When you produce positive results for your organization, it not only strengthens your credibility as a leader but builds momentum that can energize your team. In the next episode of our Executive Leadership Podcast, Chris Goede and Perry Holley will talk about what it takes to be a successful Level 3 leader, with the key being production.

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Read the transcript below:

Welcome to The John Maxwell 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. I’m Perry Holley, a certified John Maxwell, facilitator and coach, and I’m Chris Goede, Vice President of The John Maxwell Company. Welcome and thank you for joining.

Chris, today’s episode is titled “At some point you have to produce.” Now, this clearly relates to becoming a Level 3 leader. Yeah, absolutely. You know, Level 3, John talks about this being the production level and its common word is about results. People follow you at this level because of what you are doing for the organization and the fact that you’re producing. This is really what qualifies and even separate some leaders. We talk a lot about this is where as a leader you build credibility inside the organization, and it’s not only about the fact that you’re producing individually. You do need to do that. And we talk a lot about this with sales organizations. Sales leaders we’re like, well, what have you sold lately? Right? Like what example you’re doing it, but you also have to be able to produce in it through the team and with the team at this level. And here’s the thing about this is you can’t fake this, right? You cannot fake results and you either are or you’re not producing, which is going to lead to maybe some tough conversations with your leader if you’re not producing.

Well, the word credibility really pops out. Level 2 relationships, that’s got a skill to it. You’ve got to do that. But Level 3 results, like you said, it separates, qualifies, but it also adds that credibility level to your leadership journey. And it really gets to where we start. We’ll talk more about creating momentum, I love that. So I just want to, before we go any further, remind our listeners that if you want a full explanation of the Five Levels, please go back to Episode 1 of this podcast series and Chris will take you through a detailed look at the Five Levels.

Now in our last episode, we talked a lot about task-oriented, leaning people and relationship leaning people at which we both confessed that that’s us. That’s right. And I can tell you that that was important because a task person might want to skip Level 2. That’s right. We’re a relationship person might want to hang out at Level 2 and so getting to Level 3 and just because I’ve confessed already, I’m a relationship guy. Getting the Level 3 production is a bit of a challenge and has been in my past. The challenge for me, it requires intentional effort to stop me from hanging out at Level 2 because I love building the relationships. So is this common? Am I the only one with this challenge?

Yes. No, that’s why I’m here. I’m just kidding. No, we joked about this beforehand and he’s like, don’t say that to me, but yeah, no man, you are not the only one. Matter of fact, I even have some of those issues and you see a lot that are naturally bent towards Level 2 of having that and they struggle with it and so we need to be very intentional about moving towards results and what that looks like and then and in contrast, those that are task just to remind them and you have a natural bent towards this, you need to be very intentional about moving towards your people. Right? John says all the time, right? As leaders, it’s our responsibility to turn around and to make sure that your team is as close to you. If not, you’re just out wandering around for a while, take him for a walk. And so you need to make sure that you are very intentional because it is a struggle for you as a Level 3 leader to maintain those strong relationships and connect with people.

The other thing with a task-oriented and the results-oriented is that you have a risk of developing a disengaged workforce where the relationship leader sometimes it’s going to have a non-producing workforce, right? So both sides, but specifically speaking about the task-oriented one to bring that to their attention. Right? So since we’ve already thrown me under the bus, maybe you could give me some coaching. What mindset would I need to embrace to really move from Level 2 permission to Level 3 production?

Yeah, it’s a great question. You need to keep in mind that results matter and it’s an easy statement, but sometimes we get into our comfort zone and we need to make sure that we understand we’ve got to get outside of that comfort zone and that results do matter and you need to embrace the fact that that’s how the, you know, at the end of the day, at the bottom line of the financial statements, if you guys are not producing, you’re not going to have a chance to build relationships anyway. So you better figure out how to do that. And I think I mentioned our last podcast, just remember we have change in our pocket and so you need to at times pull that change out. I promise you, as a Level 2 leader moving to Level 3, if you have that natural bent, you’ll continue to put change in your pocket and know that it’s okay at times to be able to take it out and embrace that mindset, embrace that new way of leading or a different way of leading that maybe he’s not extremely comfortable for you in order to achieve results in and through your team and personally.

Sometimes it feels to me like maybe I’m risking the relationship, am I putting that all that hard work I’ve done there. But am I putting that at risk? No. You know, they want that from you. So I think about this being a sports guy. I played a lot on a lot of teams and I know all of us have participated in either at work or on the athletic field or somewhere where you’ve been on a team and we’ve all been on winning teams and we’ve all been on losing teams. Do I need to ask you which team you’d prefer to be on? I want to be on a winning team. And listen at the end of the game, right? The team that wins, there’s a scoreboard usually at the end of the field or the court or somewhere that tells the result of that game of which team won or lost, and so I try to keep that in my mind knowing that, listen, at this level you are called to drive results. You are called into credibility of your leadership is going to come from producing and winning and by the way people want to be on winning teams, not losing teams, and as a leader you’re going to attract people that are like you and do things like you and produce like you, not like you want. And so you need to remember that when you think about taking a step towards being a more effective Level 3 leader when it comes to producing results.

Right. I know John teaches a lot about momentum at Level 3, momentum being a great exaggerator. When I commit to driving these results and then maintaining strong relationships, it serves to produce a positive momentum that energizes the team. I’ve got that, right? Absolutely. He does say it’s the great exaggerator both ways, so it’s a great exaggerator on the positive side when things are going well, but momentum is also a great exaggerator on the negative side when things aren’t going so well and when you’re not producing.

He also says that a positive momentum will solve 80 percent of your problems. Leaders, if I could tell you right now that we could help solve 80 percent of your problems, would you listen? You probably would. I know I would. And it’s the ability to start producing, getting results in order to create momentum. Some of the other things that come to mind, you know John in the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership talks about the Law of Picture, I just mentioned just to go, people do what they see, Law of Victory, leaders find a way to for the team to win, Law of Priorities where leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. We could spend a lot of time talking about that and then finally the other one I had jotted down was the Law of Buy In people buy into the leader then the vision, and so you just need to remember that as a level three leader, I always smile when I think one of the 21 Irrefutable Laws about the Law of Big Mo and I said that in a a international audience. I said, but don’t ever forget the law. Big Mo. And thought it was very clear and at the break somebody asked me, who is this Mo? Have to always remember that it is a law. That momentum is a leader’s best friend, but as you said, it can go both ways, so that’s right. I could see why Level 3 production is a level is going to qualify and separate me as a leader. Build that credibility.

But as we begin to wrap this up, Chris coached me again on what I should be doing to be a strong Level 3 leader, if you don’t mind. Yeah, I’d say just a minute ago, right? Be the team member that you want on your team because you are going to attract additional leaders and additional team members of your actions, not necessarily what you want or have in your mind of that particular team member.

So you’re saying if I want an engaged, motivated, inspired individual on my team that that’s what I needed exhibit. Absolutely.Leadership is visual, right? And you need to remember that at leadership summit is a is at times people say, well, leadership is a lonely place and it’s an individual sport. You know, people are always going to be asking the question, why do I follow Perry? People may even be asking your team members, why do you follow Perry? Right? So people are always asking that question why? Simon Sinek really kind of put that question that we all ask ourselves on the map. And I think that that happens, not only people asking, why am I following Perry, but other people asking them, hey, why do you follow Perry? And ultimately they want to be on a winning team. They want to be following a leader that produces and gets results.

Yes, you’re going to connect and do Level 2. But, you’ve got to be following a leader that at the end of the day when you look up on that scoreboard, that team has a winning score. Somebody used an example where they said, look, if you were in financial trouble or you wanted to grow your financial base or you want it to increase your knowledge and the financial iQ side of things, the last thing you’re probably going to do is go down the street and asked some individual that has filed bankruptcy four or five times for financial advice. It’s the same thing with producing, getting results inside your organization. If you’re not getting it done and you’re getting demoted or you’re getting moved, are you getting changed? You’re going to Have leaders that are asking that question and they’re not going to have an answer.

Here’s the other thing I’ll leave you with and this is my last stop. We have to lead by example. I’ve told you leadership is visual. Just remember, people learn 89 percent of what they do visually, 10 percent of what they learn that hear audibly and then one percent is through other senses. So as a leader, makes sure you understand it’s visual, people are watching you, and in order to build your credibility, you need to be producing for the organization, individually, as well as in and through your team. Very good. That was a great Chris. Thank you for your great insights. And until next time, this is the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast.