Self-Sabotage: Getting Out of Your Own Way (Part 1)

As John Maxwell says, “The hardest person to lead is myself.” We’re human, which means we are constantly getting in the way of our growth and progress. This week, we’re starting a new series that is all about how to recognize and fix the most common self-sabotaging habits in a leader’s life. For this series we’re diving deep into the John Maxwell vault––so deep in fact that you might notice John still has his Ohio accent! Here we will discover the remedies for getting out of our own way.

During the application portion of this episode, Mark Cole and Chris Goede dissect John’s lesson, share their takeaways, and encourage us to take the time to recognize the self-sabotaging traits in our own lives so that we can begin to get out of our own way.

Our BONUS resource for this episode is the Self-Sabotage Worksheet, which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.


Mark Cole:       Hey, welcome back to the John Maxwell Leadership podcast. I am joined today by my friend, my partner, my co-leader, Chris Goede. And today we're going to navigate a subject that I believe will help those of you listening to the podcast in an incredible way. In fact, for two weeks, we're going to talk about getting out of your own way.

Now, I love just that title. It just says everything. In fact, I kind of want to just pause the podcast recording, and I want to just go, think about that statement, get out of your own way. Today in leadership reality, we're seeing leaders struggle with leading differently, leading because of adversity, leading because of unknowns. And that's why, what John Maxwell has said for years is so true. He says this: The hardest person to lead is myself. We're human. Which means we constantly get in the way of our own growth, our own progress.

So this week we're going to go back into the archives and we're going to pull out an Ohio speaking John Maxwell. Listen to this. This is a southern Mark Cole talking about John's Ohio accent. But you're going to hear him this week talk about some common self-sabotaging habits in a leader's life. In fact, for the next two weeks, we're going to give you 10 self-sabotaging behaviors and 10 remedies to address those behaviors if you see them in your leadership.

Now, if you want to download the show notes, if you would like to follow along, you can go to Again, Today, again, we're going to hear John speak on points one through four, and you're going to have some remedies to make sure that you do not get in your own leadership way. Here is John Maxwell.

John Maxwell:  This lesson is dedicated to identifying and removing the consistent self-sabotaging behaviors that show up in your life. Basically, what I'm saying is this. And I want to kind of set the whole lesson up here. Most of the problems that people have are their own personal problems. I find that most of the things that we have happen to us that keep us from some relative degree of success, usually is not from somebody else, but it's something that we ourselves are causing.

So I sat down and I began to think about this, this self-sabotaging behavior that we're doing and going through. And I began to ask myself, how in the world can we do better in not all the time tripping ourselves up? I read an article, very interesting from a psychologist who basically said something like this in studying other people's lives, gave an awful lot of examples. He said, "Many people do not feel they deserve success. And in the process of finally achieving some degree of success in at least other people's eyes, they feel so undeserving of it and uncomfortable with it that they many times do something maybe subconsciously, but do something to mess themselves up, to get them out of a position of which they are not comfortable with."

That's self-sabotaging behavior. And all I'm saying is in the many years that I've worked in with people in relationships, I'm saying most of the people who don't make it, don't make it not because they can't make it. They don't make it because they do something to themselves along that journey that keeps them from being all that they can be in reaching their potential. And so I want to look at some of these and it certainly isn't all up. In fact, when I wrote down self-sabotaging behaviors, I wrote 17 down that I could just on a legal pad in about a 30-minute period think of.

And so I took 17, but it would make the lesson too long. And so I dropped it down to 10 and I want to talk to what I would consider the most vital 10 self-sabotaging behaviors in a person's life. Let's get going.

Number one, a poor understanding of people. And I have found that if you don't understand people, it is impossible for you to reach the level of success that you could reach if you had a good understanding of people. And what I'm really wanting to say here in this lesson, in this part of this lesson is the fact that when we have a poor understanding of people, we are constantly going to be messing ourselves up. And there are a lot of things I can say about people, but let me just say three things that I think fit when we think about people here.

Number one is the fact that people are peculiar. And you have to understand that. And until you and I understand that people are peculiar, we're going to always be tripped up. We're going to be tripping ourselves up because we don't understand this point. When I say they're peculiar, I mean, they're odd. We are a crazy bunch. And I say, we, we all are. We all have our idiosyncrasies. You tell them that the bench in the park has wet paint on it and they'll touch it. People, we're just weird. We're just weird, odd, peculiar individuals. And we have to understand that people will spend money they don't have to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like. People want to sit in the front of the bus and want to be in the middle of the road. They think their problems are the biggest, their jokes are the funniest, and their kids are the smartest. In other words, all I'm saying is everybody's weird.

Now, what I don't understand about leaders is how leaders don't understand this point. I watch people all the time and they'll talk about people as if the person they're talking about is one special, weird person. I mean, that's just life. People are peculiar. And when we have a poor understanding of people, it is going to constantly keep us from being successful.

Now, let me say something else about people. They're not only peculiar, but the second thing I want you to see is that people usually see things from their own eyes. And every scenario that a person builds up in their life is built from their own perspective that we all see from our own eyes.

And the third thing is that most people are insecure. Now, when you realize those three things about people. Insecure people resist change. They won't risk. But when you understand those three things about people, and you begin to have an understanding about people, it will not only help you in dealing with them. It will help you in leading them. There is not a day in my life that I don't get letters from people that would basically bring out these three traits. There's not a day in my life that I don't sit down and have a conversation with somebody that would not bring out these traits. And all I'm saying is, is that we have to have a better understanding of people. Relationships, so important. When we don't have that, it'll sabotage us.

Now, remedy for poor understanding of people. Well, one, find the key to their life. Number two, show them their benefits, and then give them encouragement. I found that to help people when they really want to be better in their relationships.

Now, the second thing, the second self-sabotaging behavior is blaming others. In other words, we're talking about people who do this, make other people out to be the bad guys when things go wrong, and they just blame others. This will always hurt us, whose idea this was and who made them take the forbidden fruit. Well, in life it's that way. When we start blaming other people, whether it's blaming the boss for our problems or blaming our spouse for the home, or if we can't think of anybody else blaming the kids, regardless of who it, when we begin to blame other people, we begin to sabotage ourself.

I know an awful lot of people in life who literally constantly cannot see themselves, and they are always blaming others, or like the angry guy who jumped out of the car after he got into an accident and he said, "Why can't you people watch where you're going? You're the fourth person today that I've hit." Well, this whole issue of whose fault is it and always blaming someone else for our problems.

Don't you know people who just absolutely cannot take the blame or cannot take responsibility for something? If we blame other people, what happens is this. For our feelings, our behavior, we give that person control over life. And what happens is we begin to see ourself as a victim. You watch people who cannot take responsibility, have to blame others, and they always have a victim mindset. Somebody's picking on me. This whole process of blaming others. Okay? And instead of keeping ourselves in a proper perspective, we look at ourselves as one being picked on.

Remedy for blaming others, assume that you're a part of the problem. And by the way, usually we are. Very, very seldom is it one person's fault. It almost always is both parties. Accept responsibility and admit your wrongdoing. Okay? Again, it's tough to say I'm sorry or I'm wrong. I did it. Okay.

Number three, the third self-sabotaging behavior is a lack of focus. A lot of people never get where they need to go because they cannot focus in on what they should be doing. Now, this is a great time to talk about focus. And I can say a lot about goal setting, a lot about focusing. I spent some time last week just trying to get some focus myself, personally, and spiritually, and some things I wanted to see happen in my own life. But a couple of things I want to say about focus today, because I'm not wanting just to major on this and not other things. But when we lack focus in our lives, a couple of things begin to happen.

Number one is we waste time. You show me a person who has a lack of focus, and I'll show you a person who waste an incredible amount of time. That's just a fact. There are 37 hours out of 168 that we have during the week that are basically called discretionary time. In other words, the average person has 37 hours a week that they're not on the job, they're not eating, not sleeping, but are pretty much are taken up, perhaps with family, duties, errands or whatever, but it's kind of more discretionary time. And then you begin to draw that out to a year. And the fact that in a year's time, that's almost 2000 hours. In a decade's time, that's almost 20,000 hours.

And as I've thought about that two or three times, I thought to myself, the people that will do the best with the discretionary time are people that have a focus, know what they're really going to do. All I'm saying is if you lack focus, you'll waste time. If you lack focus, secondly, you not only waste time, but you will misuse your resources.

What happens is if we lack focus? We don't even know where to place our energy and our resources. And so therefore, we are constantly misusing those resources that we have. And when we really have a focus, we'll use our energy and our resources the way that we should. Okay? Lack of focus. I just watch people all the time kill their chance for success because they lack that focus. Remedy for lack of focus. Well, what are my interests, opportunities, gifts, and then go for it. Okay.

Number four, the fourth behavior that sabotages ourselves many times is not being informed. When we're not informed about the situation, many times we hurt ourselves. Sherlock Holmes pointed out the danger of being uninformed when he said, "It's a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. And sensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." In other words, without good information, you won't see things as they really are. You'll see them as you think they are. Good information. The important questions to ask myself, do I check out the reasons behind behavior I don't understand, or do I just react? Do I gather enough facts before making crucial decisions? Do I act impulsively?

I've always said, decision-making is very easy. I've never had problems with decision-making. The issue is not decision-making. The issue is having all the facts before you, before you make the decision. It's always an information issue. Do I gather enough facts before making crucial decisions?

Another thing, facts mean very little until they are rightly understood, related, and interpreted. It's unbelievable what happens just because you've got the information. A lot of people, they try to make decisions when they don't have information, and they're not aware of everything going around them. And they make decisions from a very wrong or very narrow perspective. Okay? A lot of people sabotage themselves because of it. Remedy for information, make no decisions without it, make person seeking decision responsible to obtain it. Did you read that last statement? This is absolutely essential. Make the person seeking the decision responsible to obtain the information for you.

When a [inaudible 00:14:27] walks in and says, "Well, what do you think?" "What do I think about what? I mean, come on, give me some information." You can't make good decisions unless you have information. And we sabotage ourselves when we don't have it.

Mark Cole:       Hey, welcome back. Chris, here we are. In fact, I kind of laugh at this lesson getting to co-host it with you because you and I, sometimes it feels like we're the last men standing. You've been here. What year did you start with John Maxwell?

Chris Goede:     It would have been 1998.

Mark Cole:       1998.

Chris Goede:     I started when I was five years old.

Mark Cole:       I was getting ready to say most of us were not even born.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that's right.

Mark Cole:       You just really dated yourself. I started in the year 2000, May 1st of 2000. And we've seen a lot of leaders come and go, and not all of them, by the way, some of them are very, very dear friends, are still listeners of this podcast. But we've seen leaders in John's world, as well as leadership that we have served in companies that are clients of ours. We've watched leaders come and go. And many times, Chris, it is because of these self-sabotaging behaviors that John just shared with us.

So we're going to put some applications around these four behaviors that John just talked about, and then we're going to come back and give you some remedies. And for the next two weeks, let's just make sure we're not our biggest problem. Chris, welcome. Glad you're on today.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. Thanks so much for having me, and joining you today in this podcast. You said something in the intro. I think it kind of struck me and it's very relevant. We talked even before we started today, about how these principles are timeless, and it's something that as leaders we need to be aware of. But you made a comment that really stuck me of saying, hey, over the last 18 months of what we've been through, there are plenty of things that we've done to get in our own way. There are plenty of things that we just have naturally sabotaged ourself. And when things like that begin to happen in our world that we don't have any control over as leaders, leaders of people, leaders of ourself. As you mentioned, John says that we're the hardest person to lead. I would agree with that. I know our spouses would probably agree with that as well in regards to you and I.

But I think more than ever, the understanding of people. When John talks about this, we are peculiar, right? He had a great example in there about how we are peculiar, and we are who we are. And unless we truly understand how we're hardwired, what our learned behaviors are, what we value, in times of tension and stress and crisis, man, we are a mess and we are so hard to lead ourselves. And yet, not only have we experienced it, you and I together, but we've also seen that other people have a hard time understanding people and they end up sabotaging their possibilities.

So from your seat, so many years, so many ups and downs, crisis, non-crisis, peaks, values, you've seen this in our organization and have ridden shotgun with John throughout this process. What have you seen in people in having that poor understanding of people end up sabotaging themselves? And then how, let's even talk a little bit about then, when you do recognize that. How do we fix that? How do we get out of that?

Mark Cole:       Well, I love this question and let me say this. We know this. Let me state the obvious. Leadership is really about being in the people business.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Leadership in its whole contextual understanding is all about one individual leading one or many other individuals toward a common purpose, toward a common goal. So we're in the people business.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       How well and effective we are with people. So I love this first behavior, this first trait that John talks about, because many times people see leadership from a positional standpoint, or they see leadership all about getting something done, not rallying some people to get something done. Leadership is not about getting something done. Although, I do believe leaders know how to get things done. Leadership is about mobilizing people to get something done or be effective or to produce something.

So let's think about this. In air travel. You and I travel a lot, Chris. This is not the greatest thing to talk about, but by the way, we're talking about self-sabotaging leadership. Is this a negative downer or what? I wish I could see our people in podcast land like I can see you today on Zoom, Chris, because we're talking about something really negative, something self-sabotaging. But let's just stay negative for a moment. You and I air travel a lot. We are on planes week in and week out.

They say the biggest, greatest, most significant cause to air accidents, to accidents that happen with airplanes is what? Human error. Is human error. It's not the mechanical failure. It's not the plane landing gear wouldn't come down. It's because somewhere, somebody self-sabotaged what they were supposed to do. Same thing. Many complications that come up with health. Your wife is in the healthcare industry. My wife for years was in the healthcare industry. They say most of the problems, complications that happen in surgery is what? Human error. It's because a process, a procedure that was taught, that was understood because somebody got lazy or somebody became less focused, something happens.

In fact, this is so true that I did a study in ... I had some surgeries recently. And I went and did some studies, and realized that there are less challenges with surgeries that are done first thing in the morning than those that have happen late in the afternoon.

Chris Goede:     I love it.

Mark Cole:       Why? Why? Because they get tired. The professionals after a long day's work. And by the way, I love all of you in the healthcare industry. And thanks for all of you that travel and keep us safe in the air and street. But statistically, there is a self-human sabotaging issue in these very critical industries like air travel and like human health. It's the same thing with leadership.

Leadership happens. Poor leadership happens most of the time because of a lack of understanding of people. And John, Chris, he talks about this right here. And I'm going a little long in this answer, but it's really important in the setup, because this first self-sabotaging trait is the biggest challenge in leadership. We forget it's all about people. We lead for people. We lead because of people. We lead because there is a known understanding. There are others that we need to take on a journey with us. So here's the biggest problem. We treat all people the same.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       Managers treat people the same. Leaders treat people differently. They treat them with their unique skills, talents, abilities in mind. And that's what John is saying, and this is what you said in your question. People are unique. People are peculiar.

We've got a meeting coming up. In fact, as we're recording Chris, we have our biggest annual event in our entrepreneur side of the business coming up this coming week. And we're right in the middle of COVID. Those of you that are listening to this podcast some years later, there was this thing back in 2020, oh, I meant and 2021 and God forbid 2022, there is this thing called COVID that we're in the middle of. And we're letting everybody that comes in. Now, we're a very relational group of people. But everybody that's coming in, we're going to give them a wristband indicating their level of comfort with human activity. In other words, how interactive do you want to be. Red means stay the heck away. Yellow means if you're really nice and I'm feeling really good at the moment, I might give you a fist bump. Green means hug me with all of you and all of your germs.

Now, here's what I'm saying. Do you know what already know? There's going to be people that want each one of those bands, and there's going to be some that says, "Don't you know there's more colors in the rainbow than just red, green, and yellow," because people are different leaders. Here's the challenge. Treat people in their uniqueness rather than trying to consolidate everybody into your opinion of how they should be.

Chris Goede:     You know, I love, and I appreciate you taking some time there. First of all, let me go back to the bands that we're going to have at our big event. Can I have a couple of them while I'm there? So depending on who's walking up to me, I can put the color on? Okay.

But I think as John goes through not only this week with us, but next week, and we go through, as John mentioned, he had, I think he said 17, and he narrowed it down to 10. I think this first one really encompasses all of them. If you really dug into this, to your point even earlier on, where if we just took the subtitle and thought about that for a while, that would be beneficial for us as leaders. But I think this first one is so, so key and you hit something. I just want to ... I want to reiterate.

We talk a lot about John has the lens principle and perspective when it comes to understanding and leading people. And Mark, and I just want to challenge you today and say, "Hey, listen, if you want to make sure that you're not self-sabotaging, make sure you take time to understand people, understand yourself." Yes, John says that's first. But we want to make sure that you understand people. Mark makes a great point. You cannot lead everybody the same. And so in order to do that, you've got to learn. You've got to learn how people are hardwired. You've got to learn their learned behaviors, got to understand their values. And that will make a huge difference in making sure that you don't self-sabotage.

Now, I want to quickly just kind of glance by number two. I think one of the things I've seen over the last 18 months or so as people have begun to get leadership fatigue, and they have been stressed in certain situations, I've seen a lot of people pointing fingers and blaming others. And one of the things I just want to make sure that we talk about at this one, that John talks about it, point number two, where man, we will self-sabotage if we're blaming others. That happens when tension rises.

So listen to me, leaders. Personally, you will default to start blaming others. And I like to say to my kids all the time, "When you're pointing a finger at somebody else, there's three fingers pointing right back at you. So think about that." And make sure that when we're under stress, that we don't allow ourselves to start blaming others. We need to take responsibility, and we need to make sure, as John said in the remedy, that we are assuming that we're part of that problem.

As I move into number three, and Mark, do you want to say something right there, number two, before we go to number three?

Mark Cole:       I do, because I think the greatest challenge that we as leaders need to realize is that when everything goes wrong, we, as leaders need to find out what we did to contribute to the way things should have been and the way they actually ended up. In other words, I believe leaders take responsibility when things go wrong, and I believe they give praise when things go right.

Many times leaders want to go, "Look at me, look at what we just did," when things are going right. And they want to point fingers when things go wrong. You give up your right to lead when you don't put the spotlight on you when things go wrong, period. End of story. John's remedy is exactly right. Always, always, not sometimes, not every once in a while, always assume you are a part of the problem, leaders. And those of you that don't have a leadership position yet, you need to also have that assumption. What could I have done to help this to have had a better outcome?

Chris Goede:     Yeah. One of the things ... Yeah. And one of the things you've taught me, Mark, and I think this is something that the years you and I've worked together, that I think is so important because we naturally don't do this. I want to challenge everybody. Whether you're part of a team and something didn't go right, or something, there's tension there, or whether you're a leader. Mark's challenge to us is always to sit down with a pen and a pad of paper and say what part did I play in that situation.  You answer that first. Then you'll be in the right mindset. So I just wanted to add that because that's something. And Mark leads our enterprise, continues to press upon us as leaders.

All right. So we go to number three. And Mark, I want you to talk a little bit about this because I know a lot of busy people. I would say that you and John are probably two of the busiest individuals I know in everything that you guys are trying to accomplish in our enterprise. So one of the things that could be self-sabotaging to us is to have a lack of focus. I thought it was interesting. John said that we have 37 hours of discretionary time. Well, I looked up and a lot of people know this. But I looked it up before we got on our podcast this morning. And I said, how many hours a week are we spending on social media? And it's 17 hours a week on social media. Not on our phones, just social media because I separated it. Some of us do business on our phones. So that's okay.

So that means John said we have 37 hours of discretionary time. And if people are using 17 of it, that means they only have 20 hours left. I want you to talk a little bit about how you have managed to stay focused as a leader. And two folds for us. I think this will really be important for our listeners to hear, for your personal development. How have you stayed focused on that so that you don't sabotage yourself? And then how have you stayed focused as a leader on the team and the things at hand so you don't sabotage what you've been called to do with the organization?

Mark Cole:       Oh, Chris, Jake's going to kill us. You just asked me. Jake's our producer for those of you that do not know Jake. Jake makes these podcasts possible every single week. But Jake's going to kill us for you asking that question right there, because that is a three-hour answer.

Chris Goede:     Yes, it is. I know.

Mark Cole:       And yet, focus is such a one word, simple, not easy, but solution to not allow yourself to self-sabotage. And John talks about it in the remedy. You need to know your interest. You need to know your opportunities. You need to know your gifts. And by the way, that was a remedy with three questions John gave us. The real remedy is to sit down and really do an inventory of your interests, your opportunities, and your gifts.

Chris, you know this. I have had nine advancements, nine promotions, if you will, since I've joined John's team 21 years ago. Nine different responsibilities thrown at me. The 10th one is the one I'm in now, which is ownership, the ultimate steward of John Maxwell's legacy. And I've got to tell you, I am unchanged. And what woke me up 21 years ago when I came into telemarket at an event to waken up this morning, to do a podcast to over 120,000 people that will listen to this podcast ultimately. I'm unchanged, and this right here, Chris. And that is, I exist to create an environment that inspires people to reach their full potential. I know that I know whether I am tasked with a telemarketing responsibility or with the CEO of John Maxwell's iconic leadership brand that I exist to motivate and inspire people to reach their full potential.

When you get laser focused, the task, the what, the minutiae becomes irrelevant. It just becomes tools, things to employ to help me get to ultimate focus in what I'm supposed to do.

See also, you want to talk about COVID. We've talked about COVID. COVID was easier to lead through when you lead with a focus of what you ultimately are supposed to be about. I wasn't designed, I wasn't placed on this earth to run a successful multimillion dollar enterprise. I wasn't. Now I'm doing that. And we have together, Chris, you and many other leaders that are not in the studio with us today, we've done it and done it well, thank you very much. But that wasn't the ultimate goal. The ultimate focus was to be a great leader that inspires people to reach their full potential.

It's been John Maxwell, 74 years in. I exist, John Maxwell says, to add value to people who will do something with that value add. They will go and multiply value to others. It has been that laser focus that has taken us through 9/11, the COVID, everything else that we've been through, because focus on what you were designed to do, your interests, your opportunities, your gifts will be the very thing that will keep you from self-sabotaging yourself.

So it's not COVID that causes people to self-sabotage. It's not 9/11. It's not a difficult time. It's not even arrogance. It is the loss of focus on why you are climbing the influence ladder in the first place. And your ability to focus on that will be the thing that will keep you sustaining influence and not sabotaging what you have been given for self-gain or for self-propulsion. And that my friend, leader, listen to me, that is the difference maker in leaders that do not self-sabotage.

Chris Goede:     I think that is so key. And going back to what John said, we have 37 hours of discretionary time. If you stay focused to your point, and I've heard you and John talk about this every day when you wake up, "This is my focal point. This is what I was called to do. This is what is going to be my decision-making filter by the way that allows you to stay focused." That is where you will spend your time and won't be able to self-sabotage what you were called to do. I think that's brilliant.

You made a comment too, and I'm going to move on to number four in just a minute and let you wrap up. But the remedy, it's interesting. We speak with so many leaders, Mark, around the world that say, "Man, how do I become more engaged? How do I get my team members to become more engaged?" And John gives us these three points right here and these remedies. And what's interesting is I read a study that said, if we are in our strength zone, we call it calling and strength zone. And if we can get our people that we have influence with in their strength zone, they will be 75% more engaged than if they're not. Now, if they're engaged, that means they'll be focused. And to your point, I think that is key in what we get up and think about every day.

Well, John wraps up this section with number four where he says, "Man, you're going to self-sabotage if you're not informed." And I'm going to throw this to you just to comment and then kind of wrap us up. But I think one of the things I just want to share before I do is, as leaders, we have to be teachable, we have to be curious about other people and situations. And I think it's about being informed in order for us to be successful leading ourselves and leading others. So Mark, just comment on John's last point here and then wrap us up for today.

Mark Cole:       My favorite part of leadership, how John has led me, Chris, and how I have attempted to lead others, including you is what I call contextual leadership. It is not, this is my decision. It is, this is my decision and this is why this is my decision. I have found that contextual leadership is what best empowers others to be able to lead as you work yourself out of a job. We've talked about that in a previous podcast.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Mark Cole:       So what I'm really saying is, is not being informed, not having context is really a huge sabotaging trait that affects leaders. Here's how John's done that. And again, this is another point that I would love to just camp out on Chris. John asked me all the time. This is not every once in a while. This is all the time. "Mark, here's what I want to do." And then I go, "Yes, sir," because he's heard all the contexts. He's heard all this. And then, you know what he does after he gives me the edict or the directive or the direction that we're going? He says, "Now, what am I missing? Oh my gosh, slow down podcast listeners. Pull over the car. Stop the treadmill."

John Maxwell listens to context on the front end. "Mark, tell me what I need to know. Mark, what is your opinion?" Now, here's the direction. But then he stops and goes, "What am I missing?"

Oh, my goodness. Podcast listeners, if you could employ that one question into your leadership, post a decision, not pre a decision. Many leaders will do a pretty good job, an adequate job perhaps of saying, "What am I missing," before they make the decision. But not John. He is adamant on asking, what am I missing after he gives the decision. You know why? Because he knows not being informed will sabotage the best decisions.

Chris Goede:     So good. So good.

Mark Cole:       Because once a leader, don't miss this podcast listeners, and then we will wrap up. Once a leader gives a decision, most of the time, she or he moves on and forgets that making a decision is only a quarter, maybe an eighth of the formula of success. Implementing a good decision is much important than making a good decision. And when you make a decision and don't get informed by the people that have to implement the decision, that's why your good decision wasn't really a good decision. It wasn't because the decision wasn't good. It's because you didn't make sure that the person that has to implement the decision-

Chris Goede:     That's right-

Mark Cole:       ... really understands the purpose of the decision. So self-sabotage, not being informed is a huge piece, and why you need to make no decisions without the information and you need to expect no decisions being implemented without information from the people that's got to implement it.

Chris Goede:     Love it.

Mark Cole:       Oh my gosh, Chris. I could talk more and more about that. But let me tell you this. We've got more. John's got six more traits, six more behaviors that he's going to share next week. But here's the deal. Are you going to self-sabotage and not come back next week podcast listeners? You need to come back because the next six are just as good as the first four.

As I said, if you have not downloaded the show notes, you can go to My challenge to you this week is this: Don't come back next week to part two alone. Pass along the podcast link to someone else that you are attempting to lead, or maybe somebody else that you know that wants to lead well. And finally, do us a favor, and comment on your podcast player on how we're doing with the podcast. These comments help us. If we're doing well, please give us a five-star rating. That helps us as well.

Thank you so much, Chris. Thank you, John Maxwell. Thank you, our entire team that makes this medium of impact successful. Thank you very much. And to those of you that are listening, let's listen, let's learn, let's lead, let's make a difference together.

4 thoughts on “Self-Sabotage: Getting Out of Your Own Way (Part 1)”

  1. I listen every Podcast. This one was great to me, it help me a lot to understand a lot of thinks in mi life. I will give five starts to this Podcast.

  2. I listen to all the podcasts (although often I am a couple of weeks behind because of work schedules) and fill in most of the work sheets provided. I invariably find them useful, inspiring and energizing. The mood on the podcasts is always cheerful, positive and uplifting and i have learnt so much! Thank you to everyone involved. You are doing a wonderful job.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Janet! We’re so glad the podcast is adding value to you! Thanks for being such a faithful listener!

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