Momentum Podcast: 298
You Create An Inner Voice
by Alex Charfen
As an entrepreneur you are incredibly important to the people on your team, the comments you make influence them and become their inner voice. If you unload your frustration, irritation & anger on your team you shatter their confidence.
I tell my team how much confidence I have in them and build them up! You have an incredible impact on those who choose to work with you and if you want to honor that impact you create as an entrepreneur you need to remember that you create your team's inner voice.
Full Audio Transcript
You create an inner voice. Recently, I posted on Facebook a simple quote that I use a lot when I'm talking to parents. "The way you speak to your children becomes their inner voice. Speak with intention." I fully believe that. I am 45 years old. I've been consulting at a professional level, at the Fortune 500 level and above, for almost 25 years. I got my first client when I was 21. What I have seen working with adult entrepreneurs and professionals in very high levels, and people who move the world around like puzzle pieces, and incredibly successful individuals is that over and over again, regardless of the level of success that those people have achieved, they struggle with the echos of what their parents told them.
I've had people who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, break down in tears when discussing what their father told them or what their mother told them, or how somebody treated them when they were younger. I think it's a privilege to have someone share with me where they're coming from, what they're feeling, what's really going on. Each time that's happened in my life, I've carried this inventory of that information around in my head. Here's what I can tell you. For most people, the way they were spoken to as children, what was said to them as children is what they carry around most of their lives, and you hear it in their dialogue. You hear people say things like, "Well, I know I'm not that smart," or "I know I'm pretty lazy," or "I'm not really good at that." They have defeated themselves verbally before they've even gotten out of the gate. I always tell those people, "Hey, who is that talking? Is that you or is that somebody else? Is that somebody from your past? Is that a voice that we need to exorcize and get out of your head?"
Now here's the reality for you as an entrepreneur and as a CEO. You are going to become incredibly important to the people on your team. Last week, I had the privilege and the honor of speaking for Russell Brunson up in Boise, and one of the things I shared with the audience was that you become one of the three most important people in your team member's lives. If you don't believe that as a CEO, you just haven't been a CEO that long. Because what happens is, usually it's their spouse and their kids, their immediate family, and then somebody else in their family is important to them, and then you. It's the closest relationships they have, and you have a massive amount of influence around how the people on your team think about themselves. So I've got news for you. The way you speak to your team eventually becomes their inner voice. Let that sink in.
Every time I see a Facebook post ... and you know exactly what I'm talking about when I say this. It's the Facebook post where the entrepreneur is triumphantly talking about how they've let their team have it, how they really brought down the hammer on all the people that work for them. The posts usually say something like, "Well, after several weeks of not getting things done, I finally decided to come in and unload on my team today. I let them all know how I was feeling. I made sure that they knew how much they had let me down. I did it enough so that everyone is now hard at work and getting things done. And you know what? At the end of the day, sometimes you just have to drop the hammer." I'm paraphrasing, of course, but I think you and I have read that post somewhere. Whenever I see a post like that, whenever I see that type of sentiment from an entrepreneur, I cringe.
It gives me pain in my chest because I know that the people on the receiving end of whatever that entrepreneur did, they may be working like crazy, they may be trying to catch up, they may be trying to make amends, or to make things right, or to do as much as they can. But here's what I can tell you is also happening. Their confidence has been shattered, they're feeling terrible about themselves, they're gonna have a bad night that night. They're probably accelerated, triggered and in fight or flight. They're probably doing the work that they're doing with trepidation and fear, and depending on what you said, you never know what sentiment, what thing you expressed is going to stick. And as a CEO and as a father, I think about that all the time. I think about what's going on for my team, I think about how they feel. When one of my team members says, "Oh, I didn't do such a great job this week," I figure out what they did do a great job with, and I let them know.
When one of my team members expresses a lack of confidence, I let them know how much confidence I have in them. When one of my team members has trouble with a project or trouble getting something done, or they make a mistake, I make certain I protect them from their mistakes. If you haven't yet, go listen to the podcast called Protect Your Team From Your Mistakes. You'll hear a very dramatic story and a very painful story for me, but one of helping a team member when they made a mistake, because I know now. I know now that the way I talk to my team becomes their inner voice. But I can tell you, I didn't know that in my 20s. I was one of those CEO's who dropped the hammer, and yelled at everybody, and ruled like a tyrant, and made sure that everyone was scared if they didn't do their work and they didn't do the right thing.
I was also one of those CEO's who had a hard time getting people to show up like I wanted them to, who felt like I always had to motivate my team, who felt like they weren't really bought in all the way. I wasn't really getting discretionary efforts and I really wasn't getting everything I could out of my team, and I always had this suspicion that they should or could be doing more. It was near constant. I always felt that way. Here's what I know today about that feeling, is that I brought it on myself because I was constantly frustrated, and angry, and upset with my team. That frustration, that anger, that emotions that I was expressing to my team, the insecurities I was expressing as a leader ... because that's really what's going on with those Facebook posts. The next time you read one, I want you to understand something. What you're seeing is a incredibly insecure leader who does not know their position as a leader, doesn't know their place as a leader, violently and publicly expressing that they don't know what they're doing, and they're causing collateral damage.
I know because I've been there. I've been the person who yelled at everyone. I've been the person who showed up and made sure that everyone knew just how angry I was, who kept going and going and going until half of my team was in tears. I've been there. In my 20s, I didn't know any other way. You don't ever have to do that. See today, I hire true believers who believe in me and who I am, who believe in our company and the products we put out, who believe in our customers and who they are. And, they're in it for the cause, they're in it for what we're doing, they're in it because we empower visionary entrepreneurs to change the world. My team gets just as emotional about it as I do. And so, I would never yell at a true believer. I would never unload on someone who is fighting the battle with me. I would never turn to a team mate and tell them how bad they are or how frustrated they are, or how they've let me down, because they're my team member.
Instead, I find out what's going on for them. I help them understand, I give them better options, I help them formulate a plan so that they don't feel like there's a lack of confidence. Because, we as CEO's, we as parents create inner voices for our team and for our children. We have massive influence on the people around us. We have incredible impact on the people who choose to produce with us, who choose to work with us, who choose to move the world forward with us. If we want to honor that impact, if we want to take responsibility for the position we've chosen in the world, if we want to become everything we can be as an entrepreneur, we should remember that we create our team's inner voice. So when you're talking to your team, I want you to think about what you're saying to them. John Gottman's 5:1 rule says that for every corrective interaction you have with anyone, in order to be heard ... not in order for it to be successful. In order for it to be heard, you must have had five positive interactions with that person.
Most CEO's are nowhere near that ratio. In fact, most CEO's, most entrepreneur with a team, all we do is tell them when something is wrong. Now that you understand this, now that you know you're forming that semi conscious voice, now that you know part of what you do is form the inner voice that tells your team who they are and how they are, for the next couple of weeks, I want you to start examining how you talk to your team. What do you say? How do you say it? What level of energy are you putting out there? If you say something positive but you're feeling negatively about that team member, they'll know. If you don't say anything and you're feeling negatively, they'll know. If you don't let your team know what's going on with you, and you come in and you're frustrated and you're upset with them, they're going to think it's them. And if you're frustrated, or angry, or irritated, or anything with a team member, sit down and have a conversation with them. Find out what's going on with them. Have them tell you what's happening, before you unload.
Because, the more you build up your team, the more you give them confidence through your words, the more you help them understand how talented, how great, how fantastic, how much they are changing the world with you and how much they're helping you, the more they will do all of those things. See, today I don't ever have to motivate my team. In fact, I share all the time that the conversations I have with my team are, "Take time off, take time to yourself, quit pushing yourself so hard, weekends are for family." I actually have to coach my team out of working because they're in this for a much bigger purpose than a paycheck. They're in this for where we're all going together. They're in this so that we can make our greatest contribution together, influence the lives of entrepreneurs, help them change the world, and make this place better for all of us. So I would never yell at one of them.
As a CEO, this is a lesson you can start right now. As an entrepreneur, this is something you can put in place today. As a parent, you can start finding the things that your children do right. You can start looking for the places where you can encourage your team. You can start finding the opportunity to let someone know you're proud of them, because saying to your team, "I'm proud of you, I'm excited that you did that, I love how you created this ..." Catching them doing something right and just acknowledging it will give them a massive amount of momentum. And you tell me, when you're not around, what do you want your team hearing as their inner voice from you? You can start today and change that. You can start today and improve it. Even if you're someone who communicates positively with your team, put intention here, think about it more, make notes in your daily planing and solitude of who you're going to congratulate or thank, or tell that they're doing a great job, and you will be shocked at the level of productivity you get out of your team.
Do the same for your children, and you'll be blown away at the behavioral changes you see. Because, people will move in the direction of momentum. And, what we don't understand as CEO's, what we don't understand as parents is that we can provide it with something as simple as what we say. If you're a CEO who's building a team, and you're ready to build a game changing organization, and go out and create your empire, then you should come to our Billionaire Code summit. It's two days where we show you how to create a strategic plan, understand how to build the infrastructure around that plan so that you can create your greatest contribution, the company that you've always wanted, and do it without having to let the people around you down.
Go to billionairecode.com/summit and apply. I'd love to have you here for two days with me, my family, my team, our highest level clients, and you can spend a couple of days with us, creating a massive future for your company, and more momentum than you ever thought possible. Billionairecode.com/summit.