Ep 256- Positioning Your Leadership

As your business grows, it’s easy to lose sight of intention in certain areas of your business.  Leadership is one of those areas. Just because you started a business, doesn’t mean that your role as a leader is completely understood by your team. In the same token, just because you promoted another person to leadership in your company doesn’t mean that others will follow them.

Total Experience Design done right is about position leadership with intention because leadership drives, or derails, the experience.  Great leadership happens when supreme clarity is present.

This week’s podcast outlines six steps to getting positioning right in your business.  These are all simple things that you can do immediately.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the player above or by subscribing in iTunes.  If you enjoy the show, please rate it on iTunes and share it on social media.

Until next time!

Want to read the episode? Here’s the Transcript:


Speaker 1: Hey everybody. This is Brandon Allen from the New Work Revolution podcast. You’re on new work revolution.com I don’t want to get the faint. I don’t want you to pass out. This is back to back episodes two weeks in a row. It’s like the old days. You know what I’m saying I want you guys to get nostalgic and

Speaker 2: get excited for back to back podcast. So I want to talk today about leadership. I know that’s shocking because we talk about growing businesses through growing leaders. That’s what we do at New Work Revolution. So to talk about leadership, probably not shocking, but I want to talk about positioning today specifically, and I run into a lot of situations where we don’t, as leaders either position ourselves well in a leadership role or we don’t position others that we want to entrust in leadership to get the relationship of leadership off to a good start. And it’s easy to allow a role that we have. Whether that be our own leadership or someone else’s leadership to kind of evolve into the business. But if you know our process of total experience design, total experience design is all about how do we create a business by design versus one by default.

Speaker 2: And we want to be conscious creators of every experience that exists within our business. And the way we position leadership is a part of that experience. Because again, we can have an experience unfold, but likely it will be an experience that we don’t necessarily enjoy and isn’t as powerful as it could be if we were more intentional about how we positioned that particular process. And so what I don’t want to do as a leaders, I don’t want to put either myself because as, as a, as a business grows, as my position changes, how I lead is going to be different. And I see this all the time, particularly with professional business owners who I do a lot of work with. A professional business owner at some point in time comes to the realization that if they’re going to be a high level CEO for their company, they can’t be immersed in the day to day.

Speaker 2: My new HSA and the, and the, uh, hands on the ground client work that they’ve always been doing. They have to evolve their role into more of a CEO role. And the more we become a CEO, the more hands off it becomes. But the more hands off that we get, guess what Our team thinks, man, what does this person doing What is the leader now doing They used to do all these things to create value. Now they’re really not doing these things. So now I start to get the assumption that maybe this person isn’t working as hard as they used to, or maybe they don’t care about the business like they used to. And so all of these sorts of, uh, uh, expectations and, and, and bad assumptions come up from a team. And when we don’t position ourselves appropriately with authority. But what happens when we don’t transfer authority to other people as well is it’s very common.

Speaker 2: Look, as we grow and expand and our business as we scale, we’re going to look for other leaders to be ambassadors for the mission, the vision, the values, the experience we’re trying to create, the objectives we’re trying to accomplish. And so we’re going to have this process that we are trying to create for people that we want to be basically present in all the different aspects of the business. We want everyone to be an ambassador for what we’re doing and, and, and to be really excited about that. And when they’re not excited about that, it’s because we haven’t positioned people to really be an ambassador for this. And so being an ambassador is all about upholding the standard. But the problem is, is when we don’t transfer authority to other people, no one wants to follow them. No one wants to follow them. No one’s excited about that.

Speaker 2: No one’s really leaning into that leader because in fact, they see that leader as it as an annoyance or an inconvenience likewell who died and made you a leader. And so that’s the kind of thing that we want to avoid because really if we’re going to do leadership powerfully, we’re going to do it with clarity. And so doing it with clarity means that, uh, we’re going to position this with intention for the good of the organization as a whole and the standards that the organization is built upon. If we slide other people into a leadership role that takes away from the experience, that lacks clarity, people are not clear on that. So I want you to, I just wanted to give you some context on what we’re talking about when we’re talking about positioning. And this is some things that we can do to position people well.

Speaker 2: Number one, we want to clearly define leadership roles. Your role as a leader should be clearly defined. So if you own a company, and I know a lot of you listening to this are, uh, owners of companies clearly define your role. If you have a spouse that works with you, clearly define their role, clearly defined every leadership role in the business. And look, why do I say this It’s because number one, I talked to leaders every day who don’t have this clearly defined and number two, I’m asked to coach other leaders that work in organizations who I ask them if they have a clearly defined role and they don’t have it either and unfortunately it’s more common than not. So clearly defined a role that takes some time to sit down and think this through, but again, it’s about doing the hard work up front to make everyone’s job easier later.

Speaker 2: This is easier for the leader. It’s easier for you. It’s easier for the teams that they lead when everyone’s clear on what that role looks like. Number two, a clearly defined organization chart. Who Do I report to How does that work Everyone should understand who they report to, how that works. The organizational charts should be very clear. Again, why do we bring this up This is the rule, not the exception of not having a clearly defined org chart and then people are fuzzy on who they report to and who their boss is. And sometimes in in businesses where this isn’t clearly defined, they tend to feel like they have two to three different bosses. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to have one boss let alone two or three bosses, like I’ll live with one, but I definitely don’t want two or three.

Speaker 2: But a lot of organizations are created in a way that’s very unintentional that then creates a situation where people report to multiple people or they have multiple people telling them what to do, how to do it. And that becomes a very frustrating as a team member. So number three, we want to articulate the leadership authentically to the team and with authority. So articulate the leadership authority to the team. This needs to be stated. Don’t assume that people understand it just because all of a sudden you said this person is a manager and how do we do this What does this look like Okay. I want to be really clear about what this looks like. I’m going to have a meeting and I’m going to make a big deal out of this and I’m gonna say, guys, we’re changing some things. There’s some things that we’re going to do differently.

Speaker 2: As an organization, I want you guys to be aware of what it is that we’re doing. Our mission is x and our experience that we’re trying to create is why, and because of my role as an owner of the organization, I have recognized as we’re growing, my role has to change if we’re going to continue to grow and create healthy environments for you. Now, why did I just say that Because I want the team to understand that this is something that will benefit them if they own it and they accept it. So I want them to know that what’s in it for them. As I’m positioning this now I say, listen, as a result of this, I’m going to put so and so in a role of x. This role is going to entail and I will give them kind of the boundaries of the authority.

Speaker 2: The scope of their role and what that looks like. I will let them know who will be reporting to them and why we’re doing this and that, hey, this is a change that we’re making. This person has my full, uh, my full trust, my full authority to make decisions that are good for the company, that allow us to reach objectives and continue to create a high level experience for our clientele. This person has my full trust in this process. So if you have questions, if you have concerns, if you have things that are going on that you need help with, for those of you who report to this person, this is the person that you go to do not come to me right now. There may be some situations where you do come to me or whatever, but um, those should be few and far between.

Speaker 2: So this is the person that you report to. This is the person that has authority to make certain guidelines, rules, things like that. Please respect that. So then I’m going to tell him, look, I’m looking for people who are willing to, as part of our organization grow and get uncomfortable. And I recognize that maybe having someone who was your peer or bringing someone, um, you know, from the outside an organization to manage, that’s tough. Right in, you know, we get uncomfortable with that. We don’t know what to expect. And I’m just saying that, look, the promise of what we’re trying to create as a culture always stays the same. But I want you guys to lean in, right Because it might get a little messy. There might be some bumps in the road as we make this transition, but it doesn’t mean that this process is going to go away.

Speaker 2: It’s here to stay because it’s the only way for us to really grow effectively and leverage the talent, the people that we have. Right So that’s just kind of a specific example of how I would really position authority and make that work for my team in a way that hopefully painted the picture for them and help them to understand what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and what their role is in this process. So number four, don’t undercut authority. So don’t make decisions for your leaders and don’t violate your cultural boundaries. So listen, if you have values, if you have procedures, if you have systems, if you haven’t experienced, that’s articulated then as a leader, own it. And I see too many leaders who undercut other leaders authority by making decisions over their head, right Because people then say, well, if I can’t get a mom to do what I need them to do, I’ll go to dad or vice versa.

Speaker 2: Right We don’t want to mom and dad’s scenario and leadership. We don’t want our kids running to one person, one parent or another, to undercut the authority of the other person. We don’t want to do that. And as a leader, if you’ve been trusted people into leadership and you know that’s their purview and that’s they’re there. That’s the sandbox that they play in. Do not make decisions based on that. In fact, when those things happen, I will redirect to an employee to say, what did so and so say How do they feel about it Because how they feel about it is more important than how I feel about it. And I’m going to not undercut authority, but I have leaders all the time who create values and say all this stuff and then they don’t follow it. And it really, what it says is, you know, I don’t really believe in these values.

Speaker 2: They’re not really that important to me. So you know what, um, they’re, they’re just, they’re, they’re here in name only. And if push comes to shove will violate those or we’ll do something different. So don’t undercut your leadership authority. Number five, your leaders aren’t your assistants. They’re leaders. So delegate the role and give them authority. So look, don’t treat your leaders like they’re your personal assistants that do your bidding, right Oh, have this conversation. Do this right If you’re treating your leaders as people that just have to do all the crap that you don’t want to do, that diminishes their authority. It also diminishes their self esteem and their self worth. If you’re going to put people in a leadership role mean it and give them the authority that that leadership role deserves. If you’re not willing to do that, do not have a leader.

Speaker 2: It will be more destructive than it will be constructive in the long run. Number six, don’t allow people to violate boundaries and step on authority. So look, if you’re going to have leadership, if you’re going to have boundaries, if you’re going to have authority, do not allow people on the team to violate those things. So if you’re going to be a leader that positions yourself with power, then the best thing that you can do to really maintain your level of power and authority is to fight for the boundaries of that authority and make sure that people do not step on those. And look, I see this all the time where leaders get worn down or they’re not intentional or they get worried that confront behavior. And so they allow people to do whatever they want. They, you put a boundary in place, they do something different.

Speaker 2: You don’t say anything and guess what You’ve told the team, hey, you know what Those boundaries and all these things that we talked about, they really don’t matter. You can continue to step on those, do something different. Hey, it’s your deal. Just do your deal. It’s fine. You know, don’t worry about it. And that’s a damaging thing to tell your team because eventually the more we do that, the culture will erode. And when there is no boundaries, a great culture can’t be present. So look, when you think about some of these things that I just talked about in terms of just how to really position well when we position, well, look, this goes back to the total experience design methodology is that great leadership is by design. It’s not by default, right If I’m going to be a leader, I’m going to be very intentional.

Speaker 2: I’m going to be very purposeful and I’m going to follow through on those commitments in that purpose that, um, I have made. And so, uh, as a leader, look, one of the 10, uh, points of total experience design on the manifesto is that great leadership will either make or break experience. And we’ve seen plenty of times where leadership has really further the experience and a really powerful way. And unfortunately, I’ve seen plenty of times where leadership has undermined the experience and then it hurts the culture, which then hurts the ability to create value for the end user that you work with in your business at the highest level possible. So think about what that looks like. And so think about, just look, when you have clear authority in your business, this leads to clear direction and it facilitates healthy comp, uh, communication, right So when I have clear authority, I have clear direction and I have great facilitated, healthy conversation, and that’s really what I want in my organization.

Speaker 2: So if you can’t get behind a leader, right If we’re, if we’re talking about positioning authority and you’re sitting here thinking, Brandon, yeah. But yeah, but yeah, but look, if you can’t get behind a leader, they shouldn’t be leading your team. If you can’t get excited, if you can’t fight for a leader, if you can’t, uh, support a leader at a high level, that person should not be leading your team. Period. Point blank. Get rid of them. So look, if you’re, you know, when you’re in the initial growing stages too, like when you’re in this process, this, this process is going to foster healthy growth, right The more you can really position authority, especially early on in the early stages of your business, this will really help to foster a healthy growth because people will get on board with it, they’ll understand it, and it will become kind of the cultural norm that, hey, we have people that we’re going to bring up as leaders.

Speaker 2: We’re going to have different leaders. The person who’s leading today may not be my leader tomorrow. And Hey, that’s a part of a growing organization. That’s what happens. But the more you embrace that, now the better. Right So if you’re scaling, I’ll say this, this is a must for the process of your business. Scalability. If you get this right, your business will scale it a much easier and less frustrating way because you’ll have other leaders that are developed, have authority and are working in an empowered way. If you don’t do this right or if you’re not good at this, scalability will be difficult because you need people to scale. You need people to be ambassadors for the work and make sure that the important work is getting done so that it doesn’t affect your brand in a negative way. And so as you think about how you position authority, think about, you know, what are the things that I talked about around positioning, especially like org charts, roles, those kinds of things.

Speaker 2: What are things that you need to put in place and do to really create effective positioning within your leadership What does that look like for you first and then how do you do that for other leaders on your team And if you have leaders on your team right now that you’re not absolutely 100% excited about, what is it gonna take for you to either get excited about them or potentially move on from that leader because you’re not doing them a favor and you’re not doing yourself a favor as well. So I want to thank you guys for listening this week. That’s all I got on positioning authority. If you have any questions, go to new work revolution.com hit us up there. If you like the show, share it on social media, rate us in iTunes. I know a lot of you guys have been doing that, so I appreciate it. Want to give a shout out to you know all our listeners. I mean we’ve got listeners all over the country now. It’s awesome. Uh, Germany has now overtaken Canada as a the second most downloaded country for the new work revolution podcast. I want to give a shout out to Germany. That’s awesome you guys. Thank you for listening and look, we’re picking up people all over the place. Japan’s making a strong move right now. So, Hey, thanks again for listening. Share the show, rate the show, and we’ll talk to you again soon. Thank you.

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