IN THIS EPISODE KARAN FERRELL-RHODES INTERVIEWS TONY CHATMAN . . . .
Step into a realm where leadership takes on a vibrant new hue, where personalities become the palette and teamwork is the masterpiece. In today’s episode, a transformative odyssey awaits, empowering leaders of every stripe to wield their influence with finesse and shape their teams into engines of unparalleled performance.
Tony Chatman’s legacy is one of empowerment, enlightenment, and meaningful change. His contributions have propelled the evolution of workplace dynamics, enhancing the lives of those he touches and reshaping the way we perceive and harness our innate potential. In this episode, he leads us on a journey through his fresh perspective on leadership, offering leaders at every tier valuable insights and actionable steps to turn individuals into a high-achieving team that effectively accomplishes tasks.
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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR:
- What are the challenges involved in scaling up a business?
- How to redefine leadership?
- How to effectively handle challenging days as a leader?
- What strategies can one employ to prepare for the next level of leadership?
- How to be a force multiplier?
- How can leadership excellence be elevated through a focus on multiplying impact?
- What steps are involved in fostering a culture that embraces the force multiplier mindset?
- How can individuals master stakeholder savvy across various industries and roles?
“When you’re trying to be excellent, you realize how average mediocre really is.”
[04:30] Harmonizing Life and Business: Navigating Professional Scaling and Personal Fulfillment
[07:35] Navigating Leadership Challenges: Building Excellence and Scaling with Vision
[13:20] Unleashing the Force Multiplier: Redefining Leadership for Excellence and Impact
[19:07] Elevating Leadership Excellence: Unveiling the How to Multiply Your Impact
[25:42] Tony’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook
[20:36] Signature Segment: Tony’s LATTOYG Tactics of Choice
[32:18] Universal Impact: Mastering Stakeholder Savvy Across Industries and Roles
[34:17] Exemplary Leadership Unveiled: Stories of Vision, Courage, and Impact
[40:13] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take
ABOUT TONY CHATMAN:
Tony Chatman is a distinguished authority and visionary trailblazer in the realm of workplace dynamics and relationships. With an unwavering dedication to unraveling the intricacies of human behavior, Tony has honed his expertise to empower individuals and organizations to unlock their true potential. His journey has been a quest to distill profound insights into accessible, actionable wisdom that resonates with people from all walks of life.
At the heart of Tony’s mission lies an astute understanding of human psychology and an unshakable belief in the power of positive transformation. He delves fearlessly into topics that often lie beneath the surface, shedding light on hidden biases, navigating the turbulence of change, and equipping leaders with indispensable skills. His approach is grounded in pragmatic solutions, intricately woven with the real-world experiences of individuals striving for growth and excellence.
Tony possesses a unique gift for instilling empowering mindsets and strategies that transcend barriers and amplify success, both on personal and professional fronts. He has seamlessly guided leaders, team members, and individuals from diverse backgrounds to embrace adaptability, reinvent themselves, and forge a path toward remarkable outcomes.
Recently adding authorship to his impressive repertoire, Tony Chatman penned his seminal work, “The Force Multiplier: How to Lead Teams Where Everyone Wins,” a testament to his commitment to elevating leadership to unprecedented heights. Moreover, his captivating TEDx talk, “How to Stop Settling for Less,” delivered in 2018, further solidified his status as a compelling communicator and beacon of inspiration.
LINKS FOR TONY:
- Website: tonychatman.com
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tonychatman
- Facebook: facebook.com/tonyblueprint
- Twitter: twitter.com/TonyChatman
- YouTube: youtube.com/synder11
- Instagram: instagram.com/tonychatmanspeaks
PEOPLE AND RESOURCES MENTIONED:
Article: What it Means to be a Force Multiplier
Article: Managers as Organizational Force Multipliers
Tony’s Book: The Force Multiplier: How to Lead Teams Where Everyone Wins
Overview: The Lead at the Top of Your Game Leadership Development Experience
This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership, the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services, all designed to up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.
Click the plus button on the tab to access the written transcript:
Episode 41 | Why Leaders Should Aim to be Force Multipliers with Tony Chatman
Tony Chatman 00:00
Leaders were selected because they were great contributors. They’re thrown into position of leadership. They’re undertrained, underprepared expected to do things by whatever comes natural, and that often betrays them and sets them up for failure.
Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.
Karan Rhodes 00:53
Hey there superstars, this is Karan and thanks for joining another episode designed to help you better lead at the top of your game. You know, the concept of force multipliers originally was developed in military science, but it applies equally well to leadership and business. It actually refers to when complementary actions or approaches are used together for greater impact than any one at could achieve alone. And in leadership, it involves organizing resources, you know, especially people to achieve more than they otherwise could without you. And our guest today has written the true manual on how you can be a force multiplier in any leadership effort. Tony Chatman is the founder of Chatman Enterprises, and is a recognized thought leader in the area of workplace relationships and how to bring the best out of people. He’s also the author of The Force Multiplier, How to Lead Teams Where Everyone Wins. And he really sparks a fascinating debate and perspective on how we as a society have lowered the standard of what a leader is, actually we’ve lowered the standards to the point that is really killing business. You know, Tony has worked with hundreds of corporations and government agencies, including the US Secret Service, the Homeland Security, sorry, the Department of Homeland Security, Chase Bank, Estee Lauder, and NASA. So definitely stay tuned for our conversation because he has a ton of insight to share with you. And remember to stay just two minutes after the episode to listen to my closing segment, call Karan’s Take or share tip on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now enjoy the show. Hey there, superstars, this is Karan and welcome to another episode of the leader, the top of your game podcast. We have a tremendous guests with you that is visiting us today. He is another superstar in the world of leadership development. But he brings his own unique flavor to that. And he has agreed to come and share with you all some of the nuggets of knowledge that he has written in his book. And I’m so pleased to welcome to today’s show, Mr. Tony Chatman, who is the founder of Chatman Enterprises. He’s a tremendous thought leader in the areas of workplace relationships, and you know, really how to get the best out of your people, which is, this is our space. This is what the podcast is all about. But when he is really very known for, especially as of late, he is the author of a book called The force multiplier, How to Lead Teams Where Everyone Wins. And you know, I am itching to get into what that is all about. So welcome to the podcast, Tony.
Tony Chatman 04:00
Thanks for having me, Karen.
Karan Rhodes 04:01
Oh, and listeners, this man is busy as all get out. And so I am so thankful that he agreed to steal a little bit of time with us. It was hard getting on our schedule, but we’re so happy to have him. So Tony, before we go deep on understanding the force multiplier, we’re dying to know. But for as much as you feel comfortable, would you mind giving us a sneak peek into maybe your personal and professional life right now?
Tony Chatman 04:30
Sure. I’d say it’s all about balance. Right now on a professional level. We’re in the middle of scaling up, right. We’re bringing on other trainers, contractors, all of that. And so that brings a tremendous amount of stress. So the other part is making sure that on a personal level that I’m just in a good place, right that mostly I’m in a good place and my wife’s in a good place. And so one of the things we are doing is I’m actually in Mexico right now. How’s that for you? I’ve been here for six months. We’re in the middle of transitioning into being, you know, I call ourselves global citizens. And so we’re getting our residency here in Mexico, I’m literally a 15 minute walk to the Caribbean Sea, we’re the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen. But what it does is it allows me to give everything I need to all of my clients, and to our vendors, and to our staff, and all of our contractors. And yet, make sure that I’m good when I shut things off, I shut things off, I try to walk on the beach 12 times a week, literally either in the morning, in the afternoon, just things that are important, because as you know, in this space, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And so I’m trying to make sure my cup is full.
Karan Rhodes 05:44
Oh my gosh, I think we’re sisters and brothers from another mother, because that’s how we try to live. I’m not living anywhere else, per se, but I do call myself a citizens of the world. It’s on all of the website and all of my bios, because I try to visit for significant periods, 10s of countries I’ve gone to over 40 countries to be immersive and the culture is so kudos to you for having the courage to take that balanced life or defined balanced life for what it means for you and your family. That’s amazing.
Tony Chatman 06:20
Definitely a jump. I mean, you know, I mean, your how is gonna fit business, nobody seems to understand, is Mexico safe. And fortunately, you know, we have redesigned our business to be primarily virtual right now, which gives us the freedom to be able to make these types of decisions. And the truth is, from the big scale, the risk is small. If it doesn’t work out, I move back to the states, it is what it is.
Karan Rhodes 06:46
That’s right. That’s awesome. And being a leader of a business, and they you have a great deal of experience with you know, pre your company, but being a leader of your business is a whole nother animal, as you decide, you know, I can speak from personal experience, as high as you decide where you want to focus in nation. How you want to build your not only your personal lawyer, but your leadership brand. And then how you want to your point scale the business or do you want to scale the business? Some people? The answer is no others is yes. And if it is yes, and how do you get the right talent on the team? So I’m curious, what are a few examples of challenges that you’re facing right now, as you’re working to scale your business and your impact?
Tony Chatman 07:35
Sure. I think some of them are what everyone goes through as entrepreneurs that go from solopreneurs to business owners, right?
Karan Rhodes 07:41
Tony Chatman 07:42
One of them is just finding the right people. Yeah, that is a thing. And I’ll tell you about my book soon. Yeah, I gotta give this preface. If I were going to rewrite the book, which I’ll probably update it soon. The thing that I took for granted I didn’t put in there was kind of an assumed thing is that the first thing a leader has to do is, A: have a vision, but B: just have a standard of excellence. Yes. And I take for granted my standard of excellence, I get rehired. I don’t really mark it. In fact, I’m working on marketing this year, because I basically run a business off of referrals, word of mouth, and it’s just, you know, avalanched. But at the same time, my know that that happens, because I always over deliver, I just, there’s a standard of excellence. And what I what I’m looking at now is I’m bringing people on their skill sets that I want them to have build, there’s a teach ability. teachability is probably more important than a lot of skill sets. But if they don’t have a standard of excellence, you’re in trouble.
Karan Rhodes 08:51
Absolutely. Because it’s you’re name on the line, your reputation.
Tony Chatman 08:55
You’re giving them your baby, this is you built this, you, you conceive this, and you’ve given birth to this. And now you got to trust that this person is going to be a really good caregiver of your baby. And so I think the challenge and I’ve done a pretty good job, there’s a person or two I got keep my eye on right now.
Karan Rhodes 09:17
Tony Chatman 09:17
The most part, I think we’ve done a good job. But so that’s part of it. And then I think the second part, and you talked about finding your niche and everything. When I started, I just wanted to be a speaker. That’s all you know, I was an expert in areas but I just wanted to be a speaker. I had chances to scale years ago and rejected them all. And in part, I just wasn’t ready products didn’t want it. But the other thing is I was very stuck on if you’re an expert in this area, that’s your area of expertise. And we have to be able to adapt and transform constantly. Yeah, so for me, I’m looking less at where the marketplace is now. out, and when will it be in the next three to five years so that we’re prepared to be on the forefront of that. That’s really what set us up with unconscious bias is, I was an expert in it before it got hot. So when it got hot, people already need to come to me. So what’s the next area that I need to get? Become an expert in so that when it gets hot, I’m ready.
Karan Rhodes 10:19
Oh, I love that. And you know, I will just share really quick, personally similar to you. I mean, I continue to be an expert in, you know, leadership and organizational effectiveness. I always say the people side of business human resources, talent, development, organizational effectiveness, but people get to know you for one thing, and then they’ll love you and trust you. And then they’ll ask, Well, do you have this other specialty? Now, I’ll be the first to say, I’m not a 30 year Pro, and diversity inclusion training I’ve done you know, I’ve trained the courses before. But I won’t say that I’ve been a deep researcher or what have you, but people would tap me on this, Hey, we’re needing help, you know, during the pandemic. And to your point, it’s finding like for some things I could definitely do, but for deep, deep work, finding experts that I trusted with the clients that I had, that would give them the same, you know, white glove service that I did, it was challenging to do to find those, and because I’m perfectionist to was, didn’t help the situation at all. So to your point, finding talent, you know, people may be colleagues that you’ve worked with before, you know, and trust is very important when your business is on the line. But you and I probably could talk about that all day.
Tony Chatman 11:50
We could talk about that forever. I will just say this. I’ll say there’s one thing and I know we’ll move on. Yeah, you’re trying to be excellent. You realize just how mediocre average really is.
Karan Rhodes 12:03
Yes, oh, my goodness. And I will share because our model business model evolved. I mean, I started out as a solopreneur. But now we have over, I have an internal staff employees. But then we also have a pool of now over 200 consultants that we pull in on different projects as needed. But that was built over time verse is made up primarily of people either I had worked with before, or that came highly recommended that we you know, test it out. And it, it was extremely hard to be willing to place people on those types of opportunities that help to expand business opportunities. But I would say even out of the pool, there’s probably a good 20 to 30 that I will go to that are on speed dial because I have that level of confidence. And, and then the others who put in play as needed. But anywho I don’t want to take away from our time from your book. But let’s let’s switch and delve a little bit deeper into the force multiplier. And give us a little bit about the origins of why you wrote the book and some high level concept points that you write about.
Tony Chatman 13:20
Sure. So let’s talk about why. And I can also talk about the title of the book, I wrote the book because I was doing a lot of leadership development training. And I very quickly realized that there were some very simple patterns I was seeing. People struggle with the same stuff. And it’s always the people side. And leaders were selected because they were great contributors. They’re thrown into a position of leadership. They’re undertrained, underprepared expected to do things, you know, by whatever comes natural, and then often betrays them and sets them up for failure. So my idea of writing a book was, I wanted to write a book, that if I could not be there training you that you would get good training. So not all the theoretical, you know, here’s how you build a culture. And here’s how you turn the ship. People want to know, how do I deal with that joker over there who’s saying “That ain’t in my job description.” That’s what I want?
Karan Rhodes 14:17
Tony Chatman 14:18
Right. And so I wanted to be that basic and practical. And in fact, here’s the nuance. Because I don’t think that there’s enough good leaders out there. Okay, I’m just gonna say it as is. And if you ask,
Karan Rhodes 14:32
I’ll verify that,
Tony Chatman 14:33
Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you ask people, the average person and everyone watching this can do this, go to some of your friends and say, Have you ever had two great bosses in a row? To not average not me, but to great boss, people look at you like you’re a unicorn, right? So your initial title of the book was actually “Why I Hate My Job.” Right? Because from the employee experience, it’s my I don’t hate what I do. and I don’t always hate who I do it with. It’s just that this person who’s leading me is causing me to want to leave. The idea of the force multiplier came because I had a close friend. So I have a close friend. And I found out that he was being deployed to Afghanistan. So we had a going away party for him. And it was in my house, I hosted as like, 30 people, and we ate, we laugh, we drank. But at one point, we went around the room and we shared, you know, we’re gonna be there for you, we’re gonna make sure we stay in contact to make sure that your kids are taking, your two young kids are taken care of and your wife and everything else. And I was waiting for one person who’s a high ranking officer in the army to speak and he said, You’re what I call a force multiplier, because by your very presence, you bring out the best and everyone around you.
Karan Rhodes 15:46
He said that to you?
Tony Chatman 15:47
He said that to the person who was leaving
Karan Rhodes 15:49
Oh, to the person. Okay, gotcha, gotcha.
Tony Chatman 15:51
And I stopped. Because you know, the concept of a force multiplier is, it’s a tool, it’s like a lever or a hammer, it multiplies the energy that you put into it. But rarely had I heard it used to describe people. In fact, there are some people in the military do that it’s not even common in the military. But I thought to myself, isn’t that what we should expect from every leader, they’re there to bring out the best in other people. They’re there to free them up to to work, to prepare them to work to do all of these things that they actually want to do. And unfortunately, most don’t do that. And so I really wanted to redefine leadership. Or maybe I wanted to stop lowering the standard of leadership, to say, leaders have to be great, we expect leaders to actually make a difference, because if not, they become expendable, right? We’ve seen we’ve seen it. In fact, I had this thought last week, it’d be the first person I’ve ever shared this with. Oh, awesome, fess up to so often, we reward leaders for being so mediocre. It’s almost like we’re giving out leadership participation trophies. You know what I mean? It’s like, yeah, it’s still here. And they’re still here. And but you’ve never led, we need you to lead and not everyone’s going to be great at it. But we need you to give your best at it. That’s really what the books all about.
Karan Rhodes 17:25
You know, I think we need to market your book and my book as system further books, because you’re so right, that that everybody needs to leave. But where they get stuck, is the how, and that’s what Lead at the Top of Your Game talks about. So you know, they, it’s so interesting. I always talk to executives, and there’s not a single single executive and a company that doesn’t want to see the best out of their people. They’re dying to see great leadership. And there are very few staff members or employees are that don’t want to show up as their best selves at work. But for some reason, it doesn’t happen that there’s not a matchmaking that goes on there. And I’m, and I always wonder why, you know, and I’ve, it through my research and studies, it’s always seems like people, they understand the basic concepts of leadership. But they get stuck in the how to get it done. And the dynamics that are in play, like office politics, or a non supportive boss are a crazy thing that happened in the market, the how is where they get stuck. And when they don’t know what to do, then they resort back to their comfort zone, which is mediocre leadership, right? Mediocre acts. So but what else did you find when you were writing the force multiplier? What were some of the things that some of the most successful individuals were able to do or implement to be a force multiplier?
Tony Chatman 19:07
Well, I think that even going back to what you just said, is the idea that we often oversimplify this thing, right? Friend of mine always says, you know, this ain’t grits where you just add water on start. There’s a lot more ingredients to this thing to happen is when you always look for the simple solution, we become superstitious, and here’s what I mean, we do one thing, and it works. And we assume that it will always work. We don’t even know if it worked because of what you did. But we just say I did this. And so now I only need to do that, that may not be applicable in this other context or with these other people. And so we oh, we have to really step back and say, Okay, from a grander scheme, what what do we need to do? So, some things for me that I’ve learned very quickly. You have to treat people In a way that is what people really want is value and respect. They want to be valued and respected. They will run through fire for you if you value them and respect them. And yet often we get frustrated and we don’t value them or respect them, or we don’t realize that we’re not doing it. So that’s one big one. Another one, and this is I don’t want to sound too touchy feely. I don’t know, what is our, our attitude. Yeah, personality, right, That’s right. That’s right. So, I had a mentor, I had gotten a promotion into this leadership position. And he said, the most unbelievable thing to me. He said, Congratulations, you just lost the luxury of having a bad day.
Karan Rhodes 20:46
Tony Chatman 20:48
Who thinks of it that way? Right. There’s a lot of components. Number one, there’s the acknowledgement that you having a bad day as a leader impacts other people. But I had never heard anyone describe having a bad day as a luxury. No, me either. If something’s a luxury, you can get past that quickly as this isn’t important. It’s just the luxury. having a bad day, get over it quickly. You can have a bad moment, but move on. And, and there’s researchers who have been able to predict the success of sales teams simply based on their emotional state. And so we have this emotional contagion. Consumer Jones, that makes people want to yawn to right, like I probably yawn, right? Smile it makes people want to smile are our emotions become contagious. And so if you have a team that is always negative or down, look at yourself first. Because your emotions can lead them out of it. So those are like two basic ones. Or let me give you one that most people trip on trip up on shimmer, and it’s really two of them together. Okay? So it’s a balance, we need to reward people when they do a job well done. And we need to deal with incorrect, poor performance and behavior. Okay? Most people are good at one or the other, or neither, but few are good at both. So if you don’t correct bad behavior, then you become complicit. And it becomes part of your culture, and it becomes contagious. Bad behavior or performance. But here’s the funny thing about the rewards. So most of us have employees that are top performers. Right? We have the 20 to 30 that we go to, right? Do we have the other ones that are in the middle? And then there was some like, they’re still on the roster, but I ain’t calling them, right.
Karan Rhodes 22:55
Okay, right now,
Tony Chatman 22:56
Now, we’re different because we’re contractors. But when you have an employee, who’s a top performer, what do you do? You give them more to do because they have a greater capacity,
Karan Rhodes 23:07
Tony Chatman 23:08
We literally punish them for being top performers. And if we don’t have some other mechanism of rewarding them, then they will realize at some point because they’re smart. All that working harder gets me is more work and no benefits. Let me slow this thing down and get like the rest of the people.
Karan Rhodes 23:29
Absolutely. We absolutely do almost run them in the ground, because they are high performers. And I’m a witness to that. I lead one of these programs for high performers.
Tony Chatman 23:40
Right! Highpos, right?
Karan Rhodes 23:42
Highpos, yeah, yes. They do. And don’t take any off their plates. We give them more but not taking anything off their plates. Or sometimes they don’t leader shall redirect, I guess other worker responsibilities to free them up to do some of those higher level leadership initiatives that are would be of higher value, you know, to the company that they’re working in. Are you do you see that too?
Tony Chatman 24:13
Yeah. Both of those Absolutely. Or even express a vision we talked about hypos. Right. One of the issues with the idea of the high performing high potential employee is if you don’t express your vision for their career path, they’re far more likely to leave. And so Okay, look, explain that look, I know you’re out working everybody else, you have the capability, you have the capacity. But number one, I want you to know I really appreciate it. There’s some special programs I’m going to want you to work on. It is more work I want you to know I recognize it. I’m going to try to reward you for it but I’m also using this to prepare you for the next level because I have such a vision for you. Something as simple as that makes a huge difference. Bar. We get so caught up in all the other stuff to do that we forget
Karan Rhodes 24:59
because it and they can see a light at the end of the tunnel a bit, then they will be more willing to be all in to gain those additional experiences and hopes for, you know, role a broader scope of responsibility down the road. So you’re here since a lot on with that. Yeah. So what, if anything? Can you let me ask you this question, this might be a little unusual. But would you want to have an entire team of force multipliers? Or do you need a mix of worker bees and force multipliers together?
Tony Chatman 25:42
Oh, I want all force multipliers. And here’s why. Being a force multiplier is not dependent on your position. So you can be a contributor and be a force multiplier. And so now you may be thinking, but if you’re doing that, then that’s not going to, you know, there’s no team futilely, maybe not. But that’s going to show through in how you interact now with clients, how you interact with vendors, how you interact with the rest of the team, it’s just this idea of, I want everyone to be better, because I’m here. And all of us have had that we worked in a place where it wasn’t the leader who motivated us. It wasn’t the leader that we went to, when something was struggling where we were struggling, some wasn’t the leader we went to, and we needed guidance, there was this other opinion leader, I call them, they were a force multiplier, they just didn’t have the title or the position,
Karan Rhodes 26:37
What I wanted. And thank you so much for that, because what I was trying to pull out which you did an excellent job is that you don’t have to be the leader that dances on tables in order to be a force multiplier, you could do that in your role, just as you are whether, no matter your personality, introverted or extroverted, no matter your knowledge in level, you can focus on yourself and your actions to be a force multiplier for those around you. Right?
Tony Chatman 27:09
Absolutely. And I, I really appreciate the fact that you said, regardless of your personality, because quite often people think you have to be this boisterous extroverted person to be a leader. And that’s not true. You just need to figure out how to work with who you are. Because we can also see when people are not authentic.
Karan Rhodes 27:33
That’s right. That’s right.
Tony Chatman 27:35
Karan Rhodes 27:36
And you know, being in order to be a force multiplier, I would guess, that it involves being very astute to those around you, those that you’re working with, and those who you’re trying to influence or and or lead. And we had a chance to chat before the show and talk about the tactics in my book. And you mentioned the one that popped out for you was stakeholder savvy. And I think I understand why now, based on our conversation here, but I’m gonna let you put in your own words, why do you think a leader having stakeholder savvy is very important.
Tony Chatman 28:14
Good leaders understand that they’re not leading companies or teams, but they’re leading groups of people, individuals, and individuals are motivated differently. They’re excited by different things. I’m a big believer in personality tests. You know, in my book, I have my own model of personality types. We have a conductor and navigator MC and a diplomat. Right? You don’t want it to be really simple. And he is not who are you? It’s who is everyone around you? How do you think I’m in Mexico, but I lived in the US. So I have dollars, US dollars. Not everyone here takes us dollars. And there are times that I have to exchange my currency for a currency that works where I am. And that’s what we have to do with people that we’re with is, is not that we’re being insincere different. We understand. I want them to feel encouraged. But if I do what works for me, that may not be a currency that works for them. So what do I need to do to exchange that currency so that I get the desired result? That that’s so important. And unfortunately, it’s often lumped into this. And I, you probably feel the same way because I’m, I’ve started to see where so much of like, this label of soft skills, right, where people don’t even acknowledge these so called soft skills are driving your company. These so called soft skills change the bottom line, right? So people think, yeah, I don’t need to worry about all this personality stuff. I’ll tell you what. You’ll figure out and here’s the truth and I guarantee you understand, you figure out stakeholders Abby, yeah, not only will your business have a competitive advantage, you’ll be a better spouse, partner, parent and community member. Because you realize your children are different from one another, one another. And you have to not, it’s not that you’re not being fair. But understand you have to be different with each of them to get your desired effect, you understand that the person that you partner with or date or marry, that they’re not going to respond to the same stimuli that you do. So you have to change these things, you just become so much more aware. And it makes you so much effective as you navigate the world around you. I think stakeholder savvy is such a critical skill. And it’s neglected because most of us go to school, and we learn about products and processes, but not about people.
Karan Rhodes 30:48
That’s absolutely right. And okay, I’m just gonna hire Chaytman Enterprise to teach my team.
Tony Chatman 30:57
We’re going to find some ways to partner with this.
Karan Rhodes 31:01
But I also wanted to reiterate, reiterate to our audience that you know, although I’m always lean a little bit towards corporate, because that’s kind of the environment I came from. This also applies if you’re a leader in your business, and just kind of switch your lens to your customers. As you are focused on better understanding who you’re trying to serve with your product or service or process, then you’ll become more in in tune with their needs. And that will translate to, hopefully, you’re doing things right for your business to be more effective, and that you be the business of choice in the eyes of, you know, your target market or target audience. So what we’re certainly not talking about applies no matter if you’re at an employer in the world of work or Nomad, or if you you know, own a business as well, no matter what, or if you’re in a nonprofit, your audience would be your donors, you know, making sure that you’re hitting the right points for what they care about, and where that that line crosses with what you’re trying to do via your own profit be your nonprofit and serving the underserved. So yeah, everyone out there, this applies to you. Right, Tony?
Tony Chatman 32:18
Absolutely. In I number one, you said it. So, so rightly, so eloquently. Because I do a lot of work with the federal government. I do a lot of work with highly educated, you know, PhDs in nanotechnology and AI. And I actually, last month got to go inside of a particle accelerator, right?
Karan Rhodes 32:39
Tony Chatman 32:40
It is just mind blowing. You know, at the same time, I do a lot of work with nonprofit organizations with associations. But I think the group that you mentioned, were the entrepreneurs. Because we mentioned that employees, they’re contributors, and then they get promoted, because they’re good contributors. They have to learn leadership. entrepreneurs start off with a great product or service. But then they’re the bottleneck. And they now have to bring other people in. And they have to learn leadership in that exact same way. So we don’t want to miss out on the importance of what Karan just said here.
Karan Rhodes 33:18
Thank you. I know you’ve you’ve dropped a ton of gems yourself. This has been wonderful. Well, one final question for you, Tony, before we wrap up, and I hope this is not a gotcha question. But I’m always curious about what leader differentiated themselves in the minds of my podcast guests. And when I say leader, it can be a person, it can be a company, it can be a business, it could be a nonprofit, but, and their leaders and all of that, but has there been a leader that has differentiated themselves so much that you know, you really admire and are impressed by them? And if so, what what did they do to earn your trust and your love?
Tony Chatman 34:11
Sure, I’ll say you want their names or just kind of just talk about them? What do you want me to do? Either one, whatever you’re comfortable with. So one of them was my one of my first mentors. And we were working in faith based nonprofit. And what I saw number one, we were very like minded because I come from an engineering background. So I’m a deep reader, deep thinker, you know, so in faith based nonprofit, I’m reading, you know, the ante Nicene fathers and, you know, all this other stuff. And he was the first person that I saw, think that deeply, but what I saw from him, that was different than everyone else, because we were working in the community, we’re working with churches, we’re training ministers, his vision of what he wanted done, and the level of excellence that he wanted, and so the expertise that he expected over himself to get there was incredible. And so I watched him maintain that level or that standard, in spite of all of the naysayers and the people who constantly wanted him to lower that standard. And that’s the struggle I have with, you know, in my own business is even when I say, oh, man, I’m so bummed that I messed up that, Oh, that wasn’t a big deal. No, that was a big deal. To me, that was a big deal, because it’s not my standard. Seeing him do that, and seeing him do that, you know, in full transparency, as the first black man to ever be in that position was important, because I’m only the second African American ever graduated from my university with my degree, so I know that space. So that was one. The other one, it’s weird. This is a person I just got to interact with, you know, in a decent way, the first for the first time last week. And I don’t want to give his name specifics, for a few reasons. But he’s a president of a university that he has turned around and turned it into a gym, it’s this place is unbelievable. Wow. But it was the same thing was that he took a place as basically a cow pasture and turn it into a place that’s at the forefront of, you know, experiential learning technology, you know, they have a 99% graduation rate. I mean, it’s fascinating. But what I saw with him was the same thing we would walk and he would just see something that wasn’t right. He pulled someone by, you know, doing a great job, hey, do you see that? Can we just change that one thing, and he was getting other people to see what he saw, so that they could get his vision, and it would then, you know, matriculate through the entire organization. And it was so good to see someone do it at that level was so inspiring and encouraging. So those are the two and you’ll see obviously, the similarities, vision, expectation, and bring other people into that space are really important.
Karan Rhodes 37:03
So you don’t know this. But even this anonymous person, it will be a great example for, for me to include in the story with my book, because even in that 15 Second overview, you explain how this individual had the courageous agility they to do something different for that organization, and they knew it was the right thing. They had the intellectual horsepower, the knowledge to get it done, they can see things that other people didn’t see. But he saw possibilities. He was his own intrapreneur, creating a new space or improved space, you know, you lead with a drive for results. He got it done to the point that he impressed you so much, you know, stakeholder savvy, I mean, that goes without saying I mean, all of this, he embodied by being the type of leader and leading at the top of his game. I don’t even know who this individual is. But I can already tell he’s leading at the top of his game. And it’s not saying that he doesn’t have slow days or bad days or challenges that come his way. But it sounds like he persevered to the point that he transformed the school and to something that others hadn’t envisioned would be in place at this point in time.
Tony Chatman 38:26
Yeah, it’s you’re spot on. He’s all of those things.
Karan Rhodes 38:29
And more things.
Tony Chatman 38:31
Yes. To always be on? Yes. Because of what he does. And because of the stances he takes, he’s always being watched. And so he’s always impacting others. So absolutely. He’s definitely the top of his game.
Karan Rhodes 38:45
Alright, Tony, you know what, I’m just gonna have to bring you on another time again, because we have so much more to talk about, or we could but for the time being, this has been a fantastic thank you so much for being part of the elite at the top of your game episode. Your tremendous,
Tony Chatman 39:02
Great. Thanks so much for having me. This has been an incredible experience.
Karan Rhodes 39:05
Oh, wonderful. Well, listeners, I know your notepads are full because mine definitely were with all the great knowledge that Tony has shared. Please be sure you check out the show notes. I will have links to all of his information there where you can find him. I’m sure he’ll welcome you with open arms. All you have to say is Karan referred yet and you heard him on the Lead at the Top of Your Game Podcast and you know, have you on speed dial. But please be sure to like and subscribe to the podcast. And my only ask is that you share the podcast with just one other friend that will help us grow our reach and it will also help you help make others Great. Thanks so much. And we’ll see you next week. Take care. Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Tony Chatman, founder of Chatman Enterprises. Links to his bio, his entry into our leadership playbook, and additional resources can be found in the show notes, both on your favorite podcast platform of choice, and on the web at lead your game podcast that and now we’re Karan’s take on today’s topic of being a force multiplier. You know, one of the keys to leadership success involves cultivating an A plus team of force multipliers. And as Tony outlined in our conversation, there are many things to consider. However, I want to add two dynamics for you to also contemplate the first I want to encourage you all not to be a core subtractor. Now, this sounds beyond obvious. But yet how many leaders have you worked with that end up destroying disrupting work more than they facilitate? Leaders are almost by definition in a position of power and influence. And that power can just as easily hamper a team as it can propel it subtractors are often leaders do it or saying things that might impress those in the upper hierarchy of the organization. But they don’t give sufficient consideration for the cost that is imposed to those further down the organization, they’re going to actually have to get the task done. And as leaders, we need to consider the net value of the cost of the organization as a whole, and then work to mitigate any negative factors. The second thing I want you to think about is to be aware of diminishing returns of your direct contributions. As you progress as a individual leader, it will become harder and harder for you to increase the direct value that you can provide to a project, you only have so much capacity, and there are only a limited amount of hours in a day. So dependent upon your field, it may even be a challenge just to keep up to date with the new technical or functional advances around you because you know, things change at supersonic speed. Now, as a leader, your greatest opportunity is to create additional value through driving improvements in others, both as individuals, and drive value for the team as a collective. And in order to do this, it’s going to be important for you to continue your growth in your industry or domain of choice. And you can definitely use one of our favorite leadership execution tactics, called leading with intellectual horsepower. And for those who you are not familiar with that tactic, leading with intellectual horsepower is all about using your areas of expertise to peek around corners in order to spot trends, connect the dots, and identify new areas of opportunity that others miss. That is the true definition of applying, providing additional value. So if you or your team is interested in learning more about effective leadership and action, be sure to check out our signature leadership development assessment workshop on the web at developing your game.com. And my last advice is to be remember to subscribe to the podcast and share the podcast with just one friend so that we can expand our reach and help others to also lead at the top of their game. Thanks so much for the gift that you are listening and see you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at leadyourgamepodcast.com. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.
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