The ONE Thing You Lose When You Step Into The C-Suite

by Flip Flippen on Oct 24, 2023


00:12 The One Thing You Lose
00:48 What Everyone Wants To Tell You 00:58 The Problem
01:06 A Quick Story About Feedback 02:38 Why Finding Out Where You’re Really Stuck Matters
03:03 How to Find Out The Truth
03:34 An Exclusive Invitation for Leaders

When you make it into a leadership role, you gain everything imaginable. But the one thing you lose is the TRUTH.

What would you think if you overheard one employee confiding in another, “If I tell the CEO what our customers are saying, my career will be shot”? Or, “If I tell the vice president the real reason we aren’t hitting our numbers, I can kiss this job goodbye”?

Hi, I’m Flip Flippen, New York Times best-selling author of The Flip Side, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, trusted advisor to Fortune 100 executives across the world, and founder of the highly acclaimed Flippen Group.

In decades of working with top executives of some of the most effective teams in the world and the brightest up-and-coming organizations, I’ve found that this type of censorship is common. It occurs with the rank and file, right up through to the top.

As a leader, one of your biggest obstacles to success is losing touch with what’s actually happening in your organization.

So, let me ask you…Who do you have on your team or in your organization, that tells you the TRUTH about you, about your people, about your culture, and about your real problems? Who tells you the TRUTH you have to know, to be effective and get the right results?

If you don’t know the answer to those questions (and the vast majority of leaders don’t), then something must be done.

But there’s a better way. What if I told you, that to get access to the truth you have to have…in order to run your team, run your company…you must have two things? You have to get the right data, and you have to cultivate a truth-telling culture.

That’s why people do employment or engagement surveys, develop an open door policy, or go to great pains to communicate their commitment to transparency and all those kinds of things.

We’ve developed a process that allows you to get individual data on all your key people. For example, you could be the most approachable, engaging, and warm person in the world. But if the people around you are too deferring, have low self-confidence, are highly competent but they simply don’t speak up, then no matter how good you are, your team is incapable of bringing the truth to you. They may be unparalleled in their field, but their own constraints will keep you from having the key information you need to pivot your organization to avoid a disaster or propel your organization to new heights.

Then add this to the mix…what if you are too dominant? To be completely transparent, that was a problem in my company. I’m the leader, and I was too dominant. My ideas really were the best ideas…until I found out that they weren’t.

Having high dominance, high self-confidence, off the charts drive, being strong entrepreneurially…all of those strengths were masked and held back by my constraints. Being able to identify those constraints, and then develop a plan and a process to break through them, really changed the course of the companies I’ve founded, acquired, and run successfully.

So, if you’re after TRUTH, the first thing you have to do is unearth each of your constraints and key team members’ constraints, then develop personal and team plans to overcome them. And second, you have to follow a strategic process to create a culture where the sharing of information is dynamic.

How to build a great culture, recruit, and retain great people has always intrigued me.

That’s why I have always been interested in what made some people successful while others just plugged along at a lesser level. Why does Warren Buffet continue to outperform others? Why does Derek Jeter continue performing at the highest level while others fade away? Why does Terry Bradshaw continue to be an anchor in broadcasting long after others have faded? Why are these people accessing their full potential while others don’t? Why, why, why? I was full of questions, and it seemed the only way to get the answers was to go to as many highly successful people as I could, study them, and find out what differences existed between them and their lower-performing peers.

So I did.

We studied everybody we could get access to—and that was a pretty impressive group of people. We studied the top performers on Wall Street, and we studied many of the top performers in industry. We studied many of the world’s top athletes from all kinds of sports, and we studied kids who were exceptional in test scores and performance. We studied television personalities, and we studied moms and dads who were doing an outstanding job raising their kids. We studied our nation’s top educators, and we studied many of the titans of the manufacturing world. We studied top people in retailing, and we studied top people in the military. We studied everyone we could get information on, and we are still studying people, because we want to continue to refine our understanding of the differences between those who perform at the top and those who don’t.

At the heart of the model we developed – Overcoming Personal Constraints (OPC) – is the powerful notion that our strengths do not single-handedly define our success. No matter how formidable our talents, we are held back by behaviors that set the limits of our performance or define the reasons for our failure. In other words, our personal constraints determine our ultimate level of success. If you can identify those constraints and make a plan to overcome them, then you’ll see a dramatic surge in success, productivity, and happiness in all aspects of your life.

In short, you’ll come to know the person you were born to be.

Personal Constraint Theory™ challenges two prevailing approaches to self-improvement that frequently did not work for my clients: Personality Theory and Strength Theory. Personality Theory asserts that our personalities are essentially fixed in ways that define how we act. A broad field that encompasses several sometimes-conflicting views of “the self,” Personality Theory offers little help identifying issues or strategies for improvement. I agree with the underlying idea that our innate characteristics or traits often define who we are. However, Personality Theory fails to acknowledge our tremendous capacity for making positive change in our lives, and thus offers limited use as a tool for growth. Dozens of profiles can describe your personality. Tests such as DiSC, Myers-Briggs, and Taylor-Johnson are interesting to take and helpful in describing your personality, but they are not particularly useful in bringing about behavioral change or directing personal growth.

Another popular school of thought, known as Strength Theory, suggests that if we pay attention to the directions in which we move naturally, this can reveal our strengths and show us where to focus our energies. Strength Theory goes something like this: our hardwired personalities resist change, so we should build on our natural abilities instead of concentrating on areas in which we underperform. In other words, to quote the phrase by which this theory has been popularized, we should “play to our strengths.” I certainly agree with the basic concept of Strength Theory—why work in an office when you are a gifted musician or stay in a job you hate just because it pays a decent wage? Find your gifts, develop them, and use them for the highest and greatest good.

Strength Theory contributes to success. But it’s not enough. If you know your strengths but are trying to get to the next level, playing harder to those strengths won’t cause a significant jump in performance. Most people I work with don’t need pep talks about being better at what they’re already great at or loving themselves as they are. Telling a highly creative person with no self-control to simply celebrate and expand his creativity, for example, would be counterproductive. His or her gifts can never be fully expressed without the focus and discipline that come with self-control.

Neither Personality Theory nor Strength Theory has been greatly useful for the high performers we work with. The idea that my personality is impervious to change doesn’t help me much when I am trying to make my life better. And being told to focus on my strengths doesn’t address the behaviors I need to correct in order to move forward.

In contrast, Overcoming Personal Constraints™ is built on the notion that change is more than possible; it is imperative. To live fully, we can and must learn how to minimize our behavioral weaknesses while we maximize our strengths. Granted, many obstacles are difficult to overcome, and a single-minded focus on our limitations could be frustrating and even depressing. But to ignore them is even worse.

How do personal constraints determine success? Simple. They set the limits of where you can ultimately go, no matter how gifted or talented you are. Your personal constraints – your conscious and unconscious limiting behaviors – hold you back and determine your ultimate level of success.

Most of us know at least one person in life who possesses great talents, abilities, gifts, or opportunities, yet seems to have done so little with it all. Perhaps you might be looking at your own life so far and wondering, “Have I really been living to the fullest of my abilities?” If you’re like most people, the answer is, “Probably not.”

So, we approach team improvement in a way that is completely unique. Where other experts just describe or attempt to identify bottlenecks and conflicts, we leverage scientifically based, powerful methods to transform the underachievers into high achievers, and AMPLIFY the positive impact they have on your business.

We work with teams at all levels to recognize and achieve their potential. We are experts in getting teams to work together effectively. Instead of just identifying problems, we show you how to remove the barriers and obstacles that prevent you from achieving your highest potential and start doing those things that will lead directly to bottom-line results for your organization.

Our assessment and research tools, while simple to administer, are far more complex and precise than others in the industry, and provide insights that are more constructive and specific to each individual and team than anything you’ve ever seen. The product of our testing is not only profound with insights, but powerfully rooted in real potential. Simply following the step-by-step plan will lead individuals and teams to a level of performance they never realized before.

Our sophisticated psychometric assessment instrument is so finely tuned and precise that it only requires about 15 minutes of your time to gather the necessary data. We then perform a complex analysis to provide the critical insights that shed light on what you do each day that works against you – and pinpoint exactly what you need to do to maximize your impact and get more done.

So, let me ask you: do you want to make your achievement and success INEVITABLE?

Then, you need to know about The Flippen Group’s Leadership Multiplier – a proven process that …

Will increase you and your teams’ peak performance level…

Creates an internal motivation that inspires your people to be more, do more, and achieve more…

Builds stronger, higher-performing teams for dramatically improved bottom-line results.

In fact, I’d like you to take Leadership Multiplier for a “test drive.”

It’s my way of introducing you to the program, investing in your personal improvement and helping your team.

It works like this: If you qualify, we will put you through the complete process without cost so that you can evaluate its effectiveness for yourself. You risk nothing more than an hour or so of your time.

In the end, if you like what you see, we can bring Leadership Multiplier to your entire team. If not, that’s okay too. You be the judge.

This unique process will…

  • Identify your personal strengths – and reveal how to develop them further for their own benefit and the benefit of your organization…
  • Uncover the behavioral constraints and counterproductive beliefs that are holding you and your team back from achieving peak performance – and show how to eliminate those constraints…
  • Provide a customized and measurable step-by-step action plan that will quickly drive you to a level of performance that will surprise you.

When all is said and done, you’ll be a stronger and more effective leader. Your teams will perform at higher, more productive levels than ever before. And your company will make faster progress toward its goals.

Hard to believe? Perhaps. But I’m not asking you to believe anything just yet until you see the evidence for yourself. All I ask is that you refrain from disbelieving until you put the Leadership Multiplier Test Drive through the paces yourself.

Yes, it will take 60 minutes of your time, yet the rewards are enormous because this process is so powerful and effective.

If you want me to make a personal investment in improving you, click the link below for more information.

I’ll get the ball rolling right away.

After all, in these hyper-competitive times, your organization needs every advantage it can get. And when you and your team are firing on all cylinders and working better together than ever before, you can’t help but get ahead.

And, as a bonus, I think you’ll be more fulfilled, enjoy your work more, and will have a renewed passion for your organization’s mission.

To learn more about how to take the Leadership Multiplier Test Drive, click HERE.