Obviously, that phrase is something that is making a powerful difference for you.
This is you self-coaching yourself.
This is you saying, for me to be the best and for me to have a team to teach and set the example that would get the best results, one of those things is I’ve got to have in my mind, seek to understand rather than seeking to be understood.
How did that come about?
Mario Arrizon: No one wants to admit that they have an ego, but we all do. When you start getting success right away in certain areas you start thinking, “I know what I’m doing I don’t need to listen to anybody.” That can be your fall. I lost so many great people and then I almost lost my best guys because of it.
I just got so grateful to God. I was like, thank you so much, God, I don’t know what you did for me, but thank you for letting me retain these people.
For a long time, it was my way or the highway, and people could never talk to me. I thought I was easy to talk to and didn’t know what they were talking about. I lost so many good people because it was my way or the highway.
It still can be your way, but if you just tell them what to do and they have a disagreement with you, they have their guard up.
Sometimes leading leaders is like herding cats. If you connect with them, then you can lead them.
Let me give you an example that really hit me as a “whoa” on parenting. I learned so much as a kid. It’s unreal. I realized that a lot of my friends respected their parents, but didn’t like them. I thought that was weird. They would tell me, “Yeah, my parents are awesome but they don’t get me. We think differently.”
And I figured out it was because parents are like “Because I’m your mom. You gotta listen to me because I’m your father.” That was their explanation. They weren’t even trying to connect with them. That was the way their parents led them.
An example is, one night I heard my little boy fighting with my wife. I was like, “what is going on, why are they shouting over there?” My wife told me, “Hey, he doesn’t listen to me anymore. You got to talk to him.” And I’m like, “Okay. Max, what’s going on? Why are you not listening to Momma?” He was crying so I told him to relax and asked him again what was going on. I could tell he was shocked. He was like, “You’re actually going to listen to me?”
He goes on to say, “Mom doesn’t understand, what’s going on. She doesn’t listen to me, dad. She’s like get in the car, get in the car! And she’s not even trying to listen to me.” I said, “Well, what are you trying to tell her?” And he says, “My sticker fell. I just want the sticker, but mom doesn’t listen. She just says get in the car.” So I pick up the sticker, put it on his shirt and he gets a big smile on his face and I put him in the car and my wife was like, “How’d you do it?”
I understood his side. I told my son, “You never talk back to mom that’s a big no-no. Did you ever see dad scream at mom? You shouldn’t either.” He’s like, “I get it, dad. I’m sorry.”
If I just told him, listen to me because I’m your father he would be just like everybody else. He’ll grow up saying, “I like my dad, but I don’t want to be around him because it’s always his way.” I remember telling my wife in the car, “Hey, your kids are always going to love you. But if you want them to be around us, we got to seek to understand before we seek to be understood.”We got to seek to understand before we seek to be understood. Click To Tweet
I want our kids to feel that they can actually come to us when they get in trouble. Most kids when they get in trouble hide and run away from their parents. I want to raise my kids so that when they get in trouble, they run towards us because they know we’re there for them whether they’re right or wrong.
I lead my team the same way. Some people are like, “Whoa, coach, you actually care about what I’m about to say.” I’m different because of our leaders, they show me that it’s worth us changing.
People that seek to understand before they seek to be understood, their life will totally change this year because people will be honored to follow them. Because most people in this world, don’t listen to anybody. It’s their way. Their point of view and that’s it. If I knew this information 10 years ago, I would be 10 times bigger.
I’ve lost so many good people because of my ego. Ego is not your amigo, right? It is not your friend. It’s your enemy. If you can learn to control that there’s no limit. If you stay hungry, if you stay humble, there’s no limit. There’s no limit to how big you can be. I’m so grateful that I have God’s grace and forgiveness on me.
Sometimes we beat ourselves up, we think we’re not worthy, we think we’re not good enough. Often people think that people like me or Larry never have doubts or fears. It’s quite the opposite for leaders because they get attacked the most.
My secret, not to press religion on nobody, is that we have a higher source. When it’s dark, He’s our light. And, that’s my secret. A powerful man told me something really impactful once.
He said, “Hey Mario, where does greatness come from?” And I was like, “I don’t know.” He said, “From God! He wants us to be great men.”
That man was Larry, and I appreciate him telling me those words.
LW: Well, of course, you’re welcome.
The thing is, we’ve got to always be aware. It’s not what we know. It’s what our team knows.
We have so many decisions to make in leadership and the sooner we all learn it’s not how great the program is, it’s how enthusiastic the people are about following the program, the better.
You could have a mediocre system, yet if people are wild with excitement about that program, they’re going to just knock it out of the park anyway. They understand why it’s to their advantage to do it that way. They can get it done quicker, faster, and better that way.
When Art Williams had meetings, usually I knew what he was going to do in them because we would have talked about it beforehand. We get in the meetings he would say, “We got this situation developing and one thing we can do is… then Art would talk about the obvious solution. We would all nod in agreement and get excited because that seemed the really smart thing to do from our point of view also.”
And then he’d say, “But then I thought, wait a minute if we do it that way, this, that, and the other will go wrong.” He explained all these ways things could go wrong if we took the obvious direction.
Then he would walk us through all of the options and finally say, “Hey, if we do it this way, all those other problems go away and we can just knock it out of the park.”
And by that time, everybody was gung ho, ready to run out of there and get started on the new game plan. We were confident and unified because he had taken the time to walk us through the negatives of all the other choices we might have thought about on our own. By doing that right from the beginning, we had great confidence in the play he called. We all felt that if we were in his shoes, that is exactly the direction we would have chosen ourselves.
It’s, the “old feel, felt, found.” I know how you feel. I felt the same way, but here’s what I found. The idea is that you’ve got to find a way to get people on board with you.
So, I decided it was only my job to notice what we needed to do. It was my manager’s and leader’s in the office job to come up with a solution. I just made it easy on myself. I knew if they came up with it, they’d be more gung-ho about it than if I came up with it.
So I just said, “Hey, we got a problem. What are we going to do?” What I found is sometimes the least likely guy in the room would come up with the best solution. The most important thing was that the team had a chance to think about the issue and decide on our next step. As a result, they were fully vested and enthusiastic about what we decided to do.
As a leader, you’ve got to find out you can’t be a dictator because that turns you into a bully. You got to be a coach. People don’t want a boss or a bully. They want a coach.