Never Underestimate the Value of Telling the Truth with AJ Sue, Ep #22

Introspection, if handled wisely, can be the tool for clearing a fresh path for our organizations, teams, and personal futures. To begin any change action or growth, we must first articulate meaning. Core questions, or as we’ve come to know them, “why” questions, help us get to the answers that we will use as guideposts on our organizational growth path.

Once we identify our meaning, we need to take the next step, which is the more challenging work of integrating said meaning into our organizational environment. The benefit of this deliberate process, however, is the ultimate fulfillment that comes from living our purpose.

To effectively fuse meaning into our organizations, we look to the process that Bruce Holoubek, owner of Contracted Leadership, and Host of The Development Exponent Podcast dives into with his guest, AJ Sue of AJ Sue Consulting:

Find out why you should never underestimate the value of telling the truth on this powerful #podcast episode of #TheLeadershipExponent featuring special guest, AJ Sue – you don’t want to miss it! Click To Tweet

Defining a mutually meaningful work engagement

A mutually meaningful work engagement happens when everyone is in their right position, understands one another, and knows their roles. Meaning becomes actualized when people are able to use their gifts in application to their purpose. Mutually meaningful engagement shows itself as a trifecta: I’m doing my purpose, you’re doing your purpose, and I understand that my role is to help you do your purpose and you understand that your role is to help me do my purpose. It has a virtuosity about it.

Recognizing your influence

Appreciate the fact that you can change someone’s life through one carefully chosen, and carefully applied moment. An example of such a moment comes from AJ’s early career when AJ encountered a problem during training and became angry. At which point a leader in his organization told him, “There are people who see a problem and get angry. There are people who see a problem and realize it’s just a problem and move on. There are people who see a problem and decide to do something about it. Decide which one you are.” The man chose that moment to be kindly-candid and allowed AJ the space to consider his own evolution.

Greatness requires love. Put yourself in a position that gives you deep meaning. Click To Tweet

Litmus testing

Similarly, you can use your own instinct to respond, while being a good person. Respond directly, honestly, and candidly while reacting from that good space in your heart. Allow your being a good person to be your litmus test for what you respond to in people. If you speak to the good, you will find it.

The truth can’t always be comfortable, but it shouldn’t be damaging. Even when it comes from a good place, the truth can hurt, but is the first step to growth—and is the ultimate form of respect. Truth is also gentle in the way that it allows people to come to different conclusions; it is not prescriptive. Use it by giving people things to consider, but not by telling them what to do. Deliver your truth boldly, and as gently as possible.

Learn what’s important to them

Often, in corporate we see this force-feeding of “what is right” to the employee. This doesn’t aid in developing a supportive environment, or in making the right decisions for the right reasons. It’s this common “force-feeding” roadblock to creating supportive environments that move Contracted Leadership to focus on helping leaders create those mutually-meaningful engagements.

Our purpose is to make everyone successful in their existence. Find ways for your people to grow. If they are not right for your organization, help them get to where they can be. #TheDevelopmentExponent Click To Tweet

Steps of Development

To create the mutually-meaningful and engaged work environment, first develop the leadership team, and then go deeper into developing the leaders within the team. It’s vital that your team leaders understand how to convey the strategy, how to teach skills, and how to be open-minded but firm. Finally, once those skills are in place, that refined group of leaders needs to learn to operate as a network. They will have to communicate across silos in an organization in order to attain the goal of creating meaningful experiences.

Networking leadership

Are we 17 separate silos or are we one team? Creating a network of leadership is at the core about tribal identification. It is a deeply human, and cultural process that speaks to our basic need to belong and be protected by our tribe. It is evidenced in your C-level leaders eating lunch in the cafeteria with other team members. It solidifies partnerships by creating the cultural expectations of people spending time together, and sharing, and knowing that, “I’m supposed to support the marketing team, and they are supposed to support me.” When this happens in an organization it shows exponential power.

Changing the limiting beliefs

“We are doing it right and the other generation is doing it wrong,” is a common limiting belief. From that vantage point, it is not about partnership but about control and restraint. To lessen that presumption and create stronger cohesion in our cross-generational teams we must lead with and talk about our values. Values across generations are at their core, the same. Most people want to be happy, productive, to take care of families, to learn good things, to make friends, and to make a positive difference. Leading with our values brings us to a common ground—the place from which we build understanding, relationships, and mutual respect.

Letting go of the how

However, at the leader level we have always had the mindset of “command and control,” but with all of the new technologies and options, we just cannot hold that tight grip anymore. People are now finding 20 different ways to achieve the same goal, and they are used to having choices.

This is the shift we are seeing with the help of millennials—people are recognizing that it is not about the how you do something, but about getting it done in the best way that works for you. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you want to send an email, send a text, use snapchat, write a letter, create a video, as long as you are communicating to your audience the way that they can best understand it.

Seeing the results

Leaders who achieve and maintain mutually-meaningful work engagements are the ones who can let go of their own discomfort to embrace their people’s capabilities, vision, and then interlace it to create something greater than previously imagined. They position their companies to handle organic growth that is in alignment with the refined values of their brand, their leadership and their people.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:08] I introduce my guest, AJ Sue and his five beliefs.
  • [3:30] AJ’s opens up about his purpose and fulfilment.
  • [4:50] What does a mutually meaningful work engagement look like according to AJ?
  • [6:30] A life-changing moment early in AJ’s career.
  • [11:50] AJ talks about what was it like as a “Testing guy.”
  • [17:30] You can’t be great until you do something that you love.
  • [23:00] Networking with leaders across the organization.
  • [27:20] The primary limiting belief that most people hold.
  • [30:45] You don’t have to be an expert to just try something new.
  • [32:40] Three takeaways you can walk away with today.

Connect with AJ Sue

Connect With Bruce

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When people in your organization go around wearing masks and striving to “Fake it until they make it” no one benefits. What should you do? Try challenging your people to find common ground – hear more about this topic by listening to this episode… Click To Tweet If you could build your business on ONE value, what would it be? Hear why AJ Sue answers – truth-telling on this eye-opening episode of #TheDevelopmentExponent! Click To Tweet
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