Why An Efficiency Mindset Might Be Hurting Your Relationships
Leadership is not about bossing people around, it’s so much more than that. It’s about achieving results through others, mentoring them, and guiding them to become better professionals. That being said, leadership is hard! To put it in our guest’s words, not everyone should be a leader, just like not everyone should be an airplane pilot. Our today’s guest is Scott J. Miller.
Scott J. Miller is a leadership expert, a best-selling author, a blogger, and above all, a leader of people at heart. He’s a 25 year associate of the Franklin Covey company which is one of the world’s most influential leadership development firms. During his time at the company, he served as a chief marketing officer and executive vice president of business development. Currently FranklinCovey’s senior advisor on thought leadership, Scott is in charge of leading strategy, producing podcasts, and managing other strategic initiatives. Scott has published a multivolume Mess to Success book series where he unravels the growth journey of a successful leader, from the most common career obstacles in marketing to critical leadership practices.
In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we discuss leadership and why entrepreneurs shouldn’t force themselves into the role of a leader if they’re not good at it. We also talk about the power of perspective and how it can change our whole outlook on life, why efficiency is key when building relationships and why you shouldn’t always aim to be the smartest person in the room.
If you want to become a better leader of people, start here! This episode is perfect for anyone working with people, whether that’s in marketing, branding, or other related industries.
💡 Name: Scott J. Miller
💡 What he does: He’s a leadership expert, a best-selling author, and FranklinCovey’s senior advisor on thought leadership.
💡 Noteworthy: Scott published a multivolume book series called Mass Marketing, including Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow and the forthcoming Marketing Mess to Brand Success and Job Mess to Career Success.
💡 Key Quote: “A leader’s job is to achieve results within through other people. And once it becomes your mindset that your job is to achieve results through other people, then you begin to realize your job is to build capacity, to build capability, to coach, to mentor, to guide, to develop relationships, not to micromanage and suppress and to rush in and save the day or do it yourself. It’s a mindset shift.”
Not everyone should be a leader. Leadership is tough. It comes with a set of unpredictable challenges and a great deal of stress that you’re never prepared for. According to Scott, not everyone should be a leader of people, just like not everyone should be an airplane pilot. Leading people is not the same as leading strategy or sales. It’s so much more demanding and it boils down to achieving results through other people. Scott explains, “A leader’s job is to achieve results through other people. And once it becomes your mindset, your job is to achieve results with him through other people, then you begin to realize your job is to build capacity, to build capability, to coach, to mentor, to guide, to develop relationships, not to micromanage and suppress and to rush in and save the day or do it yourself. It’s a mindset shift.”
Find gratitude by changing your perspective. As a leader, you often have to make some difficult decisions and solve some challenging tasks. By simply shifting your perspective, you can change your entire mindset. After crossing paths with an inspiring individual in his journey, Scott realized the power of perspective. Instead of saying ‘I need to’, we should say ‘I get to’. According to Scott, it’s a total game-changer! “When you’ve got a difficult task ahead of you, you have to terminate someone, you have to cut someone’s income back, you have to give someone a high courage conversation, you have to bootstrap, don’t dread it. View it as I get to terminate this person tomorrow, I get to, if that’s not right, for me or for them. And I need to send them on their way to what is right for them. I don’t dread much anything anymore. Because I look at it as I get to pay 1/10 of the visa bill this month. I don’t have nine-tenths of it. I have 1/10 of it. Just look at everything in life from I have to or I ought to, to I get to. And for me that was transformational.”
Efficiency and effectiveness are opposites when it comes to building relationships. Efficiency is crucial in business, but is it always the case? Scott begs to differ. When it comes to building relationships as a leader, you can’t be efficient. Relationships demand time and effort. That’s why leaders should aim to be effective in their relationships, and not efficient. “That efficiency has been my hallmark as a productivity expert. The problem is, like many people that have an efficiency mindset, like I do, probably a lot of entrepreneurs, is when we move that efficiency into our relationships. Because you cannot be efficient with people, you can be efficient with raking your yard, taking out the garbage, washing your car, send emails, social media, signing paychecks, you cannot be efficient when it comes to building relationships with others, which really is the backbone of your business.”
Don’t be the smartest person in the room. Nobody has all the answers, and neither do leaders. Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of thinking they need to be the smartest people in the room. In reality, people don’t want to work with the smartest person in the room. Accept that you’re not the genius in the room, but you’re rather a genius maker of others. “Humility is a strength, it is confident leaders that are capable of being humble, humble, meaning that you don’t have to have all the ideas, you’re comfortable having people have greater expertise and competence in education than you do. Hire people that are smarter than you, that are better salespeople that are better innovators, they have more energy, they have more creativity, and don’t have to be right all the time. […] Remember, as a leader, your job is to achieve results with and through other people. That’s how you scale. That’s how you retain talent. That’s how you get people to give you their hearts and their minds and their backs together.”
“It basically was kind of the first books ever written, that really just kind of explored the underbelly of leadership, that leadership is hard. It’s unrelenting, it’s often unrewarding. Not everyone should be a leader of people contrary to what the leadership experts tell you. I’m not sure I should have been the leader of people. And I was a leader in a leadership company.”
“You can become a competent leader of people. It may not be your natural calling, it may be more painful than it is easier for other people. I don’t know that my natural skill is leading people, I’ve learned to be a much better leader, I think I’m a competent leader. But let’s be clear, I’ve done some damage, I wrecked some havoc on cultures because I didn’t understand that a leader’s job is to achieve results within through other people.”
“I learned something transformative, and that is to look at everything in life through the lens of I have to, or I ought to, or I get to.”
“Efficiency and effectiveness are opposites. One is not better than the other, it’s just when do you deploy them. As you mentioned, I am an extraordinarily efficient person. […] That efficiency has been my hallmark as a productivity expert. The problem is, like many people that have an efficiency mindset, like I do, probably a lot of entrepreneurs, is when we move that efficiency into our relationships.”
“Leaders don’t create engagement. What they do is they create the conditions whereby others choose their own level of engagement. You can’t force someone into engagement. Oh, I guess you can force someone to low engagement. But you can’t force someone into high engagement. What you can do is build a culture where they love coming to work, they feel valued, they have a voice, you ignite their genius, you get out of their way, you reward them, you tell them when they’re doing a great job, and you tell them when they’re not.”
“If your people learn from your messes, it’s because you’re owning your mess. Because as a leader, when you own your mass, you make it safe for others to own theirs, teach through your messes. Don’t just become an untouchable leader where no one can relate to you. They’ll quit you and go somewhere else.”