Back in September of 2019 I was perusing KW Connect when I came across a LiveStream interview with Ben Kinney titled “How I Did It: Built My Team.” Ben is the owner and founder of multiple companies including; Brivity, Place Inc, and Forward Coaching. Based on his track record I have grown fond of learning from Ben and found this particular interview to be especially helpful on my coaching journey.
The section of the interview that stuck out most to me was when Ben was asked how he has managed to attract and get into business with magnificent people. His answer was simple, outlining the triangle below which I think is one of the most valuable tools any business owner could have. It completely changed the way that I live and coach.
The Leadership Triangle
Overview of Ben Kinney’s triangle
1. Learn how to lead yourself which is developing the decisions, disciplines, and habits of a high functioning leader in your role. If I were to follow you around for a week and I was a fly on the wall meaning you didn’t know I was there. Would I see a walking, talking, living, breathing model of success? Would I be impressed or depressed? Are you leading yourself the way you want current or future teammates to lead themselves?
2. Earn the right to lead others and build out your executive team. If you’re going to build a big vision remember individuals don’t build businesses. Teams build businesses. Individuals build teams. Take the time to develop your leadership team. Not only will this decentralize your organization, but it will also create a strong inner circle you can trust to help you make the right decisions. Once you’ve mastered the foundation of the pyramid, you’ll find that leaders will want to work for you.
3. Create leaders to build a business. After you’ve built your executive team now they begin to build your company into an actual business. The goal is to move you from having a job to owning a business that can continue to grow regardless of your proximity to it. A strong foundation and culture of leadership in your organization will ensure you’re poised for this type of growth.
4. Attract leaders and you will build your empire. Surrounding yourself with magnificent people and keeping them in your world is only done when you follow the previous three steps. Don’t short change them. You can be a dandelion or an oak tree. Dandelions grow fast and yet topple just as easily. Oak trees grow slow with wide root systems and can withstand most of what time has to offer.
“Your number one recruiting and retention tool is your ability to lead and influence yourself.”-Gary Keller
I couldn’t even count the number of conversations I have had with business owners who are struggling with holding their teams accountable. Nine times out of ten this has nothing to do with the team members. When accountability feels inauthentic you won’t consistently do it. If you aren’t willing to lead yourself to the standards you’re asking other people to live up to your only people problem is you.
How well are you leading yourself from 0-10?
This question is like a true north star in coaching people across all industries and experience levels. It’s a reflective power tool that allows all of us to analyze our lives and get real about what we can do to go to the next level. You can break it down and look at each area of our life like health, spirituality, relationships etc. Or you can look at it from a much more macro level in the overall scope of your life. Either way it’s a question you won’t escape if you are going to build a massive business. There’s always room for improvement, and if you can’t find something you think you can improve at, you aren’t looking hard enough.