Triple Bottom Line

SAGE Leadership Framework

December 14, 2022
Triple Bottom Line
SAGE Leadership Framework
Show Notes Transcript

Kyle Gillette, best-selling author, speaker, John Maxwell coach, and creator of the SAGE Leadership Framework. He also has certifications in behavioral assessments and 16 years of coaching and leadership experience. Kyle gives us tools on how to become a better leader through self-awareness, accountability, growth, and empowerment. We dive deep into the SAGE framework, what it means, how to understand it, and how you can harness it to become a better leader!   https://sagemindset.com/book 

Coupon Code: SAGE2023  https://www.sagemindset.com/sage-leadership-course/


Triple Bottom Line | Episode 45 | Kyle Gillette

[Upbeat theme music plays] 
Female Voice Over 
[00:03] Welcome to the Triple Bottom Line, where we reveal how today’s business leaders are reaching a new level of success with a people-planet-profit approach. And here is your host, Taylor Martin!

Taylor Martin 
[00:17] Hello and welcome, everyone. I am excited today because today we have Kyle Gillette. He is a best-selling author, speaker, ICF coach, certified John Maxwell coach. He’s also the creator of the SAGE Leadership Framework. Additionally, he has certifications in behavioral assessments and 16 years of coaching and leadership experience, but it’s his framework that caught my eye. I can’t wait to explore it with you all today. Kyle, let’s dive right in. What is the SAGE Leadership Framework?

Kyle Gillette
[00:46] Yeah, well, thanks for having me, Taylor. I appreciate it. I’m excited to be here and chat with you about SAGE because it is changing lives. It’s changing my life. SAGE is four things. It’s the four pillars of great leaders. The first is the S which is self-awareness. That’s all about knowing yourself, understanding yourself, how people interact with you and how you interact with them and the impact that that has. If you think about it like a leadership house, self-awareness is the foundation to that house. Without self-awareness, you cannot build a leadership that amounts to much at all. Self-awareness is the key to that. Then accountability is the A. Accountability is the nails to that leadership house. It’s what holds your house together. Without accountability, your leadership is going to crumble, unfortunately. When I say accountability, I’m talking about you holding to your word. You sticking with what you say you’re going to do and pursuing what you say you’re going to pursue. Then the other side of accountability is also holding other people accountable.

Then the G in SAGE is growth. It’s the growth mindset. Some people have a growth mindset and some people have a fixed mindset. When you think of it in the leadership house, if self-awareness is the foundation, accountability is the nails that holds the house together, then growth is the walls and the roof. There’s times as we grow in our leadership that we need to adjust. We need to remodel our house. Sometimes that’s the furniture within, and other times that’s adding an addition to your house, a new room, a new space, however you want to look at it, but that’s how we shift and how we change our leadership. Then empowerment is the windows and doors. This is where people look into your leadership and they see that, wow, I want to be a part of that. I want to be impacted. I want to be influenced by this guy or this lady and be led by them. They see into that. Then at some point, they knock on that door and they come into your leadership. That could be as an employee. That could be as a friend. That could also be as a customer. Leading isn’t just the employee. It can be leading in all different aspects of your life. In a nutshell, that’s what the SAGE leadership house is and what the framework is.

Taylor Martin
[02:54] I love the house analogy just because it’s so easy to understand and everybody can relate to it. I mean, everybody lives in a house, right, for the most part? How do you see this framework playing out with your clients? Can you give us some examples of past clients and some of their hurdles that you helped them overcome?

Kyle Gillette
[03:10] Yeah, one of the most common hurdles is accountability. Most leaders are very afraid to have those types of conversations. I’ve learned a method of helping my clients become more accountable. It’s a really cool method. It’s not something that I created. I’ll talk about what I created when it comes to accountability in a minute here. There’s a book called Crucial Accountability. To me, it is the guide, the bible when it comes to how to create accountability for your team. Because what leaders struggle with is to have a process, to have a process to follow when Joe doesn’t follow through on what he says he's going to do, then they’re frustrated that Joe didn’t follow through, but then they don’t know what to do about it. Then they just let it fester. Joe didn’t show up for one meeting. It’s not that big a deal that he didn’t show up for one meeting, but it’s a big deal that the leader didn’t say anything to Joe. Then the next meeting he didn’t show up and then that impacts the team and so on and so forth. Then it becomes a trickle up, I guess, effect on everybody. For leaders, what I’ve noticed is there’s this pattern of being afraid to have those conversations.

On the other side of accountability, I’ve noticed this pattern of leaders want to do a great job in their business. They want to lead well. They want to have great success, but it’s in the little things that they continue to not fall through on those things. Not because they have low integrity, not because they’re not good people, but because they’re so distracted by everything else that’s going on in their business that they can’t follow through on the simplest of little things. Because it all starts in those little things. It doesn’t start with strategy. It starts with doing the little things so that you can get to strategy. For me, that’s what I’ve seen as the patterns of a lot of the people that I work with. There’s other patterns, too, but that’s the core of the work that I do with them. If we can get that figured out, now we can move forward on the other areas that need work, too.

Taylor Martin
[05:05] I think you touched on it earlier. I think it’s about creating that kind of knee-jerk habit, so when Joe doesn’t show up for that meeting, you automatically send a text message or an email saying, “Hey, Joe, we missed you at this meeting today. I look forward to seeing you next meeting.” Something simple and lighthearted, easy going, and then if he misses another one, then you might have a phone call with them or something like that. I think you’re absolutely right. I think we are spending too much time being inundated with so many things from so many directions, professional, personal, media, ads, I mean, just everything. I think that is a problem, I think, just beyond accountability. I think it’s a problem living in today’s society.

Kyle Gillette
[05:44] Yeah, it’s so easy to get distracted. I had an incident, let’s call it, this morning, with my youngest, my six-year-old. I wanted her to make her bed. She said she made her bed, which she did, but it wasn’t at the standard that I was expecting or I wanted. I said, “This is what it should look like,” and I made it the way that I wanted her to make it and I put the pillow where I wanted it to be and then she fought me like crazy to reset it up that way. The problem was, in retrospect, I didn’t set clear expectations for her from the get go. I just said, “You didn’t do a good job. It’s not supposed to look like that. It’s supposed to look a certain way,” and then I put it together the way I wanted it, but I didn’t up front say, “Okay, Lydia, this is the expectation that I have of what your bed should look like.” I wouldn’t communicate it that way because she’s six, but I communicate it simply, “Hey, let’s make it look like this going forward, okay? Cool,” and then move on, but no, I didn’t do a good job of that. Then it became a problem for both of us. This is what happens in the workplace all the time. We don’t set clear expectations and then we get frustrated when the person doesn’t do what we expect but we didn’t explain it to them. Then this turns into real issues. Sometimes it’s aggressive issues and sometimes it’s passive aggressive issues. It just depends on the personality for how that’s going to play out.

Taylor Martin
[07:04] I think companies even do it where they hire somebody and they don’t give them specific designation of what their job is to entail. What are their responsibilities? What is their output that the company is expecting? That seems so basic and common. You would just think that’d be the way it is, but no, they think the job title just explains everything to them.

Kyle Gillette
[07:26] It’s funny because people put a ton of work into job descriptions. They write them out. They try to get them figured out. They post them. Then after that, you might as well throw the job description in the trash. Nobody ever looks at it again. I don’t know anybody that I’ve worked with that references a job description until they need to hire that position again. One of the things that I do with my clients is I have them create what’s called a score card, which is the job description but on “steroids.” It’s where you take the expectations, what’s the mission of the position, you describe that out, but it has measurables embedded in it.

Taylor Martin
[08:02] Oh, mission of the position, I like that.

Kyle Gillette
[08:05] Then you need to know what’s expected, what’s the measurables that are expected of the position. You get that described at the top. Then how do you break that down into actionable, not expectations of how they’re going to do it, but what’s going to be measured. If they need to increase sales from $100,000 this year to $120,000 this year, that’s what you’re measuring, the $20,000 increase, or whatever the difference is. Then below that, I have them create the things that the employee can 100% control that leads to the results that you’ve described that you want them to have. To use the sales example, if I want my new employee to increase the sales from $100,000 to $120,000 over the year, then the thing that they can 100% control, an example would be the number of phone calls they make in a given week to prospects. They can 100% control that. This is the granular level of detail that you need to have when you start to train and hire someone.

How they go about making those phone calls, you may have scripts and that kind of stuff, I guess, but it’s really let’s just make sure we can measure what they’re doing in the moment and then the result of that. If you do that, now you hold them accountable when things don’t go right. What happened here, Joe? I saw that so far this quarter you’ve done $20,000 worth of sales and you need to do roughly $30,000 worth of sales. Then you go through his tracking and you notice that he’s only making three phone calls a day when he should be making ten. Now you have a conversation about that and say, hey, Joe, what can we do to make sure that you’re making ten phone calls a day instead? Then it can expand from there, but without that, you have no leg to stand on and no way to “confront” the person on their performance. Then you can’t train them very well either because what are you training them to do if you’re not measuring anything? You don’t know the result of your training either.

Taylor Martin
[09:58] Yeah, I mean, basically, you’re just giving them a roadmap. Here it is, plain and simple. Plus, I would imagine the anxiety level of somebody coming into a new job would just be so much more reduced. They feel more at ease. Coming into a new job, no one feels at ease. Everybody just feels like all eyeballs are on them. Am I doing things wrong? Am I doing things right? What’s going on? I think something like that is incredibly insightful and helpful.

Kyle Gillette
[10:20] I was on a podcast yesterday and the lady made a comment that was brilliant. She said that when it comes to the workplace, it’s my fear versus your fear. I thought that that was really fascinating, because as a leader, that’s my fear. I need to get rid of those fears. I need to deal with them, because if I’m not dealing with my fears, then my fears are going against their fears. When they come to me because they’re struggling with something or they’re irritated or whatever, then I have fears that they don’t think I’m a good enough leader or they don’t think that I have good answers for them or I’m not providing well enough resources to them, all that kind of stuff. If I overcome those fears, now I can actually address them and what’s going on with them and it’s not about me anymore. The my fear versus their fear part just, man, it clicked for me. This opens up so many opportunities to communicate better, to actually lead well when your fear is primarily out of the way.

Taylor Martin
[11:20] Absolutely, I mean, just again, going back to the anxiety level just being reduced so much, but then people also are typically more productive because of that less stress level that they have on themselves. Let’s shift gears and go into self-awareness. Can you break that down for us?

Kyle Gillette
[11:38] Yeah, when I think of self-awareness, I think of mindfulness and emotional intelligence. We’re talking about knowing your thoughts and being able to take them captive. Do what you need to do with your thoughts so that they’re not impacting you or other people in a negative way. A lot of that work is actually done on your own, it’s done in journaling, it’s done in your spare time. You can’t really do that work well when you’re in the middle of a conversation. That’s that mindfulness thought control process. Then the other side of it is the emotional intelligence which is as I’m conversing with you, how are you reacting to me? I need to be aware of that, of how you’re reacting to me, but I also need to know how I’m reacting to you as you react to me. That’s really high level of self-awareness.

Then of course, self-awareness as it relates to your intuition, in the book, I talk about four channels of communication. The first three are three Vs, which I’ll go into in a moment, and then the fourth is intuition. The three Vs are verbal, vocal, and visual. Verbal, we all know these communication channels and we’ve all heard the percentage breakdown, that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, and 7% words. That’s the meaning of communication. Words is our communication 100%, so is body language, and so is tone. It’s 100% of our communication each one of those, but when it comes to the meaning, it’s broken down into those other percentages. The point is we need to be in tune with those three physical channels, let’s call them, because there are physical soundwaves, etc., and then also with that intuitive channel, which you could potentially call a spiritual channel, and if we can stay in tune with those and also be in tune with our thoughts, now we’re actually getting into true self-awareness and mindfulness.

Taylor Martin
[13:30] That made me think about how many times a text message is misinterpreted because it’s just text, none of that other language is present.

Kyle Gillette
[13:39] Yeah, that’s so much why people use emojis so there isn’t confusion, because emojis bring tone whereas a text message can’t bring tone. You can’t do it. It’s really tough, at least. You toss in an emoji and that changes things, and even those, obviously, get interpreted or misused.

Taylor Martin
[13:56] Right, they can. Talking about the self-awareness, let’s go into what you mentioned in the book about habits of self-awareness.

Kyle Gillette
[14:02] Yeah, so one of the key habits that I have been doing since I was 16 years old is journaling. One out of six people in the world journal, or have journaled. That’s a really low percentage. I think that’s 18%, I think, is the number, but whatever. It’s a low percentage. Those that don’t journal are missing out big time. Because the power of journaling is I have all these thoughts that are running through my head right now, you have all these thoughts, listeners do as well, and often those thoughts get really jumbled and they create stress, especially when you’re thinking about all the work that needs to get done. What if every day all you did was got out a notepad and wrote down some of your thoughts or some of the things that are frustrating you and you just dumped it and were super honest? Some of my journals are filled with the nastiest language and the grossest things but you won’t hear me say that kind of stuff to other people almost in any content because I’m not like that, but when I really want to dump and let go, man, it just comes out in those journals. It really frees me up. The way I look at it is, this is one of several habits, but when you put it down on paper, you’re putting it down, period. You’re letting it go. If it’s a stressor or if it’s a confusion or if it’s an idea, you’re putting it down and you’re letting it go so that you can look at it from a third-person perspective. This can create really powerful levels of self-awareness when you’re able to reflect that way on your own thoughts.

Taylor Martin
[15:35] I used to journal back in my college days and a few years after that. I haven’t done it since then, but that could be a very interesting exercise to do, at least for a couple of months and just experiment and expand thoughts and ideas on different avenues of business and life. I like that, man. That’s really cool. What about in terms of any other types of habits to make sure that you’re looking at yourself, as you mentioned earlier, from that third-person perspective? Because sometimes self-awareness is hard.

Kyle Gillette
[16:08] Yeah, well, in the book, I talk about needing to have an observant mindset. Do you have an observant mindset? Are you paying attention to what’s going on in really four areas? There’s your environment, so your physical environment. There’s your emotions, your emotional environment, your mental environment, and then your spiritual environment. How observant are you of those four environments and tuning into them? It’s hard to tune into them every single day. Maybe you need a reminder to remind yourself, what are your thoughts right now? It comes up on your phone. What are your emotions in this moment? You might journal that down, for example. With that, with the observant mindset, then you need to deploy the habit of silence. Because if you want to be truly observant, you’ve got to shut up. When I say shut up, I mean that in a lot of ways. When I talk about listening in the book, I give an acronym and maybe we could talk about that later, but when I say shut up, what I mean is, yes, you’ve got to close your mouth and be quiet, but you also have to close down those thoughts, those fears, those doubts, those assumptions. People often operate on assumptions. There’s a principle in [inaudible] that is the map is not the territory. It’s idea that we have this map of what we think the world is like, but once you get to the actual territory of the world, it’s not at all like that. There’s a big old fat rock in the way that you didn’t see on the map. If we can be more observant and be quiet and close – not close down, but slow things down, now we can truly listen and know ourselves better and see other people in way clearer ways.

Taylor Martin
[17:50] It’s almost like more of a Zen moment. You’re being present and then you’re being fully receptive to listen to what they have to say so that you can really bring it in kind of with fresh eyes and ears.

Kyle Gillette
[18:02] Yeah, and we struggle with this when it comes to the roles that we have in life. Often, we are switching roles. People talk about they want employees – I don’t know why so many employers want employees that are good at multitasking. First of all, it doesn’t exist. People are good at switching quickly, but the effect on the brain of switching quickly is a problem. Anyway, people want others to be able to multitask, but when you’re switching roles from, let’s say, you’re the leader of a meeting to now you’re going to lunch with a friend to now you’re coming back to go home and be with your family, those are very different roles, but we bring with us the effects, just imagine the waves, the distortion behind you of the effects of the role that you were just in.

What I suggest in the book and what I suggest to clients is, as you switch roles, think of it like a web browser. Right now, I have a web browser on and there’s two tabs on. Often, people have a web browser and there’s ten tabs. You have ten different roles. What we forget to do or what we forget to realize is that each one of those tabs takes energy from us, takes attention from us. What do we do? You need to close down that tab. How do you do that? Simply, it doesn’t take any massive effort. As you switch from me having a conversation with you to, after that, I’m going to probably leave the room and go somewhere else and it’s a different role. It’s more of a reflective role. Then I’ll come back and probably send some emails, but whatever. Before I leave the room, I’m going to close my eyes for ten seconds, just down, close that tab that is the podcast interviewee and then go on to the next role that I’m going to take on. Ten seconds, everybody has ten seconds to settle themselves, to silence themselves, to quiet down that role so they can transition to that next role. If you don’t, it actually causes – it can cause some problems for you, especially if you’re switching from a role where you’re not dealing with people to a role where you are dealing with people.

Taylor Martin
[20:01] I have to say I use that in my life, my business life. When I start my day off, I start an hour early. I don’t get any emails. I don’t listen to any voicemails, text messages, or anything, and I just focus on my biggest task for the day and just with fresh eyes and fresh mind and I’m just ready to go for the day. The coffee’s kicked in. I just work on that one big problem for an hour or more until I have to move on to the next project. Then that one’s down and I go to the next one. Then usually, I try to get through three big items before lunchtime, because by that time, the world is coming at me with those emails and phone calls and text messages and then it just becomes a lot harder to do. Then lunchtime, I try to have some Zen moment where I take my dog for a walk or I’ll watch some news while I’m eating or something just to unravel my mind a little bit and then kind of reset it for the afternoon. I have been doing that for over a year or two now and I would never do it any other way.

Kyle Gillette
[21:03] Yeah, I love it. That’s brilliant. Continue, right?

Taylor Martin
[21:07] Let’s move on over to growth. What do you see as business owners when you talk about looking at the business for growth purposes, are you talking about people just not being positive about growth or people apprehensive about growth? What are we talking about here?

Kyle Gillette
[21:25] Yeah, so growth mindset is helping people understand the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, fundamentally, starting there. Then I talk about five key mindsets to help you maintain a growth mindset. I’ll talk about those in a minute. The difference between fixed and growth, a good example would be, what subject in school did you struggle with the most, Taylor?

Taylor Martin
[21:47] Probably science.

Kyle Gillette
[21:50] Okay, so in science, at one point maybe you got a 60 on a test. Someone with a fixed mindset says, “I’ll never be good at science, so why try?” That’s somewhat extreme the way I’m describing it, but it is what can happen for people, especially when it’s reinforced by someone saying that you’re not very good at this thing and you never will be good at it, and unfortunately, people have heard that from other people, but that creates a fixed mindset or that’s a symptom of a fixed mindset when you see a result that you didn’t expect and then you’re like, well, I’ll never get good at it. This is what happens a lot with leaders when it comes to dealing with problems with their employees, when it comes to communication, things that they don’t think they’re good at, so on and so forth. They get stuck in a fixed place, but the growth mindset says, “I got a 60 on this test. I can do better than that.”

I’ll tell you a story of how a growth mindset worked really well for me. I was my first ever opportunity to do a presentation for a company was about a month into my business. I was doing disc workshops. I still do those, but I was doing disc workshops as the primary focus. Everybody took the assessment. Everybody was eight people. They then got an hour-long debrief with me over the phone or Zoom to talk about the results. All that went really well. That part was great. Then I asked the VP if I could come in and do a presentation. He said, “Yeah, let’s do that.” We’re going to do a group presentation where I break down the results of everyone and we talk about what that means, etc. I show up and the VP tells me that, well, the guy from Alaska wasn’t able to come in. The guy from Phoenix wasn’t able to come in. Because they were supposed to be gathering for a different reason and then it just coincided. Then somebody in the office was sick. Now I’ve got three people on the phone in three different states and then I’ve got three people in the office in the conference room with me. My presentation wasn’t working. It wouldn’t start. We’re five minutes into this thing and this forehead is covered in sweat. I mean, it is covered in sweat. I am dripping from my armpits because this is a complete and utter mess.

Long story short, finally, things kind of came together and there was some value given. An hour and a half of torture later, I walk out the door and I talk to the VP in the parking lot. He says, “Thanks for that. That was really helpful. I appreciate it.” In my head I’m going, “Yeah, that’s just BS.” I get into my car, and as I’m driving off, I go, you know what? That really sucked. That was a dumpster fire, but for me, it lit a different fire in me that said, you know what? I can do so much better than that. If I had had a fixed mindset in that moment, I would never ever have gotten in front of a group of executives again, ever again, because that was a horrible experience. I had a growth mindset that said, no, you know what? I can grow from this. I can learn from this, so I did.

Taylor Martin
[24:50] This is perplexing to me, not because of what you said, because I agree with it and I understand that, but I know people that are both where maybe in their profession they excel at it in the growth mindset, but when something maybe personal or something maybe not perfectly in their work lane, they get that, they don’t have that growth, they have that fixed mindset and they will not try to do better in that because they feel it’s too hard. It’s just a mindset. That’s all we’re talking about here. Just give it a try and see if it can happen, if it can get better. Some of those listeners out there that are hearing this and thinking, oh, that’s not me. I’m always growth. You might be always growth maybe at work or maybe most of the time at work but I would think that there’s probably some things that we’re all kind of fixed at.

Kyle Gillette
[25:47] For sure, and usually we’re not aware of those things.

Taylor Martin
[25:50] Now we’re going back to self-awareness.

Kyle Gillette
[25:52] Yes, exactly. That’s why it’s all interconnected. Let me talk briefly about what I call the growth SUV because it’s five mindsets that help you to maintain that growth mindset and to know whether or not you actually have it. Picture your favorite type of SUV. It’s a five-seater. It’s got great four-wheel drive wheels. Obviously, it’s got four-wheel drive. It’s ready to handle the mud, the road, the dirt, the rain, and the snow. It’s ready to handle anything because that’s why you have a four-wheel drive SUV so you can handle that kind of stuff. When it comes to the mindsets, if you picture in the front of the vehicle – or excuse me, in the back of the vehicle is the risk mindset, that’s your backseat driver every once in a while. Every once in a while, you need the risk mindset to say, “Hey, let’s go for this. Let’s do it. It’s worth it. It’s okay if we screw it up. Let’s take this risk. Let’s go off road. Let’s give it a shot.” That’s your risk mindset. Next to the risk mindset sits, in the middle of the seat in your rearview mirror, you see that learner mindset. When you screw things up and you mess up, you look in that rearview mirror at your mess up and you see the learner mindset sitting in that middle seat going, “Hey, I’m here. It’s okay. You can learn from this mistake.” Then the learner mindset smiles at you and says, okay, and leans to his left or leans to his right and says, “Let’s talk about taking some more risk,” or to the right, “Let’s look at being persistent.” Because maybe you messed up and maybe you made these mistakes, but you can learn from them, but let’s persist.

In the back, you’ve got risk, learning, and persistence. Those three mindsets will help you to continue to grow, but in the front seat you need a navigator. Your navigator is the sales mindset. The sales sits in the front and says, “This is what’s possible. This is what we can do. Let’s go for it.” You have to sell your ideas and your goals to yourself. We have to sell ourselves more than we have to sell anyone or anything else. What is your vision? What is your mission? You have to consistently sell that to yourself and be reminded that it’s worth it, talk yourself into it, encourage yourself, get the emotion engaged to continue to pursue it. Then lastly, the driver seat, this is the one that if you don’t have this person in the driver seat, you’re going to run out of fuel. You have to have this mindset in the driver seat. That is abundance. If you don’t have an abundance mindset, no matter how much risk, no matter how much learning, no matter how well you persist and sell things to yourself or other people, if you don’t have that abundance, it’s going to be very difficult to continue to follow through, but that abundance creates this optimism, this joy, this excitement for whatever mission or path that you’re on. That is your growth SUV. No matter whether you’re on a freeway and it’s smooth sailing or you’re about to go through some mucky, muddy, nastiness, because right now in your leadership and in your business it’s a bit ugly, those five mindsets will help you to continue to grow and continue to have traction. It may slip a little, but you’re still going to get traction when you use all those mindsets.

Taylor Martin
[28:50] I love your analogies, man. They’re so easy to relate to. I just want to underscore the persistence one just a little bit. I’m just going to add a little bit of my own personal value to it. That failing and being persistent in failing, the thing that people know fail forward and that’s a growing trend and people are talking and writing books about it, great, but I also want to just say that sometimes the universe has a different way for your path to be revealed to you. It’s those learning moments that are going to make you so unique and stronger at the end of that journey because you took that unique path. You were persistent and you did all those things. There is enormous value in that. You just don’t know what the value is yet.

Kyle Gillette
[29:34] Yeah, that’s why journaling and being quiet and being self-reflective are so powerful because that’s where you get that new awareness from those past experiences.

Taylor Martin
[29:45] Let’s jump in the empowerment seat. Drive me there.

Kyle Gillette
[29:49] Yeah, so empowerment, the metaphor or analogy I use for empowerment is dancing. If you think about the people that you work with, if you’re truly working well with someone, you’re really dancing with them. What does that mean? Sometimes you’re pushing and sometimes you’re pulling, but there’s this motion, this fluid motion of interaction with those people where you know their moves and you know if you move them in a certain way or lead them in a certain way, then they’re going to have a beautiful move, or in other words, they’re going to produce really well, right? If you don’t know them well, people are stepping on each other’s feet, they’re running into each other, they’re getting angry at each other, but if you know them really well, then it’s a beautiful dance. Ultimately, in empowerment, you’re not always the one that’s the dancing partner. You actually are sometimes just a choreographer. You’re giving them permission to be on stage. Here’s my team up on stage. I’m going to empower you to dance beautifully and produce whatever it is they need to produce for your team. That takes a lot of courage on your end to empower them. That’s one of the key mindsets of empowerment is to be courageous about how you help people and giving them the chance to take those risks so that they can grow, trusting them. There’s a lot of different mindsets that go into this, but primarily, it’s dancing with them and knowing them and then being able to allow them to dance with one another so they can create a beautiful show and that show is going to be your product, your service, etc.

Taylor Martin
[31:21] That made me think of somebody in my life that is exceptional at getting to know other people and they use that skillset to have that bond with them. That’s exactly what they do is they tee them up for success because they know what strengths and faults they may have and they know they want to try to do the best job they possibly can, but you have to tee things up for them to get them to just be as successful as possible for that person. Everybody is different. That’s the part that’s a little hard for managers, directors, and executives but that’s part of your job. That’s part of leadership as a responsibility.

Kyle Gillette
[32:01] Yeah, and I talk about with my clients, I ask them, “Do you find your employees to be fascinating?” If they don’t, that’s a problem. Because ultimately, all people are fascinating. If you take the time to slow down and listen and be quiet and stop your assumptions, then people are truly fascinating. No matter how boring their life seems on the outside, and it might truly be boring to you, they’re still really fascinating because they’re a human. What does that mean then? That creates curiosity for the leader of that person. Then from there, you can start to study that person. What is it that makes them tick? What are their values? What are their interests? Study those things. It’s studying moves, in other words, to go back to the dance analogy. If you study their move, then maybe they can’t do a backflip on the stage, but maybe they can twist and do a twirl and that’s beautiful and it fits for the work that they need to do. If you don’t realize that they can’t do a backflip and you expect them to do a backflip on the dance stage, it’s going to be ugly and people are going to get hurt. Instead, if you know they can twirl, great, let’s have them twirl because that feeds their strengths and it feeds the team. It creates great collaboration and a lot of other things as a result. In the book, I talk about five different habits to help empower your team. I could go into those if you’d like, but the main one, the key one to start it all off is to study and know your team.

Taylor Martin
[33:28] No, please, let’s dive in while are we here. I’m enjoying this. Please, continue, continue, continue.

Kyle Gillette
[33:33] Sure, so if the study habit is knowing the moves of your team, your employees, then overcommunication is practice. It’s taking what it is that’s expected of every team member, it’s taking what it is that needs to get done and communicating that over and over and over again. If we think about – we went and watched Elf here locally, they did a live version of Elf and it was a lot of fun, but I can’t imagine how many times they had to practice all those scenes and overcommunicate and exaggerate the things that they’re supposed to do and talk to each other about what worked and what didn’t work. That’s what dancing is with your employees. You have to overcommunicate everything that you expect of them. When I say overcommunicate, I mean you’re communicating your vision for your organization every single week. You’re communicating what you expect of that employee every single week, and a lot of other things, too.

Then if you want them to perform really well, you need to give them the right resources. If they don’t have the right shoes to dance, if they don’t have the right uniform to wear or clothes to wear so that the dance looks great, they’re not going to perform very well because the resources aren’t good. Sometimes those resources are time with you, sometimes it’s resources with someone else, sometimes it’s time with one another. Other times it’s physical things or software, hardware, those types of things, but if you don’t have that in place, your stage has a set. If you don’t have the right set, you don’t have the right pieces to that set, maybe you can perform okay, but there will be a disconnect if the set isn’t dialed in.

Then you have to delegate. If you’re doing well at delegating, this means eventually you’re not on the stage anymore. That’s where you get to the point where you’re working on your business, not in your business. You’re directing. You’re empowering them at a really high level because you’re just delegating. You’re delegating responsibility, not tasks. You’re helping them to own what it is that they need to do. Then lastly, you celebrate. After the performance is done, we need to celebrate that, wow, you guys did a good job, or wow, you know what? We could’ve done better, but wow, we did good in these specific spots. Let’s celebrate that. Those are the five habits to help empower your team.

Taylor Martin
[35:48] Yeah, even on an exit interview with your team, you can talk about – I always think it’s great, when you’re critiquing yourself or your team, you’ve got to lay it thick with all the good stuff that you did and then end with, “but we could’ve done better in these few areas and we could do this and this better next time. Next time, we will and we’re going to be that much better and that much greater,” because then it’s all positive.

Kyle Gillette
[36:08] Yeah, and it’s a great opportunity for them to – for you to ask some really powerful questions, like what went really well here, team? Then they share their thoughts. Every time I do a workshop, at the end of a workshop, everybody in the workshop has to answer this question. The question I ask is, what is your Number 1 takeaway or what was your Number 1 insight from this workshop? Sometimes that is the most powerful 20 to 15 to 30 minutes of the whole workshop because now they’re exchanging what was really insightful for them. You see all these a-ha moments coming out in that. Maybe I should ask that question earlier in my workshops, but that’s what we need to do after the performance is done, after we’ve delivered on the project or the system or the service or whatever, what was the insight from this experience this time around? Because every time it’ll be a little bit different. What was the win? What can we improve on, etc.? That’s fun, ultimately, because they get to share their input and their own insights. Those insights are lying dormant in employees often because the business owner is not drawing them out.

Taylor Martin
[37:20] This conversation has made me think a lot of different things a lot of different ways. One of them in particular is going back to we have too many things coming at us. There was something I started earlier this year where I turned off all my notifications, everything. Then I went back and I reviewed my really important ones and I still didn’t turn them back on. That freeing up of mental split seconds you may think it is, but it’s not. It’s freeing up your time to do other things. I feel like your framework is something that needs its space. It needs its time and space in business leaders’ mind, in their temperament, in their day-to-day routines. Because if they have that framework and they have space for it, then they’re going to be able to have that growth, personally and business wise and their team wise. I’m just saying that just because I think we have to be able to – these days, we need to be able to see where we can find time to make improvements like this, ones that are of high value. How do we do that? It’s going to be different for everybody, I’m sure, but I’m just giving my personal analogy of what really helped me out this year.

Kyle Gillette
[38:33] Yeah, for sure. There’s a suggested approach that I share in the book to do that. At the end of the book, I give you – it’s a ten-day start to doing this because this is a long process. It boils down to a lot of mindsets and a lot of habits and it takes a while. That’s why I have an app to help people with it and that’s also why I have a ten-day start to it. It’s a lifelong thing. This isn’t something that you finish. You can’t. It’s not possible. Very simply, I do something on every Saturday, I do a weekly review. There’s a lot of nuances to it, but two of the most important – or three of the most important things are, one, I do reading. I’m reading a book or I’m reading the bible and then I’m also praying. Those are kind of the spiritual side of it, but then when it comes to reflective side, to really imbed SAGE into us, it’s a very simple thing. Yet I can’t believe how powerful it is. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of something called a MOLO, M-O-L-O. Is that familiar to you, Taylor? MOLO stands for more of, less of. What it is it’s, essentially, I get up in the morning, I do part of my routine, and then I reflect on five questions. I pick a very specific topic to focus on.

The last thing I focused on was I’m going to create this community for people. I focused on that as the topic. What do I need to make that happen? Five questions that are, what should I do more of to make this community happen, for example? What should I do less of? What should I start doing? What should I stop doing? What should I keep doing? You pick any topic that you can think of. Maybe it’s a specific employee that’s really pissing you off and it’s really super frustrating to you. You go, Joe, what should I do more of with Joe? What should I do less of with Joe, so on and so forth? Those answer to those questions will provide some really powerful insights. From there you come up with three to five actions that you’re going to take as a result of that reflective time. You can take any of these habits in the book and do the same thing. Let’s say you want to be more observant. What should I do more of to be more observant? What should I do less to be more observant, etc.? Any of the mindsets or habits in the book, that’s your topic, you ask those five questions, then you’re going to draw out your own personal insights that will help you dramatically. If you do this every week, you can pick the same topic or you can change the topic, over time, because this is a lifelong thing, you will be a different person. You’ll be a different person within a month, but over the course of a year of doing this, 52 times, 52 subjects, or 30 subjects, or whatever, man, you will be different in a beautifully powerful way designed by yourself. You design it for yourself as well. It’s a really cool exercise that I really enjoy.

Taylor Martin
[41:31] Being able to have this exercise and all the different wonderful things in your book, The SAGE Leadership, you have it online in class format as well as in an app, correct?

Kyle Gillette
[41:40] Yeah.

Taylor Martin
[41:41] Tell me how do people access it. Where do they go?

Kyle Gillette
[41:44] Yeah, for sure, go to sagemindset.com. You can find the book there. It’s also on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can find the course on the same website and also the app, you can link to the app from there., but if you just go to the app store and look up “mindset journal SAGE,” you kind of have to type it in that order, but “mindset journal SAGE,” you’ll find the app. The app takes the mindsets and habits, they’re already in there, and then it prompts you to be thinking about those habits, scoring yourself on how you’re doing on four of them, the most is four, and then you journal on how you’re doing on each of those particular habits and mindsets. Then this overtime gamifies your progress and also allows you to see your progress. Those are fun things that have been created.

Taylor Martin
[42:29] I love, love, love gamification. The first time I learned about it, I thought genius at every angle. Writing a book like this, putting it on online courses, and doing it as an app, I have to commend you for it. This is great, man. Thank you so much, Kyle.

Kyle Gillette
[42:44] Yeah, thank you, Taylor. I appreciate it.

Taylor Martin
[42:45] I have to tell you. I had a guest on two years ago, Todd Cherches. He spells it with an E not a U. He wrote a book called Visual Leadership. Everything you did today in terms of your analogies and how you describe things was spot on with everything. I’m like, the first person I’m going to tell about this show is him because he is going to love this. You did such a good job connecting things that everybody can relate to. I think it really helps people resonate with your message.

Kyle Gillette
[43:13] Yeah, thank you.

Taylor Martin
[43:14] Can our listeners reach out to you via LinkedIn and connect to you and maybe follow you there?

Kyle Gillette
[43:18] Yeah, LinkedIn is great. I have a Facebook as well. Just look up my name. Those are good options as well.

Taylor Martin
[43:25] The book is SAGE Leadership. I will have the address in the show notes to go to the website so you can get the book, the online courses, or a link to the app. Kyle, again, thank you so much for being on today’s show.

Kyle Gillette
[43:38] Thank you. 

Taylor Martin
[43:39] Over and out, everybody. 

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[43:41] Thanks for tuning into the Triple Bottom Line. Your host, Taylor Martin, is founder and Chief Creative of Design Positive, a strategic branding and accessibility agency. Interested in being interviewed on our podcast? Then visit designpositive.co and fill out our contact form. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, we would appreciate a review on Apple podcasts or whatever provider you are logging in from. This podcast is prepared by Design Positive and is not associated with any other entity. We look forward to having you back for another installment of the Triple Bottom Line.

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