Squirrel Marketing Episode 7 – Let’s Talk Leadership

Join marketing guru William “Bill” Bronson and successful sports podcaster Jeffrey Cooperstein as they dive deep into the world of marketing and chase squirrels in all directions.

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welcome to squirrel marketing and this is bill bronson hello and jeffrey cooperstein sports podcast legend and uh this is squirrel marketing you know that never gets old no no you don’t like you don’t don’t you do like that yeah it never gets old sports podcast legend well you got to live up to it though trying so got plenty of time so yeah so squirrel marketing we talk about marketing things and then we scroll off in different directions and we hope you enjoyed today’s episode we’re going to talk about leadership versus management and then we’re going to talk about some leadership styles and why is that important well if you manage other people in any way shape or form or have any employees or even a group of people that help you out with something then you’re interacting with them for the reason of moving the ball forward of achieving a goal of some kind and if your management style is just something that you pull out of your hat and you have no idea what your management style is or why or where it came from what your motivations for it are and maybe you don’t even care then you’re going to get that kind of result from your people so it’s important for you to study management styles leadership styles and understand what the pitfalls are of some of them so that you can overcome those pitfalls and make the best of it but so um jeffrey what do you think leadership means how is it different from management leadership is i i think it’s it’s being a person that can be looked up to for an answer whether that answer is how to go about doing a task or how to manage this certain situation i think leadership is a more encompassing term than management management is sort of okay i’m your boss you do what i say leadership is guiding the people along the way to get to that end goal and um you know they’re obviously like you said plenty of different leadership styles and you you really have to in order to be a good leader you have to identify what your style is and based on the people that you are that are on your team uh you have to either adapt that style or or keep that style and improve it to make sure that you are your your people are receptive to you that’s interesting um your first inclination is right and that is that a manager their goal is to get production out of you to provide you with the training and to perform the tasks and management by itself can be very cold which is why managers need some sort of leadership abilities to help motivate their team the uh so leader is more of a motivational role the word manager i think has a stigma about it don’t you think well you can manage a computer system right you can’t inspire a computer system right absolutely and you can’t lead computer systems which you know i guess in the future maybe there’s a it could happen it could lead a clone army of computers all the microsoft all the microsoft ones will be breaking down over here and the apple ones would be going strong oh my gosh androids the androids androids if you have an android what are you doing with your life i’m not sure i know android has a big place and my son likes it well my wife kind of likes it i every time because i’ve been an iphone guy since the iphone 3. every time i get like a green text message i’m like android yeah well here’s a funny thing i had a hp jornata i’m not sure if i told you this on a different episode or not but i’m likely to repeat myself so i had this hp jornada which at the time was top of its game it was the thing and it had a flip down keyboard that you could type on and so when the iphone launch speech came out and i was anticipating getting an iphone they had this thing that you could download this template and you could fold it and tape it and whatever and you me you basically made a a sleeve to slide your phone in that looked like an iphone so your your phone could be an iphone right but it wasn’t that nice but it wasn’t that’s funny i’ve never seen that before and so uh just for fun i would carry my hp jornata around in this sleeve that looked like an iphone and my family thought i was nuts but i was just anticipating the iphone that much you know that’s hilarious the 3s i think it was i mean we’re scrolling pretty hard here but for me apple that the i’ve i’m completely sucked into the scheme that is apple and it’s products no i like it a lot in fact i got a mac mini i put it on the wall behind a big curved monitor and i’ve got a i’ve got a surround sound bar behind that and you can’t see any of it all it looks like is a monitor on the wall and there’s nothing below it except a shielded cable and then it’s really clean it’s really nice but yeah back to leadership so you know this whole thing kind of started leadership has been a big area of study for a long time but not as long as you’d think i mean so basically in the early 1900s they really started to look at leadership before that it wasn’t even a deal it wasn’t anything and now it’s everything it’s a big deal yeah leadership is everything it’s all about how people feel and stuff so well and i i don’t know if this has any correlation to it you can probably speak more to this but now more than ever you’re seeing these leadership conferences pop up everywhere around the world like they’re you know something really important to attend and when you go to it you’ll get these great things out of it when you leave you’ll come back a better leader and all that kind of stuff oh absolutely well that’s we’ll get to that but it’s because everything is uh trending towards feelings rather than actions and the transformational leadership is all this big utopian future of what you could be and um and uh and that’s great if you mix it with reality and with action which we’ll talk about but so you know when it first kind of started the first um theory or part of leadership that they started looking at was the traits approach which is that uh traits approach focused on the traits that made a leader so like lincoln or joan of arc or napoleon or gandhi they focused on these these personality traits that made a great leader and they felt like you were born with it you you couldn’t learn it leaders were born not made that was the thing and it was that way for a while and so other people didn’t aspire to become a great leader if they didn’t have it they didn’t have it right it’s like can you play the guitar right out of the box without need lessons then you have the talent otherwise you can’t learn it and that’s just not true so like in the 1950s they discovered the skills approach as they started looking more into the skills things that could be learned rather than focusing on personality it was it was also sort of though uh the same kind of deal where you had to be kind of born with it like um what i mean by that is you were either born into an advantageous family and you could go to college and get higher education and all that and um but they felt like it was a skills thing so that a great leader had superior knowledge and abilities uh not just um personality traits right they still kind of felt like it was a special class of people who could be a great leader they just felt like now it was more about your abilities than your personality and i don’t know i i kind leadership when you think of a good leader you also think of someone who’s kind of dynamic someone who’s inspirational as a person so that is a personality trait um and their knowledge is sort of a foundation for that you have to have the knowledge before you can say say something intelligent well i i think that anyone can develop into a leader as as they go on i think you’re right where you have to have the knowledge base in order to be able to lead people but then you also you do have to have the personality uh for for it to resonate with whoever you’re working with as well so i i do think anyone could be developed into a leader it may not come naturally but but the ones for that it do come naturally for probably have a better chance to be a more successful leader well yes and no i mean we’ll get to that in a minute but i thought it was interesting to go back to the very beginning of the study of leadership just to kind of show you how it progressed and to let everybody kind of see that progression in thought patterns that people had in society and it was this is the u.s basically but it kind of led the world in the study and um so we talked about traits and skills but then they started to focus kind of on behaviors so so it’s first it was personality traits you were born with that then it’s skills what you’re you’re able to learn and your knowledge and your abilities and then they started thinking about behavior which is a little bit different than the traits because traits focused on your personality but the behavioral approach focused on what you actually do and how you act so you don’t have to have the the trait right you can fake it it’s all about what you what you present what you present yeah and then there was a big big leap 1969 where where they discovered the situational approach and it’s probably the widest studied well until these days with the transformational approach but but back then the situational approach had four quadrants and it talked about um focusing your leadership style based on your environment so it allowed for a shift in how you relate to people based on who they were and what situation you’re in what kind of job that it is is it a physical job or a mental job is it it focused on all these different things and really the situational approach was the probably the most widely accepted for the longest period of time so then i think that that’s kind of a shift right there because before that all these other ones the the traits approach the skills the behavior approach all those are leader centric which means that they focused on the leader not the followers so they were focused on this great person to to be looked up to and their traits and their skills and their behaviors and then we start to see with the situational approach wait a minute there’s one leader and a thousand followers maybe we should focus on the people right let’s focus on the people a little bit and see what they need instead of who this person is and so they started doing that with this situational approach where they were basically instructing a leader to help assess the situation to look at the people to look at different uh different aspects of their job of management and to tailor theirs their uh to some extent their leadership based on that now i think i think it’s crazy that it took until 1969 for for society to figure this this approach out well think about it i mean before that like leave it to beaver on tv leave it to beaver those boys needed to do whatever the dad said yeah so did the wife and so jobs were the same kind of way your manager would say this is what you’re going to do and you would do it or you didn’t have a job they didn’t care how you felt about it and they didn’t care if you felt particularly rewarded at your job either they just cared that you did what you were supposed to yeah there’s it was a large duty bound society which you know everything in moderation i would say we’re lacking in that these days a little bit um but it shouldn’t be to the extent that it was and so when you the 60s came a lot of things changed whether it’s drugs or enlightenment or whatever the hippie movement came and people began to think outside the box and uh exclusively outside the box yeah and uh then and so by then by in 69 or so they’re starting to think about okay well your job should be fulfilling it should be rewarding and so leaders should help you um in ways that you’re that you feel best being helped and that was really just the tip of the iceberg with it because then they started going into something called a path goal theory where the leader would identify the goal for the team they would identify the path to get there and then they would move people towards that that goal um which really the path goal theory is a precursor to another one here later on we’ll talk about um but so path goal very focused on a goal period we have a goal to achieve let’s do it team boom yeah um but the next one is is kind of like this situational approach it’s called leader member exchange theory and the leader member exchange theory is it’s also kind of centered on the follower but it’s really talking about the dyadic relationship between the follower and the leader where there’s this area in the middle that is a win-win situation for both so there’s the needs of the follower then there’s the needs of the leader and then somewhere in the middle they hit this sweet spot and so anyway it really focuses not on the leader or the follower but it focuses on both of them and it focuses on their interaction right so if if you’re a leader which you are in your in your role what are you what are you researching what are you looking at to try to improve or adapt or add something to your bag of tricks that you would have as a leader what kind of stuff are you looking at um well i first of all i think you should identify out of all of these that we go over what kind of leader you think you are and then you might want to look in the mirror and and and be objective about it and make sure and not everybody is one exclusively they’re they they’re right they’re a mix of it they’ve got some mixes of things and same thing with uh with philosophy uh there’s different philosophical things you could wrangle yourself into and term yourself a realist or a or a a subjectivist or whatever but but you got pieces so you’re gonna have a predominant role that you can identify or a style and then you’re gonna have little subordinate styles that are kind of that come in whenever you let them come in and what’s funny about it is that you didn’t you didn’t go to school and come out of school and study uh leadership styles pick one and that’s what i am and then study how to become that so you you’re backing into this because you are who you are you do what you do and you if you’re leading people at all or managing people you’re going to have a leadership style of some kind so then you have to figure out what that is and then you got to figure out whether or not that’s advantageous to you yeah because if your leadership style is kind of uh behind the times and not very advantageous then you might be losing people you might have disgruntled people you might not even know it but it behooves you to know who you are so you can endeavor to become better and that’s just the way i kind of put it and and i’ll tell you what kind of leader i am i think in a minute um because there’s two more well there’s a few more but mainly there’s three more i’m sorry four i’ve looked at my notes um and i’m going to skip over transformational leadership for now because it’s a big boy in the room it’s a big white elephant and the next one but beyond that is called authentic leadership and now this is something that up until this point there were very few people kind of doing it and it’s uh let me guess transparency that’s exactly what i was going to say you are you’re real with your with your people yes like before then you wouldn’t know that your manager or the the the leader of your organization let’s say let’s go to an extreme okay and let’s say they had cancer you would never know that your manager had cancer you would never know that your boss was sick you would never know that your manager was sick they would hide everything from you in fact some families are that way where the where the parents hide everything from the kids yeah they’re never real with the kids and they maybe it’s an alcoholic with cancer and you think that they never drink and they’re and they’re fit and well because you don’t even know that person right so when this came in they started saying well we need to create a deeper relationship with our employees so that one they’re more loyal two they feel more like a part of the family they’ll stick around longer they’ll endure more and so this this thought of authentic leadership was really to nurture a relationship between leader and follower and so that needed to happen but that’s not all it takes to lead you know that’s that’s one of those things that could be a really good subordinate piece to who you are as a leader yeah um but you would want to um everything in moderation you you want to make sure you’re not too disclosing you’re not too transparent there’s a line definitely a line um some people don’t need to know for instance um recently that i was uh upset and kind of uh scared about what was happening with my mother yeah and um i i i couldn’t hide it with a couple of you when we were talking but for the most part i should have tried to keep that to myself a little more and so that’s where i’m talking about these checks and balances where if you know what these things are you can look at yourself in the mirror and say okay i need to do better on this nobody’s perfect but everybody can endeavor to change so so um so that’s authentic leadership there’s a little more to it um yeah i mean it it can go you know it can go as in depth as you want but i do think i know from my standpoint it’s important to me that whoever my my boss is my superior is that they are uh that they’re authentic with me and that they’re real and they show what they really feel whether it’s about me or it’s about them i know i want to get to to know the people that i’m with on a on a deeper level right absolutely so so yeah so authentic leadership just means being real and uh to what extent that’s up to you yeah so there’s three more there’s one more and then two big boys so we’ve got this one more called servant leadership to me it’s a negative i i don’t like it um i see a lot of people doing it uh but bear with me because these people who do this take it to an extreme and these servant leaders are they do everything for their team they’re in the trenches with their sleeves rolled up uh they’re getting people what they need they’re teaching people they’re spending time with people they’re almost martyrs in the sense that they don’t expect there to be a win-win situation they are 100 giver and they don’t expect anything in return except they hope that it will increase performance and that’s that’s what they’re going for and that’s at the extreme of servant leadership but it’s really a paradox because it approaches leadership in a way that runs contrary to common sense leaders don’t really appear to be servants so when you look at this way i i would say maybe what a camp counselor might i was a camp counselor might be a servant leader in that role and again this is not who you are this is just this is uh how you lead yeah and it can actually change and should change based on the situation you’re in the people that you’re around what is it a work environment or not because little squirrel here i’m writing a paper right now and i’m finding that leadership styles happen between the relationships in patient and provider so your doctor and patient relationship where the doctor is exhibiting a leadership style particularly if they’re helping you with navigating something you know so it could be the same as a work environment or or a caregiver how they interact with the population at the nursing home they’re exhibiting a leadership behavior of some kind because they’re helping these people adapt or whatever which moves me into uh the next one called adaptive leadership and this is what i actually feel i am for the most part um maybe a path goal and adaptive which path gold is similar to adaptive leadership but adaptive leadership takes a particular stance on the leader teaching the follower how to adapt and move and change through obstacles and changes that happen and to the point where you’re actually training these people how to adapt in their life not just at work so you’re helping to educate and mentor your followers into being better problem solvers or teaching them how to get past obstacles and one of the things about an adaptive leader is you focus your team on a goal you focus them on a challenge and if there’s a problem that comes up then an adaptive leader usually will bring everyone involved into the situation and help focus them on the challenge and then as a team uh navigate around that challenge to get to a successful situation or you know some cases it’s not successful but you help the team navigate the problem right and so hopefully if the you know when the team is uh in other areas of their life or they’re somewhere else or whatever they’re better for it it’s kind of to me when uh when i was reading it and trying to figure out if this was me it’s like when i was a scout master and we had a a troupe of 30 boys out on a on a trip we would have to leave the area better than we found it at least as good as we found it yeah but my deal was let’s try to fight figure out how to improve the area in addition so if something’s broken why don’t we fix it while we’re there on the camping trip we got a couple of days certainly we can get some tools out the back of the truck and fix this thing so um we would normally fix things and then we would leave it as good or better than we found it leave no trace that’s the motto well for me i want to do that with people also i want i want to leave you better than i found you i want you to be more knowledgeable or more intelligent or more capable or more confident at the end of our relationship if that ever comes then then i found you so that’s that’s kind of the deeper part of what an adaptive leader would be and it’s uh it’s important for me to endeavor to become a better adaptive leader that’s i’ve latched on to that and i am opposed in some ways to uh to a strict uh transformational leadership which we’ll talk about next yeah i mean i think it’s always important for not even just as a leader but like for any person in general to be in a better place than you were once you got to a certain place you know that didn’t make sense but you know what i’m saying like yeah like i i i when i join here in august i want to be a better place whenever i leave here whenever you know whenever that may be 10 years down the road whatever i want to be a better person than i was when i joined that i feel like if you have that mindset going into any job any relationship any any part of life in general if if you leave a place better than you found it then you’re in good shape yeah absolutely and i just i want that for other people yeah but i want it for me too but so when you first came here how do you feel about um your path to now was there was there any of this stuff we’ve been talking about today involved or could you identify parts of my leadership style or yeah i mean i think that you know this was really my first foray into the corporate world so i think you were extremely patient with me in you know in the first few uh the first few weeks just trying to for me to get adapted to this situation because it was a tough transition for me but uh you know now now that i’m used to the day-to-day i’m used to everything that’s going on around me uh it’s become a lot easier no it’s definitely a credit to you because i think you were you were definitely patient with me and and how i how i felt about things and uh you know my role has changed since i’ve been here um you found stuff that that i enjoyed that i liked doing which helped helped a lot with you know transitioning into this and there were some things that i thought maybe i wasn’t i wasn’t quite equipped for that that i think you you listened and you and you saw that uh it was kind of eating at me a little bit and you made it easier on me for sure so and i think that goes into your leadership style where you want you want everyone to succeed under you it’s not like you wish failure upon anyone uh so i thought that was really important yeah that’s uh there’s a role um ability thing where um where you try to help match people to their to their abilities and then there’s uh where you try to match people uh based on their uh their views or how they feel about things but for the most part you gotta be adaptive and you gotta teach your team how to adapt through changes and i think it’s one of the most pivotal um leadership styles because it focuses on action and it focuses on the action of getting past obstacles and dealing with change and i think these days especially and maybe from now on we’re going to see rapid change in our world on a regular basis and it’s people who can perform while adapting to these changes and people who can get past them and get around them and and figure things out that those are the people who are going to build the world it’s not the people who feel inspired only um there’s got to be action involved and that’s where i thought this some transformational leadership pieces may bleed in to adaptive leadership but if adaptive leadership is not the first and foremost central um key to how you how you relate to other people then you just got a bunch of people sitting around thinking yeah and that’s okay if you’re in a think tank or if you’re a philosopher or whatever but i also think that there’s a place for transformational leadership and that would be when for instance you’re speaking to the entire company about your vision for the future and how you might deal with everyone overall so for instance let’s just go down the rabbit hole here a little bit let’s say let’s say you have a core group of executives that you manage or a core group of t the team members we’ll use the marketing team as an example but let’s say let’s say the marketing team is my direct reports and uh and i’m a vp over a whole region okay so then adaptive leadership might be my leadership style as it pertains to my team but when i’m addressing the whole region in a conference call or webinar or whatever then perhaps i’m more transformational so that yeah i would i was going to ask that question where is do you feel that your leadership style is different for instance when you’re dealing with me or if you’re dealing with someone else do you see a difference in that you know that’s an interesting point typically you don’t change your leadership styles based on the person you may adapt them a little but you still have an overarching fundamental um pattern that you follow with people and so if my pattern is to help you overcome obstacles and make sense of your surroundings and and help teach you how to maneuver and perform then then that’s going to be the same no matter what but i think when you deal with people in a different situation such as a conference call with a thousand people on it versus a team meeting and some actual tasks we got to perform when you have a prime directive and it’s a lot of people then perhaps you can be more transformational there’s another i guess the antithesis of transformational leadership which is called transactional leadership and so this may help explain it better transactional leadership is when basically you say okay jeffrey you give me two hours worth of work i’ll give you 100 bucks and you do the work because of the hundred bucks right that’s it it’s a transaction here you go there’s no more relationship than that it’s basically you do this work i’ll give you this pay period transformational leadership is exactly opposite of that and it really focuses on inspiring you to dream and inspiring you to strive to become better and to and to overcome obstacles the the difference here is transformational leadership might inspire you to overcome obstacles whereas adaptive leadership teaches you how and i turn your face and i focus you and point and we we have a path to follow that is kind of like that path goal theory so transfer related transformational leadership involves moving uh emotionally moving a lot of people and um not just a lot of people i suppose you could have a transformational leadership style with your daughter or with you know with a child as a parent particularly when you’re trying to get them outside their own head and help them dream a little you might take a transformational leadership role there and then pop right back over into um adaptive gotcha um but some transformational leaders like for instance i think that steve jobs was a transformational leader in public and largely transactional yeah the rest of the time after we’ve seen all the stuff that’s come out about him after his death and and whatnot it seemed like he was a very cutthroat this it’s going to happen this way or it’s not going to happen at all kind of person right but then there’s also some indication that he he had a adaptive leadership uh style uh with the people he was working with closely so if he’s passing through a department and they’re not and and they’re not on a direct creative team then he would probably be transactional with them but if he’s on their direct team he would be uh adaptive or maybe past goal where he’s focusing them on on achieving a goal but not necessarily caring about their future unless it pertains to his company and he’s making a lot of money very narcissistic um a lot of transactional leaders tend to be narcissistic um but anyway so when you look at transformational leadership though and you’re able to emotionally move a lot of people um and you’re idealizing transformational leadership you also got to realize that maybe moving a lot of people is not necessarily a good thing so for instance um well hitler right yeah yeah um hitler inspired a lot of people he was dynamic on on stage basically uh in front of people he was moving and manipulative and um so the thing that they did um let’s see i think it was in uh when was this 1978 roughly uh they called it pseudo-transformational leadership and where transformational leadership was involving raising the level of morality in others which is something that burns said in 1978 you can’t really use that definition when it comes to adolf hitler so um so transformational leadership added a component called called pseudo-transformational and that’s what to describe someone who moves a lot of people but not necessarily in a morally good way there’s other there’s a lot of other um examples of that but that’s basically it so these these all these different traits all these different uh styles they call them leadership theory um they call them leadership approaches whatever you want to call it these are the main ones and there’s a bunch of other little offshoots but yeah these are the big ones maybe in future episodes we can we can go on some of those offshoots or as we like to call them squirrels squirrels all right well that’s all the time we’ve got today for squirrel marketing have a good weekend a good week or a good week so this is the case might be and we’ll see you next time next time bye you

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