How do I become a leader?

Leadership

“Nikitas, I’m trying to grow a sales team.  I tell them exactly what to do but they never do it. It’s so obvious what they need to do in order to be successful but they don’t listen to me. What am I doing wrong?”

You are leading from the back. You’ve taken your throne as the “boss” not realizing that the greatest leaders lead from the front. It’s the only way.

Want someone to make 100 outbound calls? Make 100 outbound calls and then ask them to do so as well.

Need someone to get to 10 sales today? Get 10 sales yourself before anyone else.

Need someone to stay late or come in on their day off? Do it yourself.

I know, I know. You’re now a “manager”. Some CEO or company owner told you that you are now a “boss”. I just threw up in my mouth. What a scam. You’re not a boss. People cannot boss or manage other people. Even God himself gave us free-will. Do you think your word is more powerful than his? Ultimately we can do what we want, when we want and whenever we want.  And so can your employees. Don’t let your ego kill your paycheck and the paychecks of those you’re responsible for with the misconception that you can manage people. You’ve got a new title. You’ve got more access to the people at the top of the food chain. But you are not a leader because of your new title.

“How do I become a leader?” 

Simple. Do everything you are asking others to do. That’s it. Think of everything you are asking your team to accomplish that day. Think of all of the tasks you need them to do. Now, do them. Do them until your team has respect for you and follows your momentum. Do them until you are the momentum builder.  Do those things you’re asking others to do and your team will respect you. You will become a leader soon. Your word will be gold to your people. Until then your people will be skeptical and your word….in one ear and out the other. Rightfully so as well.

Think about it. Imagine asking a fat guy how to get skinny. He knows everything about science, health and he may even be a doctor. He knows how to get skinny. But….He’s not skinny!!! He won’t get on the treadmill himself. He’s not the vision of change you’re seeking and as a result you cannot trust him regardless of what he knows.

LEAD FROM THE FRONT.

Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world by the time he was old enough to legally drink in a bar. How? He led from the front. He didn’t sit on a throne and watch his people battle. He battled with them and was the first to charge in against the enemy. His people were willing to die for him because of this. Your people will soon be willing to die for you as well. But, you need to be willing to do the same for them. Are you brave enough to be a leader or do you prefer the mediocrity of sitting on your “Boss” throne and losing battle after battle?

Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Excuse the typos. I’ll get an editor at some point. But for now…. It’s me and you baby!

Need help turning your managers into leaders? Email me at Nikitas@Nikitas.com 

Nikitas Tsoukales

The Trick to Scaling your business 80% a year (whether you want to or not).

EOFIRE

I recently completed an interview on EOFfire with John Lee Dumas on the topic of “rapid fire” growth. Click below and check it out and of course read on for more:)

EOFire with John Lee Dumas and Nikitas Tsoukales

I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet. My last article rambled a bit (story of my life).

If you want to grow your business quickly,  you will need to hire people better than you. Yes, better than you. Believe it or not there are millions of people smarter, sharper and ever better looking than you(this is even hard for me to believe. LOL).

“But Nikitas. I’m the smartest, sharpest and even best looking person in my organization. ”

Well then, you are going to hit a ceiling very, very soon my friend.

Here’s the deal ladies and gents. You may have just started your business and you’re wearing every hat in the organization. I’ve been there. I was once VP of Sales, Ops, Marketing, Janitorial Duties, etc. I was also the CFO, COO and every other fancy acronym’d job. You are working your butt off and that is the only way to really get a new organization to thrive when you don’t have the CASH to hire someone. This is the recipe for success early on and I love it. This is the “grit” you hear about that all of the “greats” like Bezos, Gates and Tsoukales?!? had. If this is your first business and your first experience performing this “juggling act”, I promise it will leave you with some of the best memories of your life and will almost guarantee the initial success of your organization. YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL if you are grinding like this. But……..

It’s unsustainable. Trust me. It just cannot be done forever by any mere mortal.  I worked between 70 and infiniti hours per week in the first 5 years of Key Credit Repair. I loved every second of it. But, it was unsustainable. I lost my voice three times and sales came to a grinding halt for days when that happened. I was missing time with my family and the first 5 years of my first born son Nicholas’ childhood. I was also neglecting my devoted wife very early on in our marriage. The organization couldn’t survive like this and my home life was going to soon head to “hell in a hand-basket” if I didn’t make a change.  In fact, it killed my health as well. I drank so much coffee and lost so much sleep plugging away at my desk that I killed my thyroid. Yeah, I have the thyroid gland of an 80 year old. It’s pathetic. Now I have to pop the same 125 mcg levothyroxine pill my 82 year old grandmother takes. Sooooo pathetic.

So, we know that’s it’s unsustainable but “how do we take our foot off the gas while maintaining the fast growth of our baby(aka thriving business)? 

People power baby!!!

Not everyone want’s to start a business. Not everyone want’s to go through this crazy grind. In fact, most people don’t. But they are still just as ambitious, intelligent and willing to work their butts off for their goals. What they want is a platform that they can plug into in order to get to all of their goals and guess what??? You’ve got one!!!

Here’s the hack and it’s pretty simple:

Hire for the position above the position you have an opening for. Interview your prospect for that opportunity. You don’t need to let them know you’re doing this either. So, imagine if you are starting to grow a sales team. You’re now the only salesperson and you want to start adding people. During the interview ask yourself this one question….

“Can I see this person that I’m interviewing developing(they don’t have to qualify for that job now) with my help, into the manager that will eventually oversee the next 5 salespeople?” 

YES…Hired. 

NO…Not Hired.

Seems simple? Well it is. Stop over complicating business. Scout, interview and hire for the job above the job you’re offering!!!

Imagine if you spend the next 2 years building out a sales team of 5 people that can all, one day, be your next sales team managers. When your marketing “blows up” and the phones are ringing off the hook you can quickly promote your next leaders and your team of 5 salespeople can quickly turn into a sales team of 30(5 team managers x 5 new sales people + 5 sales managers(your existing people)). You just hypothetically grew your sales team to 5 people in the first 5 years and then within a few months grew it another 6 x to 30!!! Seems impossible? It’s not. But it is very difficult. Your first few hires need to be brought into your organization very carefully. Don’t make the mistake of trying to quickly fill a spot. Delay the instant gratification of meeting a staffing goal and filling in a spot. Firing is much harder than hiring and most of you don’t have the guts to do it quickly if you make a mistake. For the record I don’t either. It’s very, very hard to fire people. Also, if you fill in the position with someone that cannot be a future leader you are stunting your future growth. Who will manage those new hires when you NEED to staff quickly because your marketing just 10x’d somehow in google?

Also, there are psychological reasons you need to hire people BETTER than you. Grind for 5 years. Make some money with your healthy margins and you may hit a psychological plateau. Yes, you may get complacent. You’ve got your business in a “sweet spot” so you feel the need to take your foot off the gas but we all know that anything that is not constantly growing will eventually die off. In the service arena if your business is not growing, your employees will not have the prospect of future growth within the organization and you will soon start to lose your best talent. When this happens you are on the fast track to bankruptcy!! If you hired “BETTER than you” and “for the job above the job they interviewed for” you will have people that will put their foot on the throttle themselves and take the initiative when you aren’t (as long as you’ve given them permission too). Their ambition, intelligence and “grit” will start to drive your organization to new heights that you could NEVER have achieved if you were “wearing all of those hats” and doing it all yourself. Trust me ladies and gents. This is the exact reason Key Credit Repair has made the list of Inc Magazine’s fastest growing private companies in the United States twice. It’s not because I’m a great leader or because I’m some great business guru. It’s because I realized at some point by mistake(when I lost my voice 3 times and my sales assistant Melina Vallas took the initiative and started crushing the phones.) that their are people in your organization and out in the marketplace that are better than me.

The “I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet. My last article rambled a bit (story of my life).” was such crap. Sorry about that 🙂

P.S. Everything I’m talking about in this article requires a full submission of the ego. “I’m the best salesman here. I’m the smartest person in my company, blah blah blah”. This is your big, fat, ugly and useless EGO talking. Tell it to quiet down. In fact, tell it to shut the TRUCK up. There is no room for EGO in sales, business or any aspect of a successful life. “Ego is not your amigo” said a wise, life coach named Adam Reed.

Recap: 

  • Hire smarter people than you. 

  • Hire for the position above the position you have available

  • Wearing all the hats in a biz is unsustainable

  • “EGO is not your amigo” in sales, biz and life. 

Nikitas Tsoukales

Nikitas@Nikitas.com

#Nikitas (yes I invented my own hashtag. I’m sooooo cool.)