Rebel Diaries

Scott Fulton - Seven Differences Between Average And Great Leaders

February 20, 2023 Scott Fulton Season 2 Episode 44
Rebel Diaries
Scott Fulton - Seven Differences Between Average And Great Leaders
Show Notes Transcript

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Scott is the host of the Rebel Diaries podcast.  He helps teams and leaders focus on what really matters and stop wasting time on what doesn't through training and coaching with his Do Less Deliver More brand.

In this episode, he covers seven traits that he sees differentiate average leaders from great ones.

What Scott discusses

  • What leaders should give their most attention to
  • How they think about their team
  • How they want the team to see them
  • How they respond to team member's success
  • Openness with their team and others
  • Measures of success
  • Taking responsibility
  • And more...

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[00:00:00] Scott: Hi, I'm Scott Fulton, the host of the Rebel Diaries podcast. This show will help you learn how to make work better for you, your colleagues and the organization you work for. I believe the modern workplace is broken for too many people with leaders and their teams, drowning in corporate complexity, information overload, and unnecessary levels of stress. 

[00:00:18] Scott: Having spent over 20 years leading disruptive high-performing teams who have won international awards for their impact. I've now dedicated my career to helping coach and train leaders and teams to deliver more value and impact at work whilst reducing the risk of burnout, overload, and wasted effort. 

[00:00:34] Scott: This podcast is dedicated to you and thousands like you who know work can and should be better.

[00:00:39] Scott: You'll get tips and insights from me as well as the amazing guests I invite to be the show, many of them have disrupted their industries and are thought leaders, speakers, and authors who have fascinating stories and advice to share. 

[00:00:50] Scott: Thank you for listening. I'm Scott Fulton and welcome to the Rebel Diaries show. Hi, and welcome to this week's episode. Today, I'm going to be talking about leadership. And in particular, what I believe sets great leaders apart from average leaders. 

[00:01:06] Scott: And this is going to cover seven key areas. I'm going to take you through each one at a time. 

[00:01:12] Scott: And I'd be interested in your feedback after the show, if this resonates with you, either in leadership styles, you've seen with people that you've reported to in the past, or maybe you do now. Or in your own leadership style and we're all on a journey aren't me to improve. 

[00:01:27] Scott: And, as a listener to this podcast, you clearly have a growth mindset and are keen to continue to better yourself. So hopefully there's some things here that will help you. And inspire you on your leadership journey. Or help you to choose a good leader that you want to work for in the future, if you're reporting into somebody that frankly isn't great. 

[00:01:52] Scott: So the first area we're going to cover is what most leaders. Give most of their attention to. In terms of how the team operates. 

[00:02:01] Scott: And I think. Average leaders tend to just focus on the short term. 

[00:02:07] Scott: Whereas great leaders connect the work that's going on in the short term. To really good goals and objectives that everybody in their team is clear on. Now I am catching myself while I'm saying this, because one of my things that I'm passionate about and helping teams with is understanding the importance of focusing on being reactive to change to new opportunities and making sure that work is small. Broken down. and is something that can be continually delivered in a sustainable and iterative way. 

[00:02:44] Scott: So there's a danger that if I don't explain this very carefully, it sounds like a contradiction that the average leaders only focus on the short term. 

[00:02:52] Scott: I think the difference is. 

[00:02:53] Scott: Not setting a goal, frankly. And the team being asked to just react constantly. Not really knowing what direction they're going in. 

[00:03:02] Scott: And an average leader. 

[00:03:04] Scott: Doesn't set the direction of travel. They don't give the team a Clear vision. 

[00:03:10] Scott: Of where they need to be and where they're heading. How you get there. I believe it's down to the team. And that for me is the difference between a roadmap and a plan. Your roadmap is your. Direction of travel, but you will take different routes to get there. Where's your plan is very fixed and very rigid. 

[00:03:27] Scott: So I think it's very important that leaders can set great goals. That are clearly linked to the daily activities that the team are being asked to do. 

[00:03:37] Scott: And I've seen organizations where it is. Very reactionary. There's some wooly objectives just not connected to the daily activity of the team members. 

[00:03:49] Scott: So it's important that the team are aligned. They have a shared understanding of where they're going. And the work they do every day. Everything they do they understand how that contributes to that ultimate goal. That they're all working towards. So that's the first one. What . 

[00:04:05] Scott: Great leaders give their attention to and what average leaders give their attention to. Short term versus daily work connected to really good goals that everybody's clear on. 

[00:04:16] Scott: So the second one is how the leaders think about their team. Now there was a term that used to hear a lot in my previous job. 

[00:04:24] Scott: And it was describing people as resources. 

[00:04:27] Scott: And I found over time that that used to. Just great with me a bit. It was almost just forgetting that. They were actually human beings. And just treating them as a commodity to deliver an objective and then can be just kind of cast aside. So I think average leaders just think of the team. As resources, just a means to an end. 

[00:04:50] Scott: To get something done. Whereas I think great leaders think of people as people and human beings they're not just there to be treated like cattle, essentially. So average leaders think about people as resources. 

[00:05:04] Scott: Great leaders. Think of people as people. 

[00:05:07] Scott: So the third one. Is how they want the team to see them. As a leader. And I think average leaders. Just want to be liked. 

[00:05:15] Scott: Whatever they do. They want to be liked Sometimes that means that they will hold back on , dealing with difficult situations, for example. And I fell into this trap myself many years ago, when. Yeah, I had a. I wanted to be liked. And I had a difficult team member that really needed to be. 

[00:05:34] Scott: Professionally. Dealt with sounds harsh. But helped. To understand the negative impact they were having on the team. And I failed to take action for a while. Cause I was trying to avoid the conflict. And I learned a hard lesson that, that really did damage the whole team. That lack of action. All because I, I wanted to be liked by everybody. 

[00:05:57] Scott: And it was actually counter-intuitive because I think the team probably liked me less for not actually taking action sooner. So I think average leaders want to be liked. But great leaders. I want to earn respect. And they also don't expect respect just by their position, their title. They actually earn the respect of their team. 

[00:06:19] Scott: Through their actions through their behaviors. And through all of the other points that I'm covering today. 

[00:06:25] Scott: So average leaders, their focus is just being liked, whatever. And great leaders. Want to earn respect and do earn respect. 

[00:06:34] Scott: The fourth one is how leaders respond to their team member's success. 

[00:06:38] Scott: And I think average leaders. Feel threatened by that. 

[00:06:42] Scott: They see their team success as taking away the spotlight from them. They see it as a threat to their reputation, to their bosses. And to others in the organization. And I've seen examples where the leader will claim credit for work, their team has done, that they didn't actually have any real contribution to. And I think that's really sad. And that demoralizes the team. 

[00:07:07] Scott: Whereas I think great leaders. Are, thrilled when their team members achieve great things. They don't see it as a threat. And they happily give their team members, the spotlight. 

[00:07:17] Scott: And encourage them to get the credit they deserve for the work that they do. They're comfortable in their own skin.

[00:07:23] Scott: So it be interesting if you've come across that in your careers where you've had a boss that feels threatened by your achievements and success. And how that played into your approach. Did you find that you. Almost didn't want to be successful. Or you just got incredibly frustrated when you were, and your leader to the credit from you? 

[00:07:43] Scott: So that's the fourth one, how they respond to team members' success. 

[00:07:46] Scott: It's the fifth one. Is how open they are with their team and others in the organization. 

[00:07:52] Scott: So average leaders. I believe, keep information to themselves. You'll have heard the phrase, knowledge is power. And I've seen that in a few levels in organizations, not just at leadership level. But people use information as a way to. Uh, make themselves valuable. To protect their position. 

[00:08:12] Scott: And they keep it all to themselves in a defensive way. 

[00:08:15] Scott: Whereas. Great leaders trust people. their honest. And they're transparent. So they're happy to share information. they're, happy to share their own vulnerabilities. And again, they don't feel threatened by doing that. 

[00:08:30] Scott: Whereas the average leaders are just quite insecure. So they need to keep that information to themselves. 

[00:08:36] Scott: So the sixth one. Is how leaders measure success. 

[00:08:40] Scott: And I think average leaders are more concerned with outputs and processes. 

[00:08:46] Scott: So it's kind of micromanagement, you know, that. The hands-on keyboards typing presenteeism. 

[00:08:52] Scott: And completely miss the point. Of why the team are there. And I think great leaders. Care mainly about the results. About the outcomes and you'll have heard me talk about this on other podcasts. If you're a regular listener. It's about being outcome focused rather than output focused. 

[00:09:08] Scott: So are the team delivering great results that helping customers. That's the measure of success as far as I'm concerned. You can blindly be following processes and not deliver any value or any outcomes. So I think that's where average leaders are focused on the wrong thing and great leaders. I focused on the right thing. 

[00:09:30] Scott: Which is the results, the achievements of the team. 

[00:09:34] Scott: And then the final one is where they see their responsibility. 

[00:09:38] Scott: So things go wrong. 

[00:09:40] Scott: I think average leaders blame the team. 

[00:09:42] Scott: And I think great leaders understand that they are responsible if the team falls short. So there's a really good book by, a US Marine his name is Jocko Willink. And it's called extreme ownership. He basically saying that. The leader. Can and should take responsibility for everything. 

[00:10:06] Scott: Every single thing. And that was quite eye-opening for me because. Let's say you hire a member of staff. 

[00:10:14] Scott: And they're not particularly great. They don't pull their weight and everyone just kind of accepts that. And it frustrates people. 

[00:10:20] Scott: The leader will just blame that person. And say, well, they're the problem. But it's the leader's responsibility. The leader is the one that hired them. And the leader is the one that has the power to help them either improve. Or we encourage them. We'll find a way. For them to move on and leave the organization. 

[00:10:40] Scott: It's the same with a supplier. Let's say a supplier is frustrating. You. And they're late and they're letting you down. It's very easy to just complain about the supplier. 

[00:10:51] Scott: But actually as a leader, if you take responsibility, You can say, well, I have, I have the power to. 

[00:10:58] Scott: Choose a different supplier. I chose the leader potentially chose the supplier in the first place. So they are ultimately responsible. So I think great leaders see that they are responsible for everything that team does. 

[00:11:11] Scott: The environment that that team operates in. That's a great leader's job to understand. That high level of responsibility, that extreme ownership that they can take. Whereas it's very easy for the average leader to just not take responsibility and just blame the team. It's the team's fault. They're just under delivering again. And I've seen that, where that leader will then blame that team to other leaders across the organization. 

[00:11:34] Scott: And not take responsibility. 

[00:11:36] Scott: So those are seven. Key differences that I see between average leaders. You may actually want to call them awful leaders. Versus great leaders. 

[00:11:45] Scott: And I've been on that leadership journey myself. You know, some of the average behaviors. I'm happy to admit I've suffered early on in my career. I'd like to think I moved much more towards the great leader. In my behavior over time. You'll have to ask my. Previous team members for their views. I'm obviously very biased. 

[00:12:07] Scott: But hopefully that's given you some food for thought around your own leadership approach. If you are a leader. Or things to watch out for in leadership behaviors that you see in your organization either now or in the future. So, this was just a quick one. I thought this would be useful episode to share with you. 

[00:12:24] Scott: We've got more great guests coming up on next week's show. Actually next week's show is going to be the first time we've got two guests on the same episode. So that'll be interesting. So be sure to check out that one. 

[00:12:35] Scott: If you're a regular listener, you will know a new episode drops every single Monday, first thing in the morning. 

[00:12:40] Scott: So hope you enjoyed this one and I'll catch you on the next one. 

[00:12:44] Scott: A big, thank you for listening to the Rebel Diaries show your time is precious, so it is appreciated. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to hit that subscribe button in your podcast app of choice so you don't miss the next one. There's a new episode every Monday morning, ideal for your commute to work or early morning walk. 

[00:13:01] Scott: Until next time, take care be a rebel and deliver work with impact.