Ep #18: 5 Struggles of a CEO – Popularity Over Accountability

In this episode, Dr. Nick & Dr. Nicole discuss childhood trauma… just kidding! However they do chat about how your childhood longing for popularity may affect how you show up in your business now. They clarify the difference between leaders and influencers and being liked vs. being looked up to.

“One of my top values is being acknowledged.” - Dr. Nicole

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Noteworthy Time Stamps:

3:00 Highest values & knowing yourself

4:30 How your childhood affects you now

5:08 Leader vs. Influencer

7:42 Liked vs. looked up to

12:00 If things go wrong

19:00 Once you “reach success”

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE

Dr. Nicole:

This is The Integrative Entrepreneur Podcast where it’s not what you do but how you do it. This is a podcast for entrepreneurs brought to you by entrepreneurs. We have been building a multi-million dollar healthcare business for over 10 years, and we have weaved together some of the best information for the people that are doing the best work in the business. This includes Dr. Demartini who is a master in human behavior to Verne Harnish who has created the methodologies of scaling up that has scaled many of the best businesses that we all know of. We want you to not only have a business that you love, but also a life that you love.

All right. Welcome back to part four of the five struggles of a CEO/entrepreneur. So today we are going to be diving in to something that as I say it some of you are going to be like, “Ehh, that doesn’t really apply to me.” And some of you are going to be like, “Ooh yeah, that does apply to me.” Regardless of where you stand continue to listen to this episode, because I know for myself as I was learning about this piece I was the person that says, “No, I don’t think that’s part of my issue.” And I think I hold up a good boundary there. And as I started to dig deeper into the topic I realized that I was very wrong. But today it’s really all about choosing popularity over accountability.

And like I said some of you right now are like, “No, I don’t care about being popular at my business.” And I’m going to let Nick take the reins on this one, because I think in human nature we all want to be liked. And this is something that is ingrained in us. And there’s a lot of us that will say, “I don’t care what other people think.” But there is still that instinct that we do care momentarily. And it takes a lot of work to reprogram and build such a strong foundation within ourselves that we are not as effected by other people, judgments, thoughts, beliefs, et cetera.

Dr. Nick:

Yeah. It’s like when looking at human behavior if you’re not an accountant you’re probably don’t have accountability on your highest values or something that connects to that. So it’s really looking at, for the most part, we all want to be popular but popular in our own crowd or popular in a version or a way that builds us up based on what we find missing in our life. So when we understand human behavior we’re able to see, and I’ve talked about this, literally a thousand to maybe a million times already about our highest values. And once you can know yourself hence knowing what’s most important to your highest values, you know how you function. And that’s a good thing because you know your strengths as well as your weaknesses. And one of your weaknesses may be, depending on the voids growing up, be popular and having people like you.

Dr. Nicole:

Being acknowledged, that’s mine. One of my top values is being acknowledged. And this was definitely something that played into this. And it was completely off of my radar until it was brought to my attention and I was like, “Oh, I am doing this.”

Dr. Nick:

Yeah. And you can use that, just a side tangent, you can use that. So Dr. Nicole wants to be acknowledged. But through a thing called NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, we can understand how people use their brain the most. So it’s like if you’re looking up in a direction you’re going to be more visual to recall information, if you’re looking lateral it’s going to be more connected to auditory, and down is kinesthetic. That is very easy-

Dr. Nicole:

Basic.

Dr. Nick:

… Basic easy way to understand that. But for her being acknowledged, a lot of the time she’s visual, sometimes she’s auditory. But understanding that I can go through and say like, “I see you.” So it’s an easy way to connect to be able to acknowledge what she is thinking, what she is doing and just through the process of creating. So, going back to wanting to be popular, a lot of that stems from voids growing up. So depending if you were popular, if you weren’t popular but even going forward and looking at running a business is just, well honestly, being a leader is that the goal is to make a change and drive people to serve themselves.

And this is a side topic but being popular is not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, but it comes back to the foundation of it’s not what you do but how you do it. And this is really a difference, how I see, the difference between being a leader and being an influencer. And influencers really they care about being popular because popularity is going to drive back really return on their investment to serve themselves. It’s not so much about giving back to the needs of their tribe of what they’re growing, as well a true leader of a company, of a group is going to sometimes be popular and sometimes not be popular because their biggest drive is to do what’s best for the community.

Dr. Nicole:

For the mission.

Dr. Nick:

For the mission, for the purpose. And when we understand that there’s going to be times where yeah, we’re popular and there’s times where we’re not popular. But what’s great about being not popular is if you do it in a correct way your tribe is still going to have your back to allow you to grow when you’re not popular because they know that you had their best interest, even if it’s not a popular choice. And this is the difference between what happens in a lot of corporations. And actually if you look in the world right now a lot of the decisions that are made now is based on short-term pleasure that’s going to create long-term pain.

It’s like we’re printing trillions and trillions of dollars, and that’s popular because everybody likes free money but nobody’s going to be happy a year, a couple years down when inflation goes up and now we’re in that long-term pain. So it’s the same thing about a business is that sometimes we actually make a need to make an unpopular decision in order to go through short-term pain to have long-term pleasure. And if your team, if your tribe, your community business really, truly trust you and that knows that there’s authenticy that you’re showing up, doing the best for your-

Dr. Nicole:

Authenticity, but that’s cool.

Dr. Nick:

… I’d make up words left and right. Especially when I’m just going passionate about something. Now I don’t even know what the hell I’m talking about.

Dr. Nicole:

Well, I feel like you went off on a tangent and you pretty much covered all the things that I wanted to cover. So that was awesome. And I just really loved the segue that you took it because that wasn’t even my anticipation for the episode. But the influencer versus the leader, I think that that is just so unbelievably significant in this. Because this is not just about talking about being popular or the fact that you’re filling a void that you created a business to fulfill a void from your high school years. We’re talking about wanting to be liked but confusing wanting to be liked by your team but you’re confusing it with being looked up to. Which also then translates you’re confusing it with being a leader.

Dr. Nick:

Yep.

Dr. Nicole:

And it’s a really important thing to discern is that exactly what you said is you’re going to be popular at times, that everyone’s going to really love you and there’s going to be so much gratitude and so much positive feedback. And then there’s going to be times that there’s decisions that have to be made that make you “unpopular”. But your higher ups, your executive team, or really just your entire company knows that sometimes hard decisions have to be made, but it’s for the betterment of the company, the mission, and really all of them.

Dr. Nick:

And if there’s no trust between that relationship and even besides trust if there’s just a lack of understanding or if you’re only been in the past making decisions to be popular, that’s when we become unpopular they trip you on the way down. That they don’t care and they would like to see you suffer. But on the reverse side is you can make some decisions that puts you in an unpopular place within the company short-term.

But if everybody knows that you did that in the long-term best vision of the company, then they will still have your back. They will still be working their ass off to build you up, to build the company up for sustainability. And that’s really the big difference between the leader versus the short-term person that’s really looking for that quick feedback mechanism of being popular. Is that one is, in business, one’s going to have a short life duration and the other one’s going to have a long duration.

Dr. Nicole:

Well, even what you just said I think is huge to even dig a little bit deeper into. Because there are companies, I hear about it all the time with these tech startup companies, that they have a lot of money behind them, a lot of investors, they get a lot of press, they have a lot of positives that are happening in a really short amount of time. And the company is growing, there’s a lot of excitement, and everybody’s making good money, and everything’s on the up and up. And it’s a very intense industry, there’s a lot of competition and there’s a lot of things that can happen or go wrong that can cause a downward spiral, but a downward spiral that happens quite fast.

So when you have this popularity or this elation, and everybody’s happy because everything’s going well but there’s none of that authenticity and there’s none of that trust and vulnerability because no one is really truly being authentic. Nobody is necessarily truly behind the bigger mission and vision of the company they’re just ecstatic because everybody’s making money and maybe they’ve been in the press quite a few times and everyone is getting this level of acknowledgement. And like you said is when things turn…

Dr. Nick:

As they will.

Dr. Nicole:

They can, they will anything is possible. Things really when it comes down to-

Dr. Nick:

There’s always ebbs and flows in every aspect of life and every aspect of business. And we could think that even right now we’re in a bull market and so many of us think that we’re going to have this forever, but it’s going to end, it’s not. And it’s going to reset, it’s going to “crash” to be able to get us back to a strong foundation. And that’s really what happens with a lot of these tech companies and just other various startup big companies is that it becomes you think of a tree. It’s like when there’s tons of leaves and there’s all this money and it’s very beautiful, it’s very easy to be popular and everybody loves you.

But if we don’t look at the root system, we don’t build that strong foundation it’s very easy when things do a bad to go very bad. Instead of really making those strong decisions that sometimes don’t make you so much popular, but it really grows that root system to be able to have a foundation. So when we do have that rainy wind storm that comes in it’s not going to knock us over.

Dr. Nicole:

… And that is definitely a valid point. But I think the other thing that we’re really pointing out here is that if things do go wrong is you have these people bailing out left and right and just going to the competitors. And they’re not there to have your back and say, “Hey, it looks like we’re really approaching a rough time how can we band together to get through this?” You just have these team members that are like, “Oh, things aren’t great anymore? Okay. Well, I’m out.” There’s no buy-in, there’s none of that authenticity. And it’s like you said is there’s a really weak foundation.

Then there’s other situations that it’s the same thing everything is great, everyone’s happy, everyone’s making money. But then there’s some type of lawsuit that it could be some type of discrimination lawsuit or something pretty serious that people automatically don’t want their names attached to. So again, they’re now going to detach and maybe even throw the CEO or higher-ups under the bus. And again, these things happen for a reason they don’t happen for no reason. They happen because there was a weak foundation in the business.

And it’s also because there was more of a focus on being liked, popularity, or giving people high price points, high salaries to make them happy. Giving them perks and nap rooms and all of these fluffy things and it wasn’t really about building a really strong mission and a really strong culture around that mission. And people that would work for free because they care that much. And some of you might be like, “That’s not even real. That’s not a thing.” We have hired interns that have worked in our office at some point in time these were interns that were not paid and then we have interns that work for us for $12 an hour.

And they are the hardest workers, and I would say 80% of them have turned into our best employees. Like these were people that were attached to the mission that’s the reason they were willing to do an internship because they wanted to be immersed in that. And they believed it with every bone in their body and they wanted to do anything and everything to become part of that. And this is something that your mission has to be bigger than you, it has to be bigger than your yacht that you have, or the big house that you want. It has to be bigger than that, it has to truly be something meaningful.

This is what creates the buy-in. But it is your job as the CEO is to consistently and constantly remind people of that mission. What is the exact phrase? I’m probably going to butcher it. But they say it’s like you have to be on such repeat that you annoy yourself. And you should get your team to be teasing you because they’re like, “I know.” Because you say it that much. Your team has to be built on that authenticity and that trust. And that you’re constantly having conversations and sometimes hard conversations around what is best for the business? And how does that affect them?

Because if you make a bad decision to be liked and then it falls flat, guess who is going to feel that? It’s going to be your team because they might get laid off or lose their jobs. And their families feel that, and so on and so forth. So, we really need to get out of this thought process of fluffing things up, doing what we think people want. And you will a hundred percent need to get out of the mindset that it’s all about more and more fluffy perks. Because all that that comes back to is you think you’re building culture but you’re just trying to be liked and be popular in your business.

And if you have a good culture and your company has the means to have those extra perks and you have a super healthy cafeteria or you have a little cocktail cart that comes on Friday evenings or things like that, great. But if your culture sucks and you’re bringing stuff like that in, or you’re giving away all this PTO and you’re giving away bonuses because you think that’s what’s going to make people happy so that they stay with your company, that’s not how it works.

Dr. Nick:

No, that more comes out of fear. But I’m down to try the cocktail cart.

Dr. Nicole:

Hey, I’m down for the cocktail cart too, so.

Dr. Nick:

But when it comes to the popularity if you want to be popular for business, but I mean honestly in all aspects of life I think the most sustainable way to achieve popular status is to always just, with the relationships that you have, to always just try to bring out the best in people. And if that’s your main focus and intention that is a popularity that is not going to be imbalanced, and that people will continue to build you up because that’s the reflection you’re giving them. You’re constantly helping everybody that interacts with you to leave as a better person. And that is a very intelligent way to become popular.

Dr. Nicole:

And respected.

Dr. Nick:

Correct.

Dr. Nicole:

So this was the fourth part of this series. And the reason being is because everything that we’ve talked about thus far with being able to have open, transparent conversations, building trust in your organization, making sure that you have certainty and clarity in everything that you do all of these things are essential in order to allow your team to truly look up to you, respect you, and respect your version of leadership. And really that just allows them to honor when decisions are being made that sometimes are difficult in that moment, but they know that you always have the best interest of them and the business.

So when it comes to this idea of popularity, I would almost say, I don’t really even know if that is… I think it’s a myth. I think it’s really just about having your team to truly look at you as a leader and trust that you’re always making the right decision, and with that being said is you gain their respect. And you will gain their acknowledgement but you gain the acknowledgement without always needing it to be positive.

Dr. Nick:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Nicole:

All right, guys. So as we move into the fifth part and the final part of the series, this is really diving into something a lot of executives and CEOs deal with. Is once you get to the goals of the business and you start to really reach the success that you always dreamed of, is sometimes you start to have more of a focus on status over results. This is something that we see in corporate, this is also something that we see in small businesses. So we’re going to be diving a bit deeper into this topic. And what are some of the attributes look like when your focus is more on status and how do we circle it back to really being focused on results and making sure that it’s always coming back to the best interest of the company.

And for those of you that are new to the podcast, you may have listened to the past four already of this series. But we have the Integrative Growth Institute and these are things that are just so foundational in the teachings of the Growth Institute. And a lot of this is on the foundation of scaling up which was created by Verne Harnish, and is also used by tons and tons of companies. And really the companies that you know the names of. Because this is how you truly scale a company, but you build a company to last. This is also based on the work of Patrick Lencioni who really prides himself on organizational health.

And I personally resonate with his methodologies tremendously because it’s bringing heart and transparency and trust into an organization. And that is an organization that it feels good to show up to everyday. And this is an organization that also you have people that are committed to the cause, they’re committed to the mission. And these are people that will stay late and go the extra mile because they care.

Dr. Nick:

And It’s fun. You know it’s an environment that’s it’s not a dictatorship. Everybody’s there to build themselves and when they build themselves they’re building the business. So it’s not necessarily always, I guess you want to say, popular but it’s always fun, it’s always enjoyable, and it’s moving the needle forward.

Dr. Nicole:

All right, guys. So we will see you on the next one, on part five of the five struggles of a CEO.

Dr. Nick:

You’ve reached the end of another episode of The Integrative Entrepreneur Podcast. Connect with us at integrativegrowthinstitute.com. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive our free materials. See you at the next episode.

Dr. Nicole:

If you loved today’s episode of Integrative Entrepreneur Podcast, please head over to iTunes subscribe, rate, and leave us a review. It is very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

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