The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year ago

Et Tu, Brute?: How Leaders Can Overcome Deceit & Sabotage


On a beautiful day in mid-March, you happily stroll into your workplace ready to tackle the most pressing issues facing your organization. You turn to your most faithful advisor and signal it’s time to get to business. All of a sudden, that same advisor, Brutus, starts stabbing you. And everyone else in the senate does, too. This easily makes your top-ten worst Mondays. Why is it that leaders never see betrayal before it happens? 

OK, so maybe it’s not as bad as Caesar, but as a leader in your organization, you need to be prepared to handle betrayal, theft and deceit — which means you need to listen to Today’s guest, Brandon Wilson, President and CEO of Wilbron Inc, and author of Sabotage - Leadership that Overcomes Betrayal, Theft and Deceit

Brandon joins me to share his expertise and be the oracle you need to turn the tide on the Ides of March and avoid ever falling victim to professional sabotage. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

- The importance of thinking in terms of legacy 

- Why leaders often fail to spot sabotage despite how common it is 

- The 4 horsemen of sabotage (and how to spot and stop them) 

Now that you know how to spot sabotage before it happens, are you ready to learn how to employ buyer-first principles or the role data should play in your organization? 

Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the BB revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about leadership, the topic that is constantly evolving, even more so with the way the business world has been changing the past two years, with the pandemic and all of the changes to remote versus in person versus cultural impacts. To help us we have with US Brandon Wilson, chairman, President and CEO of Will Brown Incorporated, author of sabotage, leadership that overcomes betrayal, theft and deceit, and frequent contributor to CNNBT and today showed a name a few. Brandon, thank you for taking time and welcome to the show. Thanks for having me, Chad. Isn't all right here, so we always like to ask kind of an off the wall question just to get the audience to know you a little bit better. And I'm always curious to know. You know, we spend so much time working and building these work personas. I'm curious to know something you're passionate about that those that only know you through work, or maybe only know you through your book, may be surprised to learn about getting personal early. We like to go deep just right out of the gate. You know, that's the that's the first way to build a relationship is to go ahead and go deep early so you can. But the thing that I think that people who only know me through business might be surprised and know about me is as I am a lover of music. I am passionate about music all coins. I mean from the standards with Tony Bennett to jazz of Gregor reporter to classic R and be with the SOS band and anything Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. I just love music so much so that, to double down on that, let's get personal. One of the things I most enjoy it's after work or whenever I break away from familial obligations and I'm just driving just to go shopping or goes through something passionate, like a hobby or whatever, go play golf or what have you. On my way to that, to that destination, I often find a cool instrumental on the radio and I start rapping nice. I'm very cool, very very cool, and it's something you've done like all your life for something you can into later. Is Music. I'm just there all the time all if I used to be that guy as a kid, like in the cipher first, like you see on TV, just freestyling away. I've lost some of the skills as I as I've gotten older, but but it is a it's a passion of mine and and what's interesting about it is not just rapping for wrappings sake. It has become for me a communications exercise. It provides me with an opportunity to within a measure, to formulate what the next thoughts need to be in the organized them and in a way that fits the cadence. And it's become a really it becomes a really fun game for me that really helps me to become a more commuter, more effective communicator as a leader. I love it. I love it and it's a great segue. I mean as a recognized communication and executive consultant, there's no doubt a story of how your passion for all things leadership developed. So I was kind of hoping you'd share that with the audience. Well, let me first Ay to delftell off that last aut is this. So if you want to become a better communicator, listeners, start freestyling. That's...

...the key takeaway that everybody for the podcast is now going to do. Are Rapping? Yeah, you know, but but it was a great sincerity. You know I care about I care about your audience, and so I want to spend this time giving your audience substantive things that I've gathered along the way to becoming a more effective leader and business owner and communicate, cater and executive consultant. And to answer your question, you know, my journey began with great mentors. I grew up with a lot of ambitions, a lot of desires, but never had access to the kind of resources I knew that I know exist today, and that changed when I went to college. I had a chance to work in student affairs and work very closely as a student, as a student and we're very closely with the president, the late William Walker, at Auburn University, Dr William Walker, and learned a lot about some of the challenges that CEO at that level. Face, I will graduate and then I will work for a very powerful civil rights organization. Their founder was still there. He founded the organization then, some thirty ARD years ago, so I had a chance to really sort of dive deeply and richly into his experiences and starting that organization. We traveled a lot with one another and I remember one day told me said ready, you got everything it takes to be an incredible business leader and you should start your your own business, and I walked away, never feeling more flattered for being fired. I said, man, if you want to fire me, just tell me to leave ladder me out the door. But he was serious. He can't bring it up to me. And this, this this statement, changed my thinking about entrepreneurship and also changed my thinking about leadership. He said, let me tell you why I started this civil rights organization, and he told me the story of his passion for building something that will shape the world for the people he loved. And he said, bringing if you say you won't, don't want to be a businessman, you don't like entrepreneurship, at least do it because you the people you love deserve and engine for good. And I never forgot it. I immediately, I think the next day, went and registered in LLC called Wilbrin and and it was found as a higher education think tank. And the work that I was doing then was providing consultancy to college presidents all across the country. So when they called this civil rights attorney, he would send the college presidents will call them, they would send them my way and out. It provided me with a chance to gain even more mentors and that were an and to provide them with advice to their most pressing challenges. And made a company out of it. We scaled and we grew. We became a full size advertising and community cations agency as a result. But one of the things that experience taught me, or it gave me, was access to really influential and powerful leaders throughout my entire career. And one of the things that I realized is that when they're three types of leaders, I mean there are leaders who think about getting things done, and I've work with those. Their leaders who get things done for the sake of getting things done, like we I've been asked to do this and I said I would do it, I'm going to get it done. And then there are leaders who get things done because they know that it could change things, that it can change their environment, could change their situation, could change the world. And I noticed that the...

...higher and influence all the leaders I worked with, they thought about execution and leadership with a certain sense of urgency because they knew the consequences of failure. And so our convert my conversations with those leaders will oftentimes talk about legacy. They will often talk about why fail. You're in an option. And then, when talking about the barriers for those leaders to seceding this concept of leadership, sabotage kept coming up over and over again. People defying them, corporate abuse, people wanting to exact revenge on them, reputation assassination, credibility assassination, I mean the list goes on and on and on. Theft, even disingenuous promotions those people, even or not. I had to see your one time tell me if you want to get rid of an employee, the best way to do it is to give them a promotion and you know, just to give them enough for rope to hang themselves. And there's signs and there's signs that you can point to, and I've been put in the position. They help leaders at all levels point to the identify those signs and those barriers and those saboteurs before they strike them, so that they can continue to lead effectively and do transformative work well. And so, all right, let's talk about that at bit. So there's always signs. Some people are better at catching them than others. But when it comes to being an environment where there is that leadership, sabotage or make may give birth to that. What are some of those early warning signs that leaders should be paying attention to? There are many, but I want to correct something that you just said, that that many leaders, some leaders, are better at than seeing the signs that others. I will dare say to you few leaders are good and we're going to just bring the truth. We just bring the truth from now and all right, and that's why sabotage is able to persist, because it, you know, those who agents of sabotage, or Sabo Tours, if you want to call them that, are banking on the fact that that you don't know the signs, that you don't know what they're up to, and that's why I persist. I mean there's data that shows, at least in my experiences, one out of every three leaders that I speak with has faced leadership sabotage. One and every three, and even a few of that, probably one of every very have the skills needed to to overcome them, and some just sheer look. So I'm by instinct, but I wrote a book called sabotage, leadership that overcomes betrayal, theft and deceit, because I realized that there was a leadership gap. It was a discipline gap. That exists a lot of books. You can go to the bookstore right now, you can walk up and down the als and you can find all kind of powerful leadership books, powerful business books, powerful executive management books, and they talk about rising early, they talk about working hard, they talk about all of those things, but I think they there's not enough content, if any. There's very few, if any, that prepares that leader who rises early, has vision and wants to work hard to prepare for the spook behind the door waiting to trip them up as they come in. It's seven o'clock in the morning. Yeah, the signs that you can look for. My book calls them the for Horsemen of sabotage and in my research and even in my own experiences of being sabotage. All acts of sabotage, whether they be an act of betrayal and active fell toward active deceit, fall into one of four categories and I call each of those categories, you know, horsemen of sabotage, and the four horsemen of sabotage are things took that leaders can look to to see the early signs, and they are jealousy. Whenever you encounter somebody who has a penchant for the meaning the gains of others or diminishing the gains of others verbally,...

...and it may not be to you, then you know that you're dealing with someone who has a penchant for beard, for being jealous. And so whenever you see that Horseman Ride Into Your Life, there're things that you can do to fortify your pursuits and your leadership in your life from the ax that are acts of sabotage that are driven, motivated or fueled, if you will, by jealousy. The other horsemen is arrogance. We see these leaders, we see these by time all the time and you know, arrogance these no introduction. It introduces itself. But you know, arrogant, arrogant folks, arrogance as a horse is a horseman and it rise into our allies and it does certain things. It's different, it does different things than jealousy, arrogance, does other undertakes, other types of sabotage in our lives. The other one is lying, liars, the people who will have a high penchant for lying and lying, and all of these have levels. Lying has levels as well. There's there are people who lie for the sake of of distraction, to get attention off of them, to say hey, look over there, and then there's another level of lying, which is lying to harm others, where you literally throw other people under the bus. Yeah, when gay, a reckless disregard for the harm that you might do just so that you can satisfy yourselfish intent and then the last horseman is seduction. And whenever you see the seducers come in our lives, and I'm not talking romantic seduction, even people who are in it's all complete, most of its platonic. They have will manicured personifications, will manicured reputations and they are always dressed to the tea, to the dime, to the nine. beat very ambitiously about things, and we do that too as leaders. Every day. But what makes it jump into the level of seduction is that they utilize that appearance and that crafted those crafted environment that they wrap themselves around to encourage you to go along often unethical rides. They really don't care if the means justify the end and they find great pleasure not on the journey but getting you to join them in the journey. I mean, we can do this, we can get away with it, it's going to be fun. Fine, just jump on it. Fine, you break it down in that way. Even your gas, I'm sure, are started. Think about yeah, you know, there are people in my mist who exhibit some of those behaviors. And being able to think about where you are and think about your leadership is not a matter in that way. Is Not a matter of paranoia, is a matter of wisdom, because the more potent you become as a leader, the more consequential your leadership that comes. What I mean by that is you are literally the driving force to provide better education to underserved communities, to feed kids who might be dealing with food and securities, to take a corporation two places that's never been in order to keep the industry relevant for technological changes. I mean and these are real things, and so by letting any of those horsemen stop you, you are literally letting saboteurs rob those children, Rob Those customers, rob those whoever you're out to impact from the benefits of your effective leadership. I love it. I love it, and that actually leads into an into a great segue.

You're one of the few people that, when we've prepped some of the material that I got in advanced talked about legacy, talked about shaping a legacy and I think oftentime times, especially in corporate America Day, everybody's looking at the next quarter, the next quarter, the next quarter. They're not thinking about the true impact of that word of the things they're doing now and what that may mean for the future. Some mighty even argue we're seeing that with climate change, but that's a different podcast. So when we when we talk about shaping that legacy, what does that mean in terms of changing the way a leader approaches leadership into or the behaviors or actions that they should be putting into play? A phenomenal question, because at the foundation of leadership is legacy. And we don't, I don't, I don't think we start thinking about legacy soon enough. I just don't. There was a leader that helped me really put this into words. Or her name is Carolyn Johnson. She shared it with one of my mentors he shared with me. Is it that, if we had to define what legacy is, it's is setting in motion a series of activities that causes erreversible impact. Thought about it that way and often when you're thinking about the next quarter, the next quarter, the next quarter, the next sale, the next sale, the next sale, you're literally placing the energy that powers your leadership into the power of a transaction. But there's so much more you're leaving on the table. There's so much more for people who who say Oh, which is all of us who are salespeople, I think that thinking about the things you're selling as a legacy defining exercise allows you to to do more than just transact money for a widget, but you literally are able to tie that thing you're selling to the way that it will change lives and communities, and that's a whole other value proposition and a whole different discourse to have with the prospects, and we don't have that conversation enough. Even if you are a middle manager or early an entry level employee. If you can get your leaders, even if you're at that level, to articulate to you why the things that they're asking you to do are so incredibly important, then what you do is you're forcing them to align all of their thinking around legacy or irreversible impact activities, and I think I don't think we do that enough. And as sort of a practical example, there is a leader I'll give you too. There's a leader by the name of Byed Rushton. You may or may not have heard of that. Leader, by a Rushington and incredible, probably one of the world's most potent community organizers. This leader saw a need to assemble a massive amount of people in the mall in DC and he went and said, hey, we going to have the largest protests in the s in the mall in Washington DC and we're going to symble all of those people to make sure that our voices are heard with regard to taking on Jim Crow Laws and promoting integration. He said this to another leader, who is a Philip Randolph. A Philip Randolph was an executive leader, at executive letter level, leader and established leader. He said to buy ARD or each he spoke about what buy our Rushton was after in a different way. He said no, we're not going to us. We're not just merely...

...getting millions of people to go to them all and Washington. We are using the mall in Washington as the world's biggest stage to make sure that we have the loudest and megaphone to speak to congressional leaders about the need to make a difference in the world by making a miracle, a model for integration the world over. Those are very two different things. So if you apply that in a practical sense, then you start to understand that as a prospect, I'm listening to a Philip Randolph thinking how can I join you? I need to do and you show up here that I have a dream speech. But there are those are two different leaders after the same thing. One is really focused on legacy and they speak about it in different ways. Another example is Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs, it was literally just building a computer, but to him he was doing so much more, and there's a great story as well documented John scully from Pepsico, who's a transactional leader. I mean you see sale soda, you get money, you seel so many and I, like PP se, I call you, but you sell, so do you get one? Steve Jobs thought it was something nobler, so much something much more noble to pursue and what he was selling. So they were at odds, which led to John scully essentially sabotaging Steve Jobs. If Steve Jobs didn't have the critical skills that we're talking about now for overcoming sabotage or for protecting his leadership pursuits and his life from sabotage, we may never see the iphone, we may never have the met book pro that we have today and the vision he saw. He the line these activities with providing each of us, to ordinary person, with the tools necessary to change the way that we engage with the world and how the world engages with us. I love it. I love as a salesperson, if you go into a meeting and say that this device is going to fundamentally change the way you engage with the world, you got a sale. First I want one which a lot of people said right, I love said that's all right. So let's Change Direction here a little bit. We ask all of our guests two standard questions towards the end of each ennery. The first is simply, as a chairman, president, CEO and author. That makes you a prospect for a lot of people out there. A lot of people want to get time on your calendar and when you don't have a trusted referral and somebody that you know says, Hey, you should really talk to this person, I think they can add value. When you don't have that what works for you, when somebody's trying to capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar. I get a lot of paintings from folks and you know what, since those who are most effective, apart from from the rest, are those who call me and they express care and concern for me. They've understood our business, they understand a little bit about me and they don't. It's not about the phone call, is not about the product more so than it is about learning more about about me and my journey, what interests and drives me. And I am like many executive, and I will go and record and say many executives are open to entertaining and investing time into, into the intellectually curious, and that's why we...

...have all these administrative assistants because if you, if you get to us, we're going to be quite generous with their time. Right. So curiosity, a care and a concern for for how we are doing, what we are achieving and what we desire to do beyond the present. I love it. That's that is great. So last question. We call it our acceleration insight. If you could give one piece of advice, just one, to sales, marketing and professional services people, one piece of advice that, if they listened, you believe would help them hit their targets or exceed them. What would that one piece of advice be and why? Oh, top of my head. Easy, use your time not to sale products, but in stay at use your time to purchase relationships. Ha Ha. That's going to be one of the quotes they're going to pull out, brother, I'm telling you right now, I know I'm marketing teams going to pull that out. that. That is very well said, very very well said. All right, brand if you if somebody wants to find the book, where's the best place for us to send him to find that sabotage book? Brandon Wilson Dot Co again, that's Brandon Wilson Dot CEO, and you can go there, you can get the book and hope it's a blessing to each and every one of you as you strive to become more effective leaders. Also, at Brandon Wilson Dot Com, you can reserve fifteen minutes on my schedule and tap into other leadership insights. If there are some challenges or some questions or some things going on around you that you just don't know how to navigate through, go to Brandon Wilson dotcom get time on my schedule and I am one of those leaders. Again, was generous about those who want to a lot more, and so go to Brandon Wilson Dot code about a book and gain access to me. I love it brand. I can't thank you enough for taking time. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. It's been my pleasure, all my pleasure. All right, everybody that does it for this episode, you know the drill. Check it out of BB REV exactcom, share with friends, family, Co workers, leave us a review if you like what you're here and until next time, we have value selling associates which we all nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the showing itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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