of the culture, there’s a match there when it’s internal and you’re looking internal with that and those individuals, but you can be also looking externally and as you are out and about and with different partners and vendors and just everyday life, be looking externally.

As we talk about this see and seize opportunity, when I say that, or when Perry says that, or it’s an attribute, a lot of times people will think about seeing and seizing an opportunity and they automatically tie it, or maybe it’s just me, to a revenue situation. But I also want you to have a bigger scope than just revenue. I want you to be looking and say, “Hey, are they seeing and seizing opportunities to get better, to develop themselves? Are they doing it to have conversations with certain individuals inside the organization? And are they doing it to empower other people?” Maybe it’s their peers, maybe it’s people on their team. So when you think about this, don’t just look for leaders that are seeing and seizing opportunity that are directly tied to revenue. While that’s important, we definitely want those, it’s bigger than that.

Perry Holley:

Tell me just kind of off the cuff, but people that make things happen that can be vague, but when you’re a leader looking at your team, can you give me an example of what somebody does where they make things happen?

Chris Goede:

Yeah, for me, it is solving problems. I see that a lot. Or there is something that came up or it’s a situation and they, with initiative, have just… So maybe that’s it, right? The initiative word for me to where they just take the initiative to keep the ball rolling.

Perry Holley:

There you go. I like that.

Chris Goede:

Maybe asking for forgiveness at times more than permission, but that’s okay. I’ve always had this thing where with people on the team, I’d much rather have to say,” Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.” Versus-

Perry Holley:

Let it pull them back.

Chris Goede:

Yeah, like let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. So for me, it just had that initiative to keep things moving and rolling.

Perry Holley:

I like that word. I think that’s good.

Commercial:

Hey, podcast listeners, how would you like to be equipped with the tools to continue your personal growth and refine your strengths and weaknesses all while being surrounded by other growth minded leaders like yourself? You may have heard of our International Maxwell Conference or IMC it’s our bi-annual event in which Maxwell Leadership certified team members come from all around the world to grow and learn together.

IMC this August is the first time we’re opening the event to the public by kicking the event off with our first ever personal growth day. This is a one and a half day event on August 29th through 30th in Orlando, Florida. And it’s designed to dig deeper into who you are and how you tick so that you can become the best version of yourself. If you are unable to attend Personal Growth Day in person, we also offer virtual access to the event. If you’d like to participate in one of a kind experience and stand shoulder to shoulder with growing leaders who will sharpen your skills and equip you to create powerful, positive impact in your life, go to MaxwellLeadership.com/personalgrowthday to learn more or get your ticket. We’ll see you there.

Perry Holley:

All right, another attribute, I think, that really kind of more specific to Danny’s question about being that great clubhouse guy, that great clubhouse person, is they influence others, they add value to you, the leader, and to others, and they equip others. I’m putting three in there. Influencing others, adding value to you, the leader, and to others and equipping others. Well, those are big.

Chris Goede:

Those are big.

Perry Holley:

Yeah.

Chris Goede:

And when you say those, for me, I think the way that that shows up that I know when I’m looking for this Eagle and this leader, here’s how it shows up to me that someone’s doing that, I will hear verbal testimonies around the organization of Perry outside of his scope doing X, Y, and Z. And I’m like, “Really? That’s awesome.” So I just kind of put that little nugget in there, I’m hearing that impact on other people around the organization. It makes me think about just something little when people are connecting and they’re adding value to other people. We just recently, our podcast team, crossed over 200 episodes and there is a cross-functional team that we work with that has no direct connection to us, but they ended up showing up one day at the office and we’re like, “Hey man, we listened to your podcast, two of the episodes, we just want to say congratulations with a card signed by the team.” Just adding value to us in a way that… just something like that, where those are people that are thinking a little bit differently and influencing others.

The other thing is, I think, how I see this show up is that especially in my direct team, when this is happening with leaders on my team, I am receiving less questions from them on tasks. I am maybe not having to communicate as much on certain tasks and I see the balls moving forward and things getting done. And then the last thing I’d say here that I made a note on, which I mentioned just a minute ago is man, when you see leaders that are doing this cross functionally, they’re Eagles. When it’s not just directly tied to their KPIs, but it’s as an organizational as a whole or a community or whatever, be paying attention because that is an Eagle that should be on your team.

Perry Holley:

Yeah. Well, I think that was… listen to your talk. Our team does a really nice job of adding value to others. I can’t tell you the number of calls I get like Tony Lynch reaching out and saying, “Hey, I saw this article, it really made me think about something you were working on.” And I thought, “Well, I never would’ve found that.” And just having that thought to add value to me when it’s not his job to do that, but he wants… he’s that Eagle. He’s that kind of guy that does that. And I get so much of that. So many of our coaches and facilitators reach into the lives of each other to do that.

Chris Goede:

That’s a good point.

Perry Holley:

I might have made this one number one, is if you think about a great clubhouse person, someone you want a high impact on your team, is that they exhibit a great attitude, they hold others to a standard of having a great attitude and they also demonstrate a unique loyalty to you and to the team. You think about how do you see loyalty? How does that show up? But attitude is very obvious. I guess you could also think of the opposite of this and demonstrate someone with a negative attitude and the damage that does to the team, but a teammate that demonstrates disloyalty can also undermine the entire team. It’s like those sinkers in the back of your boat that we talked about. Tell me about attitude and loyalty.

Chris Goede:

The first thing I think about when you talk about this is… So one of our thought leaders, Don Yaeger, wrote a book with a major league baseball professional catcher, David Ross, and the name of the book right now slips my mind, but what was great about it was he talked about the fact that, man early on in his career, he was not a good locker room guy. He was not somebody that had a good attitude, that created loyalty to the organization. And he had one of the general managers that pulled him aside, or managers, and was like, “Hey, listen, you’re not a good teammate and what you need to do is work on your attitude.” And it really shook him up a little bit. And man, then since then, now he’s the manager of the Chicago Cubs and he’s coaching on a daily basis impacting these players because of the change that he made with his attitude inside that locker room.

And so when I think about that, and I think it’s somebody that has that type of attitude, I think it increases the morale on the team, I think that it helps the team cope with challenges and change. By the way, who has a team member or a team or an organization right now that’s going through change. And then I think also it increases productivity. When you have someone that’s doing that, again, we’re saying, “Hey, what do these Eagles look like? What are the attributes? What are we looking for?” I think those are the ones you got to be looking for and those are some of the results that you’ll see around the team if they have a good attitude in their loyalty to the team.

Perry Holley:

Or John Maxwell say about leading up, influencing up. And I’m thinking about loyalty is that you’ll stand up for your leader and you’ll stand in for your leader. I always thought about people on my team, I could tell they were standing up for me and that they had my back. And you don’t think about a lot of people on your team, they don’t think about that. Will they represent us well, do they represent me well-

Chris Goede:

That’s good.

Perry Holley:

… in doing that? So finally, these great clubhouse people, I think they keep commitments and they offer great ideas. So they’re almost thinking like owners, that they, not like some hired hand, they don’t keep things to themselves. I like these because they really add value to the leader directly and they kind of lighten your load, that you’re not going to do all the thinking. Great example’s to the rest of the people on the team by when you keep commitments with your team and you offer great ideas to the boss or to others, that’s an Eagle to me.

Chris Goede:

That’s absolutely an Eagle. And when I… Again, let me just comment on the two things you talked about in regards to commitment. I think even the small commitments matter. And again, don’t get so big on these commitments and this and that. Every little detail, I think as a leader, especially when these Eagles are showing up and you’re looking for them man, watch the small things, because little things lead to big things and are they committing to the small things? And they do matter and they build trust. The other thing about commitment is that when you keep them, it really gives the team a strong focus on going after those mission… whatever the KPIs are, whatever their commitments are. And it’s building that morale on the team.

A couple of comments on, and then I’ll wrap up for us today, couple comments on the offering good ideas. Man, I love this cause we all are creative, but we’re creative differently. And I need somebody on my team to be throwing ideas out at me and then I can work them and collaborate them. But sometimes when you ask me for a good idea, that’s what you’re going to get. There’s nothing wrong with the audio. Our team has still got us connected, but you’re going to get a little bit of what John calls our pregnancy pause. And as a great leader though, you want to be looking for those that are offering you the ideas. Sometimes it might be too many, but man, if they’re offering you ideas, then they are an Eagle that you want to be on your team. And I thought about this too, as a leader, how are you modeling that? Because I was really going through this and I was saying, “Man, do I do a good job of this?”

So I wrote down a couple things as we wrap up, just kind of to take away around good ideas is which is, hey leaders, make sure you’re being open and transparent with your ideas. Even if it’s a dumb idea. Which leads me to my next point, which is place equal value on good and bad ideas in order to create that conversation. Two more, have an open door culture to where people can come by and if they just have an idea, they can be like, “Hey, do you think about this,” or whatever. They don’t feel like they need to set a meeting up to then present a spreadsheet that can share an idea. And then finally, when they do bring you ideas or you see these potential leaders and these Eagles giving you ideas, make sure that you then communicate and show how those ideas, once put in action, are benefiting the team or the organization and that will create a sense of people thinking about ideas and thinking about the business and creating what you’re looking for in a culture as we’re looking for Eagles to join our team.

Perry Holley:

Thinking about Michael Abrashoff off when he took over the ship.

Chris Goede:

Yes.

Perry Holley:

And he went and asked people, “What do you think? What would you do? What do we need? What are we missing?” And then when he got a good idea, cause people were afraid to share at first because of the previous leadership, and now he said, “No, I really want to hear from you,” that he took those ideas and found a good one, he would implement it and then go to the loud speaker and give credit to the sailor that suggested the idea. So I love that you can increase engagement, buy in, all kinds of benefits for having those good ideas coming from others. And that’s the one thing I learned about you when we first started doing this was you said “I’m not going to come up with the ideas, but I love reacting against good ideas.”

Chris Goede:

Yeah.

Perry Holley:

And that’s been kind of our strength is that you gave me the freedom to create and then I gave you the freedom to pile on, which is what you do amazingly well. So having that understanding between a teammate to know what is the role to do that, so.

Chris Goede:

That’s good.

Perry Holley:

Great stuff. And so just a reminder, if you’d like to know more about our offerings or download the leader guide for this episode or leave a question or a comment for us, I hope you’ll do that. You can do that by going to MaxwellLeadership.com/podcast. We love hearing from you 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.

Be the first to comment on "Executive Podcast #203: How Leaders Find Their Eagles"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

leadership_podcast_maxwell