As leaders, your people are watching you all the time. They’re watching your actions, your reactions and your behaviors to determine if they’re going to follow you because they want to or because they have to. In Episode #37 of our Executive Leadership Podcast, we’ll continue our discussion with Fernando Campos of Peoples Mortgage by diving into three key behaviors of high engagement leaders.
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Read the transcript below:
Welcome to the John Maxwell Company Executive Leadership Podcast where our goal is to help you increase your level of influence, increase your reputation as a leader, and increase your ability to fully engage your team to drive remarkable results. Hi, I’m Perry Holley, a John Maxwell facilitator and coach and I’m Chris Goede, Vice President of The John Maxwell Company. Welcome and thank you for joining.
I’m excited today because we have a good friend of ours that Perry and I have asked to kind of sit in with us on this podcast. He’s not only a good friend of ours but a friend of John’s and has been a lifelong learner and practitioner of his content. Fernando Campos from Peoples Mortgage has joined us today just to really kind of speak into the content to give us some thoughts on his perspective around our topic today. So Fernando, thanks for joining us and being here. Thank you. I’m glad to be here today.
I’m excited about today’s topic as well and when Perry developed this content and we titled it “The Three Guiding Behaviors of High Engagement Leaders.” And when we talk about these three things, they’re going to be very common to each one of us as a leader, as an individual. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to kind of define it and talk about it and we’re going to talk about how when they come together, they’ll help you increase the engagement level of your organization. So let’s jump in here. Here are the three things that we’re going to talk about, the behaviors we’re going to talk about today. The first one is discipline, the second one is integrity and the third one is accountability. So, Perry, I’m going throw to you and let us get rolling.
Well, you know, we’ve talked many times about the fact that people, not just your followers, but people, in general, are watching you all the time. And my big question for me or any audience we see is what are they watching for and why? And what I’ve learned over the years and what they’re watching for is your behaviors, your actions, your reactions, and why is because they’re trying to determine are they going to follow you because they want to or because they have to? Yeah. And I think to determine that and look how I manage myself, how I lead me, the behaviors that I’m looking for really fall into these three categories to me about discipline, integrity, and accountability. When people see those three, I generally am on a good path for influencing you in a way that makes you want to follow me.
That’s right. And which will then, yeah, in turn, increase their engagement inside the organization. And when it comes to that, it’s funny, our people, our team members, those that we have influence within any certain situation, they are maybe not actually, you know, writing down these questions and asking themselves. They’re probably subconsciously asking these three questions about you as a leader. And John talks about this. And so I’ll just share these questions with you right now. The first one he says is, hey, they’re thinking, they’re saying, you know, does this leader, do you care for me? Right? And John says that that is the compassion question. And then they’re thinking, hmm, can he or she help me? Right? Like they’re looking at you from a Level 3 production standpoint. That’s the competence question that they’re asking themselves. And then the third one is they’re saying, and all of us do this, can I trust you? And that’s that. That’s the character question. And so I think we need to, you know, to your point, they’re always watching you and they are, they’re always watching you and they’re always asking themselves, you know, those three questions. So of the values that we’re going to discuss this morning and moving from Level 1 to Level 2 on our influence scale here, how did you come to these three thinking about it as far as driving employee engagement?
You know, and I’d love to get Fernando’s input on this. So, I have a model that I developed and I teach called the remarkable manager. And I thought you’ve got to lead yourself. You’ve got to lead your team, you’ve got to lead your business. And for most of the people that I am able to speak with or coach, it seems like we’ve been kind of developed over the years that it’s really all about the business and we’ve got to get these numbers, got to get this business going. But what I found is it, yes, I have to manage the business, but if I’m not managing the team, the business is not going to take, I can’t do it by myself and then the team is not going to buy into me if I’m not leading me, that’s how I got back to there. So what are they watching for? As I said earlier, the watching for, I came up with a three for me were discipline, integrity, and accountability. And I know at Peoples Mortgage, you’ve said it’s all about the people. It’s all about the business will take care of itself if you take care of the people. But I know you can’t forget the business. The business is important, but I’m not going to get the business without the people.
That’s so well said. At Peoples Mortgage, talking about discipline, you know, it starts at the top and our sales managers or loners are watching us because we are doing things and we’re asking them to do certain things and they’re watching us if we’re doing it. And, we have to lead by example. And discipline is one of the things I’m coaching a few of the people there at Peoples because the discipline is not at the level should be. They think that they’re disciplined, right? And it comes back to habits and asking them to give me a rundown of their daily activities and I’m surprised that their habits are not disciplined. I mean, they want great results, but what they’re doing is they’re going a different direction for the results. And, discipline, I have a little chart that we put together for our salespeople and said, are you doing these certain things daily? Are you doing these things with people in mind? Are you doing these things that everything you do as far as the disciplining yourself? Are you doing yourself good to help others?
Let me ask you, so I’ve always when I talk about this in front of an audience, the word discipline itself gets kind of a confused look on the face. And I always remind them, I said, you know, my Dad said, when I get home, I’m going to discipline you. It’s not that one. What, when you think about, and I’m putting you on the spot, but, a couple of disciplines you think about from a leader’s point of view, what is discipline for a leader? And you were saying, you watch your team and you train their team. What are some daily disciplines or disciplines in general for the team?
Several of the most important things that relate to discipline for our team is very simple things. For example, we’re working with people that on discipline from this point of view is what are you doing consistently? You know, what you’re having for me now and what are you doing consistently? Write it down. Keep a journal of what you’re doing because what you’re doing would dictate the results. And, discipline to me is it’s showing them that keep a record and see what’s, what are the doing consistently be consistent. I’d rather have you do something consistently bad that does not do anything, but we have a high ratio of success in our company because we track their consistency and actions. We program those, we understand what they’re going through and we have a one to one sessions and trying to find out exactly where they are and what’s their consistency rate, what’s their habits, what are they doing?
And part of why I got onto this topic was I started watching the people that were influencing me and I just started doing a little quiet analysis of what was it that inspired me and what was it that pushed me away? And part of the disciplines, I boiled it down to three. How are they managing their time? How are they managing their priorities? And, how are they setting boundaries? And if they were hair on fire, out of control, couldn’t make a meeting, couldn’t stay on time, I didn’t know what was important major on the minors, didn’t major on the majors. All of a sudden I’m finding myself kind of disengaging, pulling back that discretionary effort. I’m not so sure. Versus seeing somebody that was really together on those daily disciplines of managing priorities and time and boundaries. Really. I kind of leaned in.
I think, for me, discipline equals intentionality. And I think when, as leaders, that were intentional about our time, our schedule, our priorities, a couple of things happen. The first is we don’t become, or other’s agendas, don’t become a tardy for our schedule. Right? And because if we don’t take the time to be intentional about what it is that we’re here to accomplish, we will, you know, result in moving to someone else’s agenda, someone else’s priorities. And, I think the first part is that intentionality. And I think the other part is if you’re intentional and you have this discipline and people are watching you and they see that and, or you’re helping coach people through that. I think consistency compounds, as you mentioned, John talks about that a lot of time. And so, the engagement level around discipline may be minimal at the beginning and they may even have that negative perspective that you were talking about. But over time as it compounds, it gets greater, they’re going to see more success, they’re going to see more engagement, they’re going to see leaders, Fernando, as you mentioned that are connected with them and they’re going to become more engaged. So I was the same way. I was thinking about how in the world we’re going to tie this in, but now we’re having this conversation and thinking about it, it completely makes sense.
The second one was around integrity. And I know it sounds kind of obvious if you’re a leader of integrity, you just, Oh yeah. You have to have that when you’re trying to lead others. But I’m surprised sometimes how it’s kind of a foggy area sometimes for some people where the line is, integrity when leading really to me is about building that significant level of trust with people that you’re really hoping to influence. And most people were clear. I mean, I always take the big three off the table. I’m assuming because you’re in this role, you’re not lying, cheating or stealing, but you’re hoping to establish trust. How do you build this trust and this through integrity when you’re trying to lead folks? And what are the things that tear that down? And I know Peoples Mortgage had kind of a history of building trust with, especially in the Hispanic community. I know you do a lot as that ambassador there, how do you build this trust by doing small things daily that really, so that, and Chris already brought it up. You help them, you show you care for them and that builds trust with them.
Well, that’s a good question. At Peoples Mortgage, it’s 35 to 40% Hispanic business. And one of the things that we try to do is educate them that sometimes this loan is not right for them. Hmm. Wait a minute. Yeah. And that’s very uncommon in the business world. Sure. And because most companies take it and let them pay for it. Yeah. At Peoples Mortgage and now let’s, let’s find another avenue, another method that we can help you so you wouldn’t be paying 10 times, you know, down the road. And so we educate that. And you know, at first, they kind of don’t believe what we’re saying because they’re hearing the different stories from other companies. At Peoples’, we say it’s all about the people. We want to make sure that you have the best rate, but we don’t want you to be paying 10 times down the road. So if you ever told somebody that you wouldn’t give them a mortgage? Yes. Wow. Yes. And that’s what I tell our staff, that when you’re talking to a family, don’t be afraid to say no, this is not for you. Even that it’s not the time for you. You don’t have enough income. You don’t have enough, you know, you have too much debt. Let’s work on this debt. Let’s get it paid off and then come back in six months and we can help you, if we do it right now, you’re going to be in trouble nine months later and you’re going to hate people. You’re going to hate me. You’re going to hate yourself. Let’s do it right.
Wow. From an integrity standpoint, if I was on people’s team and I was a loan officer and I knew that that was one of our guiding principles from an integrity standpoint, I am going to engage with the values of the organization representing the organization at a higher level knowing that I’m going to be representing what I feel is right. And a lot of that, let’s just be honest, a lot of that doesn’t happen. In all businesses, but what we’re talking about increasing engagement level and when you have a value like that and you have a standard like that and you’re encouraging your loan officers to approach business like that, which by the way, I know it will pay off tenfold down the road when you help protect those families. Yes. It would increase my engagement level.
Well, what happens when you help a Hispanic family or any family per se when they realize that they got the best deal and you were honest with them. Yeah. Referrals come tenfold. Tell people to know what that may be a path to your door specialist works. Especially in the Hispanic community because if you help this brother, then every brother, sister, cousin, whatever, they all, and they have big families, big families and everybody knows who to go to. And, we even thought about changing our company from Peoples Mortgage to La Gente in Spanish, the people. But my parents taught me one thing when I was going out to the University of Texas. They said, you know, you’re going to make a lot more than we did, you’re going to be more successful than your mom and I. But remember what you did have growing up was love, attention, and trust from your families. And I tell myself, loan offers, hey listen, right now you’re talking to me. And so you want to do what’s right because I’m here watching you, listening to you. But, do the right thing when I’m not around. Do the right thing when you’re by yourself with a customer, tell them the truth. Tell him to wait. This is not for you. You’d be surprised at what happens.
You’re kind of bridging here now to number three because you were saying with the integrity comes in accountability and through doing that, so, accountability is the third of the guiding behaviors. I was wondering, and maybe Chris, how you’ve seen accountability come about and as behavior that most leaders, how they embrace that?
So I think as a leader, I’ll speak to that first, I think you have to accept accountability at all times. There are a lot of leaders and maybe even times in my past, too, where I haven’t done that appropriately. And I think the repercussions of that is that to your point early on are people are watching us all the time, right? Yeah. And when there’s an inconsistent message and you’re not holding yourself accountable, your team is not going to model. You’re not modeling that, so they’re not going to follow it. And I think about some of the leaders that I’ve worked for in the past and the accountability that they had, not only for developing themselves every day, understanding that they can continue to grow, but then the way that they handled the organization and the mission, and the values, and how they treated our customers. It again for me, an engagement level, it just made me get on board a little bit faster. It made me stay sometimes a little bit longer. Right? I had the opportunity, I just have to share this story real quick. I had the opportunity two nights ago to sit down and interview John Smoltz, the great Atlanta Brave Hall of Famer. And it was a bucket list experience for me. It was really cool and Fernando, you were in the room and my last question was I kind of gave him a word association, gave him thought association. I named some former players and then I got to the very last one and I wanted to close with this because those of us that are from Atlanta and Braves fans, Bobby Cox is just, he’s a different type of leader. And the way he, that he handled everything from the ups and the downs. And so I got to the last one and I looked at Smoltz and I said, hey, talk a little bit more than just one-word association about this. And he went on for probably 10 minutes. And you could just see the passion. And he made this statement because what he saw modeled in Bobby Cox in that he held umpires and other people around the game accountable for doing what’s right to protect his organization and his pitchers. Okay. Every time that he got ejected and he’s known for getting a lot of objections out of the games, he had to pay a $500 fine. And all the pitchers would come up, or the players would be like, hey Bobby, let me pay that. Bobby said no, I know it’s my responsibility. I’m here, I’m going to hold them accountable, whatever the repercussions are on me, I got it. You’re my guys. You’re my team. This is what our organization stands for. I’m not gonna let that happen. And Smoltz looked at me and I know this is a real number because he’s a very integrous guy. He looked at me, he said, do you know that over my career I passed up on making another $70 million to stay with the Atlanta Braves because of one person. And you could just hear a pin drop in the room. Yes. Right. And so how many of us are leading in a way that from an accountability standpoint to the organization, what was called for and for our people and what we’re doing, and then being accountable unto ourselves that we could make a statement like that. Isn’t that crazy?
Accountability in my upbringing was always who do you blame when something goes wrong? Yeah. Like who’s accountable for this? And what I’ve learned, I was reading the Oz principle by Roger Conners, Tom Smith, Craig Hickman on the language of accountability to me has changed because of some of their insights, but that I love the site for things was accountability. I’m making a personal choice number two, to rise above the circumstances. And let me tell you, there are always circumstances. And then I number three, demonstrate ownership number four to achieve the desired results. And so it switched to my mind, accountability from being who’s to blame, to ownership in your mind. I wonder, in your world, as you’re looking at with your loan officers and folks and you have that integrity, working with clients, how do you see accountability in the WHO to blame or in the ownership bucket?
At Peoples Mortgage, we hold ourselves accountable. Our sales, myself, and then I hold myself accountable to Tim. But more importantly, I hold myself accountable myself or what I’m doing. I can’t hold anybody else unless I know that I’m kind of looked at myself, period. And then I can speak very freely to anyone in the organization about accountability. Accountability to me is doing the right thing consistently and not being afraid to say no to customers when it’s not right. So you own it. I own it. Right. Period. And that’s caused me to lose some friends. But, what has happened, I kept the good ones.
Yeah, that’s right. So as we kind of wrap up today, here’s a common theme that I’m hearing, and I’ll throw it back to you, Perry. You can kind of close this out is that you’re John says, the hardest person to lead is yourself. And these three words that we talked about today, discipline, integrity, and accountability are at the root of that, right? Because we easily can tell ourselves a different story. We’re the best salesperson for ourselves, right? We have these stories in our head that we tell us that maybe would get us out of alignment. And here’s what I would tell you. John says all the time that leadership is a visual sport. And to Perry’s comment, as we opened this morning, people are always watching you. And so Fernando, as you just said, well said, it starts with right here. It starts with as leaders, as people with influence and all of us have influence and we’re all leaders, it starts with ourselves. We get ourselves right, our people will follow. And then more importantly to the topic today, they will become more engaged in the organization, which then will drive those financial numbers at the bottom of the sheet. But if we don’t do it here first, that outcome will never happen. Amen.
Definitely. Well. Thank you both. Thank you, Fernando, for being with us for a second podcast. Chris, always great insights. Just as a reminder, if you’d like to learn more about the 5 Levels of Leadership or perhaps even have a 5 Levels Workshop, please go to JohnMaxwellCompany.com/podcast, you can see more information there. You can also leave us a comment or a question we always love hearing from you. That’s it for today. Thank you for joining us. This is the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast.