Emotional Challenges for New Leaders | Mick Spiers

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How can new leaders navigate the roller coaster of emotions?

My guest, Mick Spiers, is the founder of The Leadership Project and the host of The Leadership Project Podcast.  Mick is also the best-selling author of You’re a Leader, Now What? 

Mick shares valuable insights from his book, including:

  • Defining Leadership vs. Management
  • The Crucial Role of Coaching and Mentoring
  • Navigating the Leader’s Emotional Roller Coaster
  • Building Strong Connections with Your Team
  • Understanding Rewards and Recognition Preferences
  • Engaging Teams through Dialogue
  • Fostering an Empowering Learning Environment
  • Shaping a Vibrant Organizational Culture
  • Learning from New Leader Mistakes
  • Unpacking the Power of Emotional Intelligence

Tune in to gain wisdom on leadership’s emotional landscape and practical tips for success.


As the host of the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast, I recently had the pleasure of welcoming Mick Spiers, the founder of The Leadership Project and author of the best-selling book, You’re a Leader, Now What? Our conversation revolved around the essence of leadership, the role of coaching and mentoring, and the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership.

Defining Leadership and its Difference from Management
Mick eloquently defined a leader as someone who inspires people to take meaningful action towards a worthy cause. He emphasized that leadership and management, while distinct, complement each other to create something magical. Management is about managing resources and getting things done, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things because they want to and believe in the mission.

The Role of Coaching and Mentoring in Leadership
We also delved into the role of coaching and mentoring in leadership. Mentoring involves sharing experiences and bridging knowledge gaps, while coaching focuses on drawing out what individuals need and empowering them to take ownership of their own journey. We highlighted the importance of coaching in providing freedom of choice and driving personal growth.

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Leadership
In the first chapter of Mick’s book, titled “Excitement and Anxiety,” we discussed the emotional roller coaster that leaders often experience. Mick explained that many leaders excel in their respective fields, but they feel anxious and uncertain when transitioning into a leadership role.

Building Connection with Your Team
Mick emphasized the importance of building a connection with your team as a leader. Quoting Teddy Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” To inspire and nurture your team, you need to understand their fears and challenges as well as what motivates and inspires them.

Understanding Your Team
Mick shared an example of two team members, Frank and Susan, who both deserve recognition for their work on a project. However, Susan is an extrovert who loves attention, while Frank is an introvert who is mortified by being in the spotlight. This story illustrates the importance of understanding how your team members like to be rewarded and recognized.

Creating an Engaging Learning Environment
We discussed the importance of creating an engaging and empowering learning environment for teams. Mick advised leaders to ask questions and observe their team’s performance in meetings as this will reveal what needs to be done.

Cultivating a Vibrant Culture
We shifted the conversation to the topic of culture and a leader’s responsibility in creating a vibrant one. Mick highlighted that leaders are responsible for the place where people spend a significant portion of their lives. It is crucial to create a culture where everyone feels like they belong and matter.

Learning from Mistakes
Mick emphasized that making mistakes is normal and part of the learning process. He encourages leaders to learn from their mistakes and not try to be the smartest person in the room. Instead, they should create space for others to contribute and learn to be the last to speak.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Mick emphasized the importance of EQ stating that it is a greater determinant of success than anything else. He explained that EQ can be taught and trained unlike IQ which remains relatively stable throughout one’s life.

Mick broke down emotional intelligence into five categories: emotional self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, empathy, and relationships. He emphasized the importance of not suppressing emotions but rather channeling them effectively. He also highlighted the importance of harnessing emotions for positive outcomes and building vibrant relationships.

In conclusion, our conversation with Mick Spiers was a deep dive into the intricacies of leadership. It was a reminder that leadership is not just about managing resources, but about inspiring people, understanding them, and creating a vibrant culture where everyone feels like they belong and matter.

Mentioned in this episode:


Mick Spiers: The more that you understand your team, the more that you can help them to do their very best work.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast with professional speaker, coach and consultant Nicole Greer.

Nicole Greer: Welcome, everybody, to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. My name is Nicole Greer and they call me the vibrant coach. Today I have an amazing guest on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. My guest is Mick Spiers. I’m so glad to have him. Mick Spiers is the founder of The Leadership Project and he is also the host of The Leadership Project Podcast and the best-selling author of You’re a Leader, Now What? And I know you have had that go through your head, right? He is driven to empower leaders with all of the knowledge and skills they need to create amazing teams and amazing workspaces where people fall back in love with their jobs again. Please welcome Mick to the show. Mick, how are you?

Mick:  I’m great, Nicole, and you are exactly as your label says, you are very vibrant. As always. It’s wonderful to be on your show.

Nicole: Oh, it’s fantastic to have you here. And so let’s jump in because one of the things we talked about is that we want to talk about this book of yours and, of course, everybody, it’s available on Amazon.

And the name of it is You’re a Leader, Now What? And the subtitle, I love the Proven Path to High Performance Leadership. So, if you want to just get on the path and have great performance in your leadership role, you are in the right place today. Now, in your book, you actually ask in chapter two what is a leader Now? I have been collecting definitions of leadership. So will you talk about your definition of leadership and then what you say in chapter two about what a leader really is?

Mick: Yeah, sure. Yeah. Thanks, Nicole. Well, first of all, a leader is someone that is able to inspire people into meaningful action around a worthy cause, right? So it’s got some kind of direction. It’s that ability to inspire people into action, into doing things  because they want to do it, not because they were told to do it, right? And there’s a lot of debate out there around the differences between leadership and management. The truth is we need both.

I’ll say that right up front. There is a time and a place for leadership. There’s a time and a place for management. And when they’re able to come together, it does create something magical. So, management is about managing resources. It’s about delegating. It’s about getting things done right and, to some degree, a level of directorial management, right? So telling people, okay, this is what we need to do and this is when we need to do it by.  Leadership is about inspiring people to do it because they wanted to do it, because they believed in the mission, because they believed that the world will be a better place at the other end of this journey. So, to me, leadership is all about inspiration.

Nicole: Yeah, that’s fantastic. Yeah. And couldn’t agree more. And I’m with you. What do you think about this? I’m curious about your opinion because, you know, you’re like me. You play with these concepts all day long. So, inside of leadership, there’s also this idea of coaching people and mentoring them. How do you see those two kinds of hats moving into your definition?

Mick: Yeah, excellent. So coaching and mentoring – there’s four different types of mindsets. We’ll just plug into two of those. So, a mentoring mindset is a type of bridging mindset. A bridging mindset is the ability to be able to pass on your experiences to someone else. So someone’s going through something. They’re having troubles. They’re trying to get to a certain destination. And you’ve been down that path before and you’re able to share your experiences with them and say, Well, when I was in that situation, this is what I did and this is what worked for me. So mentoring is about sharing your experiences with someone else and bridging, let’s say, a knowledge gap where they don’t know what they don’t know. Coaching is what we call a heightening mindset. Heightening mindset is all about the individual, and it’s drawing out from them what they need and where they need to go.

And there’s an element of coaching that is very much led by the coach. So it’s about following a journey of discovery of things that are actually kind of locked inside might be limiting beliefs, holding them back or whatever the case may be to get them to go on their journey. So the beauty of a heightening mindset or coaching is that it drives a great deal of ownership and it puts the coachee into control of their own destiny. And one of the five fundamental psychological needs that people have is this ability to have freedom of choice. So coaching is all about freedom of choice, where the person decides their own destiny and how they’re going to get there, and they take deep ownership from that. So when we talk about coming back to mentoring, mentoring often comes across as advice. Sometimes counsel is a little bit better than advice. But we all know if you stop and think, do you really take people’s advice? Do you really take people’s advice? It goes through a filter.

It’s helpful, but it goes through a filter. And it’s you that ends up making the decision. It’s you that ends up deciding what actions you’re going to take or not take. And coaching puts you in the driving seat of that and is really led by the coachee rather than the coach.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. All right. So the leader does all of these things. Is the manager the leader setting the vision, getting after it, coaching their people and mentoring their people? Now I’m going to back up. So all my listeners are advanced. They are. They can keep up with me. So chapter two was What is a leader? But I want to go back to chapter one, and the title of it is Excitement and Anxiety. I would think that would definitely sum up what a leader is feeling. So we share a little bit about excitement and anxiety when it comes to leadership.

Mick: Yeah. Okay. So there’s an element of imposter syndrome that cuts in here – the journey and everybody.

Nicole: Everybody’s talking about that. So let’s talk about that.

Mick: All right. So there’s a journey here that can happen at multiple times in your leadership career. But it happens the first time in that first transition. And my first book was written about the first transition into leadership. And this is what typically happens. The person is usually extraordinary at what they do. They might be a great software engineer, a great nurse, a great accountant, whatever it is in their profession. They were good at it and that’s why they got the tap on the shoulder to say, Congratulations, you’re a leader. But then the person goes through this roller coaster of emotions, right? So the first thing that happens is they’ll go around and they’ll tell everyone that they know everyone that will listen. They’ll even tell a few people that don’t want to listen that, hey, I got a promotion at work. They’re so excited. Right. So they’re riding this wave of excitement. But then comes the thud.

And the thud is anxiety. Anxiety that they don’t know what they’re supposed to do. It’s this moment of realization that no one has actually shown them what it takes to be a leader. They’ve been really good at their craft, which is wonderful. That’s how they got to where they are today. But now all of a sudden they’re going into this new world of people, leadership. And the funny thing about people is people are erratic, right? So they might have been really good at, let’s say, software engineering. And in software engineering, if you program a computer to do what you say to do, it generally does it within a few quirks, of course, but there’s an element of repeatability of that. And yet human beings are all different. They’re all different. And what works for one human being doesn’t work for another human being. What makes it even worse? What works for one human being today may not work for the same human being three weeks from now. So they’re going into this big world of this kind of I don’t know what to do.

No one showed me what to do. Why aren’t people doing what I told them or asked them to do? So this anxiety builds up, and the imposter syndrome builds up, and they start double guessing. Some of them may even go, Why did I even accept this job? So it gets pretty debilitating. Nicole So I wrote this book for those people that go through that roller coaster of emotions to give them some tips on how they can accelerate through that and come out the other end as a better leader.

Nicole: Yeah, and I think what you’re talking about is for real and, you know, leadership and people skills and communication skills completely different than administering medication or doing a tax return and the other things that you talked about. So it’s a whole new skill set. So will you talk a little bit about how leaders can take care of their team?

Mick: Yeah. So there’s all kinds of elements here and there are lessons that everyone needs to learn. The first one is a big transition in mindset that when you’re an individual contributor, it was a lot about how much you know and how good you are at what you do when you become a leader.

People actually don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, which is a famous Teddy Roosevelt quote. But it’s so true. So it’s about building a connection with your team and getting to know them and understanding what motivates them, what are their fears, what are their challenges? What does it take for them to be inspired? And one of the things that I drive new leaders to do is to take that time to get to know their team, to really connect with them and understand who they are, what they do, why they do it, what drives them, what gets them out of bed every day so that you can. Use that in a way to inspire and nurture and look after them because you’re responsible for the place where they’re going to spend up to one third of their life. And what you’re responsible for is creating the environment where they can do their very best work. And the only way you can create that environment, that culture, to use your vibrant culture word, the only way that you can create that culture where they can do their very best work is to understand what their needs and preferences are.

And this comes down to all kinds of things. So are they an introvert? Are they an extrovert? How do they like to be rewarded? So one of the stories I tell in the book, I tell a story about Frank and Susan, right? And let’s say Frank and Susan have been working on a project together and they’ve both been instrumental in the success of this project and they both deserve a huge accolade. And then what happens is there’s a town hall meeting at the company and everyone gathers around. They were in the auditorium, whether it’s virtual or real, and everyone waited, waiting for the CEO or the chairman to give the address. And sure enough, Frank and Susan are both up for an award and they get called upon the stage and they’re getting presented their award. And before you know it, the murmur goes around the room, speech, speech, speech. And everyone wants Frank to say a few words right now. Now, imagine that Susan is an incredible extrovert and loves attention and loves to be the center of things and all this kind of stuff.

She is in her element and she’s wondering.

Nicole: Susan.

Mick: Exactly what can I do to have this happen again sometime? How can I make this bigger and better, etcetera, etcetera? And what if I told you that Frank is a deep introvert and he would.

Nicole: He’s mortified.

Mick: It’s mortified and he’s thinking, what did I do to deserve this? Right? So, I mean, I don’t need to extend the story. Everyone, everyone can see where that’s going. But if you didn’t take your time to understand how your team likes to be rewarded, how do they like to receive feedback? What level of direction do they need? Everyone says, you know, they don’t like micromanagement, but everyone’s different definition of micromanagement is different. So what level of direction do you need? Do you just need broad brush strokes? And I give you the target and off you go. Or are you the type of person that needs more detail? So the more that you understand your team, the more that you can help them to do their very best work.

Nicole: Mm. That is fantastic. Yeah. And so just to kind of put this all in a nice little box, you know, he said, what are their needs, what are their preferences, How do they like to be rewarded, their level of direction. Those are all very good things. Hope you all are taking notes. You could, you know, find a way to make sure this is happening with the people that you are leading now. Chapter four You get into this whole thing of why do you want to be a leader? I think that’s a powerful coaching question. Tell us why you’ve got that question as the header for Chapter four. Why do you want to be a leader?

Mick: Yeah, it’s a really powerful question for you to stop and ask because there’s good reasons to be a leader and there’s not so good reasons if, if your reasons to be a leader or all about power, it’s all about you. It’s all about fame and all this kind of stuff that’s not going to get you very far.

And in fact, as you go down this path of leadership and you realize that it’s not about you anymore, it’s about your team, you will soon find that you don’t even enjoy leadership. If you’re one of these people that has more kinds of personal reasons and glorification, etcetera. Whereas if you’ve got truly altruistic reasons for why you want to be a leader because you care about your team, because you want to make an impact, because you have a purpose in mind of what you’re trying to achieve, then you’re going to be a good leader. You’re going to be a compassionate leader. You’re going to be an empathetic leader. You’re going to be a leader that other people want to follow. So it is a good idea for you to stop and do a little check in with yourself. Why do I want to be a leader? And if you’ve got good values and good reasons for being there, you’re going to go a long way. If you haven’t, it’s going to be a story that no one will enjoy the end to.

I also go to say this is important to say as well, Nicole, is that leadership is not for everyone, right? It is okay for that answer to be no. I don’t want to be a leader. All right. So individual contributors can also go on to change the world in their own way. They could be the deep specialist in their field that goes on to develop many patents that the company and you get rewarded for for many years to come and go on to win a Nobel Prize in physics. Whatever is right so if you want to be a deep expert in your craft, go for it. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want to be a leader, it’s because you care about people and you want to create the environment where those people can do their very best work.

Nicole: Yeah. And you threw out an SAT word, you know, a really big word. You said to be altruistic. And so what that really means is to be a servant, to serve others.

And so it just made me think of servant leadership. So I love what you’re saying. Check in. Why you want to be a leader is because you want your name on the front door or on the door. Or is it because you truly want to get in there and help people do their best and make some kind of mission purpose thing happen? So that’s fantastic. All right. So you talk a little bit about how people learn and that leaders need to understand how people learn. So that’s huge because the leaders are going to impart their wisdom. They’re going to make sure they get the proper training that they need. They got to figure out how people learn? Talk about that. Yeah.

Mick: Okay. So there’s multiple layers to this, Nicole So bear with me for a little while. There’s a thing called Glass’s Pyramid, and interestingly, Glass Pyramid got debunked. Glass It never wrote this thing. It’s one of the things most famous for. It’s got much better work that people don’t know about.

And yet he didn’t actually create this pyramid. But there’s a certain truthiness to this pyramid. And when I explain it, people will probably remember it, first of all. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll go, Yeah, it’s true, right? So what this comes down to and thinking about it from a leadership point of view is that people will remember. 10% of what they read. That’s pretty hard for me to say as an author, by the way. But people will remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear. 30% of what they read here. They’ll then remember 50% of what they see in action and and talk about, etcetera, etcetera, or see in action and, and hear it and like the multi visual kind of environment, they remember 70% of what they talk about amongst themselves and amongst their peers. So if there’s a conversation, there’s a dialogue, they’re now going to remember 70% of it. They’ll remember 85% if they do it themselves. And now remember, 95% of it, if they’re able to master it to the point where they can teach it to someone else.

Now, think about that from a leadership point of view. What do we spend a lot of time doing? Spent a lot of time sending people emails. Spend a lot of time telling people what to do or trying to teach them what to do. Etcetera, etcetera. Yet what we need to do is engage them. We need to engage them and get them to build ownership and put their own fingerprints on what they’re doing. So what I’m leaning towards here is the idea of asking more questions than you give direction. So Liz Wiseman is really good at this. The book the.

Nicole: Author of her book. Yeah. Multipliers. Oh, love it. Love it.

Mick: All right. So you think about the extreme question experiment and just this is a good takeaway for everyone to think about. Like in the extreme question experiment. The idea is, let’s say that you normally go into your meetings and you say, right, team, this is what we’re going to do this week. We’ve got to achieve this.

And Sally wants you to do that and I’d want you to do this and I want you to like you. You’re giving people direction, etcetera, and all this kind of stuff. What if we flipped the script and we did nothing but ask questions? So you go in there and you go, All right, team, what do you think is our number one priority this week? And what? Why is that important? And what positive impact will come if we’re able to do that? And what challenges do you think that we’ll experience this week? What’s going to stop us from getting this done, and what are we going to do about that? And you’d be surprised just how smart your team is, right? So leaders that do this experiment always come back and say, Oh my God, my team is so incredible. Like, they’re so they’re so proud of their team when they do this exercise. But the thing is, now the team has got ownership. They’ve got extreme ownership of the result because it came out of their mouth.

Not not your mouth. So yeah, if we think about the way people learn and the fact that they don’t learn very well in a directorial manner, but they do learn very well when it’s engaging, when they’re involved, when they’re when they’ve got some level of ownership. And then flip that into your leadership style, you’re going to go a lot further.

Nicole: Hmm. That is beautiful. All right, So I love what you said. Get in the meeting. Do nothing but ask questions and watch your team perform. They’ll tell you what needs to be done. So empowering and like, you know, these questions are coaching questions, so I love it. That’s a little bit of putting your coaching hat on. Right? Love it, love it. Love it. Okay. All right. And so then you talk about one of my favorite things in the whole world, which is culture. And so what is the leader’s responsibility and culture and how do they make one? I don’t know. Dare I say it, vibrant?

Mick:Yeah. Okay. This is really this is a key one. All right. So once again, you’re responsible for the place where people are spending up to one third of their lives. No one deserves to work in a toxic culture. Everyone deserves to work in a culture where they feel like they belong, where they feel like they matter, where they feel like they’re seen, where they feel like they’re heard. Right. So you are this is a deep responsibility and it starts with you. Okay? In terms of building the culture, you do need to start with what kind of culture do you want? What kind of culture do you want? And you can use things like status dilemmas to think about kind of a continuum of do you want a performance culture at all costs? Do you want a caring culture at all cost, or is it somewhere in between? Like having a really good deep thought about what culture you want to create? Don’t leave it to chance. Then from there, what we need to do is the first thing we do is role model that behavior.

So we think about the behaviors that bring that culture to life. And your first job is to role model that behavior. A lot of people say, you know, lead from the front or whatever. That’s not what I’m talking about, talking about behaviors. And if you’ve got behavioral expectations of your team, it starts with you. You role model those behaviors. Then from there, what you need to do is set up the rituals where you celebrate and reward the behaviors that are aligned with the culture that you’re trying to drive and. Not tolerate behaviors that are out of line. So we get the behaviors that we celebrate. We get the behaviors that we reward and we get the behaviors that we tolerate. So what does celebration and reward look like? We were loosely talking about some of these things earlier, but let’s talk about culture or psychological safety, right? If you want a speak up culture where everyone feels safe to speak their mind, you need to celebrate and reward every time someone does that.

Here’s the trick, even when you don’t agree with them. All right, So you’re in a team, in a team meeting, and someone brings up an idea and you go, Oh, so sure about that. If you come down on it and go, Well, that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Nicole, do you think that person or anyone else in the room is going to speak up again?

Nicole: No. You’ll have no innovation ever. Yeah, right.

Mick: So what you need to be able to do is go. That’s really interesting. Nicole, tell me more about that. Stay curious for a while because there might be something in it, first of all. But you need to celebrate an award and say and even say in front of the team. Oh, Nicole, thank you so much for bringing this up. Hey, team. This is exactly what I talk about when I speak about a speak up culture. Nicole’s brought a really interesting idea to the table. Thank you, Nicole.

Celebrate and reward. Okay. The more insidious one is this word tolerate. And this is where a lot of toxic culture starts to come about. So when you tolerate a behavior that is out of line with the behaviors of the group or the values and beliefs of the group or the culture that you’re trying to create, there’s a few things that happen. Basically, tolerance is the same as acceptance. But then coming back to our learning culture and how people learn, people are smart, they will see that and they will go. Let’s say Jim is a superstar salesperson and getting great results, but their behaviors are not consistent with the values and beliefs of the group, right? Everyone will look at that and go, okay, so Jim behaved like that and he got away with it and they got to do one of one of three things. They’re either going to go, I cannot believe that Jim did that and he’s still there. I am out of here. I’m out of here. I’m leaving. Or it could be.

I can’t believe that Jim got away with that. I’m going to. Quiet, quit. I’m going to disengage. I’m going to just go about my job. I’m going to keep my head down, but I’m not going to engage in the workplace anymore. Well, the third one, this is where it starts getting a multiplier effect. Well, if Jim got away with it, I can do it, too. I can do it, too. So we get the behavior, we celebrate. If we reward, we get the behavior we tolerate. Now, on to the tolerance. I’m not talking about instant dismissal. I’m talking about bringing it into line. Right, right, right.

Nicole: Talking about coaching performance. Correct it. Right, right. Yeah. Okay, Fantastic. All right. So here’s what he said that I wrote down, tolerating things or accepting things. Like put it on the wall, I guess. Mixed beers. It’s awesome. I love that right there.

So that’s tweetable, folks. Are people still tweeting? I think so. All right. Put it on your Instagram. So I love that. Okay. So culture, you know, people spend a third of their life, I’ll say it the third time to make sure we drive it home, do a little consolidation. But that is so, so important. They spend all their time with you. You’ve got to have that altruistic mindset and make it beautiful. You can’t tolerate the nonsense from the nonsense, people. You got to pull it into line. He said, okay, all right. So the next thing we’ve got is all new leaders are going to make mistakes. And I think this is why that imposter syndrome pops up, because everybody’s trying to be perfect. But I think what you’re trying to say is, relax, You’re going to make mistakes. That’s how it is in this life. So you talk about mistakes all new leaders make.

Mick: Yeah, sure. And there’s a list in the book and we could go through all of them, if you like.

But let’s just pick a few. So and to give everyone a bit of compassion here for a moment, you will make mistakes. It’s okay. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. And remember that you’ve landed in this leadership role and there’s a good chance that no one showed you what it takes to be a leader. And what you start to do is you start mimicking the behavior of leaders before you. And there’s a good chance that some of those behaviors were not were not the best behaviors as a leader. So you start mimicking behaviors before that. If you’re honest with yourself, you didn’t like those behaviors and sometimes you start replicating those behaviors yourself just through. It’s the model that you’ve seen of what leaders do. Okay. So a little bit of self-compassion as we go into this. But let’s go through some of them. The first one is always wanting to be the smartest in the room. Okay. And try to prove you’re the smartest in the room.

As a leader, you do not need to be the smartest in the room, first of all. And second, every time you’re the answer to every question, you’re actually robbing other people’s voice. You’re taking their voice away from them and you’re robbing them of their opportunities to learn and grow. Right? So you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room speaking first. Or the opposite of this is you need to be able to learn to be the last to speak. Now, here’s a thing, and we didn’t touch on this one before, but there’s another type of learning which is called reflective learning. And that’s where everyone’s looking to the boss or looking to the leader for guidance of what’s good and what and what’s bad, etcetera. So if you go into a meeting and you say, Right, team, I’ve got these, I’ve got these really great ideas, I think we should do one, two and three. But I want to hear from you. What do you think? What do you think they’re going to do at that point? They’re going to say, well, you know, you’re right, one, two and three, but they’ve got no ownership now and you haven’t given them the chance to give new ideas and new thoughts.

Right. So it’s absolutely about learning to be the last to speak and not being so like this lead from the front. I don’t believe in the lead from the front element. It’s about drawing out people. Yeah. So and we could go on and on with these Nicole But a lot of them end up having a lot of this theme of it’s not about you anymore, it’s about what you can draw out of your team and give them the space where they can do their best work and bring their their greatest ideas to the table.

Nicole: Yeah. And somebody’s going now, what’s the name of this book again? It’s called Your Leader. Now what? It’s by Mick Spiers. And you can get it, of course, on Amazon. And if they want to get it, they can go to your website as well, right? Tell me your website address. Just pop that in here real quick.

Mick: Yeah, it’s mickspiers.com. And you can find all of our resources there, including the book and the podcast, etcetera.

Nicole: Okay. Yeah. And you’ll get chapter seven, all the mistakes leaders make because everybody’s like, I’m going directly to chapter seven. All right. So, you know, we’re almost at the top of the hour and you’ve got many chapters in this book. But the one that I want to kind of touch on is you talked about learning from leaders around you just a moment ago. You know, you can learn the good, the bad and the ugly. Pay attention. And then you also talked about having empathy for your people and understanding where they’re coming from. But I think one of the number one things, Chapter 12, you talk about emotional intelligence. And so I’m super curious to hear kind of your take on EQ, right? So let’s hear a little bit about your take on EQ.

Mick: Okay. All right. So this is huge. First of all, it’s huge. People, your EQ will be a greater determinant of your success than anything else. Anything else. As a leader, as a person going about the world, your IQ will be a bigger determinant of your success than anything else.

But here’s a good thing: EQ can be taught, and can be trained. It’s like a muscle can be built as opposed to IQ, which relatively stays stable throughout your life. EQ is something that you can work on every day. And Daniel Goleman, a huge hero of mine. He breaks it down. He usually uses four categories, but now we know it’s more like five categories, right? So when we think about emotional intelligence, we think about, first of all, emotional self-awareness. Are we aware of our emotions and what the emotions are trying to tell us? Right. So being able to notice and name our emotions and emotions are information. So an emotion is trying to tell you about a met or an unmet need. So you start thinking about what is this emotion? Why this emotion and why this emotion now? What is it trying to tell me? The next one is self-management. It’s the ability to regulate that emotion. He would regulate, not suppress, not suppress its regulated motion.

What response am I going to have to this or to this emotion? And how is that response going to serve me and serve others around me? What is going to be the optimal response to that emotion right now? And it’s not always to just bottle it up. In fact, I’m going to say it’s almost never to bottle it up, but it’s about channeling that emotion. Now, speaking of channeling emotion, the next one is called self motivation, and this is our ability to tap into that emotion, to urge us into action that’s needed, right? So taking that emotion and putting it to good use. A lot of people say, oh, too emotional, all this kind of stuff. Well, well, what if we take that emotion and we actually channel it to good use to some kind of optimal element? That’s what we call self motivation. There’s a thing called a Dodgson curve that talks about the relationship between stress and performance. So a certain amount of stress actually drives performance, but too much stress tips us over the curves and puts us into a freeze or a debilitating mode.

So how do we tap into stress for optimal performance without overdoing it that we end up capitulating? Okay. The next one is about empathy and empathy. There’s three different types of empathy and you need to tap into these in different ways. Cognitive empathy is our ability to understand someone else’s perspective or point of view. Purely, what are they seeing and understanding? I can see how they got there, right? So the ability to look at a situation through someone else’s eyes, emotional empathy is then to tap into the emotion of that. What are they feeling and why might they be feeling that? What is that? What is that emotion about? Why are they feeling that emotion right now? So emotional empathy. And the third one is call empathic concern. And as a leader, I’m going to say something a little bit controversial here. You need to be a little bit careful with empathic concern. Empathic concern is our desire to want to fix that problem for the person. And fixing the problem is not always what is going to serve them best.

Sometimes you need to let someone scrape their knees, right? So you’ve got to be careful that your empathy doesn’t get to the point where you are an empath, where you want to fix everyone’s problems for them. What can happen? There are two things. Hey, they become dependent on you where they don’t know how to solve their own problems anymore. And second, they go home happy because they unloaded their problems on you. But you end up going home with a sack of seven people’s problems on your shoulders and you start doing your own mental kind of stress associated with that. And the fifth one brings it all together, which is relationships. So when we’re emotionally intelligent, when we’re able to have self management, self-awareness, self management, self motivation and empathy, we can bring that into I’m going to use your word here for a second. Vibrant relationships, vibrant relationships where you’re able to co-create together and do amazing things together. So if you’re going to invest any of your time on your self-development, it’s on you And on those five categories.

Nicole: Love it. You know? And all the people listening are like, Don’t tell me it’s almost over. Well, we’re going to leave you a little cliffhanger. This is a little teaser. We want you to go out and we want you to check out Mick’s book. Also, he’s got a podcast. The name of the book is You’re a Leader Now What The Proven Path to High Performance leadership. And tell them the name of your podcast and all about that. And they’re like, This guy has an accent. Where are you on the planet right now anyways?

Mick:All right, so the podcast is called The Leadership Project, and we bring together thought leaders from all around the world to really challenge the status quo of leadership, to get us all to stop and reflect and and think on what great leadership looks like. And if you check it out, there might even be an episode with this wonderful person called Nicole Greer on there that talks about building vibrant cultures. Yeah. So we bring thought leaders from all around the world onto the podcast, the leadership project.

And there’s always something in there that gets you to stop and reflect and challenges. You’re thinking about what it means to be a leader, and we’d love for you to get value out of listening to the podcast and yep, the book. You’re related now to what is available on Amazon if you’re in the Philippines, it’s also available in physical bookstores where I am now. I’ve moved back to Australia. I moved back this year, so I’m in Melbourne, Australia. The sun is just rising. It’s very early in the morning here. And yeah, for anyone that wants to connect with me, I always love a great conversation about leadership and about people, so we’d love to hear from you.

Nicole: Yeah, and he’s over on LinkedIn as well. Just check out Mike Spiers. All right. So that is mixed beers. All right. So we’re like, wait, one more nugget. We want more and more juice. Good little tidbit. Don’t leave us hanging one thing for the road.

What would you tell us to kind of have us challenged on the way out?

Mick: Yeah, I’m going to put out the word intentional. Leadership is an intentional activity. It’s not something that you do as part of your job. It is your job. So think about how you show up intentionally as a leader every day and what your team needs from you on that day. So as you go into a meeting, just take a beat every time, take five minutes to stop and go. What am I trying to get out of this meeting today? And how is mine? What will serve my team best? How do I need to show up? Do they need me to show up as I need to be an inspirational leader today? I need to be curious later today. I need to be a compassionate leader today. So take a beat and always think that leadership is not an accident. It’s an intentional activity. How does my team need me to show up today and think about that for five minutes before every meeting that you go into today? There’s a bit of homework for you.

Nicole: Beautiful. All right, everybody. This has been the Build the Vibrant Culture podcast. And listen, I know you love this and you listened all the way to the end, so you do us a hot favor and go down below. Click on the fact that you loved it. Click a five star review and leave. Make a little love note. Tell him I loved having Mick on here. And this is what he said that I thought was genius. All right? And I did. I did two things that he said. He said, have a deep thought. At one point he said, have a deep thought about that thought. Oh, God, I love that, a deep thing. And the other thing he said is this has a little truthiness in it. And so I love those two sayings. So thank you. Mick, you’ve made my day. I’m going to put a deep thought into my vocabulary. I totally loved it. Thanks for being on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast.

Mick: Thank you, Nicole. It’s been a great pleasure.

Voiceover: Ready to build your vibrant culture? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference or organization to help them with their strategies, systems and smarts to increase clarity, accountability, energy and results. Your organization will get lit from within. Email Nicole@nicolegreer.com. And be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at nicolegreer.com.

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