John: 

Introduction: Over the last two decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn what 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 over the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s 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: 

Alright, welcome to today's episode of Tomorrow’s Leader where we dive deep on all things leader related, related to leading yourself and leading other people. I am John Laurito, your host. 

I’ve gotten many questions recently about my book coming out. Very excited to talk about that and give you the details. If you don’t know, I have a book called Tomorrow's Leader. What else? Of course! Coming out in bookstores and also online coming out in the next couple of months. Very very excited about that. And the book itself is really... it's a lot of stories, it’s a lot of examples. I’ve read so many different leadership books in my whole career and I love reading them, but I’ve often times been left with that thought of at the end of reading a book, especially one around leadership that has great concepts, great ideas, but that I’m always kind of left with, “Okay, well...what do I do with this? Now what?” So this is different, you know, it’s a book that’s really broken down, not just concepts and stories and examples. But it’s broken down into action steps, so things you can do to better your life and those around you and lead your organization better. I’m really excited about it coming out. I think you’re going to love it! It’s full of a lot of the podcast type of style stories and things that I think really are memorable and help make a good point. I’ve always been a fan of books that have a lot of stories, so I put in a ton of them into this book. So, I think you will like it. I will keep you updated. If you want more info just DM me or shoot me an email, whatever, give me a call. I will put you on the list, make sure that you’re one of the first who get a copy of that. 

John: 

Alright. So I was out this weekend golfing, I haven’t...I’ve golfed a lot recently. I hadn’t in prior years. Now down in North Carolina and it’s beautiful out, I’m in shorts and tee shirts on weekends, or recently in, you know, almost December it’s been fantastic. So, this weekend I was out golfing and it was interesting because I am not a great golfer by any means. I would love to. I’ve got certain sports I think I’m very good at. Golf is one of these that, for whatever reason, I just have not cracked the code on. So, for those of you who are

out there and you’re scratch golfers, I’d love to, of course, get some tips from you. I’m always open to advice. But for me, it’s always been a hacker. I love getting out there every once in a while, and have a great game. I love to drive the ball because that’s one part of my game I can do well. I can drive the ball far. That’s exciting to me. And every so often, you know, I would get a hole, you know. Maybe get a par. That’s phenomenal, awesome! 

John: 

In any event, I was out playing this weekend with a buddy of mine and it was just the two of us, we got paired up with somebody who was a twenty-something year old kid who was a scratch golfer. For those who are not golfers, scratch means basically you hit par basically pretty much consistently. Which is not easy to do. So, you know, this guy just gets up and just stokes it right down the middle of the fareway. Obviously, he’s an elite player, and my buddy gets up, hits a nice drive, and for me my first hole when I get out there, it’s a shitshow to be honest. But usually, I’ve no idea what’s going to happen. I’ve no idea where the ball’s going to go. Every so often I start out okay, but I don’t remember the last time where I’ve not gotten at least a double bogey on the first hole, if not a triple bogey. So I’m out there and I get up, stand up to tee, try to get myself, you know, okay just think about a nice smooth swing. You know, try to crush it. Blah, blah, blah. And of course, you know, I get the adrenaline going and I’m like, alright well, let me try to have a nice smooth swing and try to crush it at the same time. Well, whatever happened, something happened right, and I just cracked it down the middle of the fareway. Awesome drive, like wow! I surprised myself. Two guys I was with were like, “Hey, great drive man!” So okay, I’m off to a good start here. Uh, my approach shot, get up there, I’m up on the green at some point and I uh, you know I putt, it’s probably a 15 foot putt, and now this is for bogey, you know, not par. But listen, I’m not, I’d be ecstatic with a bogey on the first hole. 15 foot putt is not an easy putt. Fifteen foot that’s breaking right to left, I end up hitting it and sinking the putt. I got bogey on my first hole. I’m like alright this is not too bad, this is really a pretty damn good start and I’m not a great putter so that’s a really good start for putting. 

John: 

So we get to the second hole. Again, I get up and just crack it down the middle of the fareway and I’m thinking at this point, “What is going on? That's...wow!” These guys are like, “Wow, great, great drive!” My approach shot, I hit it like, I don’t know, I think it was 175 or 185 yards out, and I hit it onto the green. Accomplishment for me, big time. So now, I am about 30 maybe 35 feet away, uhm, from the hole. So it’s a putt but it is a long putt. My buddy is like, “Dude, you’ve got a lot of yardage there in front of you”, kind of joking around about the distance of my putt. And, you know, I get up to the putt and I look at it and I line it up, I’m like you know, it’s kind of a right to left maybe, you know, a foot break over the 30-35 feet. I give it a nice backswing, a nice smooth forward swing, the putt starts on line pretty much where I wanted to hit it and it’s rolling and getting closer and sure enough it starts to curl left and go and getting closer and these guys are like, “What the?” and it drops in for a birdie! I get a birdie on my second hole, this was a parr four and I get a birdie on my second hole? I’m not expecting a birdie at all on this day. I’d be happy with a parr, maybe two parrs would be fantastic. Here I am at second hole, I have birdie and I got a bogie on the first one.

John: 

So it hits me, these guys are like, “Wow!” The other guy that I’ve never golfed with before, was assuming that was my level of play. Now, I know that’s not the golfer that I am. This is not characteristic, and I even say it to these guys. I’m almost embarrassed at my great play, it’s really weird. I’m...I’m like, ”Guys I don’t know what’s happening. This is not me, trust me. This is not who I am as a golfer.” Here I am sitting parr at the end of the first two holes. That’s unbelievable! I literally don’t think I’ve ever been in that situation before. So, bottom line is, my mind starts going through this game and I’m thinking to myself “Uh, okay. This is not me. The real me is about to come out, and going to be a disaster because I’m not a guy who is parr, you know, a par golfer. ” And all of a sudden my mind just goes in this weird direction and I’m like, okay well, you know, this is where things start to unravel, as I step up to the third hole. I start...and I’m literally saying to myself, I think I said that online, “Hey guys” out loud “Hey guys. This is about, you know, this is about to become a shitshow”. And sure enough, third hole, I think I got a seven. And the fourth hole I got a seven. And I proceeded at that point to become, not only the golfer I’m used to, but even a worse version of the golfer I’ve ever been. And it all was because this stupid, like, you know, mental, almost panic attack that I had because I was golfing so well, and I should be excited! But here I was, like, talking myself out of this new level of performance that I don’t know, maybe, maybe this could be my breakthrough. Maybe I was meant to actually be a, you know, a six or seven handicap that day, and here I am going back to my normal 20+ handicap. I don’t know. But whatever happened, it started with what I was saying to myself in my head. 

John: 

I wanted to bring this up because this is a great leadership lesson. This is something about...that is called our “Internal Thermostat”. And everybody has this internal thermostat. Now, that’s kind of an easy way of describing it. It’s really, in our bodies, called the psycho cybernetic mechanism. Which is, you know, a really confusing term, but all it means is that it’s our body's way of regulating our body and our mind, keep it in a constant state of comfort. That’s literally it. So our body and our mind are at all times trying to keep ourselves in a constant state of comfort. This means, discomfort comes when we do better or worse, or exceed or fall short of what our norm is or what our expectations are. You know, I’ll give you an example. Where it’s holiday time right now. You know, we’ve all probably eaten a lot, drank a lot, whatever, and gained some weight, you know. And sometimes you gain enough so that it’s all of a sudden so that it’s like, “Okay, it’s not…” if you suddenly gain 10 or 15 pounds, you’re thinking, “Okay, this is not my normal self.” and you go into a set of behaviors that changes that like, “Hey, let me bring it back to what my norm is”. It’s just like an internal thermostat or a thermostat in your house or your office. You set it at 70 degrees, if it gets too cold and it goes down to 69, or 68, or 67, what happens? Well, the heat comes on and ultimately brings it up, right? Back to that stabilizing internal thermostat of 70. If it gets too hot, the heat goes off and brings it down to 70, so you’re constantly setting it at 70. Well guess what? You have the same thing. You have an internal thermostat. For me, that day on the golf course, my internal thermostat was saying, “Okay, this...you are like...you know, it’s 80 degrees in this room that’s set for 70, I’m going to start bringing this down. I’m going to bring it to the norm, okay? You’re shooting par? No. That’s not where you belong. You are supposed to be at like, you know, two over par every hole, double bogie. That’s the golf that you’re used to playing. Let me bring that back”. That’s literally what my

mind and my body, and my mind was making that happen. That’s exactly what I was saying to myself. 

John: 

So what I think about, and this great book actually talking about golf, called Miracle on 17th Green by James Patterson, who’s one of my favorite writers, and it talks about this guy who had a breakthrough, literally, playing golf one day. I think he was in his 50’s or something or late 40’s, and at that point in life he just one day went out and started hitting the ball totally different. And he, like me, was hitting way better than he was, but he kept it going and he now hit a new breakthrough. He really...that was now his new norm and he went on to the PGA tour and all this kind of stuff. It’s a cool story. So I think about, okay, what is this to do with leadership? Leadership, again, leading myself and leading other people, is all about how you adjust that internal thermostat, or the thermostat for your organization. What’s expected? What’s the norm? And the first thing we have to realize, I’m going to be covering in one of the upcoming episodes, the concept of breakthroughs and how you actually trigger a breakthrough. So stay tuned for that. 

John: 

But, breakthroughs are really about establishing a new set of norms, right? And what that first has to, and I think back to this golf game, what would I have done different? And sports teams do this all the time, by the way. You’ve seen sports teams that are historically not good and they get on a winning streak and they ultimately fall back to their norm. They might go on a six game, seven game winning streak and all of a sudden they’re like “Wow, we’re not supposed to be here, this is not who we are”. You can almost hear the talk in the locker room or in the players minds, and all of a sudden they come back to where they were. Now some teams manage to truly break through. And they identify themselves by that new set of behaviors and results that they're getting and that's the new them. That old person, that old team doesn’t exist anymore. This is the new team. So the question in my mind has always been, “Okay how do some teams and leaders or people figure out or athletes figure out how to do that and others don't?” And there’s a few things I’ve figured out talking to people and observing people, reading, all kinds of stuff. 

John: 

One of the first things you have to do is you’ve got to be self-aware. You’ve got to be aware of what’s happening in that moment. Now if I’d gone back to that golf game, and granted this was a fun game on a holiday weekend, you know, there wasn’t much at stake, but at the same point, had I gone back and done this over again, what I needed to do was be super aware of what was happening. What was I saying to myself in my mind? What was actually...what was I saying not only in my mind but to the guys I was golfing with? “Hey, you know, the wheels are gonna come off now. You’re gonna see the real me, it’s gonna come.” I was joking about it, I was having fun, but ultimately, listen, that is the stuff that we say to ourselves. We may not say it outloud, but we say it in our mind. “Wait a sec, I’m not supposed to be performing this well at work. This is not my norm. I’m not supposed to be getting this level of sales activity. I’m not supposed to be setting this amount of appointments, that was a great week. That was kind of, you know, a rare circumstance. I’m

not supposed to be leading that size of an organization. Our organization is not supposed to be that big.” That’s kind of you know, and again, now that internal thermostat is bringing me down to where I’m used to, to what I’m comfortable with. So, we actually have to manually override this. Because if you can’t figure out how to manually override it, that will take over whether you realize it or not, and you’re back to where you started from. You’re back to your old self. That’s where people see glimpses of perfection, glimpses of stardom, glimpses of this ultra-high level of performance and then they’re back to their old ways. It’s because they haven’t figured out how to master this internal thermostat. The first step is to be aware, you have to be aware of what’s happening, okay? Great. I’ve got my performance at a different level. What am I saying to myself? Am I saying these negative things that are now bringing me back to my old, and if that’s the case, I’ve got to break that thought pattern. 

John: 

Step number two: I’ve got to interrupt that pattern. I’ve literally, I’ve got to snap myself out of it. Tony Robbins, I’m a big fan of his, talks about this just being some kind of, whatever you’ve got to do, you’ve just got to blow yourself out of that moment, take yourself out of that moment. Break your thought pattern, start a conversation with somebody, you know, yell, do whatever you’re gonna do. Just get out of that situation where you’re leading yourself mentally down that path, okay? You’ve got to break that though pattern, and then reframe your thinking. For me, instead of saying and joking with these guys, and saying, in my mind saying, “Hey, okay, here we go. We’re about to witness a disaster”. Instead, you know, maybe I reframe my thinking and say, “You know what? I’ve got it in me. Today’s my day! This is going to be a different day than I’ve had before.” It could be anything. Now, am I going to finish that round hitting parr? Probably not. But instead of hitting what I think was 105 disaster, maybe it would have been a 95. Maybe it would have been a 90. I don’t know, maybe it would have been somewhere in there. And that would have been a really good game, and that would have fueled my next game coming out, right? So that’s the key thing I think about. It’s about momentum and making progress, you know, and if I can get control of my thoughts, that’s going to enable me to manually adjust that internal thermostat. Now instead of being a 20+ handicap, hey maybe now I’m a 15. Maybe I’m a 12. Maybe I’m a 10. Maybe this really is me and that old guy back there is a thing of the past, okay? 

John: 

So that’s where it starts. And this is...this is fun, you can actually play around with this and just start to think about yourself. You can apply this to anything. Your physical state, you know, what’s your...your physical...uh..what are you used to, what’s your internal thermostat set at, what you’re willing to tolerate or what your norm is for your weight. You can do this for your financial, how much, you know, what your income is, what your wealth is. There are many people that, ultimately, would never almost mentally allow themselves to achieve a higher level of success because their internal thermostat is just set so low. They hope for it, they dream about it, but ultimately if they start to get a glimpse of it, their norm brings them back to their old way of doing things and old way of thinking, okay? I’ve got another episode planned where I’m going to talk about how you really truly open up your mind and think differently, and lead you to take different risks and paths and breakthroughs and all kinds of stuff. That’s a whole separate episode coming up. Actually the 100th episode

is coming up. This is number 98, coming close. So that hundredth one I’m going to go through a cool story for you. 

John: 

But, here’s the other way you can do this. What the other way, if you’re wondering, of how can I adjust my internal thermostat. Here’s the other way you can do it. I can hang around and surround myself with other people that have theirs adjusted at a higher level. If I’m golfing consistently with people who are my level or worse, I’m probably not going to adjust my thermostat. If I’m golfing with people that are better than me, they don’t have to be dramatically better than me, but better than me, their thermostat is set differently, right? So now mine is going to adjust. If mine is set at a 70 and theirs is set at 80, then mine is going to go up naturally. So if I’m hanging around people more successful than me, or more experienced than me, or running a business than I am, or more successful than I am, or smarter than I am, whatever area of life I am trying to improve, chances are I’m going to get better as a result of hanging out with these people. Partially because what they are doing and I’m seeing and what I’m experiencing, that rubs off on me, but also just their whole way of thinking. That’s that internal thermostat, alright? 

So, number one: be aware. Number two: break that thought pattern. When you have that thought of, “Okay, let me get back to my normal average self.”And third is to reframe that thinking. Talk to yourself differently, okay? “Hey, you know what, this is what I’m expecting to do. This is my norm. That old person is not the same. This is what I’m expected to do”. 

And then the fourth thing is to surround yourself with people that have a higher internal thermostat. It’s not overly complicated, it really is not. That in and of itself makes more of a difference than you would ever, ever imagine. 

John: 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. This is one I’m obviously really passionate about. So this was, I hope, timely especially as we’re coming to the end of the year and we’re starting about thinking about our New Year’s resolutions or our 2021 plans, got holiday time so got a lot of good time to work on the business not just in it. And as always, I appreciate your comments, your feedback, your likes, your shares, all that kind of good stuff. And go down below, hit the review button. Five stars, please, and let me know what you think. And again, in a couple of months stay tuned. I’ve got my book Tomorrow’s Leader coming out, very excited about that. DM me, let me know if you’re interested in being on the list for that. I will keep you updated on it and look forward to talking to you next time. Thanks everybody. 

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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