How Leadership Is JUST Like Snakes and Ladders Connected Leadership Ep. 22

How Leadership Is JUST Like Snakes and Ladders Connected Leadership Ep. 22


Well, good evening and welcome to episode number 22 of the, … connected leadership podcast. I’m Daryl Black and … yeah, … number 22 that is starting to reach some impressive numbers. So I’m really, really happy with that. … and … the first few, … were not super awesome, but the last, last few, … I’ve really dedicated to, … stepping my game up. So with that in mind, I would certainly appreciate a little bit of love and if you can maybe, … go to Apple iTunes or Apple podcasts and subscribe there and also maybe spread the word on the, this, … Facebook page or YouTube channel, whichever one that you’re watching on. … I would certainly like to build the audience and spread the message a little bit more. That’d be fantastic. So yeah, I would, uh, I would like that a lot. So thank you. Remember the game called snakes and ladders? In fact, they still sell it. In this episode I’m going to talk to you about how leadership is just like that game with one important difference. So stay tuned till the end and I’ll talk to you about what that big difference really, really is. So by the end of this episode, you’ll go from a path of a disconnected listless kind of on the job training, a non formal education type leader, doing the best you can with what you have to a connected leader. And we’ve talked about what a connected leader is, and we’ll get into that in a lot more detail as we go through. And along that journey, your team will be going from a kind of a rudderless ship where they’re maybe disempowered, disenfranchised, they’re cranky, they’re not healthy, they’re not empowered. And as you progress as a leader and become a connected leader, the team will also become more empowered and healthier and happier, making better decisions. They’ll communicate better, they’ll innovate, they’ll create all of the things that a well-performing team needs to do to perform in the workplace. So I’m Daryl Black and I’m taking almost 30 years of my emergency response and emergency management experience, … in incidents like couple of Canada’s largest natural disasters. … and also Katrina and hundreds and hundreds of certain search. And rescue missions and taking those experiences and those lessons and helping you apply them to your personal and professional lives. So while the lessons are learned in the harsh reality of emergencies, … that is an amazing petri dish to learn. And really it’s the ultimate test. Textbook is what I call it. Crisis is the ultimate textbook. So being able to transplant those lessons learned there, move them over into corporate, professional and personal lives. That’s what I’m all about. So we’ll get started with some announcements right off the bat. … I continue to work diligently on a few different fronts, many different fronts, but I’ve got a few, um, initiatives on the go this weekend. This upcoming weekend, … is exciting because I’m speaking at a search and rescue conference and, … as those of you who know me know that my background is, um, in volunteer search and rescue, that’s how this all started, frankly. And so going back and speaking at a national conference around the realities of search and rescue in large disasters. So being opportunity to tell some of my, … .. stories with purpose, … to fellow search and rescue members because when you go into emergencies and, and large scale emergencies and disasters, everything’s the same. It’s just way, way more. So I’m really excited to, … help some folks out there. So getting back out in front of people and, … helping out with that. Also, I am, I have re-released or just in the process of rereleasing the one 100 leadership solution and why am I re releasing it while there’s a bunch of reasons, but one of the main ones is, … while it was launched last November, mid November, uh, there was definitely not a huge amount of marketing done around it. And by marketing I mean, … just getting the word up and it has done really, really well in spite of it being kind of a, a well kept secret frankly. … and there’s a bunch of reasons why it wasn’t marketed as well as it could have been an all of the reasons lead back to me, but a, that’ll be a part for another episode, I think. And, …, hey there Alex, how are you buddy … so yeah, so I’m rereleasing that I’m also working on another two books yet just because I feel like, … … you know, I’ve got nothing better to do. So a couple of books, one that is very, very specific to emergency services and then one is taking my concepts around connected leadership and expanding upon those. So kind of be a sequel or you know, something like that of, of this. Uh, so yeah, working on that and a whole bunch of other things too. And um, I’m really, really excited trying to continue to get the message out. The podcast is doing well. I’m reaching out to different partners now to help out, uh, help with some marketing and it spread the work. But again, if you could help, uh, help a brother out and subscribe and spread the word, I would really, really appreciate it. So a quick review before we dive into the snakes and ladders. And just so you know, I’m not absolutely crazy when I talk about snakes and ladders. This will make complete sense as we go through it. But leadership has thousands and thousands of definitions. But the one that we’re using for the connected leadership podcast, and one I use and when I do workshops and facilitation and, and all those types of events, it’s social influence which maximize the efforts of others to achieve a goal okay? But the essence of it, the … the crux of leadership is about influence. And now leadership is influence. But we actually have a real, real choice there with regard to how we influence. And that’s what we’ll be talking a little bit more about, … tonight and comparing that influence to the snakes and ladders analogy. So stick around for that. Last week we spoke about Fortnite and ah, Fortnite, the conversation came out of a, a conversation that I was having with a mom at a hockey camp and our kids were out on the ice playing and she’s in HR and, and … we were nerding out quite a bit and we started to talk about Fortnite because you know, how absolutely, … devastating it is for kids to have to go back to school this week. And … suffering withdrawal from Fortnite. For example in Fortnite … it’s an online game, hugely, hugely popular. And … then we just got into talking about how Fortnite a really is not, … not as bad as it could be cause it does teach a lot of leadership lessons. And in a future episode I’ll talk about remote workers and how do we influence remote workers, people that aren’t physically in our proximity. … it’s a big, big challenge. So we’ll talk about that. But Fortnite is really interesting because …. the players, they’re not sitting next to each other. They are hooked up on headphones and microphones and they’re communicating like crazy. They’re very similar in their goals. So they all have a mission and they can be, if they’re working as a group of four, all four, it’s, it’s incredible. They’re just like a living being in there. They’re coordinating, they’re communicating and they’re making decisions, …, all without, again, no coordination. It’s on the fly. It’s a very, very fast paced game and, … and it’s about team victory and team results. So, … even if they were to get killed, they’ll actually stay on how the ability to observe their remaining teammates are surviving teammates and, .. they have .. an opportunity to, to continue to watch and cheer them on, support them versus a lot of times it’s like, yeah, dibs out, man. I’m out out of the game. I’m not playing anymore. So there are a lot of things around, … games and Fortnite in particular that we can draw some positives from. Not to be confused with. I would rather my kids sit on an Xbox than go outside. No, that’s not it at all. But I also think as parents, at least for me, um, the older I get, the more arrogant or the better I think. I think I used to be. So by that I mean my brother and I, we played in television like crazy. I was on the phone a lot. Now the big differences in how to chord and you have to run it, you know, hopefully at a long one and you ran it, you know, under the door and then you had some privacy there. Uh, and then mind blown when the cordless one came was a like pretty insane. And then, you know, and then we got into cell phones. But oh my gosh, I’m probably dating myself and I, I don’t mean to. So that’s a, those are some advantages to Fortnite that I talked about and yes, there are some disadvantages just so we’re crystal clear, but I really want to make sure that we were looking for leadership opportunities everywhere cause they exist. Then once you start to get the, the leadership hat on and that Lens, you’re going to see it in movies. Oh, it’s horrible. You can’t watch a movie. And normally, again, you can’t coach hockey the same way. There’ll be an episode of nomad in the future. Uh, you can’t sit in the stance with somebody from HR about nerding out about leadership and influence and communication, all these other things. So consider yourself warn some more episodes you see and hear of the connected leadership podcast or as it’s going to be, I’m sorry. Now snakes and ladders. I’ll do a very, very quick review. It essentially involves, it’s a board game and you know, you plan against another individual and you roll the dice and you just simply go on the board and progress up. So the start is here and then the goal is to get up these multiple levels up here. But as you go through the levels and you’re just rolling the dice, you come across one of two things. One is a ladder. So if you happen to land on a box that has a ladder, you may skip one level, two levels. You may like go up three or four. That was fantastic. The other element is the snake. And so if you land on a box a with the snake, that will bring you down multiple levels. So those are the two main competitors, you know, competition or con, uh, competitive elements within the board game. There is very little skill with regard to that. You don’t have a ton of … influence over whether you land on a snake or a ladder. It’s kind of math and rolling the dice. And that my friend is where snakes and ladders, the game differs from leadership. So there are a lot of similarities but the big difference is that unlike snakes and ladders, the game, we actually have a great ability to influence. We have a great ability to make decisions and either take an opportunity to build influence, which would be a ladder. And on the flip side we have ample opportunity to advocate, quite frankly, to minimize or reduce our influence. And that is now the snake. So the beginning, where are we starting this journey If you are like me when you started your leadership journey, wherever you are within that spectrum all along that board game right now, you probably started it off as not having a lot of formal training in it. Um, you’re basically now just modeling behavior without really realizing it. Uh, so if you were brought up in a culture of hard Asness and culture fear and a lot of micromanagement and kind of, um, uh, disempowering behaviors, chances are you will be leveraging those types of behaviors too because that is what right looks like for you. Now, if you’re, conversely, if you’re brought up in a, in a healthier environment where there was a lot of respect, influence and there was a lot of empowerment and trust and communication, chances are that’s going to be the leadership model that you use. The problem is, is none of that is deliberate necessarily. You’re just a, you’re just modeling the behavior so you’re doing the best you can. Everybody is doing the best they can. So you’re going from there and it’s trial and error. It’s trial and error, trial and error, and hopefully you’re learning from each of those types of interactions, whether it was a ladder or if it was a sink. The important part as you go through your journey is that you’re evaluating, but without actually having any external help, no coaching, no not listening to podcast or maybe you are and trying to, to pick things up as you go. That’s really, really challenging. Now, if you as a leader are like dad, if you don’t really have a clear compass of what right looks like, then it’s virtually impossible for your team to tag along and be cohesive and communicate well and interact well with each other and you and to make good decisions. It’s really, really hard because if you don’t have a foundation, then they have no foundation either. And we talked about the analogy of leader as a lid a couple of weeks ago, where every organization, every team is limited by the leader and the leaders, the lids. So if the leader is, uh, not strategic or if the leader is not leading with respect, if the leader is not able to make good and timely decisions, the entire team suffers. So that will often happen. So if you are the lid, then your entire team is impacted. So we are moving along this pathway and hopefully as you progress through, again, you’re learning, you’re listening to podcasts or reading the books, your trial and error, you’re receiving feedback. All of those things that create development. Where we ultimately want to go is to get to a connected leader. That’s where I want us to go. And a connected leader is a self-aware leader. It’s a leader that facilitates and doesn’t dictate you lead through respect and not fear. You lead with inspiration and not exasperations like, ah man, I’m dying here. You’re very vulnerable and not vulnerable in an over-sharing bawling my eyes out way. But vulnerability is defined as engaging in a situation without having any direct control over the outcome. That’s fall vulnerability. So you are vulnerable and you expect vulnerability around you. You’re empathetic, which means as a connected leader, you have the ability to put yourself into somebody else’s shoes, not to be confused with sympathy. Empathy is really just holding space for somebody in recognizing their perspective. You don’t have to agree, you’re just holding space for it. That’s all you’re doing is saying, you know what Okay, I understand that perspective. I may not agree, but I understand it now and if I can understand it, then we can start to figure out what to do about it. A connected leaders also compassionate and that includes self-compassion. Leaderships. Freaking hard. Leadership is hard. And then we throw in in a little bit of crisis there, which is an environment that I operate in a lot. It can be really, really challenging. Stress levels are high, information is lacking, or the information you have is wrong. Um, time is a factor. The stakes are high. It’s hard. Oh, and by the way, you’re not dealing with widgets. You’re not dealing with the tape measure here, which is on my desk for some random reason, but you’re dealing with human beings. Human beings are complex. Human beings change from Monday morning to Monday afternoon. Human beings changed from Tuesday to Thursday. Human beings changed from noon till one doesn’t matter. That is really, really hard to do. So the connected leaders, one that has the ability to be compassionate and self-compassionate because you are doing the best you can. You are dealing with it incredibly complex variable, which are human beings and the connected leaders calm so connected to your managers, managing their stress levels and manages the stress levels of those around them. That’s where we’re trying to get to with our snakes and ladders. That is what, right That is the end. Now. Even then, I guess you can make an a, you could say that we want to extrapolating stand past the board, but right now let’s try to get there. Let’s try to get to become a connected leader, which is a leader that connects first and then leads. So what are the snakes or the snakes that will kind of degrade or erode our influence, her ability to influence other people, I. E. Our team. Well, we talked last week about toxic behaviors. Those are really, really good place to start. The toxic behaviors that we talked about leading with the culture of fear, where it’s like you all know what that is. Let’s start with Fader, right It’s Darth Vader. Another toxic behavior is my way or the highway, so it is not taking any input, is not soliciting any feedback. It is not engaging in any type of dialog at all. If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you. Another toxic behavior is micromanagement, micromanagement, and as I’ve said numerous times before, that is a toxic behavior. T capital t, capital, low capital x, capital I, capital c, toxic behavior from a leadership perspective, because when you’re micromanaging somebody, essentially what you’re telling them is you don’t trust them. Even though cognitively you may think that, but your behavior is such that you don’t, and so you’re talking about telling that the team member that you don’t trust them, you don’t respect them, you don’t value them, they don’t really matter as much. That’s really what you’re telling them. At least that’s the message they’re receiving. Really, really important. So another toxic behavior. We have our old school biases, biases around gender, girls, guys, whatever can lead. Everybody has the ability to lead. Everybody has the ability to learn skills and exhibit behaviors that lead to influence and positive influence. We all do. We all do. Yes, sometimes we need a lot more refining. Totally, totally get it. But ultimately at the end of day, we do have, all of us do have that ability regardless of race, color and creed. Millennials, right Leadership isn’t about generations at all at all. Tell the folks, um, you know, soldiers over seas that are continuing to, to die each and every day, put themselves into harms way. They are not 50 year olds, they’re not CEOs of companies. These are late teens, mid twenties, late twenties. The average age of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan 25. So if you want to continue going down and talking about the millennial path and how useless they are, give that number a, a thought 25 so that’s not the issue. So old-school biases are toxic. Behavior insensitivity is another toxic behavior. And that’s really a version of not being non empathetic where you just simply don’t care. You don’t care. All of those behaviors, remember, we’re trying to get to connected leadership here. We’re trying to build respect, influence. Well, when we exhibit those toxic behaviors, if we micromanage results, skill biases lead by a culture of fear of we’re insensitive. It’s a no my way or the highway. All those things. When you exhibit those behaviors, you’re actually hopping on a snake and you’re losing the credibility. You’re losing your path, you’re not moving forward. You’re actually dropping. Maybe it’s one level not too bad. So maybe three or four, maybe you really screwed something up. So keep that in mind so you have the ability to sakes or toxic behaviors. Now let’s flip that around though. We want to be a little more positive. And what are the behaviors that are ladders Well, the behaviors that are ladders are the ones that are taking us towards the connected leader, the self-aware leader, the facilitating leader, the vulnerable leader, the empathetic leader, the Compassionate leader, the calm leader, the leader that connects and then leads. That’s where we’re trying to go. So every behavior that goes towards that, one of the big ones is anything that that influences through respect or impacts respect, influence. So ladders are really opportunities and every opportunity, like anything can be squandered, but that’s not what we want to do. We want the opportunity to show leadership to Dago and that would lead to a, that would be a ladder leadership to dot o is taking the traditional environment of a leader of leadership and team of having a leader at the top of the pyramid to flipping a pyramid around and having the leader at the bottom who’s supporting the team. So if you do leadership two out o a few support the team and not vice versa, that’s the ladder go up one level, go up to go forward depending on how well you do with it. Another opportunity or another way to hop on a ladder and jump up a few levels. It’s using the right leadership style. Leadership styles are such that it’s really a different kind of approach depending on who you’re talking to, your audience and the situation. So an example might be if you’re dealing with somebody that’s brand new to your team, brand new to your corporation, brand new to you, um, you may want to be very, very direct or specific. And so that is what we call a direct leadership style. So if somebody straight up school like be an example. So you’re going to be very, very direct with them. Now flip that and take that to the other end of the spectrum we have now maybe you’re dealing with a really experienced individual or you’re on a project management team and you’ve got an it person that knows their job inside and out. That’s where we may want to use delegation, where we essentially give them what we call the end state. What is the goal here Where are we trying to get to And then let go. So you brought direct over here and we have delegation and in the middle we have what’s called participating style. And that’s where somebody that could is right in the middle there. Maybe they’re not super experienced, but they’re not super experienced. Or we can use a participating style to mentor somebody. And really essentially what it means is you’re asking them for their input. You’re asking for some guidance. You’re ultimately making the decision, but you’re asking, you’re involving them and involvement equals commitment, so that’s a ladder if you’re using the right style for the, for the right audience because you don’t want to be micromanaging and a very, very experienced person. Conversely, if it’s a brand new person straight out of university, let’s say you don’t want to over delegating because it’s actually setting them up for failure. We’ve talked about the power paradox and that is you gain power or influence by giving away, which is incredibly counterintuitive, but we’ve talked about that in previous episodes. The power paradox, when I give influence away or a gift, the power away, it’s telling the team member that they matter, that I respect them, that I value them, that I know they’re going to do the job and I’m putting my faith in them and that empowers them. That builds respect and we’ve talked about it. If I respect somebody else, that is the number one way to build respect. Mike, drop a mica, drop it. If I had a dime for every time somebody said, man, man, how do I get respect I just, I just can’t get it. Give it, give respect first and then you’ll get it back. It’s magic. It’s actually not magic, but it seems like magic. So try it. If you want respect, give it first. And as a leader, you are the one that gives it first. So if you’re respecting others that has a lot of behavior, you’re going to jump up a couple of levels. The very least you’re not gonna, you’re not going to drop down. So he used the power paradox, giving power or influence way. No, you’re going to get more back. The concept that we’re going to talk more about and few in the futures also listening, hi goodness, we are shitty listeners as human beings, we just are. It’s not something that we’re skilled at. It’s not something that we have good models of behavior for. We just really enjoy listening, not to understand, but basically to win. We’re lot of us are just wired to win a conversation and now you introduce a partner into that equation. It just escalates. And escalates. So listen to understand and not to win. So active listening where you actually are diligent and specific with regard to listening and it’s a, it’s a skill just like anything else. But if you learn that skill and if you exhibit it in your portray it, that’s a louder behavior you’re going to jump up. All right, so the latter to heaters are all of those, those positive traits, those positive behaviors that build respect, influence that move us towards a connected leader. It’s demonstrating that leadership to dot o flipping that model around so you support the team. So using that right leadership style for the right audience and the right situation, use the power paradox. Give power away. I’m going to get more back actively listen, any behavior that builds respect, influence is allowed or behavior, any behavior that takes away that respect. Influence is treated as a snake. That’s really the bottom line. So the take away this week reflect, there is an awful lot of reflection. I require folks here and I am. Part of it is because we need to understand what’s happening inside and then we can influence others. On the outside key key point. So there’s a lot of reflection required in leadership. So we need to reflect this week on your leadership interactions with those around you. Are you climbing the ladder Is it a behavior that would allow you to climb the ladder Or is it a behavior that says, Ooh, I’m on the snake down, down, down, and I go, that’s it. It’s either a ladder or it’s a snake. The choice is yours. You do have that ability. You’ve got enough background, hell, even in this episode alone, to be able to determine what is a ladder type behavior and what is a, Oh, we’re in trouble. I’m gonna ride that snake. Those. That’s the takeaway. Reflect on all of those interactions. Heck, you could even go so far as to mark it on a, on a whiteboard. I’m actually super interesting. Hmm. Idea for future episodes. So call to action for this week. Please join our, uh, connected leadership Facebook group. I mentioned at the outset, show some love. Subscribe on your apple podcasts or Google podcasts, wherever you’re actually listening to this. Or if you’re on Facebook, like the page, please share the page. Really try to drive the numbers up, not out of vanity a likes. This is not a face you need on video all the time. Uh, but more as an ability to influence and spread the message. Because I think that we all need, we all need some help sometimes. We all need a coach. We all need some development. We all need some perspective. We all need feedback, especially when it comes to leadership because leadership is hard. And I’m here to offer all of that type of assistance, but I really want to amplify what that message looks like. So at the end of the day, be a connected leader. Be self-aware, facilitate, don’t dictate, lead from inspiration and noddings aspiration. Be Vulnerable and expect vulnerability back. Be Empathetic, expected in return. Okay. Be Compassionate and including self-compassion. expect it back as a leader from your team and be calm. Manage your own stress. Manage the stress of those around you. That’s what connected leadership is about. Connect leadership, connect first and then lead. And when you make that connection, you start to influence. And when you start to influence, that’s when you do the leadership part. So thanks for watching. Feel free to comment, but please subscribe, share, comment, whatever else you need. Let’s start. Let’s blow this message up. Thanks for watching.

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