Momentum Podcast: 295
Leaders Share Responsibility
by Alex Charfen
If you're building a team the success of the company is not all on you. As a leader, the success of the company relies on your ability to lead a team.
This means to have them join together as a cohesive unit that protects and helps each other. Leadership is what either makes a company grow or stagnate and fade.
Full Audio Transcript
Leaders share responsibility. This topic is a little personal because I take leadership in companies so personally. See, I think every company should be given every possibility that it possibly can have to survive. That was a lot of possible, because when I look at the world, world changing companies, the organizations that bring together people around it, joint mission around it, joint cause, go out and they literally change the world. They improve things for all of us. They make things better for the people who they serve. They serve their clients. They make massive contributions.
For me, successfully running a company is one of the most spiritual endeavors of our lifetimes, and it's also one of the most difficult. However, leadership in a company changes everything. See, leadership in a company is where rubber meets the road. It's what really makes that company either grow or stagnate and fail. I want to just share a recent story from my experience consulting and talking to people and, talking to people in multiple industries.
Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who works in an information products and coaching company. This friend of mine is exactly who you would want to hire. They are completely a true believer. They love the products. They love the customers. They love the organization. They know as much or more than the founders about what they teach, and what they do. This person really, absolutely, loves the organization, and is what we all want to hire. That true believer that is so passionate you get discretionary time. I mean, he's the type of person who, on the weekends, is studying. In his spare time is studying. Is paying for education on his own so that he can get better at what he does. He's an incredible asset to that company.
Recently, the organization hired a new CEO. Now, there's two founders and, they brought in somebody to run the company. This often happens. You know, this is something that, as founders, eventually you want to step into a more visionary role, or you want to step into a more high level role, or you want to step out of day to day tactics. A lot of founders elect the decision to go out and hire a CEO.
I was recently talking to this friend of mine, and he told me that one of the first things that this new CEO told him was that ... and this is a quote. He said, "The success of this company now falls completely on me." Ugh, when my friend told me this, I literally got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because this is a successful organization. They have massive potential. I know that they can grow two, three, four, maybe five or 10 times as big as they are today. But, when I heard that all of my optimism was gone.
In fact, now I'm worried about the company, and I don't think that they're going to do well. I think that they're going to struggle like crazy because any leader who would say something like that to a member of their team completely dis empowers and negates the efforts that anyone on the team is putting out there. In fact, when a leader gets up in front of a room, or when a leader talks to somebody one on one, and says, "The success of this organization falls to me," everyone in the room is now diminished. Everyone's contribution is overlooked. That person is leading through their ego, and if anyone, and I mean anyone out there, believes that they can run an organization all by themselves and that the success truly falls to them, they are crazy!
The company in question is an eight figure company. They have a ton of team members. For a new CEO to come into an eight figure company with dozens of team members and declare the success of the company falls on me, ugh, it just completely triggers me, as you can probably tell by the way I'm talking. It also just depresses me because that is a leader who doesn't understand what it means to be the leader of a team because as the leader of a team the success of the company doesn't fall on you at all. The success of the company falls on your ability to lead the team. To have them join together. To have them become a cohesive unit that collaborates and supports each other and protects each other, and helps each other, and makes each other feel safe.
For a leader to say the success of the company falls on them, that is somebody who is leading with their ego. That is somebody who is leading probably from a place of feeling intimidated, and it's somebody who really should never have been given the keys to an eight figure organization, who has the opportunity to grow because that statement, in and of itself, proves they know nothing about leadership.
Because here's what the success of any organization, once you start building a team, here's what the success of the organization is dependent on. So, if you're building a team, I want you to think about this because the success of the company is not all on you. I have an incredible team. I would never tell my team the success of this organization is all on me because everyone of them would immediately think, well what about my contribution? What about what I'm doing? I get up every single day. I put in eight to 10. I mean, some of my team members I know put in 12 hours, even though I ask them to take time off and coach them to take personal time. I know that I have an obsessive team that gets up every single day and wants it just as bad as I do. I would never tell any of them the success of the company is all on me because it hasn't been since day one.
A year ago we restarted this organization. It was me, Cadey, and Justin Lite. The success of the company was dependent on the collaboration between the three of us. Justin played an insanely huge part of it. I would never diminish his contribution and his efforts by saying the success of the company was all on me. In fact, today I can tell you the success of my organization is really dependent on the following: it's me creating an atmosphere of transparency where people are willing to talk about what's going well, but more important they're willing to ask for help.
They're willing to say, "Hey, I don't know about this." They're willing to tell each other when there's something that they don't understand. They're willing to admit when there's a mistake so we can quickly fix it and move forward. The success of my company really is dependent on our ability to create a strategic plan so that each person in the organization knows their role, and understands where we're going, and we can all get their quicker. See, when a CEO says something ridiculous like the success of this company is all on me, what it tells me immediately is they don't know how to make a strategic plan. They're clueless, clueless, as to how to involve their entire team. They don't understand how to put their team into massive momentum.
And, here's how you do that. One, you have transparency. Everyone understands what's going on in the organization. You share the numbers. You share the good. You share the bad. You share the challenges because that's what your team is absolutely helping you resolve. In fact, that's why they're there.
Two, you have a clear forward planning system, where everyone understands the outcome you're aiming at, and the path to get there. Not just a mission or a vision. Come on. That stuff just doesn't work. Painting some big intimidating mission without a plan to get there, that's just silliness. That's dreaming. That's conjecture. That's making stuff up. That's out there.
But, when you have a clear mission and then, a clear strategic plan, where you know what you're doing in the next year, the next 90 days, the next 30 days. The commitments you made for the week. The daily productivity your team has, that is how you move a company forward. You share responsibility through mutual accountability where everyone on the team understands what's going on.
Instead of saying something ridiculous like the success of this company falls on me, what you realize is that if you have transparency and clear outcomes, and accountability and share responsibility, that the success of the company depends on every single person in your organization, being in momentum, and feeling like they're moving not only the company forward, but their lives forward.
See, the people in your organization, the people in any organization, are giving as much to you as they give to anything else in their lives. We have to realize that as CEO's, as entrepreneurs, that the people who are working for us are putting as much time, effort, energy, and focus into our companies as they do anything else. It's just mathematics. It's the hours in the day. If someone is working 40 hours in a week, chances are they're not doing anything else for 40 hours. And, if you have a company like mine, there is no one in your organization that works 40 hours a week.
I think most of my team looks at 40 hours as a good start. I don't tell them to do that. They do that because we have forward planning, where they're clear on where they're going, and they're excited about it. We have transparency, where everyone in the company understands what we're doing and how we're doing it. They know the score. They know down to the penny how much money we made last month. We share it with them every single month.
So, yes. Everyone in my company knows exactly how much money I make, and I don't care. It's a metric that they need to understand. In fact, I care that they know. That was a miss statement. I'm not intimidated by the fact that they know how much I make. I'm not upset by the fact that they know how much I make. In fact, the profitability of the company is one of the single most important numbers there is. If I didn't share it with my team, I would feel like I was obstructing them from becoming successful.
Then finally, the mutual accountability. Every person on my team knows their role. They understand what they're doing. They know what they're contribution is. So, we get every single person up and running and into momentum. So, the success of my company is dependent on the success of my team.
Not just my team collectively. Each individual member of my team. See, for years I obsessed over the question "how do you make businesses grow'. How can you make a company grow? What happened was, in my mid 20s, I figured out how to make businesses grow. In fact, I can make just about any business grow. But, what I realized was if you grow the business faster than the people the business can grow right out of business. I did that more than once. It was depressing.
What I realized after researching and obsessing and trying to understand why companies didn't make it, even though all the opportunities were there, what I realized was you can't just make business grow. You have to help the people in the organization grow. When anyone of us, as a human being, has a clear outcome, measurement along the way, and an understanding of what our role is, or we have clear outcomes, transparency, and accountability. We get into momentum.
If you think back through your life, in any period of momentum you've ever experienced, here's what you've had: you've had a clear outcome. You knew what you were aiming at. You had transparency. There was a scoreboard to let you know how you were doing along the way. You had accountability. You understood your role, and the role of those around you. That is how a company succeeds and, every one in the organization gets in the momentum. When you're people are in momentum, so is your business.
But getting in front of a room, or saying to someone individually, "The success of this company falls on me", immediately removes all of that. It diminishes the significance of any person contributing to that organization. It's a gut punch to the true believer who is there because they believe in the cause. They believe in the client. They believe in the outcome. They believe in what you're doing.
It diminishes the efforts of every single person who gets up everyday and contributes. That frustrates me to no end because I know that every person in that organization, if they're going to be led by a leader who believes it's all on them, is not going to grow. The business won't grow. In fact, my prediction is that it struggles significantly. That there's in fiving. That it becomes political. That it becomes calculated. That they have a really hard time creating the momentum that they want, and even if the numbers grow, there's going to be incredible turn over in a company where a leader comes in and says something like that to a true believer; because it shows a lack of understanding, a lack of experience and most of all, a lack of judgment.
Because here's what you say to a true believer: you say, "The success of this organization depends on you, and every one of us in here, communicating, and supporting each other, and making each other feel safe. Admitting when we make a mistake, and fixing it as fast as we can. Focusing on the process, not the person, when there's an issue. And, moving us all forward.
Leaders share responsibility. If you want to grow your organization faster than any of your competitors, that is the key. It is dependent on every single person on your team.
The only exception is the entrepreneur who is barely starting out, who's just figuring things out, who's just getting started, who hasn't hired a team yet. Then, it is all on you, but the second you hire your first team member, the second you decide to bring in someone else's effort and energy, and time, and focus, and let's be honest, their life! You involve them in your business. You become a part of their life. The second you do that, it is no longer on you. It is on your ability to build that team, to make them feel safe, to encourage them. To move them forward, to help them grow as people, and to keep them in momentum. Leaders share responsibility.
If you're ready to build a team that changes the world. If you're ready to go out and really make things happen, and if you're ready to put these systems in your business. Clear forward planning, measurement, accountability, so that everyone in your team is in momentum, you should join us at our billionaire code summit in September. Go to billionairecode.com/summit and apply.
We have a two day event where we teach our forward planning systems. We will show you communication cadence that you can use to communicate with your team, and let them know what's going on in a systematic way so that nobody gets lost. We will also show you how to systematically build the infrastructure of your organization.
Go to billionairecode.com/summit and apply. You will join me, and all of our highest level coaching clients in a two day summit here in Austin, Texas. I guarantee you it will be game changing for you, your company, and most importantly, your team. Let me show you how to systematically share responsibility for your team so that your company gets into momentum and you never even think the thought that the success of the organization falls on you.