Summary: Join us on this week’s episode as we talk about setting the correct expectations in your personal and professional life. We discuss the professional way to handle situations that arise due to miscommunication and ways that will make you a better leader. 

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 onstages 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 related to leading yourself and leading other people. I am John Laurito, your host. Welcome to episode number 102. We're just crankin'. Love it. So we are sitting in the middle of holiday time. I hope some of you or all of you have gotten more shopping done than I have. 

John: 

We get another two and a half weeks and I got a lot to do. So one of the things is that I was recently in a golf store with my son, so my son Nick has started to play golf recently and get into it, which he's done phenomenally well. And we're down in North Carolina where we can play golf probably 10, maybe even 11, 12 months a year. So we're taking advantage of that. So I got him out early this year. We started playing and to my pure enjoyment and a little bit of surprise, he loves it because when I started playing, I hated it. And he actually did hate it for a period of time. And then he started to do really well, like really, really well. Quickly to the point where it was like, wow, this is almost strange. Now we're playing on a par three course. So we were working on the short game, but wow, he picked it up really, really, really fast and was getting, you know, three pars every nine holes. I mean, that kind of level of play, which was really, really cool. So in any event, I had gotten him this little starter set of clubs like this hundred dollar set when he was a kid. He's outgrown those. So as part of his Christmas present, I am going to get him new clubs. 

John: 

So we kind of went out looking for the whole, you know, going through the whole process of searching for new clubs. I don't know that much about clubs other than doing some research. So we went to a Dick's Sporting Goods and talked to the guy there swinging some clubs around. They have a little section where you can actually hit some balls and kind of get a feel for it. And we kind of started to narrow it down between these TaylorMade M

sixes and M twos and Callaway Roeg. So for those of you out there that are really into golf, you can DM and give me some advice on what you'd recommend. So he started to gravitate toward, you know, a couple of them, narrowing them down. And I decided to take them to a store called Golf Galaxy, which used to be Golf Smith for those of you who know Golf Smith, I don't know if that's around much beyond just a few operations here and there. But Golf Galaxy is now pretty much all over the place and they are owned by Dick's Sporting Goods. So we decided, OK, let's take the trip about a half an hour away to go to Golf Galaxy. Really spend some time. 

John: 

We actually went there on a Saturday. It was packed. I mean, absolutely mobbed. So they had to schedule an appointment to come back. I said, listen, you know, my son, we'd like to just get your opinion on what clubs and we're going to buy him a new set. Maybe he can swing some around, kind of like he did at Dick's Sporting Goods. And they said, sure, no problem. You know, schedule an appointment. We schedule it for, you know, some point during the week and we go back there for the appointment and a guy, you know, gets us set up and they weren't expecting us. So they have to kind of scramble and look for somebody to help us, even though the store was pretty much empty at this point. And some guy ends up helping us who doesn't really know that much about golf. So I'm a little disappointed right from the start. I'm like, "OK, I really want somebody who's going to be an expert who can walk us through the differences between the clubs and, you know, look at next swing and figure out what type of club is going to be best for him." So needless to say, this guy that's helping us, nice enough guy, gets us into the stall area where you're swinging clubs and you're hitting balls against a mat against the wall. There's cameras that are analyzing the swing path, the speed, the rotation of the ball, projecting where the ball is going to go. It's pretty cool. And you can see how you're hitting it basically with these clubs. And that allows you to figure out, OK, well, clubs are most comfortable. What's not? Well, we were there to buy irons primarily, not drivers yet. So the guy starts us off. He says, "Listen, I want you to hit a driver first," and Nick's excited. All right, cool. 

John: 

So we spent probably the first twenty minutes or so swinging drivers. And then I'm like, you know, let's why don't we swing irons? Because that's really what we're trying to figure out and pick. Nick grabs the irons. The guy goes through maybe three different sets, you know, those TaylorMade, the Calloway's, and another one, maybe four. And know he's looking. He's given us some feedback and we really didn't get much progress. I can't say at the end of that period of time, we figured out and knew exactly what clubs we wanted. I mean, I think Nick kind of had a better feel. So it wasn't the most productive time. We get to the end. We've got to go, I got to go pick up my daughter. So I say, "OK, listen, you know what? What's the time frame? If we were going to order clubs to start asking them all that kind of stuff," and he said, "Well, here's the process." He said, "you know, your fee for today if you buy the clubs, that's going to be waived or that's going to be credited back toward the purchase of the clubs." I'm like, "Wait, what do you mean what fee for today?" He said, "Well, the 80 dollar fee for today." And I said, "What $80 fee are you talking about for today?" He said, "To do what we just did and, you know, have you swing the clubs and take a look and try out different versions. I'm like, "What? What are you talking about?" Why

would there be a fee to swing the clubs? I mean, we're looking at figuring out which ones we're going to buy. And he said, "That's how we work. Yeah. You have a fee. You pay the $80 dollars. It was actually $30 for swinging the driver and $50 for swinging the irons. I'm like, "What? Are you kidding me?" 

John: 

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life. I said, "We came in to try to make a buying decision, and in doing that, I wanted to test out a few clubs. So you're telling me this tryout and swinging these clubs, there's a charge for it?" And he said, "Yeah, but if you buy clubs..." I said, "I heard that. But that's ridiculous to charge us for this. This is part of the sale process, part of the process to get us to buy clubs to figure out what is the best club for us. That we just did this at Dick's Sporting Goods, which, by the way, is owned by you guys, there weren't' any charges for it. Why are you charging for it?" He said, "Well, that's just the way we work. You've got to pay." I said, "Listen, I'm not paying for that. I had no idea. Nobody told me that this was part of your process. To be honest with you, I wouldn't have done that because we didn't do it at all at Dick's Sporting Goods. We didn't. We weren't charged for it. So why would we pay a fee?" So the guy calls over the manager and this kid, prior to calling up the manager, was just kind of shrugging his shoulders. He's like, "That's how we do it. I'm sorry. That's our process." Again, dumb decision, dumb decision, dumb step in the process. Had this ultimately rested in the hands with this kid, this guy who was helping us, we would have left there with a really bad impression of Golf Galaxy. 

John: 

Now, fortunately, the manager that came over was very reasonable and a great, I think a great leader, a great business manager, because he made the right decision. I said, "Listen, you know, I don't understand why you have this in your process. That's your decision. But it was never communicated to me. It was never explained that there would be a fee for this. If it was, I might have not done it. And in reality, you've got competitors, you've got your own company. That's your parent company. That's not doing that. I just don't understand it. But the fact of the matter is, I came here today with my son to pick out and select clubs. This is basically like charging us to test drive a car when we're looking to buy a car." I mean, truly, that's the analogy like why would I pay to test drive a car? That's part of the process for me, selecting a car, the same thing for swinging clubs to determine am I going to buy this several hundred dollars set of clubs or a thousand dollars set of clubs? It's a pretty big deal. So to figure that out, I get to swing the clubs and find out what's right. Anyway, I had a good conversation with the guy. The guy makes the right decision. He says, "Don't worry about it today. You're right. We didn't tell you about it, and that's fine. We certainly hope you come and get the clubs from us." Which, you know what? I left there feeling good. I started off not feeling good. 

John: 

I left there feeling good because the leader made the right decision. And ultimately and I said to him, I said, listen, "We will. We'll buy the clubs from you. I appreciate how you're handling this. We will come back and buy the clubs." And here I am on a podcast saying positive things ultimately because they resolved it the right way about Golf Galaxy. But I see leaders and people in business and salespeople that ultimately make dumb

decisions all the time. That would have been a dumb decision to let me leave maybe, you know, really force the issue and charge somebody, because what happens is you end up winning the battle and you lose the war. OK, yeah. You know, I mean, I wasn't going to pay, but could they have pushed me to a point or somebody else to say, hey, listen, this was our policy, you know? Yeah, maybe they do, but then they leave. They have that person leave with a bad impression. And ultimately, you know what? They're not going to buy the golf clubs from you. 

John: 

They're going to go somewhere else because they're pissed off enough or they're, you know, frustrated enough and they just don't feel like that's good service. Bottom line is, had that been disclosed upfront, most of the time, all problems are off the table. I find that leaders, the best leaders that I know are super clear with expectations and disclosing costs and everything that's going to be involved upfront. Be direct about it. I see a lot of businesses. I get emails all the time from people, I don't even know who they are, but they're selling something. I don't know what they do. I don't know what they're selling, but they're just filling my inbox with stuff. So why would you do that? Why not just at least be direct? "Hey, here's what I do, and here's what I'm looking to do. Here's what the cost of my services are." Just be open and direct. I think people leave with a bad taste when that doesn't happen. I had another friend of mine tell me a story about a consultant that their company had hired, and this was a consultant that was working with them for maybe, I don't know, a year or something like that. It was a pretty big deal. It was a big contract. It was maybe a hundred and fifty thousand dollars or so for a year. And at the end of that year was coming up to renew, to determine or not determine, OK, whether they're going to keep the consultant or not. And the consultant, I think, in the eleventh month was bringing up the fact that one of the final things that they were going to do, there was an extra fee for it. It was something the company needed this consultant to do. And they were like, "I don't get it. We hired you for this period of time and we paid the fee. Why would there be the additional fee?" And the bottom line is this person stuck to their guns and said, "No, you know, this is an extra add on service," and it was a few thousand dollars. 

John: 

It wasn't crazy money for him relative to the size of the contract and what was at stake, which was the decision as to whether or not this company was going to hire him for a year two. And ultimately, yeah, you know, the company ended up begrudgingly paying it, even though it wasn't clear, it wasn't outlined up front. It was debatable as to whether it was even in the contract at all. In fact, my friend said that it really wasn't, it wasn't outlined there.And ultimately they paid it. But, yeah, that consultant won that battle. But guess what? He didn't end up getting hired back. So he, in essence, lost the war. Why would you do that? 

John: 

You know, that doesn't make sense. And again, I see leaders do things like that all the time. I see people, I see leaders that may recruit people to their company and not really be totally up front with what's required of that role or what the expectations are or how the compensation works. And ultimately, yeah, you got him in the door, but now you got somebody who's not singing your praises, not really feeling good and not willing now to put

in 100 percent and also really not trusting you. So you've now damaged that relationship and it could have easily been prevented just by being totally upfront, transparent and clear right from the beginning. So I see a lot of times people are so focused on the short term objective. Let me hire this person. Let me get them on board. Let me make this sale. Let me work with this client, whatever. And they lose sight of the long term vision, which is to build a long term successful organization to hire and develop and promote top talent, to retain those people, to have those people develop more people, to get long term clients and long term relationships and build your brand image. I mean, those are all part of the long term things that you're trying to do. And I see some people end up shooting themselves in the foot because they make bad decisions, trying so hard to get that short term objective met, that they sacrifice the long term. I see it all the time. So in any event, I want to get on and share a quick story with, I think, a positive ending. Again, props to that business leader. I don't know his name. Otherwise, I give him props. But a Golf Galaxy that made the right decision because, yes, we will come back and we will buy Nick's clubs there only because you made the right decision. Otherwise, we'd be going somewhere else. 

John: 

So hope this helps you again. Take this stuff, do something with it. Think about your own life, your own world, your own business, your own leadership, things that you might be doing and sometimes say, "Hey, yeah, you know what? I'm pushing hard for that short term victory and I'm compromising the long term one. And that's not the way I want to want to 

work." So in any event, keep up doing what you're doing. I'll keep doing what I'm doing. You keep doing what you're doing. And that's to share this, like it. Subscribe, comment feedback, go down below, hit the review button, give five stars. All that kind of stuff means a lot to me. I 

really appreciate it. Again, we're on episode number 102, cranking them away. Believe me, we'll be at 200 before you know it. So, in any event, you have a great day. Thanks for joining today. Take care. 

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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