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Creating culture’s goal for each person is to work themselves out of a job. We are only as valuable to our organization as the value we share. Most people think the opposite. “If I give my secrets away, they’ll no longer need me. So, I better keep them to myself.” People who think this way subtract value from their organization. They don’t share secrets for fear that someone could take their position. This thinking is off-target. Look at it this way: if you are paid $100,000 per year, but your value is $1,000,000 per year , then you profit the organization $900,000 per year. Your secrets, skills, and knowledge have value. Let’s say you have a team of 10 people who are paid $50,000.00 per year and their value profits $50,000 per year. Your entire team’s value combined doesn’t equal yours. Why? Because your secrets, skills, and knowledge surpass theirs combined. Now, let’s say you share your secrets, train others to possess your skills, and you pass on all your knowledge. As a result, each person increases their value to the company by $100,000 per year. What’s your value now to the company? $1,900,000.00. By giving your value away, you double your market value. What if you continue to learn and give away value? You could bring 10, 30, and even 100-million dollars’ worth of value to your organization. The more value you gain and give away, the more value you have. The shortest way to higher value is to give your value away. The longest way to higher value is keep your value to yourself.

Great cultures are filled with people who share value and work themselves out of a job.

To work yourself out of a job, you must be intentional about it. Never presume other people will create your environment. People are creatures of habit, they will continue to do what they did before you created your culture unless you are intentional about changing habits. The following practices will help you change prior habits.

 1. EVALUATIONS

You must set up regular evaluations. Systems are made to be broken and it is better to be proactive then reactive.  Here are a few ways to evaluate:

Have monthly meetings to survey your team and talk about your cultural values.

Shut down production, turn off electronic devices, and close the doors.

First, hand out surveys to your team. Ask them not to write their names on the surveys and ask them to fill them out honestly. You can use the template on the next page.

Team Culture Survey

Instructions:

Please answer the following questions with complete honesty. If you have positive or negative feedback, please share them in the comments and suggestions section. Please do not put your name on this document.

Circle the following questions: “1” is Not at all and “10” is All the time

  1. Are we living VALUE A? 1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8      9      10

 

  1. Are we living VALUE B? 1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8      9      10

 

  1. Are we living VALUE C? 1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8      9      10

 

If the answers above were not a “10”, what do we need to do to improve?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Comments and Suggestions:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

When they’ve finished filling these out, collect them and give them to a 3rd party to compile the quantitative data from the questions scaling 1-10. Have them look over the qualitative questions and look for common answers. If people write the same or similar things, write it down. When you have many people saying the same thing, compile it in a written report for discussion.

Second, either use a team member or outside speaker to conduct a lesson on your values. Include examples, activities, questions, and discussion points to engage team members. Always use your mission, vision, and values as points of emphasis. This will not get old to your team. You will need to keep the delivery fresh, but your team will look forward to these meetings because they will feel valued and heard.

Third, have “Real Talk.” Real talk is an open-door policy for your team to make suggestions on how to improve systems and standards with your values, mission, and vision. Use the surveys from the previous meeting to discuss some solutions to problems. The meeting is a great place to create a comfortable environment, but it will spark outside real talk as well. Always look to discuss what is and is not going well. Too often leaders shut down the bad news and are eventually surrounded by people who have nothing useful to say.

Monthly team meetings are essential to the evaluation process. If you have no other form of evaluation, be sure to conduct these meetings. By making this a habit, you will protect your culture.

Set up one-on-one meetings with key influencers in your organization.

Every company has influencers. Influencers don’t necessarily have a position of leadership, but they garner the respect of the team. You must identify these people and set up regular meetings with them. Ask their opinion on the culture. Solicit their solutions to problems. Inquire about team morale. Ask them to tell you what you could do better. By doing this you will get their buy-in and they will influence the team to buy-in. Plus, the things they share will give insight on how to serve your team better. Your influencers will also tell you if you have any people on your team who don’t fit the culture. This is a simple and effective way to evaluate your culture.

Look at your numbers and see where you’re growing and falling short.

My college basketball coach used to say, “The numbers don’t lie.” It’s true. The numbers are the numbers whether we like it or not. Your numbers are an easy way to evaluate how you’re doing. Your new culture should increase profitability, sales, production, retention, and more. You should start to see gains after 3 months. If not, you need to evaluate and look for roadblocks. My friend Mark Lamoncha says, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Numbers are an easy way to see if you are up or down, moving forward or stalling. You don’t want to use numbers as your only method for evaluation, but you should include them as a major component of the process.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON EVALUATION

Ongoing evaluation will keep you ahead of any potential issues in your culture. Cars, ships, and buildings all need ongoing evaluations. Your culture is no different.  Part of working yourself out of a job is to infuse your culture with great systems you can trust. Evaluate your culture constantly.

(For more support on evaluations, please go to the Mainstream Leadership Network membership site)

  1. ONGOING TRAINING

Trees grow as big as their environment. The tallest trees in the world, California redwoods, grow over 250 feet tall because of the following: large amounts of rain, summer fog, temperate climate, and an average temperature of 45-61 degrees which is ideal for soil saturation. The largest redwood is 379 feet and it will keep growing if the environment doesn’t change. The environment is key to their growth. If you take the same trees and put them in a harsh climate, they will not grow to their potential.

People also grow as big as their environment. For trees the environment is physical, for people it is philosophical. The values, mission, vision, skills, customs, products, and services create your environment. To work yourself out of a job, you must train repeatedly. It takes 7-9 attempts to make a lasting impression. If you’re tired of saying something, that’s the time when your team is getting it, so you must create an environment and a schedule to repeat your training. Ongoing training, coaching, and mentoring is the lifeblood of a great culture. Proactive training will keep you from the reactions of unpreparedness. Most importantly, proactive training will prepare your team to work without you. Every leader’s goal should be to work themselves out of a job. You cannot do that without training.

The following are a list of things you should be training on regularly:

Culture

Always start with your values. People learn in 2 ways: 1. Repetitive auditory and visual stimulations. 2. Intense emotional experiences. You need to have signs, banners, business cards, and more with your values placed all over your business. If you have an online business, your values should be placed strategically in your office so your staff sees them every time they visit. If you have a project-based company that is mobile, have your values on your trucks, trailers, dashboards, etc. Talk about your values when you’re doing a project or before you begin the day. Your cultural values are your quickest path to success. As Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Make sure you remind your team daily of your values.

Vision/Goals

Make sure you have your 3, 5, and 10-year vision written out and placed where your team can see them. This will remind them you’re going somewhere and they aren’t there just to make you money. You will also want to train your team on setting regular daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals. Remember, those who set regular goals are 50% more productive than those who don’t. Most people don’t set goals, but you can separate your culture by training on this and holding your team accountable to their goals.

Skills

Every business has specific skills needed to complete tasks. As a leader, you should know those skills better than anyone. Do you have those skills written down and on audio and video? Are you holding weekly trainings to polish your team’s skills? Are you sending your team to outside trainings to learn new skills? Are you utilizing the copious online trainings that could help your team from the comfort of your home office? The adage, “Practice makes perfect” fits in this scenario. Professionals in all industries practice to improve their skills. You must do the same to work yourself out of a job. Training in skills will increase your trust with your team, especially when you step away. Here are a few methods you can use for skills training:

One-on-one mentoring

You can set up a mentoring program one hour, one day per week where you and other skilled members of your team mentor team members needing improvement. This is effective because it gives individual attention to each person.

Formal training

Seminars, outside trainers, team training, and program specific training fall in this category. You can do this online, at your location, or at another location. I recommend at least 1 formal training per month.

Informal training

Informal training is impromptu and can be done when someone makes a mistake the whole team can learn from. You never want to use this to chastise someone in front of the group, so be sure to have the person who learned from a mistake be a part of the training. I recommend doing this as often as possible. Be intentional in asking your team what they’ve learned from each project.

Self-study

This can be through books, online training courses, guides, manuals, classes, and more that focuses on increasing an individual’s skills. I recommend offering these with bonuses and recognition for everyone who completes a self-study training.

 Communication

Tony Robbins says, “The quality of our life is the quality of our communication.” If you’ve ever been misunderstood or had conflict, you’ve felt your quality of life decrease because of a communication breakdown. You must train, practice, and strategize communication as often as possible to increase quality of life and work yourself out of a job.

To have great communication, you must start with four basic communication rules from the late great writing instructor William Zinsser.

  1. Clarity – What you say needs to be clear and free from clutter. Too often people overexplain or overcomplicate their message to “sound smart,” instead of being smart by making their message clear. If a 10-year-old can’t understand it—it’s not clear.
  2. Brevity – I’ve often received emails that could have been two sentences, but were two paragraphs. So, it was up to me, the reader, to decipher what the message was about. Shorter is better than longer. Be brief.
  3. Simplicity – Using big words may make someone feel smart, but if the reader doesn’t understand, it’s not smart. Use simple, common language that will connect with others.
  4. Humanity – This is about relating to others. You don’t want to communicate like a robot. You will communicate much more effectively if you remember you’re a human.

These four rules should guide your communication. They will help you become more efficient, connected, and agile. With these rules in mind, set up the following to practice communication.

Mastermind Groups

Mastermind groups are designed for individual and community growth. Members are charged with two responsibilities: To teach and to learn. Each session explores contextual questions, allowing members to share their experiences, understanding, and opinions. Groups are limited to 10 people for maximum communication and effectiveness. Mastermind groups will connect people on the topic of discussion, but most importantly it will give them chances to think, express, and respond via communication.

NOTE: MLN has numerous Mastermind Groups available via the membership site. You can use these videos and curriculum to facilitate mastermind groups.

Internal networking lunches

It’s great to host networking lunches to get to know vendors and clients, but what about your team? People work together each day, but most don’t know much about each other. Quality communication is about connection. The greater our connection, the greater our communication. Set up networking lunches for your team, have people sit with people who they don’t normally interact with and have questions for them to ask each other. Here is a list of potential questions (repeated from section 4):

  • What’s the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
  • What technology innovation made the most impact on your life?
  • Describe a challenging situation you’ve been in and tell how you resolved it?
  • How would you spend one million dollars?
  • Who is your hero, and why?
  • Tell us your earliest childhood memory.
  • Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did s/he impact you?
  • If you could choose an age to remain forever, which age would you choose?
  • What is one important skill every person should have?
  • What is your favorite sport to watch?

The people we communicate best with are those we know, like, and trust. Facilitate opportunities for your team to get to know each other through conversation and you will have better communication.

Writing Practice

G.K. Chesterton said, “Reading makes a learned man, writing a precise man.” Skilled writing is a lost art. Proper grammar, structure, and syntax aren’t strictly followed when countless emails, SMG, and social media messages are written each day. The following statistics may interest you:

55 percent of communication is non-verbal

When you’re face-to-face with someone you can read their body language, facial expressions, eye movement, hand gestures, and head placement. Your body language communicates if you’re happy, sad, confused, scared, relaxed, stressed, playful, silly, angry, etc. When you eliminate non-verbals from communication, you lose out on much of what is not being said, emphasizing what is spoken.

38 percent of communication is tone of voice

My mom used to say, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it that makes the biggest difference.” We can say the same phrase in hundreds of different ways. Tone can offend or uplift, be sarcastic or whiney, and friendly or arrogant. When you eliminate tone from communication, you entrust the reader of the message to correctly interpret your intended tone.

7 percent of communication is words

Because words do not have as much of an impact as non-verbals and tone, it is difficult to write a great article, paper, or book. If you’ve ever read academic writing, you know how boring reading can be (no offense to my academic colleagues). It takes a skillful writer to draw the reader towards common expression, tone, and emotion.

Make sure your team isn’t sending out messages with misspelled words, block paragraphs, or mixed messages. Bring in a writing instructor to teach proper writing skills. By doing this, you will help your team minimize confusion and conflict.

For every hour and dollar you put into training, you will yield a 400% return on investment. Do not think of training as “overhead.” Think of training the same as a sales meeting. It will bring you higher sales and closing rates. Train, train, and train some more.

  1. HIRE TO YOUR CULTURE

Hiring team members is one of the greatest cultural challenges. Who should you hire? When should you hire? What if money is tight but you need someone? What do you do if someone quits? These and a plethora of other questions can paralyze a business and keep them from hiring the right people at the right time for the right reasons.

Culture and Character First

Culture and character are the keys to success. Make sure the person you are hiring already possesses the values you espouse. All successful cultures hire people who already fit their mold. Don’t buy the delusion that you can hire someone and make them fit. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t fit out of desperation. Additionally, look for great character. Regardless of the type of organization you own, here are the five main character traits you want people to possess:

  • Positive Attitude – This means the person will look for positive solutions in negative circumstances.
  • Personal Responsibility – You want people who take ownership for their own life and your business.
  • Preparation – When a person is well prepared they can respond well when the unexpected happens.
  • Perseverance – You want a person who will stick it out when the going gets tough. Make sure you pay careful attention to how many jobs the person has had in the past few years. This should affect your questioning and your decision to bring them on your team.
  • Vision – You want people who have goals and want the most out of life. Make sure you ask people you interview about their future plans.

Use these character traits to guide you in the interview process and the ongoing training of your team.

Skills

Each job requires a certain set of skills. Skills are not as important as character, but they are vital to the longevity of your organization. Make sure each person you hire has a basic set of skills for the job they will be performing. Do not hire people if they don’t have the basic skills.

 

For example, do not hire a sales person who does not have proper verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills. Do not hire an administrator who has no grasp of technology. Do not hire a lead installer who does not understand the basics of logistics. Pay attention to each job description and hire accordingly. Before looking to hire someone, write down the skills you are looking for and use them to guide your decision.

EXAMPLE SKILL LIST: SALES POSITION

  • PROBLEM SOLVER – Ability to see a need and develop solutions.
  • WRITING – Needs to be able to write emails and proposals in a clear, concise, and relatable fashion.
  • ORGANIZATION – Needs to be able to follow-up with customers and keep an organized schedule.
  • OBSERVANT – Can see opportunity as it approaches.
  • ABILITY TO CLOSE – Has the courage to ask for the close.
  • NETWORK – Able to network in a group.
  • PUBLIC SPEAKING – Can present the opportunity to many people.
  • PROFESSIONALLY MINDED – Has ability to separate personal and professional issues.
  • OVERCOMING OBJECTIONS – Can speak to fears, doubts, and worries potential clients have.

Profile Tests

Personality profile tests are great for helping you find the right fit for each position. You can use any personality profile test you like, but whichever you choose, make sure you determine what personality you’re looking for in each position and write it down before you begin interviewing.

The following are a few personality profile tests you could use:

  • The 5-minute personality test

This is a free test you can download online. It breaks down people’s personality into animal types. How could a company use this test?

  • The D.I.S.C. personality test

This test is internationally known and recognized. What does it do? You can use a free version online or purchase tests for $6-10. How could a company use this test?

  • PXT – Profiles International

This test is comprehensive test which gives you a breakdown of the person’s personality and skill and shows you which positions would be the best fit for them. This test is expensive, but comprehensive.

There are a lot of tests like these. Find what works for you and use them to make good hiring decisions.

Interviewing

Interviewing can be stressful and time consuming. I recommend a minimum of 3 interviews per applicant. and a maximum of 6. Take your time, ask the right questions, and make sure the rest of your team approves. The person you hire could be working with you for the rest of your career. It is an important decision. If you aren’t 100% sure the person is the right fit, don’t hire them. Employee turnover costs an employer 2 ½ times a person’s annual salary. Save yourself time, money, and heartache by getting it right the first time. That said, we’ve all made hires based on knockout interviews that end up not panning out. When that happens, keep trying until you find the right fit.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN, INTERVIEW YOURSELF

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you want in a person for this position?
    • Make a short list
  • What don’t you want in a person for this position?
    • Make a short list
  • What skills are required for this position?
    • Make a short list
  • What skills can be taught after the person is hired?
    • Make a short list
  • What is the max salary/hourly wage you can offer?
    • Write the number down
  • What is the salary/hourly wage you will offer?
    • Write the number down
  • What is the bonus structure for this opportunity?
    • Write the bonus structure down

If you aren’t clear on what you want, don’t want, the skills, and salary, then you may settle for something you don’t want. Make sure you take time to interview yourself before you interview someone else.

Icebreakers

It’s a scientific fact that relaxed muscles react better. Icebreakers are a way to relax you and your candidate before you get into heavy interview questions. Icebreakers are easy to answer and fun. You can use the icebreakers from the previous section for ideas.

Interview Questions

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • How did you hear about the position?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your greatest professional strengths?
  • What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
  • What is your greatest professional achievement?
  • Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What’s your dream job?
  • What other companies are you interviewing with?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Why were you fired?
  • What are you looking for in a new position?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • What’s your management style?
  • Tell me about a time you exercised leadership?
  • Tell me about a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work and how you handled it?
  • How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
  • Why was there a gap in your employment?
  • Can you explain why you changed career paths?
  • How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
  • What would your first 30, 60, or 90 days look like in this role?
  • What are your salary requirements?
  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  • What do you think we could do better or differently?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

You don’t need to ask every question, but it is good to have these questions at your disposal during the interview. You can print them out and have them in front of you or pick a handful you’re comfortable with and write them in a notebook. The more prepared you are, the smoother the interview will go.

Other interviewing practices

NOTE: Before practicing any of the following, be sure to know the interviewing laws of your state/country. Some practices may be forbidden. Exercise your due diligence and make sure these practices are legal in your state before doing them.

Family outing

Ask the interviewee and family out to dinner. Meet at a restaurant. Watch how they interact. Are they authentic? Do they have good rapport with their family? Is the family engaged or aloof? Take time to get to know their significant other and children (if applicable). You will learn a lot about a person by observing how they interact and treat their family.

Competitive outing

This is especially important for sales positions. You want to make sure a sales person is competitive. Ask your interviewee to go bowling, play cards, board games, basketball, or any other competitive game of the like. Watch how they compete. If they lose see how they respond. You don’t want them to throw a fit, but you do want them to show they dislike losing. This outing can be good for any leadership position as well.

High Traffic interview

Set up an interview where you will get a lot of distractions. Go to a restaurant where you know you will see a lot of people you know or plan distractions. See how your prospect responds when they are interrupted multiple times. Do they get frazzled? Do they keep their cool? Do they engage the distractor? Are they friendly? These situations let you evaluate how they respond to change.

Trivia interview

When you first interview your prospect, give them a breakdown of your culture with your values, mission, and vision. Emphasize how important they are to your organization. Let them know on the second interview you have trivia about the values. Then during the second interview, see if they’ve memorized the culture breakdown. This will allow you to evaluate how serious they are about the opportunity.

Team interview

Let the people who would be working with your prospect interview them. Allow them to ask their own questions and give you feedback on whether they’re a good fit. If the people who would be working with them daily don’t think they’re a good fit, don’t hire them.

Tryout period

I highly recommend tryout periods. One of the best ways to determine if a person is a good fit is to see how they fit in live action. You can determine what a good trial period is, but a good base is 3 weeks. If they are consistent for three weeks, they’re likely a good fit. If your trial period is over 3 weeks, the prospect can become uneasy. Be sure to communicate clearly about your tryout period with your prospect and give constant feedback. If they’re not doing well, let them know why and see how they respond. If they’re doing well give them greater challenges and see how they respond. A tryout should give them every challenge they’ll face as an employee, so don’t hold back.

The major point of emphasis in interviewing—take your time! The old saying, “If you don’t know, go slow” is great for interviewing. Bad hires hurt your culture. If a bad hire does slip through, make sure you let them go quickly. Do not hesitate. Hiring the right people for your culture is a quick way to work yourself out of a job. The values you are built upon are lived out by your people. People are business and business is people. The way to ensure a great organization is to have a solid foundation of the right people.

  1. EMPOWER YOUR POWER

When you’ve mentored, trained, and built a solid team, it is time to walk away. Jim Collins book Good to Great shows that “Great” organizations are those where leaders can be absent and the organization thrives. The only way to do that is to empower others with your power. This isn’t something to take lightly or to be too cautious with. Whomever you’re empowering, you must have trust for their heart, skill, and leadership. Here is the 4-step process to empowering your power.

  1. Training – Training should be ongoing and continual. This was covered earlier in this section. Therefore, we will move on to #2.
  2. Mentoring

Timeframe: 6 months – 2 years.

Structure: 1 hour, 1 day per week focused mentoring (with many on the job training moments).

Mentoring has hierarchy. A leader and protégé(s) meet regularly and work side-by-side so the leader can teach their knowledge and skill, and give their protégé(s) challenges to work through to develop their knowledge and skills. The purpose for mentoring is to prepare the protégé to become the leader. This must be clear. Create a critical path with milestone markers that will highlight the protégé’s progress. Be candid about the improvements the protégé needs to make personally and professionally. Write down all foundational information your protégé(s) must know to be an effective leader. You can do a simple outline or detailed manual-type document. The more detail the better.

For effective mentoring, utilize these Five Rs of Learning:

  • Resolve – Work with your protégé to stir resolve. Ask them their vision, goals, and expected results. Reveal their strengths, passion, and talent to them. Set your expectations of them and make them clear.
  • Rigor – Mentoring must produce a challenge. You want your protégé to fail often. When they fail, you want to embrace it, correct the mistakes, and have them try again. You’d much rather them make mistakes with you before you’ve empowered them. If you don’t create rigor, your mentoring won’t be as effective.
  • Relevance – Be focused during your mentoring meetings. Relevant mentoring means every learning opportunity is tied to a job skill. It is easy to get off on irrelevant topics, especially if you have common personal interests with your protégé. Be disciplined and stay on task or you will prolong the process.
  • Relationships – Relationships are bridges where values are transferred. Build a personal relationship with your protégé. The best way to build relationships is by using the servant leadership mentality. Be authentic. Be transparent about your successes and shortcomings. The more authentic you are, the more authentic your protégé will be.
  • Results – You should see significant growth and change in your protégé. You will want to keep a journal to log the changes and give them constant feedback.

Once you feel your protégé is ready, you will then move to the next phase of empowerment.

For more information on mentoring a good friend of mine Ron Emery has written a book called Growing Comes From Planting Seeds. It is a step-by-step guide to mentoring, coaching, and empowerment.

  1. Coaching

Timeframe: 6-12 months

Structure: 1 hour, 1 day per week focused mentoring (with many on the job training moments)

At this point you need to empower your protégé. S/he will take the role and responsibilities you’ve trained them for. Now the coaching begins. Coaching is different from mentoring. Coaching’s base is education, whereas mentoring’s base is instruction. With both mentoring and coaching you will use both education and instruction, but it is important that during the coaching phase, you educate more than instruct. Instead, Educate by using questions to draw out your protégé’s brilliance. This will give them confidence in their empowerment and skills.

In coaching, it is important to empower your protégé to be in control of your meetings. Talk about the topics they want to talk about. Ask numerous questions to help them reach their conclusions. Again, only instruct as a tool of last resort. In your coaching sessions, always have a Way Forward, which is their action steps for that week.

Here is a breakdown of a coaching session structure and some sample questions.

Topic:

  • Main question: What would you like to talk about today?
  • Follow up: What is pressing for you?

Goal:

  1. What must you accomplish in the next 12 months?
  2. What would you like to focus on today?
  3. What’s important to you at the moment?
  4. What are you working on at the moment?
  5. What challenges are you struggling with at the moment?
  6. How can you word that goal more specifically?
  7. How can you measure that goal?
  8. How can you break down that goal into bite-sized pieces?
  9. How can you word this goal using positive language?
  10. What do you want to be doing in five years’ time?
  11. What’s your ideal future?
  12. Where is your life out of balance?
  13. What is the legacy that you want to leave?
  14. What new skill do you want to learn or develop?

Reality:

  1. What’s working well for you at the moment?
  2. What isn’t working well at the moment?
  3. What have you done so far to improve things?
  4. How does this goal impact your spouse/partner?
  5. What’s the excuse that you have always used for not achieving your goals?
  6. What aspects of your life will be impacted by reaching the above goal?
  7. What is the biggest obstacle that you are facing?
  8. What are you afraid of?
  9. What are you passionate about?
  10. What are you willing to endure to see your goal become a reality?
  11. Is that a need or a want?
  12. Where are you sabotaging yourself?

Options:

  1. What do you think you should do first?
  2. What would be the most helpful thing that you could do now?
  3. If money wasn’t a restriction for you, what would you do?
  4. If time wasn’t a restriction for you, what would you do?
  5. What would you do if you weren’t answerable to anyone?
  6. What would (enter name of relevant expert) do in this situation?
  7. What do you sense God is telling you to do?
  8. If you were guaranteed to succeed, what would you do?
  9. What’s the best use of your time at the moment?
  10. If you could only do one thing this week, what would it be?
  11. What can you do better than anyone else in your organization?
  12. What books should you be reading to help you achieve your goals?
  13. If you went to your boss with this problem, what would they suggest?
  14. If you saw someone else in your situation, what would you suggest they do?
  15. If you had 50% more confidence, what would you be doing that would be different?
  16. If you weren’t holding anything back, what would you be doing? Subsequently

Way Forward:

  1. What are you going to do in the next 24 hours?
  2. How committed are you in reaching this goal?
  3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated are you to achieving this goal?
  4. What will it take to turn that 5 into an 8 (or 6 into a 9)?
  5. Who do you need to speak to about this goal?
  6. How are you going to celebrate reaching your goal?
  7. Whatever your first step is, can you think of anything that might stop you from doing it?
  8. Is there anything else that you need to consider before starting?

(If you would like to be certified as a life and business coach, contact us via the membership site or www.mainstreamleadershipnetwork.com.)

Evaluate after 6 months. If they’re not ready for complete empowerment, schedule another 3 months of sessions. If they are ready, move on to the final stage.

  1. Walk Away

This is the hardest part of empowerment. It’s where the leader lets go of control and completely surrenders the position to their protégé. No matter how great a leader is, they always stir a modicum of fear with their team. Why? They sign the paychecks and have a say in their future. Also, it is natural for empowered leaders to want to defer decisions to their leader. Therefore, you must spend less time at your organization and allow those you’ve trained, mentored, and coached to lead.

By walking away it’s like giving oxygen and wood to a fire – it will grow. As much as leaders don’t want to admit it, they are typically the reason their organizations don’t grow. Simple math applies: 4 is bigger than 2, 8 is bigger than 4, and 16 is bigger than 8. If you want serious growth, you must multiply, not add. When leaders do not empower they limit ideas, synergy, and growth.

Start by cutting your hours in half. Then after a few months, cut your time in half again. Then repeat until you are only there once or twice per month to meet with key leaders. This is the most critical step to have a prosperous and fulfilling organization. Walk away and leave a legacy.