By Allen Haynes July 8, 2024

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Andy Stanley (00:02):
Hey everybody. Welcome to the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, a conversation designed to help leaders go further faster. I’m Andy Stanley, and before we get into today’s content, I wanted to thank Factor Meals for sponsoring this episode Factor Meals are ready to heat and ready to eat no hassle meals. And they are absolutely delicious. And I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical, but I’m skeptical no longer every time Sandra is out of town. This is my dinner. So head on over to factor 50 and then use code a SLP 50 to get 50% off your first box of food plus 20% off your next month while your subscription is active. And of course, Y-A-S-L-P. It’s the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. So again, go to factor 50 and use code ALP 50 to get 50% off your first box plus 20% off your next month while this subscription is active. And now let’s dive into today’s podcast content.

Suzy Gray (01:07):
Welcome to the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast reverb, a conversation that digs deeper into this month’s podcast topic, all designed to help leaders go even further faster. I’m your host, Susie Gray, and this month we’re continuing our conversation from last week on the future of leadership. Andy, last week, you and Steven Covey talked about being a trust and inspire leader as opposed to a command and control leader. As we get started, refresh us on those two approaches.

Andy Stanley (01:35):
Yeah, so Steven has written this extraordinary book entitled Trust and Inspire, and he makes the case, which is kind of a big statement, that he thinks this is the future of leadership. And of course, if I wrote a leadership book, I too would say, no, no, no. I mean all those other leadership books you’ve read. No, this is the future of leadership. So it’s a big claim, but honestly I think he’s onto something because the workplace is different, the workforce is different, the nature of work is different. We could go on and on and on. So we know all that. And he makes the point. And it’s true that perhaps especially at corporate level and in the c-suite, we’ve not made the transition to this new world in which we work and in which we expect people to work. And the way I’ve said it for years around here and I tell leaders is Look, whether you like it or not, everybody’s a volunteer.

It’s so true. I mean, some of ’em get paid and some don’t. But everybody that works for you could walk in this afternoon say, I don’t want to work here anymore. And they’re gone, I’m done. I’m done. The days of you take a job and you work 40 years or 30 years, I mean that’s long gone. We already know that. It’s not even worth saying. But our default as leaders oftentimes is what Stephen refers to as command and control. And that’s what we’ve seen modeled. That’s what we see on television. That’s what every strong and bold leader, male or female, we sort of get the impression that it’s command and control. They’re the person in the room, they have all the answers. And when we stop and think about it, we know that’s not true. But the default oftentimes in leadership is to that. And for the person who doubts that in many cases, just think about one of your parents.

One of your parents was going to command and control and one of them was wasn’t opposites of track. It wasn’t necessarily your father, it could have been your mom. And so we know what command and control looks like, and so the assumption is, well, you have to take that into the workplace in order to get anything done. He makes the case in the book and it’s a great case that no, you can get extraordinary amount of things done. In fact, you can get more done. The statistics he cited in the statistics in the book, bear it out that there is a different approach to leadership that is or actually is more productive. And you don’t just get the hands of people, you get the heart of people. You don’t just get their time. You get buy-in not just with the product you’re selling or the nature of the industry, but because of this approach to leadership.

So again, the whole conversation in the book is about contrasting command and control versus trust and inspire. This is the new phrase that he introduces to the marketplace. It’s trust and inspire. So command and control is like it’s all extrinsic. It’s require, it’s suffocate, it’s conditioning. I’m just reading from the book everything. We all love behaviorism versus intrinsic motivation, inspire versus require you breathe life into people versus suffocate, it’s development. Another list, he says command and control is formal authority versus moral authority. We’ve talked about that. It’s position versus influence. We’ve talked about that before. It’s what you do versus who you are. It’s tell versus show. It’s directive versus instructive. So again, and a lot of that is intuitive because we’ve had coaches. I mean a high school coach or a college coach, if you’ve ever had a great coach, athletic coach or even professional coach, it’s all about trust and inspire, right?

It’s not command and control. So again, bringing that into the workplace, the statistics, bear it out, the book bears it out. But what I thought would be interesting to talk about at the end of his book, he talks about what trust and inspire is not. And the reason, and we didn’t get into this in the interview, the reason I like this is a lot of what we talk about on our podcast oftentimes I think comes across as sort of the soft skills of leadership. And as an employee, that’s what I want from my boss. But for those who are listening who are in charge of an organization or division or department, the default oftentimes is to the strong armed command and control. Again, it’s what we see and we wake up every day, walk into the office, and we got to get things done, and we got to get people to get things done and

Suzy Gray (05:45):
Trust and inspiration seems passive and weak.

Andy Stanley (05:47):
Very, yes. It just seems like, oh, let’s all hold hands and sing a little song, then let’s have lunch and then let’s have a snack. And then is everybody happy? We just want everybody to be happy. Well, we do, but we’re making things, we’re selling things, we’re providing a service for people, so we have to get things done. So what I thought was so helpful at the end of the book is again, he gives a list of this is not what we’re talking about. And I thought this so encapsulated some of the things that we are not talking about either when we talk about trust versus suspicion or a variety of things that we talk about on the podcast. So I just want to read this list.

Suzy Gray (06:22):
Yeah, the thing that’s interesting about this list is it answers the questions that comes up in your mind when you hear this topic. So I like the fact that he went ahead and said, Hey, but it’s not these things. I know you’re going to think it is, but it’s not. It kind of disarms the arguments anyone might have if they’re thinking about, well, how do I really implement

Andy Stanley (06:42):
This trust and inspire? That sounds again so soft, right? Yeah. And so the other reason I think this is important is for somebody who’s listening and thinks, yeah, my boss is always giving me stuff to do and hold me accountable, and we got all these numbers, well yeah, that’s not going to trust and inspire doesn’t remove any of that. This really is an approach. And again, the keyword is inspire and I would hope that people who work with me don’t just feel like there’s pressure to get things done, but they feel not just inspired to get things done but just inspired with their life that we really are open-handed that, Hey, when you lead this organization, we want it to be the best place you’ve ever worked and we want to celebrate you as you go on to do whatever else you do. This morning I had breakfast with a former employee who was fabulous and decided, you know what? I need more opportunity and I need more challenge than you’re providing me with. And we retired his number. It’s like, Hey, this is great. Thank you for your investment here. And now he’s doing great things and it needs to end well. And that’s hopefully the nature of an organization that leads from a sense of inspiring and trusting people and giving them opportunities and not looking over their shoulder and micromanaging. Anyway,

Suzy Gray (08:01):
So give us the

Andy Stanley (08:01):
List. Yeah, so this is, so again, to reframe this, and you may hear the pages turning the name of this, this is chapter nine in the book, and it’s what trust and inspire is not. So number one, trust and inspire is not weak because it can sound a little weak like I’m backing off and letting people just do what they want. He says, no, it is not weak. He says, historically there have been traditional ideas about what is strong and what is weak. A predominant idea has persisted that leaders must exhibit strength and even a form of dominance through decisive behavior and strong control. Anything other than that is often seen as weakness, but that’s command and control the sense of dominance. And somehow I’ve got to remind everybody that I’m the boss, I’m the final decision maker. So the trust and inspire approach to leadership is not weak. It’s empowering versus powering up. And nobody wants to work for somebody who has to power up. They want to work for people who empower them. So it’s not only is it not weak, it’s basically sharing your strength by giving people permission to leverage their own strength, to leverage their own strength the way they need to get things done. So that’s number one. Number two, trust and inspire. Leadership is not a lack of control.

Suzy Gray (09:20):
That would be something you would assume that it is

Andy Stanley (09:22):
A lack of control, right? Because I’m just going to trust you. I’m taking my hands off, Susie, you just go do what you want to do and I just trust you. And then come back and report. If you feel like when you get around to it might tell you no. And the reason it’s not a lack or a loss of control, and this is the fear thing that we talked about last time. He talked about that there’s sometimes a sense of if we do this, I’m losing control. It’s not that at all because clarity is kindness. So clarity around what I expect and trust that you’re going to do it and I don’t feel like I need to tell you how to do it. It’s not a loss of control, but it does empower a person or give the other person more control over how they do what they do when they’re doing it, and the best approach to it. So all of us, wherever we work, we want to feel like we have some control, which means the person that you report to is not losing control, but they’re giving you control. They’re giving you a sense of autonomy, but it’s not about losing control. The third one is this trust and inspired leadership is not a lack of structure because it kind of sounds that way, right? I just trusted, inspired, then I go have coffee and you guys figure it out. It’s not.

Suzy Gray (10:33):
There’s still metrics, there’s still things to be responsible

Andy Stanley (10:36):
For. And again, right? And structure is the canvas. These are the parameters, these are the standards, these are our values, this is our culture. All of that stuff is still in place. So you’re not abandoning structure. So it’s not only not a lack of structure. In fact, and again, it’s such an overused analogy, but whether it’s a football field, a baseball field, a soccer field, there are parameters, there are structures that make the game possible. There’s no game without structure, and there’s no progress within an organization without structure. So structure is a gift. And then giving people the freedom to work within that structure without command and control is also a gift. So it is not one or the other, it’s both. And the clearer the structure organizationally, honestly, the more freedom you can give a person. There’s been all these experiments where they have kids, they put ’em on a field without a fence, and then they put ’em on a field with a fence, and the kids use more of the field when there is a fence, a fence, and less of the field when there’s not because they’re not sure where the boundaries are.

So maximum freedom requires structure so people know where the boundaries are, and then a good leader says, okay, now that that’s clear, go do what we’ve hired you to do.

Suzy Gray (11:51):
Set objectives, set

Andy Stanley (11:52):
Key results, set the win. Here’s the field and let’s go. Here’s where the boundaries are. Anyway, back to our conversation in just a moment. Before that, a bit more about factor meals. As you know, summer is just around the corner. And for many of us, summer means fitness and factor meals are here to help. Again, factor meals, no prep, no mess meals, meet your health and wellness goals in time for summer, thanks to the menu of chef crafted meals with options like calorie smart Protein plus, and even keto, as you’ve heard me say before, factor meals are fresh, they are never frozen. They are dietician approved and they’re ready to eat Ready for this in just two minutes. That’s right, two minutes. That’s why they’re my favorite. To get started, just go to factor 50 and use code aslp 50 to get 50% off your first box plus 20% off your next month while this subscription is active.

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Again, clarity around vision and clarity around direction is again, it’s the canvas, it’s the playing field, it is the boundaries, the this is the way we do it here. Again, as we had that conversation last week with Steven, I kept thinking, we really need to talk about these things because again, we focused on the soft side of this. We focused on the contrast and pulled so hard away from command and control. Again, it just sounded like maybe this is a free for all, but he’s so clear in the book that that’s not the case at all. And the reason I wanted to focus on it is for the leader, again, with a department manager or somebody who’s entrepreneurial and has multiple companies, if they lean toward command and control, there is a fear of, okay, if I really adopt this approach, I’m going to lose something. And actually you gain something, you gain the heart, not just the hands. You actually attract better leaders because most people don’t feel like they need to be number one, but they at least want to have enough autonomy to maximize their own potential within the context of your company. And so inspire is just a way better way to lead than command and control. So no,

Suzy Gray (14:57):
I was going to say in this particular one about it’s not a lack of vision. I like the fact that it’s like the vision is the thing that inspires people to do things. And so you can’t not have a vision or direction. What are you inspiring

Andy Stanley (15:11):
Them to? Exactly. That’s chaos.

Suzy Gray (15:13):
Yeah, that’s chaos. And he uses that Henry Ford quote that is, if I had asked people what they wanted, they would’ve said they wanted a faster horse because he had to show them something better, something new. So it wasn’t, no, we have a direction and we have a vision of what’s possible, but it’s inviting people into

Andy Stanley (15:30):
That participate in that, yes,

Suzy Gray (15:32):
To participate in that and to be co-creators and co-laborers experiencing something new for the world. So

Andy Stanley (15:37):
I love that one. And you’re a great example of this actually. You’re a great example of everything. And I say that there are three other people sitting in the studio, but you are a great example of this because what you’ve created in terms of the strategy that you’ve created to involve and engage people in what we’re doing, it was the clarity of vision that focused your time and energy to ask the question, okay, how do we do that? How do we do it better? How do we do it more efficiently? And in your case, how do we do something no one else is even doing well, you don’t get there unless there’s a very specific vision. Again, limitations are actually liberating. So anyway, and then number five, trust and inspire. Leadership is not a lack of high expectations and accountability. You think about trust and inspired, that sounds like no accountability and no expectations, but it’s not that at all.

Again, expectations are a gift. Accountability is a gift. But within those constraints, those beautiful constraints is the opportunity to discover, to innovate, to be creative, clearer the parameters, the more freedom you have. Kids, this is the backyard, this is the fence. You can play anywhere back there. You want play any games you want to. So there’s freedom because there’s parameters. So I just thought those five safeguards. So the person that feels like, oh, I feel like I’m losing control, it’s going to be a free for all. And to people who report to somebody on a regular basis to understand this isn’t about throwing out the vision or expectations. Everybody has to work. Everybody has to show up on time. There are expectations, but we all do better when we are inspired rather than commanded and controlled. And again, I think this is so much a personality thing and to a great degree, it’s what we’ve seen modeled. And then the other thing, this is kind of different topic, is I think when we’re under pressure, we go to usually the worst part of ourselves or the worst version of ourselves when we’re under pressure. I know when our family’s traveling, especially when the kids were younger and we had to get to the airport, I was not a pleasant, I was so commanding control. Yeah,

Suzy Gray (17:49):
When you’re squeeze, the worst part of you comes out.

Andy Stanley (17:51):
Yes, exactly. Exactly. And so I think the warning to those of us in leadership analogy, sometimes I use, I dunno if it’s an analogy or just a word picture, is I’ve not done a lot of white water canoeing, but a little bit when I was younger and kind of rule number one, two, and three in whitewater canoeing is you’re on your knees, you’re holding a paddle, and when you feel like the canoe is going to go over, your first inclination is to drop the paddle and to grab the side of the canoe to steady yourself, which ensures you go over a hundred percent. It’s a hundred percent you’re going over. But there’s that, I got to steady myself. There’s a reaction. So the natural inclination under pressure as leaders sometimes is to revert to command and control because we feel like it’s an emergency. And in an emergency, the natural inclination is to take control, which never makes things better.

It almost always makes things worse. So again, I think implementing this idea or embracing this idea, and then as we experience the high pressure moments to remember, don’t revert back, just in fact, that’s the time to be more inspiring than ever because you get the best of people, the more heads you have in the game, and the more hands you have in the game, and the more input you get, the better decisions you’re going to make even in times of crisis. Crisis. So this isn’t about advocating leadership or responsibility. This really is about getting the best out of people. And so I think this is a great book. And I do think because the workforce is different, the workplace is different, the work is different, and people have more freedom and more options. And as he talks about in the book, more choices, command and control has to be a thing of the past. I mean, I think he’s right. This is the way forward. This is the new leadership paradigm.

Suzy Gray (19:35):
Yeah, definitely. And Andy, as we wrap up, what is your personal takeaway from this content after having kind of gone through it in this season? What’s your takeaway personally?

Andy Stanley (19:43):
Well, one of the things we talked about last week with Steven were sort of the headwinds of this, the pushback that leaders have. And I think because of my season of life, there’s a tendency to go, well, this is who I am, this, this is how I’ve done this, this is how I’ve always done this. I’ve been successful. So therefore, why do I need to adjust? And that’s always a bad thing because if I’m not growing as a leader, then I’m really going to in some ways impede the growth of the leaders around me. If I’m not learning, they’re not learning. And if I’m not a learning leader and a teaching leader, then everything kind of slows down and eventually people have to work around me. You become a lid, I become the lid. So when I read a book like this or have an interview like this, there is something in the back of my mind just because of my season of leadership to go, I hope everybody’s getting this. I hope everybody else is getting this. I’m good,

Suzy Gray (20:32):
But I hope everybody else is.

Andy Stanley (20:33):
Yeah, I need to pass this along to some of the folks on our management team. They really need to get this, but I don’t want to be that person. And that’s one of the great things about doing the leadership podcast and interviewing guests. It’s a gut check. I’ve got to do what I want everybody to do and in the mirror and say, what do I have to learn? So that was of those five sort of headwinds, those five obstacles to this. I don’t feel like the other four, I mean, I don’t feel like I get hung up there, but that I don’t think there’s a lot of fear. We talked about that, but that hey, well this is who I am and old dogs and new tricks, but that’s just an excuse. And he talked about how, hey, we’re not programmed. We’re not programmed. We can change. It is never too late. So it was inspiring and I want to be a trust and inspire leader. So once we finish this podcast, I’ll let you tell me whether or not you think I am, but I’m not secure enough for you to say while we’re still recording. So anyway. Well,

Suzy Gray (21:28):
And on that note, that’s all the time we have for this episode of Reverb. Andy, thanks for digging deeper into the future of leadership and providing a few more insights. And to all of our listeners, we want to thank you for joining us. And before we leave, as we always talk about, we have one ask and that is to subscribe. By subscribing you help us grow the audience, which allows us to keep improving, bringing you great guests and great content. Also be sure to visit Andy where you’ll find more resources to help you go further, faster.

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