Momentum Podcast: 777
The Number One Value of a Leader
by Alex Charfen
Leadership is the one thing that will make or break a business.
A company with a deficit of leadership is going to implode, but a company that creates and develops leaders is going to scale consistently and predictably.
Years ago, a coach and consultant friend of mine asked a group of executives, “What is the number one value of a leader in business?”
We all said Results, Integrity, Power, Teamwork, etc.
But what he said next has completed changed the way I view effective leaders, especially in my own company.
Our entrepreneurial journey doesn't end here! Be sure to check out our Facebook Community filled with entrepreneurs just like you who are getting into momentum and building world-changing empires charfen.com/community
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. The number one value of someone leading people, the number one value of an executive leading a team is consistency. I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be. If you're an entrepreneur with a team or you're on a team and you lead other people, you're an executive leader on a team. This is for you. This is a discussion of the number one value of an executive leader or a leader on a team. Now I want to tell you where this comes from. So I've been in business for a long time. I've had a ton of incredible consultants and advisors. I've had the privilege of having some of the greatest mentors out there, and one of them is a gentleman by the guy by the name of Mason Ludlow. And Mason is truly, oh, he's just like a business genius. He's he's older than I am and has been around, has done a ton of stuff. He's he's worked with Home Depot. He helped take them into China. He when I met Mason, he was running about a $30 million coaching company in the real estate space and working, working for somebody else. But running the business and just is a wealth of knowledge and information. In fact, at one point. Mason was coaching John Walton of the Walton family, Walmart and Me and Cadey. And it's kind of funny. Mason at one point was actually living here in Austin when we had a team, and he was helping us temporarily fill an executive role. And he asked me, I think this is just a quick story before I get into the the information that he shared, like the number one value of a leader and what it is and what Mason shared. I think it's going to blow you away, but I just want to share a quick story about Mason because he was such an intense and amazing guy, and this was one of my favorite stories. So Mason was staying here in Austin, and we had gotten him a condo, and he asked me at one point, Hey, is it OK if I go buy a TV to put it in the condo? Because I don't like watching TV on my computer? And I was like, Absolutely. So Mason went and purchased a TV and he told me, he said, You know, Alex, I'll get a good deal on it. I'll make sure that, you know, it's the right price and then we can use it somewhere in the office after I leave. And so he went by the TVs at Walmart, and he brought the receipt in to me the next day and there was a discount that said Walton. And so I'm like, Man, that's intense. And I said, Mason, did you actually get a discount from the Walton family is like, Yeah, I called up John, got it, you know, told him I was going to buy a TV and he communicated with the store and I got the discount, and the TV was like a fraction of what it would have been retail. So it was pretty intense. Like that's that's the intensity of Mason Low and just what an incredible coach he is to be coaching. One of the Walton family members is pretty intense. And so he came in one day and he'd been working with us for a while and he came in and he said, Alex, I'd like to sit down the leadership team. At the time, it was me, Cadey and three other people. And he said, You know, I need to have a conversation with with all of you now, after observing you after watching you here, I want to share some insights with you that I've learned about being a leader, about being an executive on a team, about what's really important, what's not just important to you, not just important getting stuff done, but what's important to the team. And he sat us all down. There was five of us sitting at a table and Mason said, All right, I want all of you to tell me, what do you think is the number one value of an executive leader? Like what should be the number one value of an executive leader? What should what should an executive leader feel like is most important in the way that they show up in the way that they lead, in the way that they manage? And we had some guesses. So it was interesting. I wrote some of them down this morning, so I remember one person on team said accountability like executive leaders need to be accountable. Somebody else said integrity. Somebody else said education, like pursuing knowledge, understanding what's going on. Another one said Mutual respect for the team. Another one said performance. And the other one said results. And Mason said, You know, guys, all of those are important. They are all important and they're crucial. However, the number one value of someone leading people, the number one value of an executive leading the team is consistency. And I remember sitting there when he first said that and thinking consistency, in fact, I wasn't the only one thinking and thinking that there five five of five of us at the table. And someone said, But Mason, like, what? What about integrity? Is an integrity incredibly important? And Mason said, Well, if you're inconsistent with your team, that shows a lack of integrity. And I was like, Huh, he's right. It really does. And then he said, you know, then he went through the list. He said, You know, it doesn't matter how much education you have. If you're inconsistent with your team, they won't trust you. And here's and it doesn't matter how accountable you are, if you're inconsistent, you're not really being accountable to the team. It doesn't matter if you have mutual respect with the team, if there's an inconsistency there, if you're not showing up the same way every day, if you're not consistent, if you're if they can't trust the WHO in who you will be, then the mutual respect isn't going to matter. If you're if it doesn't matter how much performance an executive has it as soon as you're leading a team. If you're not consistent in how you show up, it doesn't matter how much you perform. The team's not going to be consistent and it doesn't matter what results. You won't get the results you can if you're not consistent. I remember Mason really explaining this in detail detail, he said. Look, as the executive on the team, as the executive leading people, your team is going to take cues from you and you want your team to feel safe. You want your team to feel like they can trust. You want you want your team to feel like they can trust what you say. They can trust the commitments you make and the way that you do that is you're consistent. And here's how he explained consistency, he said. You know, you show up to meetings on time. You you show up in the same way you don't show up one day excited and over the top and another day lethargic and frustrated. He even went as far as to say, you know, some of the best executive leaders out there. If you really think about it, they show up looking the same way every day. It was one of the reasons this was probably this might have been over 10 years ago when about 10 years ago, it was one of the reasons I started dressing the same way every day because Mason was so big on consistency and what he said was Your team needs to trust their environment. Your team needs to trust what you say, your team, the more trust you have, the more they trust their environment, the more safe they feel, the higher level they're going to perform. And what happens is when an executive leader is showing up inconsistently, when an executive leader is showing up and they're changing each day, they're they're not consistent. The team will actually feel threatened and the team will start paying more attention to the inconsistency of the executive leader than what they really need to get done. And so the number one value of an executive leader, according to Mason Ludlow. And man, after 10 years of thinking this way and believing this way and feeling this way, I absolutely agree is consistency. And you know, that conversation with Mason was intense because when I think back to that period of time, our five person leadership team was somewhat consistent, but not fully consistent. We were sometimes late to meetings. We sometimes showed up in a way that wasn't fully supportive. Sometimes we would show up in a way that that we didn't the day before or we hadn't ever showed up. And and sometimes we kind of made things about about us, like about the individual. And I'm not. Not just me, but other members on the team, too. And after we had this conversation with Mason, I can remember for a couple of weeks like him asking us, like, do you understand the consistency thing? And, you know, checking in with us? And here's what happened. Everybody on the executive team really took it to heart. I mean, when Mason said something, you listen. He just understood business so well. It was such a wealth of information and knowledge and strategy and tactics that we always leaned in when he shared, and we started being far more consistent in how we showed up. We started making sure we were on time to meetings. We started making sure we ran those meetings the same way. We started making sure that we were consistent and that our team could count on us, and it was amazing how quickly things shifted. The reason Mason was there was we had hit a stumbling block as a company and we had our sales had slowed down. We weren't getting the same traction that we had gotten before. We weren't growing as fast as we were. And here's what's interesting within a few weeks of us really paying attention to being consistent is showing up consistently to getting our heads right before we went into a meeting to making sure that we weren't reacting to something or frustrated with something or upset with something before we went into our team and shared all of that energy with them. We started growing again. Our business actually started going in the right direction somewhat quickly, and I remember Mason walking in one day after we'd had our monthly numbers come in. And he said, Look, do you see this growth? He and this is where he said he said, I believe this growth is fully due to the fact that we went from inconsistency to everyone on the leadership team being consistent, he said. You know, people are showing up. Different people are more excited about what they're doing. They're getting more done, they're getting it done it in a way that's more effective. We're putting more out there and we're getting bigger results, and it really was just from consistency. And so if you're an entrepreneur, one of the hardest things for people like you and I to do and I know this like, I believe me, I struggle with this. One of the hardest things is consistency. And here's how we. Create consistency that creates safety process. So the way that I show up consistent consistently for my team is we have a clear process of when I show up what my role is in meetings, how we plan as a company, how we execute as a company and because our process is clear, because we work in our system, which is the simple operations operating system. We call it the simple operations system. And we have all of our interactions pre-planned. They're telegraphed. Everybody knows what's going to happen. They know what to expect. I appear incredibly consistent and I am, you know, for me, I actually am consistent. Process creates consistency in my life. Morning routines having a morning routine that I use every morning and then I'm checking off just like I am here. You can see it right. There is is a way to create consistency is a way for me to actually create momentum. And if I want to show up to all my interactions with my team in the same way, with the same personality, with the same affectation where I'm not overly emotional or not really checked in or not really holding space for them in the right way, I create consistency in my life and then I create consistency in our team's life. This is game changing. So if you're an entrepreneur running a team and you, you think about how you interact with your team, you think maybe, maybe you are a little inconsistent. Maybe you miss meetings, maybe you cancel meetings that are planned. Maybe you make commitments that don't get fulfilled. If you start showing up in a more consistent way and you show up to meetings and you get done what you committed to getting done and you move things forward, you will see your entire team come along with you. I know because I've been there, I watched it personally, and I also know because Mason Ludlow was one of the best consultants and coaches I've ever had, and pretty much everything he ever told us is absolutely now part of how we run a business and in a lot of ways, part of how we run our lives. So thanks for spending this time with me today. If you're interested in becoming more consistent, if you want to have a system and a structure like I described where you have a simple operation system that allows you to operate your business in an easier way so that you're not trying to do everything yourself and you finally get the support you want out of your team and you personally show up in a more consistent way so that you get everything you can out of your team. Go over to simple operations dot com, click the link to set up a call and answer a few questions with my team. We would love to show you how we can help you not just become more consistent, but grow your business predictably without having to do everything yourself. There's a lot of entrepreneurs out there trying to grow a business, but as soon as it grows, they end up doing way too much and burn themselves out. And I don't want you to be broke and broke and burned out because that's what happens to a lot of entrepreneurs. If you can get the help you need, get the protection and support you need from your team. You will be able to move your business forward fast and it simple operations. We will help train your team to support you in a way you've never felt before going to simple operations dot com. We love to hear from you and thanks again for being here.