#103- The Pitfalls of the Leader Who Protects Too Much 

Summary: This week we discuss how to stop doing everything ourselves and step up in the leadership role. In order to be the best leader, we have to provide responsibility to others, whether they’re ready or not, making them take control, learn hands-on, and step our of their comfort zones. 

John (Intro): 

I have been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good. After running companies small and large for the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito and I'm your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic: What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to Tomorrow’s Leader

John: 

All right, welcome to today's episode of Tomorrow's Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader related, related to leading yourself and leading others. I'm John Laurito, your host. And I've got some really disturbing news to share, I thought about whether I'd start this episode with this news, but I just looked at my fantasy football results and it is a disgrace. 

John: 

I am now one in 12. OK, one win and 12 losses in my fantasy football league. I am an embarrassment and I am beside myself because I don't even know what to do about it. I'm just I'm a competitive guy. I cannot stand to see that. And I feel like I'm just I'm beyond repair. I am beyond all hope. And it's bothering me. So this is me asking for some help from my audience. I need some kind of special program counseling tutelage on how to do better as a fantasy football manager. I mean, leadership this is what this is about is leadership. And I am failing my fantasy football team. I am leading them to failure. And it's my fault. I take responsibility. I take full ownership. I've made some horrible decisions, absolutely atrocious decisions. And I look back now and I wouldn't play for me. I would leave if I were on my fantasy football team. I would I'd stop playing football. 

John: 

I'd quit because I would rather retire early than be on my team, which is the Long Duk Dongers and one in twelve. I'm just I again, I'm not going to go on and on about it, but I am very, very disappointed. 

John: 

So again, I'm asking for help. If you're out there and you can help me become a better football fantasy football leader, then maybe I'll have you on the show. I'll interview you. I'd love to get your perspective. I'd love to get your help. I'd love you to share your wisdom and with the audience and maybe make them better fantasy football leaders. So, OK, on to

today's topic. So when I was working out and coming up in bodybuilding, way back when I was doing some heavy, heavy lifting, this has nothing to do with fantasy football, by the way, but doing some heavy, heavy lifting. I remember that one of the things that you would do and I would I was doing heavy squats, deadlifts, all kinds of stuff. One of the things you absolutely did, you don't have much gear and working out. You go to the gym where you get sneakers and you got your outfit and that's it pretty much. And there were some things, you know, you have straps for heavy lifting and stuff like that. 

John: 

But I remember the weight belt was essential. You had to have a weight belt. You would never go to a gym without a weight belt. And this thing was like a really thick it looked like boxing or wrestling like, you know, championship belt. Like it was thick, it was heavy. It was leather was you put it around your waist and tighten it up and you did your squats and you felt protected. You felt like this thing had, no pun intended, had your back. I mean, nothing was going to like, come loose. Nothing. I mean, the purpose of it was to hold your back together and give that added support. So you didn't put too much strain on your lower back muscles as you're squatting. And that, again, was just routine. You would never think of squatting or doing leg presses or deadlifts or anything like that. Anything heavy without your weight belt on? Never. 

John: 

Until. They started to do some studies and realize that the weight belt is not good, it's really not good because what it's doing is it's not allowing your muscles, especially your back, to strengthen in proportion with the rest of your body. And in reality, when you think you are protecting yourself with the weight belt, you're actually damaging yourself for the weight belt. You're actually doing worse things to your body contrary to what you may be thinking. And it was interesting when I heard that explanation, I heard the study. I'm like, yeah, that makes the total a lot of sense. There was another thing you would do. You'd wrap your legs, I mean, your knees, rather, with tape to give them added strength or, you know, superficial strength. Now I see that done with powerlifting and stuff like that. And the weight belt is still used with powerlifting, too. But if you're building up your body, that was a real big realization. I'm not lifting know squatting a thousand or fifteen hundred pounds, then you might need it. But I was squatting some big weight at my prime, but at that time I was doing more damage than I was good not knowing it. So here's what does this have to do with leadership? Well, here's what it has to do with leadership. 

John: 

I think a lot of times we actually think we're doing good. We are ultimately not because we are protecting someone and we're actually weakening them. We're trying to keep them out of the hardest part of the job or we're trying to keep them out of a discomfort zone or we're trying to keep them in their lanes, so to speak. And because of that, we're not thrusting them into these new experiences and we're not developing them. We're not allowing them to become well-rounded leaders. I know many leaders of organizations or regions or whatnot that are, they're so good that they're so bad, they're so good at their job that they feel the need to do everything because they're so good at it. Everything rolls to them. The best person is X, the best person alive, the best person. And it may actually be the case, but the

reason why is because they have not put that in the hands of other people. They haven't let other people develop. 

John: 

You have to, as a leader, realize the more and more you're doing. It's not that's not how you grow an organization. You've got to have people below you and around you doing more and more and more and helping to guide them and ultimately get them better and better and better. And that's how you really grow an organization in scale it. So it's interesting, you know, and I think back to a time where I had an advisor and I was and this happened to me, too. I was learning how to do seminars and get in front of a group of people and talk and, you know, do financial planning seminars. And it was tough. It was really tough to learn. And I remember going with my boss and he would teach me and I'd watch him, watch him, watch him. Well, there's only so much preparation you can do. There's only so much observing you can do. You know, I can't there's an old saying you can't learn to play. You have to play the tuba to learn how to play the tuba. I can't learn how to do something unless I get my hands on it and start doing it, which may be incredibly uncomfortable, but I can't sit on the sidelines and prepare. I've got to get in there and play the game to learn how to play the game right. 

John: 

So my boss did something to me. He's like, hey, you're going to do this presentation whether you want to or not, you're doing it. And it was the best thing in the world. I remember he had me teach a class on buy-sell agreements. And for those of you not in finance, you may not even have ever heard that buy-sell agreements, which to me I was a first-year, second-year advisor. I didn't know what that was. I had no idea. And I'm like, "Mike, I can't do I don't know what you're you tell me to teach this class, I, I don't even know if I could understand sitting through the class that you teach on this topic, let alone teach it to everybody else". He said, "Well, I'm going to have you teach it so you've got to be ready for it". And I'm like, all right, man, and I studied it and learned it inside and out because I didn't want to be in front of that class not know I was talking about, you know what? 

John: 

For the next week, I dove deep into buy-sell agreements. So guess what? I learned it and I taught it and I taught it pretty damn well. And to this day, I know buy-sell agreements pretty much inside and out, not from the years after that, but from all the stuff I did back in 1996, I think it was teaching that class crazy. Right. But my boss did a great thing. He pushed me 

outside of my comfort zone, you know. I did a guy, Rob Grikovich, which I think was his name. I think maybe I'm thinking of a different name. So if there's a Rob Grikovich that's a there was another one. I'm drawing a blank on his name, but Rob was one of my advisors. And I remember he was watching me do seminars. I did the same thing. I was going to do that seminar. He was going to introduce me. I said, Rob, guess what? You're going to do this one today. He had already seen me do it probably five or six times, if not more. He knew how to do it. It was a low risk. There was a small group of people, maybe five or six people in the audience. He was petrified. But you know what? He did it and he did it well. 

John:

And wow, it was an incredible confidence booster for him. Incredible. And I'm sure that his paid dividends to him great return on investment from stepping outside of his comfort zone that day, being pushed, not step in willingly. I thrust him out into out of his comfort zone. You know what? It was the best thing I could have done. And I will guarantee if you asked him now was one of the best growing moments of his whole career. He did something he didn't think he could do and he did it really well. So my message to you today is to realize think about that weight belt analogy. Yeah, we think we're doing something good by doing it ourselves, and yeah. Have them watch me and they're going to learn by watching me. Now, you got to get them into the action. Otherwise, those muscles are not going to develop and your organization is going to have these weaknesses that are only reliant on you. You're the only one that can do it and solve the problem. Well, that doesn't do any good. You're the only one that can make a decision on that. Everything's going to funnel through you that doesn't do any good. You're doing too much and not developing people. If you as the leader are doing everything, trust me, you're going to hit that ceiling a complexity. You're going to be maxed out in your capacity and you're not going to be developing great people. 

John: 

And guess what's going to happen? Those great people that you have that potentially are fantastic game-changing leaders, they're going to leave and they're going to do their fantastic game-changing leadership stuff somewhere else for someone else and lead a different organization to maybe be your competition. So you realize this. This is a wake-up call to leaders that are doing everything, you're trying. You think you're doing good. You think you're doing a good thing and you're damaging that organization. You're not allowing people to grow fast enough, push them out of their comfort zone, have them do a task that they're totally not prepared for, don't have these catastrophic risks tied to it, but give them something where there's it's meaningful and you'll see your best people will rise to the occasion. They will love it. They will love you for it, and they will look back on it as being one of their best growth moments. 

John: 

So I hope this was helpful for you today. Quick one, but hopefully a valuable one. Keep going. Keep leading. Keep stepping outside your comfort zone. Keep sharing, keep subscribing, keep commenting, keep giving me ideas on topics and guests, and all that kind of good stuff and go down below. Hit the five-star review, add some comments down there. Greatly appreciate your attention and your followership. So have a great one. Thanks. 

John (Closing): 

Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions, or inquiries, about having me at your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at john@lauritogroup.com Once again, that’s john@lauritogroup.com. Thanks! Lead on!

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