This is a reverse-guesting episode where I was interviewed about my story in starting up SEO Hacker as the leading SEO Services company in the Philippines.
What are the skillsets that a great leader should have?
Being decisive. Leaders have to be decisive.
If you’re a carpenter, your job is not to hammer nails onto the wood or to paint the fence. Your job is to make decisions.
What am I going to do today? How am I going to do it? Should I put this piece over that wall?
The world may see you as a person who works with stone, wood, and pain. But what you’re really being paid for is to make decisions.
The question now is “Are the decisions you make closer to decimal point or the commas?”
Some decisions closer to the decimal point are being done by our administrative people. Some decisions closer to the decimal point are being done by the grassroots people.
Picture this typical scene of an animal trying to cross a road. The presence of headlights makes them stop and become roadkill.
That happens because the animal was indecisive.
As the leader, it’s that dangerous as well when you’re indecisive. You paralyze your whole organization. When that happens, people will start to see that you cannot make decisions.
It’s fine if you make the wrong decision because there are no mistakes. Only lessons. Just don’t repeat the lessons until it becomes a fatal mistake.
Singular lessons, however, are important. Failing forward is important but never be an indecisive leader.
Another trait that leaders always need to have is humility. Humility to learn and to listen to other people.
I know leaders with big egos that when you tell them off, they just bite those people’s heads off.
You cannot improve if you’re like that.
If you bite people’s heads off in meetings, then they will not tell you the truth. They will only tell you what you want to hear. Not what you need to hear.
I am an extremely high D in the DISC spectrum and my top strength Self Assurance. In meetings, I can be a big personality in meetings. This doesn’t mean I’m shutting down their ideas. In fact, I want my people to debate with me so that ideas will flow out.
The problem is that some of my people in those meetings will share their opinions outside of that meeting. And then they will tell them to other people who will then tell it to me.
I don’t understand why that wasn’t brought up during the meeting because I want healthy conflict in the team.
Patrick Lencioni says conflict is nothing but the pursuit of truth. The search for the best possible answer.
I am in this business to search for the best possible answer. We are doing the meetings to make the best possible answers to the surface. If you’re not going to have healthy conflict with me, then nothing’s going to happen. We cannot get to the truth.
It goes both ways. You have to be humble enough to listen to people and discuss it with them as well.
Now, we are at the stage where we delegate a lot of things to other people. I really don’t know everything that’s happening to the company. Some people know more than I do. If you’re not humble enough to listen to them, then you will lose touch with your operations.
What are you doing to encourage this free flow of ideas? To encourage people to speak up?
You must realize that how you say things matter.
One example is in a meeting that we had yesterday.
There was something that was suggested that will change one of our keyways of ranking. One of our key strategies would be to change temporarily.
When I heard that, I mentioned to them the implications in my mind. As long as you know this, and you will still push through with that knowledge, then do what you think is best. At least I gave you my opinion.
That was me telling them that I don’t know everything. That they might have found something that I can’t visualize, and that’s fine.
At least I know that you know what I think about it. I can only commit to your decision if I know that you heard my opinions regarding it.