Do you want to improve your work environment or have better relationships with your coworkers? In this series you will learn how to successfully deal with difficult or underachieving coworkers, while improving your leadership skills. Learn from Clay Clark how to work alongside coworkers and better position yourself for that promotion.Sign Up to Watch
tedtalks like teaching on dealing with coworkers, grow your business
-So Clay, for the second principle then, don't let them contaminate you, do you have action items for Thrivers watching today who want to grow their business that you can say, hey, if you're dealing with these people-- if you're human, you are-- what action steps do they take today.
-What you want to do is you want to decide right now, as you grow your business, that you have-- it's this cause and effect deal. So you have to say it's cause and effect. You have to say, am I going to affect people, or am I going to let them affect me? Am I going to be a plus, or am I going to be a minus? You just have to decide that right now, because there is no neutrality. If you're just trying to keep on keeping on, mind your own business, then you're not really helping your organization.
If you are somebody who is a change agent, a catalyst, the kind of person who can create a momentum, then at that point, your going to have to pull the side with the guy that's marinating you. You have to go, hey, I really enjoy that story. I want to ask you, can we maybe talk after work about that? I want to go ahead focus right now and get this stuff. We've really got to get that deadline done. You go to the likes-to-fight guy and you say, hey, I'd like to sit down and figure out why you feel that way.
And talk to him and just be candid with him. And if you're not in a position of leadership where you can tell them that, then you are in a position of influence, and you can lead by leading by example. You can lead by example. You can do a good job and people will notice the way you live your life. And over time they'll start to say-- just about a month ago, a guy pulled me aside and goes, dude, how do you stay motivated? I remember that. How do you stay motivated? It's a great question. But I was in a position of leadership, and by leading by example he was able to say, how can you stay motivated.
He would've asked me-- you don't someone a question who doesn't know the answer. So you want to lead by example, then want to decide-- so one is lead by example, no matter where you're at.
INTERVIEWER: So that's the first action item.
-First action item.
INTERVIEWER: Lead by example.
-And the second is, decide whether you're going to be a plus or minus. Decide whether you are a plus or a minus right now.
INTERVIEWER: So you make that decision. That's huge. Now what we're doing next, this third principle is big as well. The principle number three is view them as your mission field. And you've started to lead into that perfectly with that last principle as well. But view them as your mission field. Dale Carnegie said, "nothing can bring you peace but yourself." That's the notable quotable here. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Clay, let's get down to the core issues here. Core issues. Talk to me able how this applies, and why this third principle is so important.
CLAY CLARK: Well, let's say if your President Obama right now. Whether we like him or not politically, just work with me on this. So let's say you are President Reagan, whether you like him or not. I'm just giving you two examples. You can't get on the TV screen and go, America, you're not getting your crap done. Imagine this was a presidential debate, and you say-- presidential address, and I'm talking to America, and the White House is behind me, the Oval Office. And I'm like, America, you're not getting your crap together. Your craps not getting done, and I'm tired of it. I'm tired and good night.
That's not going to be a good address. What you have to do is, you have to tell them, you have to cast the vision, you have to say, I believe this country is great. It has the capacity to be greater. And we can all improve. And so to do that, here is the vision. You have to constantly share the vision and tell people how they can improve. Share, encourage people, push people, encourage people, show people that can get there.
But don't view people who are not performing at the level they can as a cancerous end of the world problem. Understand this is your mission. This is your opportunity to lead people. If they didn't need to be led, there would be no room for a leader.
INTERVIEWER: So if I'm not a leader yet, why do I need to do this now? How will viewing them as my mission field further my career? I guess if I'm being totally selfish, why do I need to buy into this, take this opportunity?
-If you're a leader, the folks you work with are your theater. If you're a leader, the folks around you, that's kind of your theater. This is like your stage. this is your chance to show what you're on the planet-- you'll be able to show like, this is my opportunity to break out of that clutter of commerce, to break out that clutter of everyone's equal and everyone's trying to get a promotion, and to show why you deserve that promotion.
But if view it any other way, you're going to start complaining about them. And guess who you can't change?
-Them. All right. And according to Dale Carnegie, he says, "nothing can bring you peace but yourself." You can't wait for other people to change to get peace of mind. You have to decide right now. Now is my time for peace of mind.
-Now I've got another notable quotable here from Dale Carnegie. And by the way, if this is something that you guys really want to dive into even more, we've got more trainings on interacting with coworkers. But also this book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" that Dale wrote is
Learn to grow your business on Thrive15.com
-When I was struggling with bitterness, the book that helped me go from bitterness to betterness was this book here called, "How to Stop Worrying and How to Start Living" by Dale Carnegie. That was the book.
-Both of those, OK.
-That was the book that helped me get-- honestly, I was so mad at that person.
-This is the book that helped me. I was stuck. I was so mad.
-This is a notable quotable here from that book-- the book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living." Dale says-- he's in the discussion here. He's kind of talking to you. We'll jump in the middle. But he says, that's what a great educator does. But the fool does the exact opposite. If he finds that life has handed him a lemon, he gives up and says, I'm beaten. It's fate. I haven't got a chance. Then he proceeds to rail against the world and indulge in an orgy of self pity.
But when the wise man is handed a lemon, he says, what lesson can I learn from this misfortune? How can I improve my situation? How can I turn this lemon into lemonade? Now, you're saying that's the mindset you have to have when you're dealing with this? You have to view them as your mission field?
-This quote right here blows my mind. If I was watching right now, I'd hit pause and just look at it, and just kind of-- and then my mind would start to rotisserie, marinate, start to just--
-Let's have a mental marination moment.
-Because I want to get into it here.
-Let's have a mental marination moment.
-I want to get into this. Think about it. Just marinate on this. Here we go. He says if he finds that life has handed him a lemon, he gives up and says, I'm beaten. How often have we done that, people?
-How often have you done it? How often have I done it? Where we have a bad situation. We're like, well, that's just how it is.
-Let me tell you something, guys. If you're a schoolteacher right now, and you've got some kids that are tough-- I remember I volunteered to teach at an inner city school where I had some tough kids. Well, guess what? I got so many thank you cards from kids six, seven years later who said, you changed my life, Mr. Clark. Well, if I had gone into a school where everyone has it all together, I wouldn't have gotten that card. I wouldn't have received that card.
And you know who I help by helping them? Myself. I felt great about it. But I can't-- I feel bad when I think about all the times that I was given a situation and I thought, well, because this team I'm asked to lead, or this group that I'm working with is a bunch of idiots. And now I just-- blah.
-And so it's a check yourself deal. And every time we run into that situation-- and you don't want to just go out in a situation where you can't possibly ever win and just keep coming back. That doesn't make any sense.
-But what I'm saying is, then the natural thing is we start to that word-- just self pity. That vile, where you start to say-- he says here, an orgy of self pity. You start to just rail against the world and go, these people! I'm tired of it! I'm tired of being tired! I'm so--
-Yeah. You start to go off, and just on tangents. But then he says, the other person, the wise person, looks at this misfortune and says, how can I improve this situation?
-What can I learn from it? I mean, Walt Disney, when he lost everything-- famous story. It's true. Walt Disney lost it all multiple times.
-And when he lost it, he started to go, what can I do to make a better result? And you guys probably know this, but he changed from making Mortimer-- Mortimer was the first mouse-- to Mickey Mouse. Now, Mortimer was an angular shape. He was kind of a-- he was a certain kind of mouse, and just his personality was different. And Mickey Mouse became this funny, lighthearted, witty character. So he went from this harder character to kind of a softer, friendly, more relatable character. He went from drawing all the cartoons to building a team of people and focusing on what he did well, which is write these movies, and to lead teams. And he went from drawing to doing the voice overs. But remember, he lost it twice!
So don't feel bad if you're losing. Just understand, if you're going to-- if you're going through this situation, are you getting bitter, or are you getting better?
-OK. And then, we've touched on it a little bit here, but I think that this is going to be a huge lesson for a lot of people here. So what are the resources of choice here? If we're looking at the resources of choice, what are you saying we need to tap into these resources? What do we do if we've identified this is a problem?
-Right now, is I'd write down all the things in your life that are terrible that are going on. So let me just start with me.
-I'll give you an example. One, I always have a lawsuit going on. I don't remember the last time I didn't have one.
-I always do. If you own a business, you're always going to have a lawsuit going on.
-So that frustrates me. It pisses me off. So I'll put that down. OK, cool. What else? Certain people in the family. You go, come on, man! Come on, man! You just go, come on, man.
-What is your deal? Just-- I don't want to get specific. You know what I'm talking about, though. You have someone in your family who, for whatever reason, just can't get their crap together.
-So you put that down.
-You put down traffic.
-What's up with that? You know?
-What do you do with these things?
-The person at the DMV.
-You just-- even at the airport, everyone-- for some reason, everyone goes to the airport late and acts like it's a unique situation that they're in a hurry, which gives them an excuse to be a complete idiot. To be a jerk.
So yesterday, I'm at the airport-- and I told you this. It happened. We were at the airport, and there was all these people getting there late, trying to catch that 5 o'clock, 6 o'clock flight.
-You're always a couple hours early.
-Yeah. And we're there way early. And this lady's like, excuse me? This man literally was going-- [HUFFING]. And you were grabbing bags. And I'm like, are you OK? And he's like, you need to move those bags. I'm in a hurry. Well-- I was like, OK. Absolutely. You can walk around them if you want. I moved them out of the way, and he's like-- well like, he was so upset!
-Yeah, and he's justified, becuase he--
-He justifies it, because he's upset.
-So I decided at the trip, I'm going to go out of my way to be nice to anyone who's mean.
-And so we were sitting at that little bar over there.
-And this lady, she was kind of rude to me at first. I sat down, and she's like, excuse me? And I was like-- I guess she thinks that every seat there is hers. And I guess I'd violated her personal space. I guess it was like two inches too close. And I wasn't-- but anyway, so I sit down, and I say, I am so sorry. I said, what's your name? And she said, such and such. And I said, where are you from? She said, I'm from Mexico. And I said, so what are you in town for? Uh, well my husband and I, you know, I'm visiting some family.
And I said, so what do you do? Well, we're thinking about starting a business. And I'm like, oh, what kind of business? And I just have a nice smile. I'm trying to be kind to her. And then about the third or fourth question, she's like, well, what do you do? Her tone had changed.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
-And I said, well, actually I travel around the country teaching people how to start and grow businesses. I was entrepreneur of the year for the Small Business Administration 2007. And she says, could you tell me about that?
CALEB TAYLOR: And then she's in-- yeah.
-And all of a sudden--
-You can connect her with that resource.
-I was able to help her.
-I gave her 10 steps to get going. And it was an enriching thing. And then when I finished helping her, she goes thank you. Sir, I'm sorry. I've just been a little stressed. And I thought, there it is.
-So how much better did I feel about my day because I chose to take the high road there.
-So let me ask you this. Do you suggest that somebody who has identified this as an area for improvement to read these books by Dale Carnegie?
-I would recommend that you prayerfully-- and if you don't pray, I would recommend you thoughtfully, and if you don't think, I'd recommend that you marinate. But either way, you need to get this book-- "How to Stop Worrying and How to Start Living." And it needs to be sort of, every time that you go into a tough situation, that book explains to you how the world's greatest leaders dealt with adversity.
CALEB TAYLOR: It's huge.
-And you have to find your move.
CALEB TAYLOR: I love it.
-Because for me, every time something gets bad, what I do is I think about, well, it could be worse.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
-My dad's had cancer. I've lost family members to death. It could be worse. This is better. I'm thankful. That's my move.
CALEB TAYLOR: That's huge.
-But he gives you all different moves on how to deal with stress.
-And we've given you three, as well. The three principles we touched on is one, be thankful for the easy differentiator. You should literally be thankful that these other people act the way they do. This should never make you upset. Two, don't let them contaminate you. We talked about the impact of that and how to avoid that. Don't let them contaminate you.
-Third is view them as your mission field. That mindset is going to change how you view everything, and this book is a huge resource. Do you have any closing thoughts here? Any final action items? Or maybe you're talking to a Thriver out here that feels what you're saying is kind of hitting close to home but doesn't quite want to let go of anger? Or they've been contaminated?
-I talked to a guy named Brad, on yesterday. He was a Thriver.
-And Brad was explaining to me that he's in a toxic work environment, where everyone's negative. And I remember just-- it was a brief little conversation. But I had said, hey. Be thankful for that. And he's like, well, why? And I was like, well, because you're going to stand out.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
-So don't get bitter. Get better. Show people what it's like. Lead by example. Show them the high road. Don't let them wear off on you. And you'll stand out. I promise you, a promotion is right around the corner. And I would just encourage you guys to do the same thing I told Brad. Because it's just a decision.
Because think about it. As you get promoted, I'm going to-- I'll leave you with this final thought. If you get promoted-- now, in the dictionary, it doesn't work out this way. So work with me on this. But the word "promotion," in my mind, means more problems. That's what it means.
Now, Colin Powell, who used to be basically one of the highest ranked military officials and members of the United States Military, he worked under the President Bush administration, he says that leadership is solving problems. And I just look at it as promotion is problems.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
-So every time someone asks me to invest in a company or to help lead a company or, hey, could you help consult with us? Or we'd like to bring you in to facilitate our group discussion. I know that a promotion is asking for more problems.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
-So right now, think about it. It requires a big person to lead a big company. And big people don't focus on small things. So right now, just ask yourself. What kind of person do you want to become? Not what kind of person are you, or what kind of person were you, but what kind of person do you want to become?
And just understand, if you want to get promoted, there's more problems. And if you can't handle the problems, stay in a small job. Small problems, small issues, spending your whole day worrying about small things, getting petty about small politics. If you want to be a big person with the big check, sign up for the big problems and deal with it.
CALEB TAYLOR: I love it. I love it. And I feel like I-- you've promoted me here and there. I feel like I've got a good amount of problems. But hanging out with you is not one of them. I love hanging out with you.
Send us your email address, and our team of elite minds will get right on it.