Maxwell Leadership Podcast: Halftime Adjustments (Part 1)
In this new, two-part series, John Maxwell talks about the difference between good coaches and great coaches, and he gives guidance on how we can apply effective “halftime adjustments” to our leadership and organizations in the second half of the year.
Mark Cole is joined by Chris Goede during the application portion of this episode to discuss the first two adjustments that John teaches. They discuss common thinking hang-ups that stifle fluid progress and the importance of leadership adjustments and agility.
Our BONUS resource for this series is the Halftime Adjustments Worksheet, which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.
Leadershift by John C. Maxwell
Plato’s Lemonade Stand: Stirring Change into Something Great by Tom Morris
The Mentor’s Guide to Building a Championship Team online course by John C. Maxwell
Mark Cole: Welcome to The John Maxwell Leadership Podcast! Today we start a two-part series on “Halftime Adjustments”. I'm going to be joined by my co-host Chris Goede. In this lesson, John says that, “It's halftime adjustments that separate the good coaches from the great coaches.” In this episode, John will share four adjustments that leaders need to make to properly lead through the second half of the year. In today's episode, we're going to hear two of those adjustments, and then Chris and I will share with you our thoughts and how we're doing that in our business. Now, if you would like to download the notes, you can go to Maxwellpodcast.com/halftime, click on the “Bonus Resource” button, and then you will receive the worksheet. Now, here is John Maxwell!
John Maxwell: I want to talk to you today about halftime adjustments. In the world of sports coaches have a pre-game plan, and they basically look at the game that they're going to go into and they kind of try to figure out what they want to accomplish against the opponent, and so, they said, maybe, the first dozen, twelve, fifteen plays, they've got a pre-game plan and pretty much they're going in and saying, “This is how we want to dictate the game.” And then the game goes and begins, and they play it out, and most of the time, although a pre-game plan is very important, there are surprises and so the difference between a good coach and a great coach is not the pre-game plan, all good coaches do that, it's the halftime adjustments that separate the good from the great coaches. Because after they played a half, they pretty well now know what their opponent is going to do, and they now are dealing with more reality. And so, they go back in and say, “Whew! You know, we kind of thought this but that wasn't what happen, and so here's what we need to do.” And the great coaches just make terrific halftime adjustments. So, when COVID-19 came to us, it was a big surprise. No one even had a pre-game plan for this. There was just no plan. We just got smacked upside the head, huge surprises, all of us, totally unaware, blindsided. Oh, my gosh, what's happening here? But now we've been doing this for a few months, and I kind of think that we see things a little bit better, a little bit clearer, more, you know, a little different for sure. And we're not quite as surprised, and so, I want to talk to you about four halftime adjustments that I think we need to make as leaders, okay? And I'm going to make an observation, four observations, and I'll make four adjustments off of those observations, and I'm very excited about the lesson! So, hey, let's get started and see what happens!
Observation number one: This crisis is not easily or quickly over. I think we're all aware of it right now that this is not something that just came, went, done. Alright, let's get back to our life. It didn't come easily to us, and it's not easy, and it's not going to quickly be over, you know, how many times have we been asked as leaders, thousands of times about the future and how long will this last? We don't really know, still don't know. But what we do know is it's not easily or quickly—there's no quick fixes, and it's not going to be done in two weeks. You know, Margaret Thatcher said, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” That's a huge statement for what we are going through right now. In other words, Margaret Thatcher was kind of preparing us a great leader, of course, of Britain. She was saying that there are some wars that you're in that you just got to fight the battle over and over again. It's kind of like we fought that battle. Okay, I think we're done. Oh, no, we're not done. And we have to enter again and again, and that's my observation, the first observation about what we're going through right now. So, what is our adjustment to this observation that the crisis is not easily or quickly over? The adjustment is quit hoping for easy and for quick. Quit hoping for that and start thinking about permanent or continual crisis. Now, I'm not going to try to be a huge negative, you know, wet blanket in your life, but I think I'm giving you really good advice here as a leader. I think we need to start thinking a couple things. I think we need to think that this crisis could last a really long time, but I think even more we need to be thinking of the fact that if this one kind of subsides, it's highly possible, and probable, I believe for another crisis to come. And it's because we live in a dysfunctional community, a society that is incredibly emotionally driven, pretty much in their dysfunction, has a tendency to look about what's happening to me instead of the big picture. I don't need to go into that right now, but the point being as a leader, I think we need to be thinking that there will be other crisis, and some of them will last a long time. And the reason I think this is important as an adjustment is because until we get there in our mind, I think that we're going to have what I call some “thinking hang ups”, thinking hang ups like the ostrich hang up, which is you know, we know what the ostrich does, stick their head in the sand and ignore what's happening. Or the status quo hang up, which basically resist change even when we see it's necessary. We just say, “I know, I probably could, should, but I don't want to.” By the way, I was just listening to a podcast the other day on my walk, and it was by the Spartan founder, the one who does all the obstacle races in what? Forty-five countries now; very interesting podcast. And he said something that was incredible, he said, “I'm going to give you the number one motivator—" People, now, when somebody talks about motivation, I'm kind of tuned in because that's what I try to do. I try to know the motives of people and the motivations of people so I can lead them. Remember, managers lead everybody the same; leaders lead everybody differently. So, when he said, “I'm going to give you the number one motivation.” I just thought, in fact, in my book, The Leader’s Greatest Return, I have a whole chapter, a whole chapter on the seven motivations of people trying to help the leader reader understand these are the seven ways people are motivated, so understand them so that you can find them and the people and motivate them accordingly. So when he said, “I'm going to give you the number one motivation.” Okay, I'm all listening and I'm thinking to myself, “Well, I wonder which of the seven I have in my chapter he's going to choose.” And much to my surprise, he didn't have any of mine in my chapter. He said, “The number one motivator—" By the way, if you would ask me to list a hundred, this would not have been on my list. But as soon as he said it, I thought, “Here I am, I got blindsided. This makes sense to me.” He said, “The number one motivator for people is avoiding discomfort.” He said, “People will almost do anything to stay in their comfort zone, and the moment that they feel that they're going to go out of their comfort zone, they almost get motivated to get right back or stay right in their comfort zone.” As soon as he said that, I thought, “Wow, I would have never thought of it.” I would have never thought of it because when I think of motivating people, I think of moving them forward, not moving them into their comfort zone. I never tried to motivate anybody to do that. But when he said that I thought to myself, there are a lot of people going through this crisis, and even though they realize it's changing them, and it's changing people, they're going to just have this status quo hang up, and they're going to pretty much fight, even though they know that they should change, they're going to just say, “But I don't want to change.” So, we can be like the ostrich and say, you know, “It's not happening.” Or the status quo, “I don't want it to happen, I'm not going to change.” Or then there's the endowment hang up, and this one I really think I would like to teach—I can’t in this lesson, but I would like to teach on this longer, the endowment hang up is where we overvalue what we possess, and we basically say, “It's ours. It's mine, and it has a right to be mine.” And I heard a quote again on one of my walks because I listen to podcasts, I’m a podcast junkie. But this one was just powerful, it says, “The more you own, the more things own you.” And I thought that with the endowment kind of a hang up in the fact that there are just a whole bunch of things I cling to and say, “Oh, this is mine, and I don't want to give it up, and this is important to me.” And so, we won't take what I would call a beneficial risk and give up something that we're comfortable with to have something that would make us better or make people better. The other hang up is the 40% hang up. This is new to me, Jesse Itzler introduced this to me in a book, and here's what Jesse says, “When your mind tells you that you are totally exhausted and totally tapped, you're really only about 40% done; you have 60% left in your tank.” And when he said that, I thought, “Wow! Is it possible that I at 40% kind of feel I've hit capacity and I just kind of hit the wall and just stop and say, ‘Okay, well, I think I'm done with that.’ And that I have literally 60% left in me?” This was a, wow, this was a big Eureka moment to me, because if that is true, look how much we are “leaving on the table”, look how much we're not really accomplishing. In fact, I put in my notes for you the rewards of letting go of these hang ups, the four that I gave you, pay dividends, and they help you think more clearly when you know that things will not return to normal. And so, the reason I'm giving this to you is because remember, again, the first observation is the fact that the crisis is not quickly or easily over. And so, the adjustment we need to make is to stop thinking quick and easy and start thinking, perhaps, permanent, but for sure, continue. And if that's the case, then we got to get rid of these thinking hang ups that I talked about. Bob Marley said something that I love, and I'm giving this to you. He said, “You never know how strong you are until strong is your only choice.” And I thought, isn't that true? I think sometimes in that 40% rule that I just gave you a moment ago, we really do have to get in a corner and have our backs up to the wall before we begin to understand the untapped strengths that we have and come to the place where the only choice I have is to be strong. And I think that's what COVID-19 has done. I think that's what some of the major racial issues that we have in our country and around the world, really, I think this is all calling for us to realize that we're going to have to up our game, we're going to have to up our game because the crisis are not going to stop. They're going to be more difficult than we think, they are going to last longer than we think, and it's not going to do any good for us to wait. You know, we need a backbone, not a wishbone. And so that's the first observation that I just think is very important.
Let's go to observation number two. This observation says: The crisis leadership requires agility, pivoting, and adjusting. We just have to realize, with all the changes that are happening so quick and some by surprise, that we're going to have to really be good at being agile, adjusting, pivoting, making the quick turn. You know, I wrote the book, Leadershift a couple years ago, and our John Maxwell Team people, publishers are saying that book selling more than it's ever sold before. I really wrote it two years ago, but what are people doing? They’re leader shifting all the time, they're realizing that what they could depend upon yesterday as a leader, they can't even depend upon today. And it's not that they're fickle, it's the fact that they have to meet the changes where they are right at the change intersection. Michael Hyatt, a longtime buddy and friend of mine said to me one time, he said—this is so important because we're going to talk about pivoting, adjusting, and being agile. Michael Hyatt said, “John, you don't drift to a desired location.” He said, “Anytime you drift, literally, you are where you don't want to be.” You know, it goes back to everything worthwhile is uphill. There's nothing about drifting that brings success to us. And so, when I realized that this change that we're in has required us to be intentional, intentionally agile, intentionally pivoting, and intentionally adjusting. The adjustment for this observation is that we need to lean into change
and not away from it. We need to look at change and all the things that are happening to us very quickly, and we need to really lean into it, we need to embrace it, we need to say “Okay, this is where I live. This may not be where I want to live, but this is where I live.” And for leaders, this is where we really have to live, because a lot of our people are not wanting to lean into change, they're wanting to fall back. Successful leaders realize that if everything around them changes, they need to change, and they need to change fast. It's not a slow change. They need to be able to pivot, be agile, adjust very, very quickly. Let me give you an example of that, and this is one example, I'm teaching you right now in a studio, and my friend Andrew has just been super to me. He and I have become best friends. Trust me, because I'm in the studio doing virtual stuff all the time, we have had hundreds of requests for me to do stuff in the studio, and here's one of the discoveries I've made, remember, I'm talking about being agile and adjusting to the change and being able to pivot. One of the things that I've discovered, you would have thought when I couldn't travel and speak physically to people, that my load would have gotten less and all of a sudden, it increased because now, because I'm virtual, the people say, “Oh my!” They kind of demand more studio presence from me, and here's why, you see, if I told somebody that wanted me to speak for them, and I said, “Well, I'm already in another state, I'm doing another gig, another event.” They’d say, “Oh, well, of course. Well, when can you speak for us?” But now that I'm in a studio, it's kind of like, “He isn't going anywhere, and could he talk to us about this subject? And could we have it in two days?” Because now I've lost my “excuse”, it was a right one, but I've lost my excuse of travel and time and I just can't get to it. I can't get to you. I can't get there. All of a sudden, I'm not limited to travel, and for example, today, literally, late last afternoon between one leader and then my assistant, Linda, they literally asked me to come into the studio and do three new talks that I hadn't even, if you had to talked to me yesterday at noon, I said I am coming to studio because I've got some things I've got to present and talk about. But I had an add-on of three from about five o'clock on last night. Now, what's happening? This is a change and I've got to learn to pivot. I've got to learn to adjust very quickly. And so, what I put in my notes for you is, here's how I want you to think: Think options, not direction. So, the person that says, “Well, I just want to get it in the calendar, I want it to be playing, I want to be clear, and I want it to be set.” Not too much of that's going to happen right now. Think options, not direction. Think fluid, not formed. Here, I love this one! Think detours, not familiarity. Because the crisis we're going through right now just puts us on a different path than we ever planned on being in. We're taking detours, and when I take a detour if you're like I am, I want to get off of it as quick as I can and kind of get back on the road so I can, you know, I want to get to my destination and all of a sudden, I'm realizing that that's not, no, no, I'm having detours every day. Hey, last night, after five, I had three speaking detours, and what I'm saying to you is, instead of resenting the detour, get on the detour tour. Get on it, because you're seeing things you've never seen, you're meeting people you've never met, you're observing stuff that you've never observed. And on this detour tour is all kind of opportunity. But if my mindset is, “I got to get back to where I want to go.” Instead of where I am, I'll rush through all the opportunity, I'll miss all of it. And so, I'll try to get back to the familiar, the comfortable, the thing that I know better, that's not healthy. So, in understanding pivoting, adjusting, agility, what I want you to do is I want you to just stay on the detour tour and not rush off of it. Because there are all kinds of opportunities there, trust me.
The last different kind of thinking, I've got to, kind of, maybe, explain it. It's really good, I just have to explain it. What I said initially is, think first, not fastest. And maybe instead of first you could put the word initiative, think initiative. And when I said fastest, not talent, and I'm going back to my Gail Devers conversation, that great track athlete that I told her, I could win a 100-yard dash if her and I were in a race and in disbelief, she said, “No, you can't.” I said, “Yes, I can.” And then I gave her the conditions, “Gail, if you give me an 80-yard head start, I could win the race.” “Of course you can, John, you have an 80-yard head start on me, you can win the race.” And that's the whole point of getting started first will always be fastest. She had the talent, she was much faster, but if I go first, if I take the initiative—in a crisis like this with a lot of change happening please put great value on first. Because I can promise you, if you're there first, you win the day, not fastest, okay? So those are things to kind of adjust your thinking during this time of trying to be agile. Living well, depends upon what I call “two arts of change”. In fact, when I worked on this part of the lesson I thought, “I'd like to do a whole lesson on this.” But if you live well, you have developed the art of two things: Adaptation and innovation, and both of them are about change. People that are successful adapt very well to the changes. You know, they're saying, “Wow, you know, it's not the same.” But instead of bemoaning the fact that it's not the same, they say, “Okay, it's moving, I got to adapt, I've got to adjust.” So, you know, it's kind of like re-adjusting from what you knew to what is new? Did you get that? Re-adjusting from what you knew, to what is new. And then the second one is innovation, which is creating new things. And so, when change occurs, we're either innovating and creating new change, or we're adjusting to things around us and during this crisis, the ability to pivot, the ability to be agile, the ability to adjust, this is all part of staying on the edge of being able to be present and be relevant and take advantage of all the winds of change around you.
Mark: Well, Chris, so hearing John talk about these two adjustments, the first thing that I did and most people have known this part of your story for a little while, but you've played in every level of sport, football that is, you have coached Little League, I heard some stories this weekend when you and me and our two wives were together. Now that's two wives… you got one wife, I've got one wife. We heard some stories, but you've coached Little League most of the time with your child, and then you've raised two athletes that’s playing collegiate level. Talk to me about this thing that John says that halftime adjustment is more important than the original game plan. Is that true? And is that true at every level of the sport?
Chris Goede: Yeah, I mean, it's absolutely true. And I'm grateful to be here again, and I love the theme that you're bringing me in on, all these sports themes, and so I’m passionate about talking about it. I think there's so much correlation between leading teams, leading people, leading yourself and sports, and when we talk about halftime adjustments, one of the greatest examples, I think John, and you've heard him say this over and over again, uses Pat Summitt and how she goes about doing her halftime adjustments and how she lets her team speak into that, because they're on the court, they've seen it, they're feeling it. But when you're leading, when you're a coach, you have an idea of what you want to accomplish. Mark, you had an idea of what you wanted to accomplish in 2020, and so did everybody that's listening to us. And things have drastically changed, the landscape has drastically changed. As a coach, one of the things in a sporting event you want to do is in that first half, you want to try to establish your philosophy, some type of game plan, and the other team may or may not know about it, and it's the same thing with you. And so, at halftime, you have to come in, you have to make adjustments to what you're seeing and what you're feeling and be able to then execute that in the second half to be successful. Mark, you'll remember this is painful for both of us talk about it, but the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl, as we both take a deep breath, right? Bill Belichick, one of the greatest coaches of all time, probably makes some of the best strategic halftime adjustments. One of the things you hear a lot about here in Atlanta for us is that Kirby Smart, he coached under Saban for a long time, from a defensive standpoint, that he would make some adjustments at halftime, in the second half that would lead them to be successful. And so, we all go in with a mindset. As leaders, we get paid to make decisions. We get all these different things that happen on the front end, but I think really where we make our payday is on how you're adjusting in real time, and I think this year for leaders it's tested us more than ever, and so I think that's key for us to be able to do that. I also, I said, this year, but I want all the leaders to understand this, this is something you should be continually thinking about. You know, we're going to talk a little bit later about business plans and different things and how you have to adjust and your mindset, even down to your growth. How are you growing? For me personally, there's some things that I have had to adjust and grow that I did not anticipate when 2020 started out, and I laid out a growth plan. So yes, John's talking about a crisis and talking about things to where, hey, you know, this is something that we have to have a plan for. It's not going to be easy to overcome, but I want you to understand in every situation, your family, maybe your community, whatever it is that you need to be thinking about with a mindset, what is it that we need to be doing to adjust? One of the things I love and we're going to kind of hit on both of these points, and John talks about the observation, the adjustment, one of the things I love is that Thatcher quote he had in there where he said that she said, “You have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” We were just talking a little bit about this too over the weekend about the fact that, you know, things are going to continually arise, and arise, and you're going to have to continually fight. Talk a little bit about the adjustment you had to make as a leader for our organization just recently, that was different than what you had to do in March in regards to, you know, our IMC, The John Maxwell Team event of the year, because it was not the decision you guys just recently made was not what you thought you were going to have to make in January. It definitely wasn't the decision you thought you were going to have to make in March when you made a different decision. Talk a little bit about that from your perspective as a leader in making that halftime adjustment.
Mark: Well, it's under this point, crisis is not quickly over. So, I went back as I was listening to John talk today, I went back, Chris, and again you and I lead side by side on the leadership team, one of our major focuses in our organization is to train coaches around the world. We have over 33,000 coaches, 161 countries. Part of that certification is a huge mega event in Orlando twice a year. And so, I mean, we come in, we fill a couple of hotels, I mean large hotels, we’ll have 3,200/3,300 people from 60 plus nations come in to Orlando and we've been doing this now for, oh man, we've been doing it now for 10 years, 19 events. So, this year, guess what? We are contracted with our hotel down there, we're ready to go business as usual. We come out of January, come out of February and boom! COVID hits and we can't bring people in. So, we postpone March. That was the first game plan, okay? That wasn't the game plan, but that became the game plan. Well as this thing has proven to not be quickly over, we've had to make a halftime adjustment and we went, “We're not postponing another event, we're going to have to figure this thing out, we're going to have to adjust and be able to certify people without bringing them into one location.” So, we now have a virtual certification and, Chris, as some of our John Maxwell team listen to this podcast, I'm going to go ahead and tell you, it will be epic. It will be powerful. But that's not really the adjustment, everything that we do we try to do with excellence. What the adjustment was, is we had to adjust our thinking to say there are other ways than bringing people into one hotel in Orlando to certify coaches to go be able to help and serve their clients. So, we adjusted, but we're still adjusting because we now not only believe that we have a virtual event come this late August, we also believe that a virtual deliverable will need to be a part of our future. We will not get away from bringing people into an event, we believe that's coming back, and we will do that. But it's not going to only be that and by bringing that piece in, we've been able to help people that couldn't get visas, people that couldn't take that extra additional expense because some hardship in their life, we are now able to serve more people, not only in August, when that is our option, but in the future, because we adjusted for in the middle of this crisis.
Chris: I think that's an incredible story about even John talks about in the second point, right? When you have to take a detour look for the opportunities that are out there. Leaders, there are so many opportunities for your personal growth, for the growth of your business, to completely change the way that you're thinking. And if you would have said to Mark, to myself, to our leadership team in March that, “Hey, this is going to be moving forward a dual option.” We would have been like, “No, that's not going to happen. We do an in-person event, and that's what it's all about.” And so, when you're open to that from a growth mindset, and being able to adjust, and to John's point here before we go onto number two, where he says, “Hey, we need to quit hoping for an easy fix.” Right? He says, “You got to start thinking this is continual.” And although a lot of us, if we're just being kind of personal here, we go, “Oh, this will be over in 30 days.” “This would be over in 60 days.”
Mark: Yeah, you know, the longer, Chris, that this thing has gone, the more I have seen uncertainty become rampant. It's become almost another crisis in and of itself to where leaders are paralyzed. They're inactive, they're not sure where to stand or fall on a certain issue. I was talking with our wives yesterday, and your wife Sarah, and I said, “Sarah, talk to me about where you believe and what you stand.” And it was real refreshing. It was really refreshing. You and I have incredibly strong women as our wife and I'm thankful for that. But yesterday was real refreshing. You know why? Because I heard a leader, specifically your wife, that decided she was going to stand for a certain position, and she was going to defend that. I'm not saying her position was right or wrong. I'm saying I found a leader, and isn't that what we're looking for in this adjustment? Hey, I know that I couldn't control what got us here, but I'm going to adjust and begin to take authority and control and give clarity on where we're going. And that one thing for the IMC, the experience that I was just telling you about for our International Maxwell Certification that has began to rally the team that want some level of certainty, some beat of a drum to know how to march and what the rhythm of pay should be.
Chris: Yeah, and that is so refreshing. I hope you guys heard that about even what he just mentioned there about the IMC and the beat of the drum and the rhythm of the team and moving forward. One of the things that we are noticing and leaders all around the world with this uncertainty is it's driving leadership fatigue. Leaders are getting worn down, they're getting beat up, because they have these questions that are in their mind and if you'll get to a point to where as a leader, you can make that decision and take a stance and move forward, it's going to be continual. So, it's always going to be there, we're always going to be dealing with different crisis, and so, we got to be thinking like that as leaders. Alright, so let's jump into his second observation and the adjustment that he makes here is he says, “Hey, we got to lean into change, not away from it. We have to embrace it.” Now, change is a big topic. We talk about this all the time, and people are like, they're okay with change until it affects them. Right? And one of the things I want to talk a little bit about here is not only the way that we think about change, but then actually implementing change in your actual business. And you just gave us a great example about that change and how we're now moving forward, yourself, our leadership team, Chris Robinson, who does a great job leading that part of our organization is going to be implementing the change moving forward. He gives us a Hyatt quote there, Michael Hyatt is a good friend of our organization and John and yours and I absolutely love this is he says, “Don't drift to a desired location. Anytime you drift, you are where you don't want to be.” And before John even said the word intentional because I've been around him for so long, I knew where he was going, he's like, “Yeah, you got to be intentional. You can't drift, specifically with these changes.” So, there's two changes that just come to mind that I want you to just talk a little bit about from an organization part of kind of what we're doing. The first one is in regards to how we changed doing business plans back in March and how it's become almost kind of real time. Talk a little bit about that from a leaders perspective, why that's important for you and our organization to have changed the way that we're doing our business plans.
Mark: Yeah, you know, so as we dig into this point, Chris, we set out with a set of business plans, strategic plans that had a lot of data. I've been CEO for 10 years, we've had a pretty predictable, incrementally growing business for the last 10 years. I love to tell people since I've become CEO, we've had 587% growth on John's companies, and that's really been with predictive comparisons of what worked last year and let's top that, well guess what? Comparisons don't work anymore. Those of you that are still trying to run your business—whether you're in a time of incredible abundance, I mean, you're producing like you've never done before, and many people listening to our podcast are in the best times of the their life. They have economically benefited from this time of crisis. There's others that, I mean, can we say 34, 35 million unemployment? So, there are others that are scrambling to re-define themselves, no matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, times of great abundance or times of great destitute, guess what? Comparative analysis does not work right now. Either way, don't go and try to gauge your performance on last month, last year, the last three years, either way. Well, we were trying to do that, Chris, you were in the leadership meetings. We were sitting here for the first two months of COVID, we kept having business reports off of comparison, “Well, according to budget, we're 42% down.” “Well, according to last year, March, we’re 38% down.” And I just went, “Okay, stop it. I can't handle it anymore. Our values are being violated right now.” We have the value of growth that's at the personal level and at the corporate level, and we have this value of exceeding expectations. And we were violating both of them with every report and I said, “Stop. Let's now quit trying to execute off of a 365-day plan. Let's start executing off of a 90-day plan.” And we did that, and Chris, our first quarter ended June 30th, a month and a half ago, and here's what I'll tell you, it was incredible to sit in that room and report off of producing a new plan, off of implementing a new plan. Here is my challenge to all of us leaders that are participating in this podcast, if you're not adapting, if you're not adjusting, if you're not pivoting, you're not leading right now. Period. I heard our friend Andy Stanley, great communicator, one of the best John thinks, I heard him talk this weekend that leadership is a stewardship, period! We're stewarding right now. It's not an end unto itself, we're not the champion or the villain, we are a steward of the influence that we have. Here's my point in making that right now, we cannot lead effectively right now without pivoting, adjusting, and building new plans based on what the first part of this year has given us.
Chris: Yeah, I think, you know, when you talk about that, and you talked about going through that change for us, I remember the energy in the room, and when we were comparing to last year's numbers, we were comparing the budget, right? And it’s just wah, wah, wah. Right? Then even though everything drastically changed, our KPI’s changed, all that stuff changed at a much different level, because what we're all going through. I remember the energy in the room as we finished that first quarter being completely different because of the fact that we changed our view, our perspective, our business plan. And then this goes back to even just the first point where, leaders, listen, this is a, as John mentioned, to us, this is continual. Right? Don't go back to the way you're doing things. There are reasons why you have had to make the changes that you have, and it's going to be something that you're going to have to fight, as the Thatcher quote talked about, right? In order to win, it’s going to happen multiple times. Alright, so hey, as we wrap up here, and these first two points with John, you touched on this just a little bit just a minute ago where you said, John was talking about, how do we adapt? And he had a great little quote in there, where he said, “Re-adjusting from what you knew, to what is new.” And we've heard a lot of people talk about the new normal. One of the things that I've kind of adapted into my leadership language is the new now, right? Because it's more real time, and John talks about things change faster now than they ever have. From a leadership seat and leading our enterprise as a whole, what are some of those things that you're looking at, you're looking for, some of the things that maybe you had a belief in the past of the way we would do things? We talked about the IMC, we talked about our business plan, anything else that comes to mind when John makes that statement that can add value to those that are listening to us?
Mark: Yeah, it's really everything. I really do believe everything needs to be in the scrutiny of the current analysis with taking in the possibilities, John called it the detour tour. I think that we need to be extraordinarily comfortable with ambiguity right now. We talked about John's speaking business, it's changed. But we now can get six or seven speaking opportunities with one trip to the studio, whereas before it would take us fourteen days to get seven events done, because he'd have to travel, he'd have to come back. The speed of our ability to impact right now has accelerated, John's ability to be at home with his family has changed. He has more ability that's feeding his soul. That's encouraging him, it's inspiring creativity. So, we're seeing those things happen, Chris, with you and I and we're home a lot more. Guess what we got to do the first time? How long have we worked together? I don't know, a long time and off and on for 20 plus years. Yesterday was the first time that we visited one another's home to kind of connect with our family who most of the time is sitting at home waiting for us to come back on a plane trip. We're adapting and we're building community and there's good things with it. I love Jake, our producer, came with this quote today, he said, “When we avoid ambiguity, we also avoid possibility.” So, so many of us are trying to, you used the words, “new normal”, we're trying to put new normals in so that we can predict it rather than—and really, predictability is trying to eradicate ambiguity. But when we don't, to Jake's point, keep ambiguity as a part of what we're doing, we are in today's economy, avoiding possibility. So, in your business, Chris, for those of you that don't know, Chris heads up all of our Corporate Solutions. He is looking at new ways to deliver that. We're creating customized content, we're delivering it virtually, we're going in and trying to serve a client that now is dealing with virtual realities. I talked with a dear friend of mine yesterday, Rick Packer, he's a part of Pat Lencioni’s organization, The Table Group, and he said that what they're having to do, for years they avoided the conversation of virtual teams, didn't believe in them, don't think that's right. They're having to adapt their thinking, as we all are, to make sure that we are serving people and embracing ambiguity. So, my challenge to all of us, Chris, you on our leadership team here at the John Maxwell Enterprise, myself in leading and influencing beside John, and with each leader that's listening to this podcast, we've got two more adjustments that we're going to talk about next week, but I'm going to pause you right now before next week, and I'm going to say you need to cut this off today, and you need to go think about some adjustments you need to make. Where are you standing? I will be resolute, I will not be, I will not be moved. Get that vernacular, get that thinking out of your leadership for now. Embrace the ambiguity, go on a detour tour and figure out where you need to be different.
Chris: Yeah, one of the things I was just thinking about was the thought of, hey, you don't have to be right, as a leader, we need to do what's right, and if going back to kind of how we started this, if your game plan you thought was right in March, which changed from January, by the way, and you continually stick to that, and you're not open to these adjustments that John just talked about, then you, your team, your organization, your family, your community, right? You're not going to be right, right? And so, one of the things is, man, to Mark's point, take some time, John talked a lot about thinking in this message. Take some time, sit down, think with a piece of paper and think about some of these adjustments and what is it that you need to be doing as a leader. So, hey, Mark, man, thanks for letting me be a part of this again. Wrap up for us today, just some of your closing thoughts on today as they get ready to spend some time thinking about these two before next week when we give them the last two that John talked about.
Mark: Well, you've given them the challenge, Chris, and I love that challenge, sit down with a piece of paper and do that. But here's the deal, we're at the halftime of our “Halftime Adjustments” series. So, go make some adjustments, come back next week, John will be sharing two more adjustments. Hey again, if you want to download the worksheet, go to Maxwellpodcast.com/halftime and you will be able to click on the “Bonus Resource” button. Thanks for joining us! As always, go and subscribe to the podcast, pass this along to others and help us continue leading during these times, but really leading through these times. Have a great week, everyone!
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