31. Lost Boss + A Script for Caring

Episode 31: Lost Boss + A Script for Caring (Summary)

Taking on a new leadership role comes with many challenges. What do you do when you feel lost? Plus, exactly what to say, again and again, to create psychological safety for your team. It’s happening now on Boss Better Now.

Links:
To learn more about Joe Mull, visit his website ​Joemull.com​.
To hear more from Joe Mull visit his YouTube channel​.
To learn how to invite Joe to speak at an event, visit ​Joemull.com/speaking​.
To check date availability or to get a quote for an event, email ​hello@joemull.com​.
To explore options for coaching from Alyssa Mullet, visit ​Joemull.com/coaching​.
For more information on the BossBetter Leadership Academy, visit Joemull.com/academy.
Email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.
To leave comments, ask questions, or to message us visit our Boss Better Now Podcast Facebook Page.
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Transcript – Episode 31: Lost Boss + A Script for Caring

Joe:
Taking on a new leadership role comes with many challenges. What do you do when you feel lost? Plus, exactly what to say, again and again, to create psychological safety for your team. It’s happening now on Boss Better Now.

Alyssa:
You’re listening to Boss Better Now. Please welcome speaker, author, and world’s worst grass edger, Joe Mull.

Joe:
Hello again, BossHeroes and thank you for sharing time with us this week. Whether you are listening at work, or at home, or in the car, or during a workout, or maybe on a much-deserved vacation, we are thrilled to bring you advice, humor, and encouragement as you strive daily to BossBetter. Please welcome my co-host (I’m not at all sure about her grass edger skills) professional coach, Alyssa Mullett. Hello, my friend.

Alyssa:
Hello. I would… We’re talking about like weed eating, right?

Joe:
Yeah. Like with the weedwhacker where you have to go around and do the edging before you cut the whole yard.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Oh, we do it after maybe that’s your problem?

Joe:
Well, but…but… when you do the edging, you got to do it before because it throws all the big, tall stuff. And then you need to like vacuum it up with the mower.

Alyssa:
Oh, then we have a blower. Then we have a blower thing that we’d use after all of that is done. I think that’s where you’re going wrong. So, I think I have superb edging skills. I think that I am much above average. So…la-dee-da.

Joe:
I’m going to need you to teach me your ways. My issue is I constantly break the string, you know, the little plastic things, right.

Alyssa:
Oh. Yeah.

Joe:
And I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried, like, make sure you come in on the angle. And, and you know, I feel like it’s not that I’m getting too close because as soon as I get a little too far away, I’m not actually cutting the stuff on the edge. I have many skills – I think… This is not one of them. It’s a lifelong struggle.

Alyssa:
Well, it also depends, I think, solely on the, uh, surface that you’re going up against. So, for instance, like if we’re edging the driveway, that’s like totally cool zone. I don’t have to break the string. Don’t have to have that, like, at the ready. But along the fence line, just get an extra roll whenever we’re going to do that because we’re going to have to switch it out.

Joe:
Maybe it’s not just me. I mean, I feel like I’m changing… I’m replacing the string three times during.

Alyssa:
Oh yeah.

Joe:
Okay. So that’s you too.

Alyssa:
Yes. Yes. That, that is not indicative of performance, Joe. That is not indicative. That’s the, that is the territory that comes with edging of fences. So it is, it is okay. You’re not, it’s not you.

Joe:
This is so affirming. You really are such a great coach.

Alyssa:
I see you. I hear you. Let me validate you.

Joe:
Well, I’m so glad this came up today. I’m going to have go whack some weeds when I get home and feel a lot better about it.

Alyssa:
Woohoo!

Joe:
All right. Well, we’re going to start today, Alyssa, with a question that came in recently over an email from a supervisor who’s in a new role. Uh, and when she came into this role, she made a pretty big change in her life. Tammy, in Virginia, uh, emailed and asked me about feeling lost, uh, with new supervisors in a new role after almost 25 years in a prior role. And what she basically said is, um, ‘I feel overwhelmed and the, you know, my supervisors are great, and everybody’s been really accommodating, but I just feel like I’m having a hard time getting up to speed. I feel like I’m having a hard time, um, getting all the training that I need to be successful’. And while she has asked for help, she feels like she doesn’t want to ask for help too often. Otherwise, she would be seen as unqualified or maybe not adapting to the position. And so, we had an email exchange a little bit, and I think this particular kind of question is something that a lot of supervisors struggle with, whether you’re new to leadership or maybe you’ve moved into a different role or you’ve changed organizations, or maybe you’ve moved from one kind of industry to another after a long time. Uh, and so I thought I would tap into the coach in you and ask you a little bit about, uh, where you would start with somebody who has these kinds of struggles.

Alyssa:
So, the first things that generally come up for me, um, in trying to understand where this feeling of lost-ness is… is what is the definition of ‘found’, right? (Joe: Right) She obviously came from a situation in which she felt like she was an expert. She had a certain level of, you know, high level of experience in, uh, that environment. And so, we first have to say, what is truly the expectations (Joe: Right.) that we’re holding and that’s twofold. One, what are the expectations that we’re holding for ourselves? And then the other side of that is what is the reality of the expectations that the job has of us? (Joe: Yes.) Because inevitably we are our own worst critic. (Joe: Mmmhmm.) And we think that we should be the expert day two (Joe: Right) of the new job, right? Because I have so much experience, I have this, I have that, but it’s a completely different environment. (Joe: Yeah.) These are completely other new humans that you have to learn, and that takes time. (Joe: Absolutely) It takes time. So, what do you think is, is the, um, the answer or the strategy that we should try to coach supervisors towards in these kinds of new transitions?

Joe:
Well, you nailed the first one, I think, which is how do we calibrate our expectations in, in the early stages of any new job, even if someone’s listening to this and they’re not a supervisor, uh, I have been known to describe taking a new job, a leadership role or not, as going back to stupid, right? (Alyssa: Yeah.) And whatever previous job you had, you probably had insight and experience under your belt. You knew intricate details. You knew who to call for what. You knew the politics and the personalities of the people around you, and when you step into a new job, you have none of that. And so, the first few months in any new role, uh, can be stressful and exhausting for that very reason. And now you add into it that you’re trying to make a good impression on your team. You’re trying to make a good impression on, uh, your, your new bosses. You know that there’s kind of this window of time to, uh, to get people, to perceive you as competent and trustworthy and caring. And you know that if, if you start off on the wrong foot, that you could be trying to climb out of a hole, you’ve dug for yourself. So, you can put a lot of pressure on yourself as a leader. (Alyssa: A lot.) Uh, but you’re right. The only cure is time. At first, we have to give ourselves grace and continue reminding ourselves that we’re capable and that we are going to get more comfortable with each passing day. And I don’t think if we can commit to that, that the feeling won’t…will last for very long. Um, (Alyssa: Yeah.) but at the same time, I also think, and this will be the second thing I would be coaching around is, where does that feeling come from? That there is, is, um, a negative consequence to asking for help too often when you’re new. I think that I mean, I get it, but I think sometimes we have to talk ourselves out of that, right?

Alyssa:
Mmmhmm. There’s like, there’s only this one allotment of help that we’re allowed. Right? And somehow by asking the three questions or asking for that one other thing, we have filled it already to capacity within the first, you know, month on the job. No. (Joe: Right.) You know, as you evolve, you learn what you don’t know. So, it’s incumbent upon us to continually have that self-awareness as to what we need to grow and learn, and then check that against, again, expectations of our own and the actual organizational expectations to then say, okay, what are the resources that I have the, um, availability for? What is in the future? What have I already learned that maybe I’m not giving myself credit for mentally, you know, internally, um, that I can draw upon too? So, you know, it’s this, this thing of scarcity, I think too, is that there’s only so much, and you don’t want to take it away from someone else, but I, I, you know, in, in some circumstances that has been the reality of, uh, training and development, right? Uh, I think that we, we got that honestly, in some, um, organizations, at least I did, but the other part of that, the flip side is that if that is the organization that you find yourself in, where there is this finite amount of resources (Joe: Yes.) or development that they’re going to allow you to have better (Joe: Yeah.) to learn sooner than later.

Joe:
Right. And, and the problem isn’t you, right? (Alyssa: That’s right.) It’s probably unrealistic if it feels like, okay, I got 12 questions, right? I got… I got a dozen tokens that I can use before people are going to start to question my competence. That’s particularly unfair. (Alyssa: Yeah.) And if we spot that in an, in a new role, uh, we have to do the hard work of saying, you know what? This is not me. I am capable. I’m asking the right questions. Um, why is the culture here maybe not as supportive as it could be? Uh, you know, I think the truth is that in most places you get what I call ‘new guy immunity’ for quite a while. I think you get it for up to a year when you’re in a new role. And if you ask people, how long does it take to, um, adapt to a new role and to really fully step into it? I, I don’t think you can say at a minimum, anything less than a year because workplaces have cycles. And if you get hired in November 10 months later, you might know a lot, but you still never experienced an October, (Alyssa: Yeah.) you know, and, and different things happen at different points in the calendar. And we, we have to be able to give voice to that. If we’re feeling pressured by people around us, that, hey, you know, if you’re getting feedback that you’re not adapting, uh, as quickly as they’d like, then we need to probe and ask for more specific examples and then maybe more specific support to get there. If we have to ask for training, if we have to ask for time, those are reasonable requests for anyone who is still in that first year, I think.

Alyssa:
Absolutely. Absolutely. That the fear I think, or the, um, of us asking, um, comes from a different place than what we most likely want to admit. Um, you know, is that truly like about fear that we’re not good enough for that job? Fear that we don’t truly have, you know, what it takes? The whole imposter syndrome (Joe: Yeah.) that is so rampant, uh, you know, that every level of person on the planet still deals with it in some form or fashion? So, I think, you know, also trying to do some self-work around what is that fear for me personally? You know, trying to take a little deeper dive and curiosity for yourself as to what’s behind that fear.

Joe:
And I think if we also stop and ask ourselves: When people ask questions and in particular, a lot of questions in an effort to try to know and understand, what’s the result? How do people experience that? In most cases it’s not experienced as a character flaw, it’s not a defect. It, in most cases, I think people will see someone who is determined and who is dedicated to getting it right. Uh, and this is actually what I told her in, in the email that I wrote back to her, because I know the, the folks who are, uh, over top of her in this particular organization. And I just tried to reassure her that what I know about them as leaders, um, is that they want her to ask for help often. And they want her to ask for more training if she needs it. Uh, and that they picked her because they thought she was capable because they thought her, her values, and her traits would be a good fit for the organization. And they can teach her everything else that she needs to know to be successful in the role. And so, to not be afraid to ask for help because other people will see she cares – she’s invested. And I think the same thing is true, not just asking for help up to the people that supervise us, but the people that we’re supervising. (Alyssa: Uh-huh.) I think when we’re a new leader, if we have an experienced team underneath us, we can ask them, ‘Hey, help me understand. I want to know why this is the way that it is. I want to make sure that I’m really absorbing as much as I can.’ And when, when my boss comes to me and says, ‘Hey, can you help me understand this better?’ That’s actually empowering for me too. So, you get a lot of good stuff actually going in the workplace when you, as a leader, aren’t afraid to ask questions, when you aren’t afraid to say, ‘I don’t know’. The leader that is able to say, ‘I don’t know’, is, is taking that first step into the very vulnerability that we know is so key to leadership.

Alyssa:
Absolutely. And, and look what she did. She took that first step in vulnerability for herself by saying, ‘I feel lost’. (Joe: Yeah.) ‘I’m not quite sure of my footing of where I stand and here’s what my fears are.’ So, kudos! You’re already succeeding at this role. You’re doing it! The self-awareness is there.

Joe:
I think we can call her a BossHero.

Alyssa:
Yes! Abso-freaking-lutely!

Joe:
And we define it as someone who, who, uh, cares enough to strive daily, to create the conditions for their people to thrive. But don’t always, it doesn’t always know how, you know, and, and that’s exactly what she’s raising her hand to say. I care about doing a really good job because of the people who hired me for this organization and for the people in my charge, but I don’t feel like I’m there yet. And I need help. It’s the very definition of being a BossHero.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Way to go, Tammy.

Alyssa:
And I think too, if I could also include in there, we do all of those things for ourselves too. It’s not… Being a boss has to also encompass wanting and caring for ourselves and making sure that we have those, that environment for ourselves too. So that takes a lot of hard vulnerability and courage. So ‘Yay’ to her!

Joe:
And only when we do that, can we actually show up as the best kind of boss, right? (Alyssa: That’s right.) And be at our best for people? (Alyssa: Yeah.) Well, friends, what do you think? We want to hear from you. We want both your reactions to, uh, Tammy’s question and, uh, maybe some, uh, strategies or tactics or insights that you’ve gained when you transitioned to do a new leadership role and maybe struggled a little bit. Uh, if you’re watching this episode online, just drop a comment below the video. Otherwise, you can email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.

Joe:
We come once again, Alyssa to the Camaraderie Question of the Week. It’s my favorite segment this week. And we do it because bosses build camaraderie on teams by making it easier for people to find things in common with each other. That’s why, BossHeroes, every week we give you a question you can use at meetings to facilitate connection and build camaraderie. Uh, and I think because we know how important laughter is in the workplace, uh, and learning how people’s senses of humor work, that this could be a really fun question to take to your team. Here it is: Tell us your favorite PG-rated joke. I gave you this ahead of time, Alyssa.

Alyssa:
I know. And I think that the… the… the PG, uh…qualifier is important.

Joe:
Right. This is a family-friendly show.

Alyssa:
It is. And you’ll be glad to know, at least I hope this is a PG enough thing, I got mine straight from TikTok., But it was, it was on the dad, uh, dad joke (Joe: Ok.) TikTok. So, I have full confidence that it should fall in that PG range.

Joe:
If it’s a true dad joke, I will love it. Cause I’m, I’m a, I’m a bit of a dad joke aficionado. How do you know if something is a dad joke? It’s “a parent”.

Alyssa:
Oh Lord.

Joe:
Thanks for coming. Thank you. Don’t forget to tip your waiter. That isn’t even the joke I brought to answer this question. Just had to throw that out there. I’m sorry. I threw you off. Okay. Your favorite PG-rated joke  – straight from TikTok. A dad joke by definition. Lay it on us.

Alyssa:
Okay. So, what do you call it whenever you, uh, hit Dwayne Johnson’s bum?

Joe:
Is this the… we’re already creeping into PG 13 territory, but okay. I don’t know. What it is?

Alyssa:
Rock bottom.

Joe and Alyssa:
*laughing*

Joe:
I am simultaneously entertained and disappointed that I did not come up with that. I feel like, how do you not know that?

Alyssa:
How do you not see that coming?

Joe:
That’s great.

Alyssa:
I’m gonna pat myself on the back for that one.

Joe:
So, I’m going to make sure I get it right cause I’m going to go home and tell my kids. What do you call it when you hit Dwayne Johnson’s bum?

Alyssa:
Yes.

Joe:
I like that you used the word ‘bum’. It that that’s the G-rated word.

Alyssa:
That is. That is.

Joe:
And the answer is: “rock bottom”. That’s fantastic. Just in case anybody listening to this doesn’t know who Dwayne Johnson is. He’s The Rock, you know, the actor who, who The Rock, who used to be a wrestler and he’s an actor and yeah. Um, fantastic joke. Applause to you, my friend.

Alyssa:
Kudos to dad joke, TikTok.

Joe:
It might be a necessary follow after this. I’m going to have to check that out.

Alyssa:
There you go.

Joe:
Oh, wait. I’m not on TikTok.

Alyssa:
Okay. *gasps* Really?

Joe:
I’m not. Nope. I’m not on TikTok. Hu-uh.

Alyssa:
Oh, Joe.

Joe:
Like, I got enough things that vie for my intention in the morning when I’m drinking my coffee and I already stare at my phone too much. I’m just like, I don’t think I can get there.

Alyssa:
But this is not a morning thing. This is after the kids go to bed at night, like just scrolling through, getting like I learn, I laugh, I’m amazed, I’m sometimes shocked. It has it all. It has it all.

Joe:
You just described the internet. Everything on the internet fits that description.

Alyssa:
He’s got jokes today, folks all day. All right. So, give us the real joke. What’s your real joke?

Joe:
Okay. The one I brought to you, I have, I have known and, and, um, recalled this joke for many, many years. I don’t know why it holds a special place in my heart, but it just does. Here we go. What do you call a fish with no eye?

Alyssa:
A fish with no eye. I don’t know.

Joe:
Fsh.

Alyssa:
Oh. Aw. Geez.

Joe:
What do you call a fish with no eye? Fsh. I should have gone first. Yours was better.

Alyssa:
But that was, that’s a definitively wholesome and, and funny. It is funny.

Joe:
That’s a good one you can tell your kids. Um, not long ago, uh, my, my older son Miles brought a joke home that is built the same way and I saw it coming and he was a little disappointed. Cause he was like, ‘Hey dad, what do you call a bear with no ear?’ And I was like, ‘Uh, b.’ And he was like ‘How did you know that?’ I totally stole his thunder. I felt really bad.

Alyssa:
Yeah. That’s not cool, man. Don’t do that.

Joe:
It was a dad joke though. Well, hey, take this joke to your teams. Go around a circle in a huddle one morning, grab a couple of, uh, of dad jokes. I’m pretty sure it’s going to generate some smiles that we can all use as much of that as possible. And that’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:
Well, we come now to another segment that is one of my favorites. I say that all the time and it’s like, they’re all my favorites. We have a lot of fun with these different segments, uh,

Alyssa:
They’re like your children.

Joe:
They are! I… and… and, you know, trying to figure out how to make enough space and time and attention for each one on our show can be challenging sometimes. And this is not a segment we’ve done recently. This segment is called BossScripts. That was some funky dancing you were dropping right there on our YouTube.

Alyssa:
I felt so snazzy like that was so catchy and upbeat. I needed to move.

Joe:
Well and this is a script that I think, in one way or another, we have probably, um, tossed out there in various conversations that we’ve had about how to create workplaces that are more psychologically safe for folks. How do you get people to open up? How do you get people to feel comfortable admitting when they’re not at their best when they’ve made a mistake, right? That’s what psychological safety is. The belief that I’m not going to be penalized or humiliated for speaking up or making a mistake or expressing concerns. Uh, and our BossScript today is really about both how to draw that out and how to respond. And so here’s the script: “I care about you. How can I help?”

Alyssa:
Hmmmm.

Joe:
I think sometimes we, over-complicate the kinds of interactions that we want and should have with our direct reports. And especially if, if somebody does give voice to a struggle or a concern or not being at their best, or ‘Hey, I’m feeling burned out or ‘I’m, I’m just not, not fully plugged in at work.’ Um, you know, the first part of that is I think the most important part, it’s the explicit acknowledgment that I care more about you as a person than I do with the work product right now.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
And so those four words, “I care about you.” I think – carry so much power. And then when we immediately follow them with, how can I help? We’re not necessarily asking a question that’s entirely limited in scope to what we do here at work, or my, my role for you as a leader, it’s just a much more humane, caring response. I care about you. How can I help? Let’s talk about some of the other power in that Alyssa and what kind of responses that can elicit and why, why it does elicit some powerful responses sometimes.

Alyssa:
It’s I think the explicitness of saying, ‘I care about you’ is the piece that we oftentimes get so hung up on because we put these expectations on ourselves as leaders to have all of the answers. When someone comes to us with a problem, whether it be personal, professional, we’re supposed to have the answer. Right? And when they come to us in a way that doesn’t necessarily present itself, as in those blocks of… of space professionally, it’s hard and vulnerable to communicate once again, explicitly that you care about them. And so we work really hard generally at showing people that, but we don’t say it because that’s where the real icky, squishy gooey, oh, I’m getting into that feelings zone. Am I allowed to? That doesn’t feel like I should. All of those different kinds of grayness come in, but if we truly acknowledge that we’re allowed to have feelings of care and deep, uh, empathy for the people that work with us – that’s a tremendous part of being a leader that isn’t just someone that shows up that can lead a team. That’s bringing your authentic self, your whole self into the workplace. And whenever you can be vulnerable enough to explicitly say, ‘I care about you’ that’s like the professional ‘I love you’. At least to me, that’s what it feels like.

Joe:
Yes. And we know it’s such an essential ingredient to cultivating commitment, to getting emotional and psychological devotion from people in the workplace to their work. It, you know, the relationship that they have with their direct supervisor and a number of factors and conditions that that supervisor creates is what determines whether or not that commitment’s ever going to happen. And it’s not out of bounds to suggest that does my boss care about me as a person is perhaps the highest-ranking of those beliefs and conditions that people need to have in order to then develop that emotional and psychological commitment. And so, it’s not just about psychological safety. It’s, it’s recognizing that my role as a leader, isn’t just to get people to produce great work product in one way or another, or to give answers and direction. It’s to genuinely care about the person inside each employee, and then how to overcome the challenge of, of showing that and explicitly expressing it over and over again. You know, and I think this script, ‘I care about you. How can I help?’ Is something that we can take and then also sit down and say, ‘What are 10 other ways I can say this?’ What will you know, there, there are variations, instead of saying, I care about you, how can I help? We can say, um, ‘I… I’m really impressed by your bravery. How can I support you?’ Or, um, ‘I, I noticed that you are, uh, still pushing through and, and working hard here. And that means a lot, not just in terms of word, but of the work, but it tells me a lot about your character. Um, how, how can I be an ally?’ You know, you could just sit down and take this script and rework it over and over again. And then you’ve got this little sort of quiver full of arrows that you can fire off in a variety of circumstances to express that caring, but then also draw out more dialogue about the kind of support that you might be able to provide for them.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Yeah. I just love what this simplistic idea truly, deeply means. And so I, I think that as leaders, if we can just take even the smallest step to being very explicit, like this, with our words to say, I care about you, that is never going to fail you.

Joe:
Yeah. Absolutely. So, there’s your BossScript, friends. Use it again and again, wherever possible. “I care about you. How can I help?”

Joe:
Well, before we close today, Alyssa, I thought I would tell you a quick story and tell our listeners a quick story. Um, that is just one of those little tiny things that when you experience it, it makes you go, Hey, humankind ain’t all bad. And I should, I should actually drop our, like our story music here. So here we go.

Joe:
Every time I hear that riff, I just get… I picture like a cowboy around a campfire. Who’s like “Saunter on up, pull up a rock. I’m going to weave you a yarn. Tell ya tale.” I don’t know why I’m talking in this bad, John Wayne voice.

Alyssa:
It’s the dad jokes. That’s what it is.

Joe:
It must be. All right. So, um, we are recording this, um, the day after I got back from a long day of travel, I had three flights across the country. The two of which were delayed and one of which was rerouted. And, um, it was, it was a travel adventure. Um, and, uh, so if I sound a little punchy today, folks, it’s cause I’m going on about three hours sleep, which is amazing. Um, so I finished flight two of three and I get to the… the airport in Atlanta, which is the second busiest airport in the world.

Alyssa:
Yes.

Joe:
Um, was number one for a long time. Um, but it is, it is number two now. Busiest in the U.S. And we’re kind of in this weird place right now, where capacity has not caught up with support. What I mean is I’ve been traveling for a couple of weeks now, and airports are packed. They’re absolutely packed. Plus, there’s still a lot of areas that are closed. Um, uh, restaurants and businesses inside of the airports that have not fully opened up yet. So, it’s been an interesting adventure. Anyway, I finished flight two of three, it’s about 9:30 at night, and I have not eaten in a long, long time. So, I come up the escalator after, um, getting out of the gate area that I was in. And I’m immediately looking for someplace where I can grab some food and everything is closed, except there’s one burger stand that’s open, and you can still see people at the register and there’s still people in line. Uh, and so I kind of looked right and left and there’s nothing else. And I’m like, all right, it’s a burger. So, I go running over to this line, uh, and I, I get in line behind this younger guy. And I said, hey, is this the line? And he turns around and he says, yeah, but they told me I’m last. Cause they’re closing.

Alyssa:
Oh…poos.

Joe:
And I’m like uh-oh, okay, like, can I blend in? Can I kind of sneak in because I really need some food? And right at this point, one of the workers comes out and she says, we’re closed. And she like pushes past me and takes like that band that closes the queue line, you know, how they have like, the ropes that…

Alyssa:
yeah.

Joe:
And she’s like, like a little bit of a hip check. Yeah. And I really played the sympathy card. I’m like, I haven’t had food all day, please and she was like, Nope. And that was that. And she was done. And I, I feel for her, you know, huge crowd, she’s been there all day. They don’t get paid enough. So, I, you know, I… I’m, it’s not her fault, but, um, but as soon as she turned around and walked away, the young guy in front of me turns around, leans in and whispers, Hey man, tell me what you want. I’ll order your food with mine.

Alyssa:
Awww!

Joe:
And I’m like, this guy is a good human. And so, I told him, you know, I wanted a cheeseburger with no tomato, no pickles. And, um, he was like, let me try and get that right. You know, he cared really a lot about getting my order right. Uh, and, and then he waited in line and he… he ordered both sandwiches and, and I insisted on paying for his burger too. Like I said, Hey, this is teamwork, man. Let me, let me, let me do this. And, uh, they were really behind. So, we ended up standing there for about 10 minutes and talking, and it’s amazing what you can learn about someone and the connection you can make with someone, uh, in just a 10-minute conversation. He, his name was Marco. Hi Marco. If you found this podcast and you’re listening, thanks for the burger, man. You’re a, you’re a, you were a hero that day.

Alyssa:
Awwww.

Joe:
Uh, and he was from Columbia and, um, he was, uh, returning from, uh, what will probably be his last visit with his mom because his mom is in the end stages of dying. And we talked about that for a little while. Uh, and then we talked about travel and music and our jobs and, um, it was just a nice conversation. And then when the food finally came out, uh, we reached into the bag and we each grabbed our burgers, and we went our separate ways and wished each other well. And it was just one of those things where I was like, you know, that was probably a really hard day for him already, you know, with the mom thing and travel is never easy. And I think a lot of people would have just kept their head down and you know, my problem wasn’t their problem, but his head was up, and he said, Hey man, tell me your order. I’ll get your food with mine. And like, wow. Really cool.

Alyssa:
That does give me hope for humanity. I have to say, like, I have been dipping my toe back into society because I feel so.

Joe:
Coming out of the cave.

Alyssa:
Right, right. I just feel like there’s not all of that great stuff out there that I used to think that there, there was. And so, Marco reminds us, there is goodness out there and you have to go out and get it and you have to go out and give it. So, Marco, thank you for feeding our Joe.

Joe:
Yes.

Alyssa:
He needed it.

Joe:
Yes. And the burger was good, and I ate it in like four bites. Cause I had to get to my next flight. But there’s another funny little aside about the story. Um, and I didn’t know this until we were getting the burgers and finishing up, he had kind of the same situation when he got there, they were kind of trying to close the line. And the woman in front of him said, no, he’s with me. And like, they didn’t know each other, but like he looked at her and he was like, help me out here. And she was like, yeah, yeah. He’s with me. And like, so they, they totally did that. And then he paid it forward back to me. And when I was trying to get in line, I was like, no, we’re together. Like me and Marco and the lady turned around, I was like, no, she was like, we did that already. We ran that scam. You can’t use that one.

Alyssa:
Taken!

Joe:
It was entertaining.

Alyssa:
That’s awesome. I love that. I love that story. Thank you. 

Joe:
Well and so I think it’s fun to end with a story. So, thanks for hanging out with us for Story Time.

Joe:
All right, friends. That’s our show this week, wherever you are, whatever challenges you are facing, know this: When you go to work and you put your people at the center of everything you do, you’re doing this leadership thing right. No one expects you to be perfect, except maybe you. So, give yourself some grace and keep trying, friends. We’ll see you next time.

Alyssa:
This show is sponsored by Joe Mull and Associates. Remember, commitment comes from better bosses. Visit JoeMull.com today.

Joe:
Hey BossHeroes! More than once you’ve heard me say commitment comes from better bosses, but where do better bosses come from? Answer: The Joe Mull and Associates BossBetter Leadership Academy. The managers on your team aren’t going to the self-awareness knowledge, skills, and relationships critical to success in a one-day training. If you want them to motivate teams, maximize effort, and create the conditions for your employees to thrive, they need ongoing education. When your organization subscribes to our Boss Better Leadership Academy, all your leaders get to join me for a monthly learning event. These live coaching clinics, micro-trainings, and dynamic virtual summits take just a few minutes each month. And the year-round access to our digital vault gives you all the recordings for on-demand use, new manager onboarding, and more. Oh, and everything we do is evidence-based and highly entertaining if I do say so myself. Best of all, for most organizations, you can get a year of this continuous leadership development training for less than the cost of bringing me onsite for a one-hour keynote. If you want managers to lead well, they need to work on it year-round. It’s like going to the gym. If you go once, you’ll get a good workout, but no long-term results. If you keep going though, you get healthier and healthier over time, the same is true for bosses. They need continuous learning and mentorship. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s give your leaders the skills, tools, and knowledge they need to supercharge commitment and boss better. For more information, including pricing, visit JoeMull.com/academy.

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