Unleashing Leadership: Unlocking Greatness and Embracing Change

Smart

October 05, 2023 Travis Maus Season 2 Episode 34
Unleashing Leadership: Unlocking Greatness and Embracing Change
Smart
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What does it truly mean to be 'smart' in the realm of leadership? Does it boil down to mere intelligence or degrees? Let's debunk this common misconception together. In episode 34 of our podcast, we embark on a journey to dissect the essence of 'smartness' in leadership, which, as we argue, lies not in intellectual prowess but in social awareness. We explore how our words and actions ripple out, impacting those around us. Using our Good Karma Project and Ownership Groups as real-world examples, we stress the significance of this understanding, and how it can influence team dynamics and leadership.

As we delve deeper, the discussion takes a turn, shedding light on the potentially manipulative nature of smart individuals. Intelligence, if used dishonestly, can become a tool for personal gain at the expense of others. We highlight the impact of such manipulative behaviors, urging our listeners to be socially conscious and aware of their personal influence. By the end of this episode, we hope to provoke thought and hopefully inspire change in how you perceive and exercise 'smartness' in your own leadership style. So, tune in as we navigate together through the nuances of smart leadership.

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Speaker 1:

This is on leaching leadership, and I'm your host, travis Moss, and we are on episode 34. Which is the third of the three virtues. We did humble, we did hungry. Now we're going to do smart, and smart is not what you think it is. It's not about IQ, it's not your intelligence, it's not your degree.

Speaker 1:

Smart is about how you interact with the people around you. It's how socially aware you are. It's understanding your personal actions and how those impact people who are important to you or even not important to you Just anybody around you. The book describes as not being politically correct, rather about understanding your words and actions and how those provoke responses. I think it's a pretty deliberate set of action. I think being smart is about being very deliberate and understanding the power that you have to influence people around you.

Speaker 1:

We have in our business, as you see, we have a couple of things that we do, one of which is called the Good Karma Project, and the Good Karma Project is about doing nice things for people around you. So if you say, you know what, I don't want to participate in this project. That's not important to me. You're not very smart, because what we're really saying is it's important to do small things for people, sometimes big things, but it's the little things that add up. It's the little things in your life that you care about. You get a card in the mail from somebody. Makes your day. Somebody sends you a text message and says I'm thinking about you. It makes your day. Somebody brings you a coffee at the office. It makes your day Like it's the little things. So what you're saying is I'm not interested in the little things, I don't care about those. Well, that's not very smart. That's not how you let people in, that's not how you make your impressive impact. But you could say well, it's at odds with me, because I don't want to track the nice things that I do for people. I don't think that that's right either. Well, that's not what we're saying either. What we're saying is we want to track the nice things because we want to show every person that comes into our door. This is what's expected of you. Here's the bare bones minimum. If we were to look at the things that the people in our team do to impact the lives of those around them, it's not one a month, it's maybe one a day, and that's an example of what it means to be part of this team. You're using it to set an example to others as much as you are doing it because it's good for, let's say, yourself, it's to show everybody else this is what is expected. So being smart is being able to see that that's not about you, and by making it not about you, it actually becomes a benefit to you. It's amazing how that circular like that.

Speaker 1:

We have another program called Ownership Groups, and this is where a leader within the company or really anybody within the company assumes a leadership role by saying, hey, here's an issue that a lot of people are dealing with and I think I can solve it. So I'm going to pull these people together and over the next three months we're going to do a program that addresses the issue and hopefully we build some skills for people. That's being incredibly aware. What if you say well, I don't want to participate with that, I don't get anything extra for that, I've got it mastered already. If you're not aware of what people around you are struggling with and being challenged with, you can't really be an effective leader. Because you can't connect with them, you won't understand why they don't do what you want them to do or why they don't get things done on time Because you're arrogant, right, or you may not be arrogant, but the active, you literally do not care what's going on in their heads, you just care about whether or not they fix their problem. Not going to be a very good leader, you're going to really struggle in that role. So here are some of the ways that the book describes being smart or really not being smart. Just to pain, whether she knows or not.

Speaker 1:

They're talking about the female foreman at their hospital job, I think from the book, and she by all accounts in the book, and everybody thought so. She was humble, she was hungry, she just wasn't smart. Nobody liked her. She rubbed everybody the wrong way. She was always very gruff, just very, very frustrating to deal with In her situation. She was like that because she thought that's how you deal with problems, right, you just put your head down and work, and if people around you can't keep up, oh well, it doesn't matter, excuse me, they're there to do their job and you're there to make sure that they do their job Well. So everybody, nobody likes to work for it. They're basically immune. Nobody wants to work for this woman. But she's got these. She's very, very strong in the other categories. So management figures out that this.

Speaker 1:

You know, we talked about beliefs in team and teams, how the beliefs kind of walk in the door with you and it's really hard to change something you walked in the door with. It's really hard to change something you walked in the door with unless you really really do care. If you are humble, if you are truly humble, and somebody comes to you and says you are failing because you're not smart enough, you can get mad. You can say what do you mean? Not smart enough? And you can challenge that. And then they explain it well, and they say well, you're rubbing everybody the wrong way, you're frustrating people or you're not giving people the right type of feedback or whatever the issue is, and you say fair enough, that is something that I struggle with. Right, there is a magic point. That means that that's not a belief that you walked in the door with. That is ironclad. That means that that is something that you can actually change and improve upon. But only somebody who approaches it like that can change it. Somebody who thinks that they are the smartest person in the room or the best person in the room, when they really lack that humble quality, you're not gonna be able to change their smarts, whether they're not smart at all or whether they're so smart that they're using it in many a manipulative ways, which we're gonna get into. You can't fix that, but you can fix the person who's got the humbleness to say I really wanna be good at this and it really does matter to me and I am open to your feedback Socially conscious and environmentally aware, but treat people like crap.

Speaker 1:

This is another group. I actually point this out in the book. It was actually pretty surprising to me, and I deal with a lot of people investment-wise that are socially responsible. They really wanna put their money where their mouth is and they wanna invest in things that help the world and the way that they think that the world needs to be helped. And I also know some of those people to be very, very, very, let's say, aggressive towards people who don't see the world the way that they see it.

Speaker 1:

And the issue with that is that if you have a great dislike or a great lack of empathy or patience for people who do not see things exactly like you do, you can never bring them to the table to actually make a logical argument to them and hear them out, cause a lot of times, what people are doing when they don't agree with an idea for you is they're saying I don't have enough information to understand your idea. If you're really smart and you really got some stuff figured out and you're still banging your head up against somebody, the chances are they've got unanswered questions or they've got insecurities and in order to get them to buy in you've gotta conquer those. But you cannot solve problems without getting people to buy in right, without getting your team or your community to support you. If all you're going to do is go to war with people, that's probably not gonna solve your solution. That's gonna lead to even more catastrophe and more frustration and more anger and more vitriol and more spite and more split down the middle. So really, what we have to figure out is I see you there, I see you got a different idea than me. You wanna sit down and explain to me your idea and I'll listen to you. If you listen to me and maybe you can move them more over to your side, then at least after you hear them out, if they're being stumble, if they're not being humble right, if they're not hungry for improvement, then you can decide if they're a jerk or not.

Speaker 1:

Well, you gotta go through that process first. You can't just like label people and just like, okay, that's who they are, I'm done with them. That's not being smart at all. That's, that's, that's. Yeah. So people who are not regularly create, or people who are not smart, regularly create unnecessary problems. So let me say I think I slurred my way right through that one people who are not smart regularly create unnecessary problems.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so have you ever noticed that there's somebody in your family or somebody at your job that is always in the middle of all the shit? If there's a problem, that person's there, you think that's by coincidence or you think that's because they're a pot stirrer. So one of two things is happening there. They're either smart enough to manipulate people to cause trouble, or they're not smart at all and they just cause trouble. And that's back to our just the pain, whether she knows it or not. If you've got somebody in that situation, you've got to figure out is this somebody who came in? And they are just. They like the drama. If you like drama, you're probably not smart, and can we change that? And if you can't change that, you got to make changes. You know you got to make personnel changes, type of stuff.

Speaker 1:

But it's that person at the middle of all the problems is either not smart or manipulating smarts, and that gets us into talking about being too smart. It is possible to be too smart. Being smart the way the book describes it is about common sense, about people, but it doesn't make you good. Just being smart doesn't make you good, right? So it's not like a virtue, is like I'm smart, I'm a good person. Now, nope, it's what you do with it, right, it's a tool. How do you use this tool? Because being smart also means you have the power to manipulate others. A good example is politics. How many people think that their politicians are manipulative? Do as I say, not as I do. Right, they're always selling you something.

Speaker 1:

Smart people get into your head. I'm doing this right now. I'm getting into your head. I'm trying to tell you that there's a better way to approach your life, a better way to approach your work, a better way to approach your company. But I'm honest about it, I'm straight up. I'm telling you exactly what I'm trying to do. You can decide whether or not you wanna hear it. You can decide whether or not you wanna let it in. I'm being authentic. This is me, man, this is who I am. But what if I wasn't? What if I was just messing with you? What if I was just trying to get you to do stuff that benefited me and not you? But I did it in a way that was just messing with your head. I figured out how to play off your emotions and package some stuff. There are people out there doing this all the time. You go buy a car that's what they're doing to you. You go buy a time share that's what they're doing to you. They're messing with your head. If you're playing a part, you're not being authentic. If you're being yourself and you're saying this is what I got to offer, you're being authentic. I think that this means one of two things Somebody's smart because they figured out how to twist my perception to buy what they're selling, or they're done because they think they're smart enough to trick me and they aren't smart enough to know that I can see through it.

Speaker 1:

I think abusing smarts is like an illness. It's right up there with the F and silos. Back to the team of teams. Right, they use their smarts to people, use them to gain at the detriment of others. So if I gain from helping you improve your life. That's a good thing. You got better, I got better. If I gain by you losing something in your life or you having to take a step back, that's a manipulation. That's no good. Can't be doing that. That's about me, right? That's not about you. I can be hungry and be abusing my smarts, right? I'm hungry for the wrong things. I want more money, more fame, more attention, whatever your job, and so I use my smarts to start manipulating people around me.

Speaker 1:

The politics you know people like this. They play politics to try to get what they want. They don't work harder, they just try to mess around with everybody. So they threaten people, scare people, that kind of stuff. They want what they want. They're going to use whatever they can to get it. It's all about me, me, me, me, me, me. There's nothing team oriented there. It's not about how can I get the team to the next level, and if so, be it. It's my opportunity to get to the next stage. Then great, I've earned it.

Speaker 1:

Manipulating somebody is just a disgusting misuse of power. It's an incredibly selfish act and just destroys trust. Back to the whole belief thing. I've never been able to change somebody who does not see themselves as not the smartest person in the room, somebody who comes in and thinks that they are literally the smartest so that they can figure anything out, or, you know, all others are beneath them. There's nothing you can do with that person. If they believe and I've had somebody say this before I'm not me, but they were describing themselves as such a great wordsmith that is terrifying when you are proud of the way that you can use words to get people to do what you want them to do, unless you are extremely, extremely open and authentic about it, unless you come out and say this is exactly what I'm trying to get you to do now. Let me explain why. Then wordsmith away. You've warned them. But when you're trying to get people to do stuff that they don't know, that you're trying to get them to do, wow, why was that dangerous? And the reason why people do this? Because they have weaknesses.

Speaker 1:

There are people out there, believe it or not, that are just they got some shitty problems in their lives and because they got shitty problems in their lives and because they're weak people, they're going to get other people to rally to their cause to make them feel important. These are normally people who really lack humbleness, right. They want attention, they want to be at the center of the storm, they want to say that they did something. So they rally the troops it's us against them. We're fighting the man. Right, we're rallying. We're protesting against something. It's us against the machine. We are being oppressed. We need more, we need this, but really, at the end of the day, they're the ones benefiting the most. And so most of the time where you find major uprisings and stuff like that you know I'm not talking like you know countries and stuff like that, I'm talking more right now, business and in our workplaces and in our communities Most of the time the people at the middle are really they've got some very high level manipulative skills to get people to buy into their idea, to rally together around them, and then they walk out with all the benefits and the other people are kind of left holding the bag, you know, like almost as innocent bystanders.

Speaker 1:

It just happened to get wrapped up in it and you'll see that quite often You'll see people fighting a fight that doesn't even actually belong to them, but it's addressing one of their other needs. It's addressing something that that person feels like inadequate in, and so they're trying to use others to help them address an issue. So that's when somebody's like really abusing their smarts, basically. So as soon as you see something like this, as soon as you see people who abuse their smarts, who do not want to get better at smarts, so if somebody's abusing it and doesn't realize that you talked to them and say, oh my gosh, look what I did, I'd like to work on this. Possibly you might be able to help them. I say possibly, because they could still be manipulating by saying they want to work on it. They're good at saying what they need to say.

Speaker 1:

But let's say you have somebody who's not very smart, doesn't really fit the definition well, but they say you know what I'd really like to get better? Right, you could help them. But the rest of them, you got to cut them out. They're just like the silos. There's a fault line around them. A smart person who brings politics into your organization and manipulation into your organization, that's a snake in the tall grass. You can't see it, but eventually it's going to bite you. You are in deep trouble. You've got to cut it out. So pull this all together. Who do you want to work with every day? Personally, I want to be surrounded by people who understand the power of their personal impact. They understand that it's so important to be the example, to set the example, to improve. But I also want those people to make sure, like I never want to be around people who are using the people around them for their own gain. It makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me fighting mad. I want to be surrounded by the smart and authentic people.

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