By Allen Haynes July 2, 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 jump into today’s content, I want to talk about a special offer from our friends at belay. If you’re listening to this podcast, it’s because you’re invested in growing as a leader, but we all know leadership doesn’t happen by accident. It happens when we’re honest with the person in the mirror and when we’re intentional about investing our time and attention in the right things. And that’s something that our sponsor Belay understands. BELAY is passionate about helping busy leaders find the help they need to grow their leadership and their organizations. With a belay, virtual assistant or accounting professional, you can stop spending time on tedious tasks that drain you and start focusing on well what really matters most. So if you find yourself overwhelmed with administrative or accounting tasks that aren’t the best use of your time, BELAY can help you find the right hire.

Right now. This month Belay is giving away a free leadership toolkit to help you delegate the details, unleash your productivity, and take your leadership to the next level. To find out more or to receive this free gift, just text the word Andy to 5 5 1, 2, 3. That’s Andy, a and DY to 5, 5, 1, 2, 3 for your free copy. That’s Andy a and DY to 5, 5, 1, 2, 3 to get intentional about your leadership with help from belay. And now let’s dive into today’s content. Joining me today is Steven Covey. Now, not to confuse you today as in fact Steven and I just talked about this. His father passed away some years ago and he was and will continue to be a legend in the management and leadership space, but his son Steven, is an accomplished author and leadership on his own. And so we were just reminiscing in talking about having famous fathers and being confused for them and being so proud of them and just standing on the shoulders of our fathers and being so grateful for the opportunities they brought our way.

So anyway, Stephen in and of himself is a New York Times bestseller and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, his first book, the Speed of Trust, which was fabulous. And now the book we’re going to talk about today, trust and Inspire. He’s the former CEO of the Covey Leadership Center, which under his stewardship this is amazing, became the largest, largest leadership development company in the world. Wow. He actually led the strategy that propelled his father’s book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to become one of the two most influential business books of the 20th century according to CEO Magazine. And I promise I’m going to let Steven talk in just a minute, but I just got to tell you a quick story, Steven, please. When the seven habits came out, I would go to this little restaurant in Buckhead, the Business District of Atlanta, and have breakfast with my mentor who was an extraordinary business guy in and of himself, and I was just learning leadership.

And so I would bring the seven Habits book with me, and I promise there were so many young business guys in there carrying that book under their shoulder. It was like they would come to a Bible study. It’s like the whole little restaurant, little pancake place was full of people reading your dad’s book. It was so impactful for that generation and the fact that you now are continuing not simply his legacy, but in this same space with these two fabulous books. So today we’re going to discuss Steven’s book, trust and Inspire, and by the end of this episode you’ll understand why this leadership framework really is essential to effective leadership and is perhaps the future of leadership because of all the changes. So Steven, with that long introduction, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

Stephen Covey (03:44):
Well, thank you Andy. I’m truly delighted and excited because of your focus on leadership, and that’s what this book is. It’s really a leadership book about the kind of leadership that’s going to be needed in our new world of work today. So delighted to be here with you.

Andy Stanley (04:00):
Absolutely. So let’s just jump in. So at the beginning of the book, you start with this metaphor or this story about Death Valley as an analogy from Sir Kenneth Robinson who said that maybe this, I didn’t, I never read this before, that perhaps Death Valley should have been named Dormant Valley, and this sets up where the book’s going. So do you mind just starting there?

Stephen Covey (04:22):
Yeah, absolutely. So Death Valley in California is considered one of the hottest places on earth, has the world’s highest recorded temperature, 134 degrees, and not only is hot, it’s dry, the average rainfall is about one inch in a given year. There was actually a 40 month period in which only half an inch of rain fell. So because it’s so hot and dry, nothing grows there, probably why they call it Death Valley. But interestingly, in the winter of 2005, for some unexplained reason, six inches of rain fell in just a very brief period. And sure enough, just a short time later, what happened was wild flowers popped up and carpeted the entire valley, just literally just what came up everywhere. It turns out it wasn’t dead after all, it was just lying dormant. See, the seeds were there when the conditions changed, then the seeds were able to grow to be nourished, and they grew and the wild flowers popped up.

And so I use this as a metaphor to say that in a sense people are a lot like those seats, the potential, the talent, the greatness is there. It might be lying dormant, it might be unseen, but it’s there. It’s in the people. Our job as leaders is to be like a gardener, creating conditions for the seeds to flourish, for the people to flourish. And just like the life and the power is in the seed, the life and the power is in the people. And as leaders, we are gardeners creating conditions, not mechanics that go around fixing things and fixing people, but rather gardeners in a natural system, creating conditions for people to grow and to flourish, and the life and the power is in the people.

Andy Stanley (06:17):
And when I read that, the first thing I thought of, I would imagine is one of the things everybody listening thought about is simply that most of us in leadership, especially if we’ve been leadership for very long, can immediately think of the people that did that for us. And again, going back to what I said earlier, my father did that for me, your father did that for you. But then there were coaches, people have teachers, mentors who come alongside, see the potential in us, breathe life into that potential. And then when we tell our stories, they are a permanent part of our stories because they saw in us what perhaps we couldn’t see in ourselves or perhaps what other people said wasn’t inside of us. So of course that then begs the question, and this is what we’re going to talk about and this is what the book’s about.

How do we not just recognize that, but how do we begin to unleash the greatness as you talk about in the people around us? That’s part of the goal. And then when Susie and I sit down and talk about reverb, we’re going to talk about a section of your book that we’re not going to have an opportunity to get to that talks about why leaders need to make that a priority and some super specifics. But what I would like for you to unpack, because this is such a paradigm shift, is part of the answer to that is you talk about these two different leadership styles in the book, command and control versus trust and inspire, and again, command and control that generally highlights the power, the influence, and the talent of the leader as opposed to the people around us. So talk a little bit about command and control versus trust and inspire, and obviously you’re an advocate of trust and inspire because that’s pretty much what this book is about. So if you don’t mind, just unpack that for us a little bit.

Stephen Covey (07:53):
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So kind of one of the premises of this book is that the world has changed, and yet our style of leadership has not, or at least it’s not kept pace. With this changing world, most leaders and organizations today are still operating out of a base style we might call command and control. There’s more traditional top down hierarchical type of thing. Now look, we’ve become a lot better at it, more advanced, more sophisticated. I call it enlightened command and control, a kinder, gentler version of it where we bring some people’s skills into it, the like. But our paradigm of how we view people and how we view leadership is still too much coming out of the old model, the industrial age model. And yet it’s not the world we’re operating in today with all the changes that have hit us, that technology, the pace of change, the amount of change, the type of change, disruption.

Now we’ve got generative ai. The implications of this are enormous, but also how work itself has changed. It’s far more collaborative, interdependent team-based. The workforce has changed where we have as many as five generations with completely different expectations, especially the younger generations, gen Z. And when don’t we engage in a different way entirely? And then the workplace has changed where suddenly remote work, hybrid work, and intentionally flexible work are options today in a way they weren’t just a few years ago. And then finally, there’s so much choice. We’ve gone from multiple choice to infinite choice where someone I can live here and work there. So people have choices and options in an unparalleled way today. So all these forces of change have put a premium on the need really to attract and retain talent when talent has so many options and choices, but also need to collaborate and innovate so we stay relevant in a changing disruptive world, the old way of leading command and control will not produce those outcomes.

You can’t really command and control your way to a high trust culture that inspires people. So we can be a talent magnet. You can’t command and control your way to the collaboration and innovation that’s needed today. We need a new way to lead in a new world of work. And I call it instead of command and control, I call it trust and inspire in contrast to command and control. And the idea is that it’s different, not in degree, but different in kind. So I could just give a couple of contrast. So command and control, I manage things and people and trust and inspire. I manage things, but I lead people. So I’m not against management. We need good management. We need great management of things, systems, structures of the strategy of the numbers of the business. We manage things, but we lead people because people don’t want to be managed, but people do want to be led command and control.

I can achieve compliance, a good thing, trust inspire. It elicits commitment, which is doing the right thing. It includes compliance, but so much more command and control. It’s I require trust and inspire. I inspire command and control as I tell trust and inspire. I show command and control. It’s boss, trust, inspire, it’s coach, command and control. I try to contain people control. I’m not sure what, I’ve got to keep ’em in line, trust, inspire and try to unleash and release people, their talent, their capabilities, because the life and the power is in the people, like it is in the seed. Finally, one last contrast, command and control. The focus is on motivation. So that’s external, extrinsic outside of us, and heavy carrot and stick motivation around rewards. Nothing wrong with that, we need that. But trust and inspire goes so much further. It’s about inspiration.

It’s internal, it’s intrinsic, it’s inside of people. We’re trying to light that fire within. We build upon rewards, but we go so much further into the whole person. And so it enables us to breathe life into relationships, teams and cultures, whereas command and control tends to suck the life out of. And so this is a far more relevant kind of leadership that’s needed today. And so that’s the sea change that needs to happen in order to be relevant in a new world of work. And so moving from command and control to trust and inspire is where I think leadership needs to go.

Andy Stanley (12:25):
And again, you unpack all of those concepts in so much great detail in the book. And the challenges, and address this if you want to, is I don’t think anybody that heard that excellent synopsis would go, oh, no, no, no, no, no. That’s terrible. Command and control is way better because anybody who’s been in the workforce for very long has worked probably or interface with somebody who has more command and control versus trusted inspire. So we know intuitively, and we even know experientially that what you’re saying is true and it’s better making the jump. And again, we all have a tendency to parent the way we were parented. We have a tendency to lead the way we’ve been led. We’ve have a tendency to manage the way we’ve been managed. We just slip into those habits because we all inherit a model either subconsciously or consciously.

So making the leap and not simply recognizing the differentiation, but embracing the tools and embracing the tactics and the strategy and the execution of this is far more complex because it’s more emotive, it’s more relationship, it’s more patience, it’s more mentor. It’s more all the things that honestly many of us in the workplace have not experienced. So again, and this is why you wrote an entire book about it, so duh. But one of the many practical sides of this in the book, if we can jump ahead a little bit, is you talk about what you call these three key stewardships. And for me, these were handles that I could almost put on a card somewhere and say, okay, Andy, are you really doing these things? Of course, I agree conceptually with the idea, but if there’s not something front and center, the natural tendency is to slip back into, Hey, I’m the boss, this is what we need to do. We set the objectives out there. You’re not hitting the numbers, you’re not meeting expectation. So talk a little bit about these three key stewardships. And I love the word stewardship because stewardship’s not a word we use a lot. A stewardship means I’m responsible. I’m not simply in charge of something, I’m responsible for something. So unpack those a little bit.

Stephen Covey (14:25):
Yeah, absolutely. In fact, in doing that, let me do this. Let me also just give affirmation to what you just said, that making that leap is harder than it seems because this all sounds like, yes, of course we need to make that shift, but we’ve all grown up in a command and control world. It’s everywhere. It’s in our systems and structures and processes. It’s what we’ve seen, it’s what we’re used to, it’s what we were mentored in and coached in. And the research shows that about nine out of 10 organizations today still are operating predominantly out of a command and control model. So we know we need to make the shift, but to know and not to do is not to know. So we’re still trapped in it. It’s our native tongue, if you will. And trust inspires like an acquired tongue that we’re trying to learn.

That’s where the stewardships come in because we try to name them and describe them, the kind of shift that needs to happen. Otherwise, to your point, we do naturally kind of revert back to our native tongue, especially on the pressure’s on quarterly earnings. And we got to get the job done. And it’s easy just to go back into what we know. Well command and control, it’s our native tongue. And so we got to make this shift. And the stewardships is a great way of thinking about the shift. So even like you said, the idea of stewardship, which is an essential responsibility, a stewardship is a job with a trust. And we often don’t use that word, but it’s better than to say that these are your charges, these are your domains and stuff that’s kind of command and control. Language stewardship is trust and inspire language.

This is a responsibility I have. And they’re simple. These three, they’re simple, but they’re not easy. So lemme just state them together and then I’ll look at each one. First we model second we trust, and third, we inspire. Modeling, trusting, inspiring. Modeling is who we are. Trusting is how we lead. Inspiring is connecting to why this matters. So as a leader, I have a responsibility to model the behavior I would like to see to go first. See someone needs to go first, leaders go first. So if I want more openness and transparency, I’m the first to model openness and transparency. I want more respect in the workplace. I’m the first to demonstrate respect in the workplace. And anywhere I go first, leaders go first. So modeling is really, it’s who we are. It’s our character, it’s our competence and our credibility, our trustworthiness, and we go first.

The leader goes first. And if we want more trust, I’m the first. And not only be trustworthy, I’m the first to give trust, to be trusting. That brings us to the second stewardship, which is trusting that as leaders, we have a stewardship to actually extend trust to those that we’re leading. That’s part of how we’re going to unleash the potential, the greatness that’s inside of them. Take that seed that in some cases might be dormant and try to see the potential, communicate the potential so they can come to see it in themselves, develop it, and then unleash it. And you do that through trusting people and extending trust, giving trust. And I find that sometimes the bigger gap in creating trust is often not that people aren’t trustworthy, although sometimes that’s the case, but it’s more often that we don’t give enough trust, extend it to people.

We’re not trusting enough that can get in the way of building trust. And so as leaders, we have a stewardship to find the appropriate way to extend trust to people. Now, I’m not asking you to blindly trust anyone and everyone, but in a smart way, but that’s how we’ll unleash that talent. We trust people and in the process of doing that, we’ll get better results. And the research is overwhelming, and this shows about three times better. But we also grow the people, then they can get better results in the future, and they’re happier, greater wellbeing, greater energy, greater joy. So it’s good for the business, it’s good for the people.

Andy Stanley (18:41):
And if I can just comment on that real quick, because what we experience, and I think people don’t make this connection, and the book is so helpful with this command and control, inadvertently it communicates, I don’t trust you. It does. I mean that’s what it communicates, right? And even the person who’s sort of in command and control mode, if you ask them, well, do you trust these people? They would say, absolutely. But that style of leadership actually communicates, I don’t trust you. That’s why I micromanage. That’s why I check up on you. That’s why I don’t simply tell you what I want you to do. I feel like I got to tell you how to do it. And leaders don’t mind being given an assignment, but we don’t want to be told how to do everything because what that feels like is you don’t really trust me.

And the reason I wanted to talk about this is because I just want our listeners to understand this shift that the command and control approach actually undermines trust. And every single person listening wants a culture that is saturated with trust because we know trust is the currency of relationship. And to have strong relationship, you have to have trust. Again, the model so many of us have seen and experienced, actually again, I’ve said it for the fifth time, undermines and communicates the very opposite. So the stewardship of trusting is essential, and command and control undermines all of that. So anyway, don’t want to stop the flow. Well,

Stephen Covey (20:08):
Actually let me just build on that first.

Andy Stanley (20:11):
Yeah, yeah,

Stephen Covey (20:11):
Andy, you nailed it. I mean, this is exactly it, and it’s inadvertent usually.

Andy Stanley (20:17):
Yeah, we don’t mean to. Yeah,

Stephen Covey (20:20):
Our intent is that we want to believe in our people to trust them, but how are we showing up from their perspective? And where we’re a commanded control leader, we’re showing up as I don’t trust you and it looks like micromanagement. You’re hovering over me, you’re checking in on me, you’re trying to tell me how you’re dictating methods. And you might say, you trust me, but your style and your actions communicate that I don’t. And command and control is fundamentally saying I need to kind of be in charge. And I can’t extend that trust abundantly to you, even though I might say that I do, especially because we want this trust to be smart. And the best way to create smart trust when we extend it is to build an agreement together around the trust being given that we have kind of expectations around here are the results that we’re after and some guidelines and resources to work within.

And then here’s a process for accountability against those results. And so we built an agreement together that empowers the person, that really extends trust to them, and so that they can kind of evaluate themselves and report back on how they’re doing. They judge themselves and report back to you on how they’re doing, not you hovering over and checking in on them. That’s micromanagement, which screams distrust. You don’t trust me at all. But instead, you build the agreement together. A command and control leader dictates the agreement. It’s all one way. Trust, inspire, leader builds it together with the other party. And when you build it together, there’s far more commitment to it. More buy-in and a greater probability they’ll do it more and even rise the case perform better and they’ll grow more. So you nailed it. We need to counteract the tendency that our style is getting in the way of our intent. We tell people we trust them, but our style communicates, we actually don’t. So trusting and becoming really good at this stewardship to be trusting of our people is vital. And we tend to overestimate how much we trust by about three times we think we’re trusting. But if you ask the people, they say, you’re actually not quite as trusting as you think you are. Three times. Wow.

Andy Stanley (22:29):
First is modeling, second is trusting. And then the third stewardship is inspiring,

Stephen Covey (22:34):
Inspiring, inspiring others is the greatest leadership need today. I’ll give you two illustrations of that. Here’s the first one from the standpoint of what it does for productivity. A study from Bain shows this that inspired employees are 125% more productive than merely satisfied employees. Now you might expect that, right? Because satisfaction is not a high bar, but listen to this. And they’re even 56% more productive than fully engaged employees.

Andy Stanley (23:08):
Say that one more time. Yeah, give those two stats one more time.

Stephen Covey (23:11):
Inspired employees are 125% more productive than merely satisfied employees, and they’re even 56% more productive than fully engaged employees. So there is something beyond engagement. Inspiration is the new engagement. Inspiration is the next frontier or the highest manifestation of engagement to have not just an engagement employee, but an inspired employee. So people will be more productive. But listen to this. So that’s good for the company, good for getting the job done, getting results, but it’s also good for the people. In a study done by Zenger Folkman, they looked at 16 leadership competencies that leaders can demonstrate, and they asked the people that reported to those leaders at every level. So this is starting at the bottom, moving to the supervisor of starting with VPs and the leadership that they get from their presidents. And they asked, what is the number one thing that you want to see from your leader?

And what came back of the 16 competencies as the number one thing that they wanted to see from their leader by far was a leader who inspires me more than any other. They said, this is the closest thing to a silver bullet in leadership is to inspire those about us. So people want this. They’re more productive when they have it, when they feel inspired, they want to be inspired, and they’re also happier. There’s greater energy, greater joy, greater wellbeing. So it’s good for the business, it’s good for the people, and it’s what people want. So that’s the idea that this is where leadership is going towards inspiration. It’s like Wayne Gretzky, the great hockey player. He was asked, what makes you so good at hockey? He said, I skate to where the puck is going to be. Not to where it’s be the puck and leadership is going towards inspiration, but then someone might say, well, I’m not charismatic, I can’t inspire. And I’m saying, no, no, no, no. Inspiration and charisma are not the same thing. Don’t conflate them. They’re different. Everyone can inspire. Inspiring others is a learnable skill. It’s not just for the charismatic. Andy, I don’t know about you, but I know for me, I know some people who are charismatic but who are not inspiring. I know others who no one would necessarily describe as charismatic, but who are extraordinarily inspiring because of who they are and how they lead, how

Andy Stanley (25:32):
And what they’ve done, how they

Stephen Covey (25:33):
Care, what they’ve done,

Andy Stanley (25:35):
How they’ve lived their life,

Stephen Covey (25:37):
The purpose. So the idea is that everyone can inspire. It’s a learnable skill for us. And it’s not only that it is a stewardship that we have as a leader of responsibility, we have to inspire those about us. So if that’s the case, how do we inspire? Well, when we model, we inspire people. So the first stewardship will inspire when we trust people that inspires them to be trusted is the most inspiring form of human motivation. So we’re already halfway there when we do the first two. Stewardships modeling and trusting will inspire people. Then also add to that connecting with people through a sense of caring and belonging that will inspire them, connecting with people, but also connecting people to purpose and demeaning and to contribution that will inspire

Andy Stanley (26:25):
Once again. And it’s obvious, but I just want to state it anyway. Anyone who’s listening who’s worked for a command and control boss or manager, there’s nothing inspiring about that. Again, once again, the leadership style itself undermines the human factor, the human productivity factor of inspiration. You really can’t be command and control and inspiring at the same time. And I love the distinction between being a charismatic personality and being inspiring because everybody listening, you can think of an introverted relative who has inspired you with their life. You can think of a half a dozen people who would never pick up a microphone and would never dream of stepping on a stage, but you know enough about their life and you’ve heard enough of their stories to be inspired. So I think this is an extremely important differentiation because again, I grew up in a generation like you did where the best known leaders and leaders of industry were, most of them were kind of big, charismatic personalities.

And you grow up thinking, well, if I don’t have that personality, nobody’s ever going to follow me. And nothing could be further from the truth. And to the point of your book, this generation is far less moved by the big personalities with the big mouths and the big stories. And in fact, this generation doesn’t even trust that those are red flags. That’s not something anybody wants to emulate or follow. So I don’t want us to get stuck there so much more now as we kind of wrap up the conversation, there’s headwinds with this. I mean, you and I sitting here talking about it, it just sounds so simple. Just everybody just go out there and be inspiring and model all this and be a great steward of the emotional and the physical potential of the people that work for you. But there are headwinds, and I’ve learned, and you do such a great job in the book with this, sometimes naming and framing the obstacles to something, simplifies it and gives me a target to work toward.

So in the book you talk about five things that leaders have to address personally if we’re going to embrace this approach, and I would love for you to unpack these and as you do. For me what was so helpful is as a boss, we have about 500 people in our organization. The temptation is obviously to blame people when things don’t go the way I think they should go. But I’ve learned over time, I first have to look in the mirror before I look out the window. I stole that from somebody. And so consequently, these five things that you talk about in the book, this is really the starting point. In other words, instead of trying to figure out, okay, I need to inspire all these people that work with me, if we don’t look in the mirror first, we’re never going to get past the obstacles of making the transition to this new leadership style. So do you mind just kind of listing them or talking about those as much time as you want to give those these five, you call these sort of generic universal roadblocks that again, this begins with the leader in the mirror

Stephen Covey (29:21):
Begins with the leader in the mirror. And so you can look at this and sounds good, but again, we’re trapped in the old model of command and control. It’s all around us. It’s our native tongue and we’re like fish who discover water lasts. We’re so immersed in it, we’re not even aware of it sometimes. But as people then try to make these leaps, here’s the common barriers, these five common barriers, the first one, this sounds like a good idea, Steven, but this won’t work here. This won’t work here. Not in our organization, not with my boss, not in our industry, not in our situation, not in our context. It sounds good for others, but not for me. So that’s the context-based barrier that can get in the way of this won’t work here. And it’s not to say that there aren’t factors that do affect it.

It might be harder in some situations in context, when you got to command and control boss, that doesn’t mean though you have to be command and control. It’s going to be harder. But you can model what a trust and inspire leader looks like to your people rather than perpetuating the command and control boss style that you’re getting. You can model a different way of leading. So first model, then mentor. So we take that barrier head on another second barrier, kind of the fear-based barrier. But I’ve tried this, but what if I tried this and it didn’t work, but what if I lose control? But what if I’m not as confident as you think I am, the imposter syndrome idea, but what if I don’t get the credit with this trust and inspire approach and what have you? And there’s all these kind of fear-based scenarios that can get in the way. And this is where again, you’re trying to almost reframe them and showing that, yeah, there’s a risk in doing this, but there’s also greater return, greater possibilities. There’s a risk to trust, but there’s a risk not to trust and not trusting might be the greater risk. So you’re trying to reframe it.

Andy Stanley (31:20):
Yes, not trusting is the greater risk because the only way to know who’s trustworthy is to trust them. And if you never trust, you never discover who the most trustworthy people are in the organization. So I think it is the greater risk, not distrust. Keep going. Sorry. Number three is,

Stephen Covey (31:36):
The third one is the skill-based, which is this, I like to do this, but I don’t know how to let go. I find this is a big one for a lot of servant leaders, people that say, I like servant leadership, I need to model. And they’re really good at modeling. They’re really good at even inspiring, but they have a hard time letting go and they don’t know how to let go. So the stewardship that gets in the way for them is the trusting one, and I don’t know how to let go. And that’s where we talk about the need to build this stewardship agreement together with each other so that you’re not losing control. You’re just shifting control from you having to hover over and micromanage to building an agreement where the control is put into the agreement that you built together, but the person feels empowered and you haven’t lost control.

It’s just shifted from you to the agreement and the person reporting back on their stewardship of the trust you’ve been given to them. So it’s a great way of helping equip them with the skills to more trusting in a smart way, a skill-based one. The fourth one then is kind of the ego barrier. And for some it shows up this way of I’m the smartest one, I’m the smartest one in the room, or I’m smarter than my people. They would never say that. But that’s sometimes what the people would describe what it’s like to work with this person, with this boss is that that boss has to be the smartest one in the room, can’t ever be wrong. And so I’ve never had anyone admit that they would say I’m the smartest one in the room, but sometimes inadvertently show up to our people that way.

And so that one is really trying to get people to adopt the paradigm that none of us is as smart as all of us, and that the life and the power is in the people. And to see that what we can do together is far greater than any person could do on their own. And then finally the fifth one is kind of the identity barrier, which especially for us older ones, it’s kind of, Hey, this is who I am. This is what brought me to the party. This is what got me to where I’m at today in my career. This is what I know. Not only this is what I know, but this is who I am. And I just make the point that you are not a program, you’re a programmer. Write a new program. We are not her style. So to paraphrase, Marshall Goldsmith, what got us here won’t get us there.

So maybe command and control worked in the past, but it’s not going to work in this new world of work. So we can rescript ourselves and we can develop a new style of leadership as we go forward, and that’s going to be more relevant for our time. And I’ve seen all kinds of leaders rescript themselves. I’ll just give one quick example. Ralph Stair, founder of Johnsonville Sausage, the sausage company, one of the top in the world. And he found that he was a servant leader, cared about people inspiring, but he didn’t trust. He had a hard time letting go and it was so much part of who he was, but he found that his people weren’t growing because he was making every decision in the company. And he realized he was the problem. He looked in the mirror to your point earlier, and he said, I’m the problem.

And he Re-Scripted himself, and he went really from a command and control manager to a trust inspired leader. And he now says, Hey, Johnsonville at Johnsonville for most companies, the people exist to grow the company. At Johnsonville, our company exists to grow. Our people literally has done a 180 and he’s become a trust inspired leader. All of us can rescript. We are not our style. We can choose and rescript ourselves. So those are the five barriers that get in the way. And I’ll just say this, Andy, perhaps the overarching barrier that gets in the way more than anything else, the biggest barrier to becoming a trusted and inspire leader is what you alluded to earlier, is that we think we already are one and we’ve already arrived. This is for everybody else. Of course, I’m trust and inspire and don’t really reflect enough upon. Maybe our intent is trust and inspire, but is our style getting in the way of our intent? How are we showing up to our people?

Andy Stanley (35:50):
And this is why a 360, regardless of where you are in your organization is really, really important because again, the more responsibility a person has in the organization, or in my case where I’m the person that reports to the board, nobody’s going to correct me. I mean, I have a few friends that I’ve known longer than we’ve had this organization that’s a little bit different, but most people don’t have that opportunity. So this is where an honest feedback loop and a short time between error and feedback is so important. I tell people all the time, the easiest person to deceive is the person in the mirror. You’re exactly right. We all think we’re kind of already doing this and we hope somebody enjoys this book. They really need to read it and we all need to read. And to just go back real quick to these five things that you just mentioned, one of the great self-assessments that leaders should take as they read this book is to ask the question, is my hangup number one, this won’t work here, which isn’t true, or is it the fear one, but what if?

Or I just don’t know how to let it go. I just find myself walking back in there and double checking and triple checking. Is it the ego thing? And it’s so hard to admit this, that I feel like I have to be the smartest person in the room. The ideas have to be my ideas that if I let anybody’s idea be better than my idea, I’m losing control. And in fact, in the reverb episode of this episode, Susie and I are going to really unpack the losing control thing because I think that’s such a big deal because this sounds like on the surface, oh, my new leadership style is I’m throwing my hands up. Everybody do what you want to do. I just trust everybody. That’s not what you’re advocating for at all. But the fear of losing control is it’s a big deal. And then the one you just camped out on for a minute, this is who I am, this is how I’ve done it, dance with the one that brung you. That’s not what God is here. Or as I used to hear one friend of mine say in his organization, that’s not who are, that’s not who we are. And I would think, yeah, but it’s who you need to be and you can rescript yourself. This is amazing. There’s so much more. But any closing thoughts? Or if you just wanted to make sure that our listeners took away one thing, what would it be? Steven?

Stephen Covey (38:00):
Yeah. Well, first of all, I’m really grateful, Andy, that you focused on these barriers. The last third of the book. And even as I’ve done other interviews or podcasts, people never get to the barriers. And it’s so important because this all sounds good, but making that leap and really getting good at this requires us to kind of look in that mirror, overcome these barriers. And so that’s why it literally was is one third of the book, is that important? And we often kind of skip it or don’t get to it. So I’m really thrilled that you did this because it can get in the way and help us do it. I would just say this, that I loved how you started our podcast today, Andy, by saying all of us can think of the person that believed in us. I would just come back to our listener and really pose that as a question.

Can you think of a person in your life who believed in you, maybe who believed in you more than you believed in yourself at the time, who had confidence in you, maybe more confidence than you had in yourself, someone who took a chance on you, maybe gave you an opportunity and you might’ve felt, Hey, I’m not ready for this. They said, no, you are ready. You can do this. And I got your back. Someone who took a chance on you, who believed in you, had confidence in you, someone who trusted and inspired you. And it could be anyone, it could be a boss, a coach, a mentor at work, but it also could be a family member or a parent, a grandparent, a aunt, uncle. It could be a friend, a neighbor, clergy, anyone but someone who trusted and inspired you. If you just reflect upon such a person, I’ll bet if you think hard enough, everyone can come up with at least one, some many.

As you reflect upon that, just think about what that kind of leadership did for you, how made you feel, how you began to see yourself differently because of how they saw you, how you rose the occasion, how you performed better. Did you need to be managed? Probably not because you were being led and that brought out the best in you. So each of us have probably experienced this kind of leadership somewhere and then reflect upon that. And then what I would invite you to do is to now pay this forward and ask this question, what if you could become this kind of a leader to those who you lead? And in particular, rather than trying to say, let’s do it with everyone, I would invite you identify one relationship where you would like to help transform that relationship. Who in your personal professional life do you feel would benefit greatly by being more trusted and inspired by you?

Because if you can do it with one, you can do it with another. So invite you, just like you identify someone who has been this kind of person for you and what that has done for you. Become that for another person. Start with just one. Wow. It will give you a vision and a model of what’s possible. And you’ll get the vision of if I can do it with one, I can do it with another and then another. It’s a great way forward. And we’ll begin to make an impact on those that we lead will become a trust inspired leader to one. And then we can do it with the many.

Andy Stanley (41:07):
Wow. Well, if we were in church, I would close in prayer right there. That was extremely powerful. That was amazing. Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have today. Stephen, thank you so much for the book. And again, thanks for joining us and for those of you listening, thanks for listening. And before we leave, as always, we only have one ask for our podcast listeners, and that would be for you to subscribe and by hitting follow on whatever app you listen to this on that helps us grow our audience, which of course helps us to keep improving and bringing in great guests like the one we had today and helps all of us go further faster. Also, make sure to visit Andy, the andy website where you can download the leadership podcast application guide that includes a summary of this discussion, plus some questions for reflection or group discussion for your team. And of course, join us next week for our reverb episode where Susie and I are going to dig even deeper into this topic, and we’re going to talk a little bit more about this whole control thing because this approach to leadership is not about losing control, it is about empowering people to move forward and to go further faster with what you are doing through your extraordinary company. So thanks for tuning in and we will see you next weekend on the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast.

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