Creating The Incredible Teams of Tomorrow By Developing Exceptional Leaders Today With Michael Sherlock


In order to create incredible teams of tomorrow, you need to develop exceptional leaders today. Michael Sherlock, a global sales leadership expert and the Founder of Shock Your Potential, talks with Tony Martignetti about creating the leaders that will shape the teams for your business. Michael strongly believes that in order to become an exceptional leader, one should be able to reflect and evaluate himself before evaluating his team. She also points out that leaders should have the trust and confidence to let their team members solve their own problems, which also helps them grow and unlock their ultimate potential.


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Creating The Incredible Teams of Tomorrow By Developing Exceptional Leaders Today With Michael Sherlock

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Michael Sherlock. Don’t be fooled by the name, hair color, or crazy shoes. She is serious about business. She is dedicated to creating positive, productive, profitable workplaces, and helping individuals and businesses unlock their ultimate potential. We’re kindred spirits. Before launching her global training company, Shock Your Potential, Michael was the Vice President of US sales for two multinational medical device companies responsible for net revenues exceeding $75 million as many as 500 employees at a time.

She has created and executed business transformation initiatives across hundreds of businesses, built leadership development programs for numerous C-level executives, and helped her clients generate significant additional annual revenue. In July 2020, she released the Shock Your Potential app, an on-demand training tool for leadership and sales professionals. May I also add, she has a podcast, Shock Your Potential, which is fantastic. It’s something you got to check out. She has three grown kids and two grandkids. She lives in Philly and trying to migrate down South to someplace warm.


I want to welcome you to the show, Michael.

Thank you, Tony. What a pleasure to be able to be here with you.

I'm looking forward to digging into your story and getting to know the person who is underneath this warm invitation to the fire. You will have this conversation and see. What's brought you to this place where you're making such a huge impact in the world?

I know that your passion like mine, is about developing people, the leader within, and helping people, not only be better leaders of others but be better leaders of themselves. I have two stories to share with you. As I was thinking about this, I was going back in time. I was thinking about my very first leadership experience. I was 21, maybe 22, I worked in a restaurant. Sometimes I waited tables. Sometimes I worked in the bar. Every once in a while, they'd pull me into what they called the greeting station or the hostess station. I remember I went in one day, the head greeter was out sick and they said, “We need to have you do this.”

I was going to be in a great section that day because if you're in the better section, you make more money. I said, “I don't want to give up my section.” We talked about it. They gave me more money per hour for those shifts. We worked it all out. During that evening, I was on fire. It was a Friday night, so it was a stressful night. We were seating tables left and right. I was making sure my team was helping out the servers and the bartenders. It was amazing. Wait time was shorter than it's ever been. Everybody felt no stress. The next day I came in, they're like, “We need you to do that again.”

For a couple of weeks, they had me as a lead greeter. People were tipping me out and everything. It was fun. I was responsible on those nights for 5 or 6 hostesses to take people. I'd be like, “Tony, take these people to table number 41. Make sure to get them water. Sandy, take these people over to table three and make sure that we pick up their drinks on the way.” I just was so good at it. I was great. After a couple of weeks, I went in expecting the same thing. The general manager said, “We're putting you back on the floor.” I go, “What? Why? This has been going great.” They go, “We can't lie. You have increased our proficiency. Turnovers are great. We've got happy customers. Our ticket sales have gone up because you're good at making sure everybody helps sell the desserts but your team won't work with you anymore.” I went, “I'm the nicest person ever. What do you mean?”

Having people in your corner who will be completely honest with you and give you clear feedback are invaluable to keeping you going.

They said, “Basically, they all came and said that you don't see them as individuals. You just told them what to do. They didn't feel like they were a part of a team.” I was so shocked, Tony, because I was like, “What?” I had the business in my mind. I knew that the more we turned over tables, I knew the happier customers were in the servers were, the more money we'd make. We were efficient. I was doing all the right things but I wasn't paying close enough attention to the people that I needed to rely on to get those results. I was like, “Can you give me a chance? Let me go talk to them.” I went and I said, “Be honest with me.”

I did not know that I was hurting anybody's feelings. I was like, “I just want to be efficient. Can you give me another chance? If so, can you help me to understand where I've gone wrong?” Thankfully, they did. They're like, “It'd be nice if you'd say, ‘Please Tony, would you take them? Sandy, do you think table three is a good choice?’” I went, “Okay.” I changed every way that I approached leadership. I'm thankful for that experience because it happened early enough in my career to make a long-term impact on me. I'm to this day still mortified about it. At the same time, it always makes me think about the fact that you may be doing all the right things for your job and business. You may be delivering on results. You may be doing all the things that should be done. If you're doing that without slowing down and looking in the eyes of the people you lead or that you work alongside to get there, it's going to come back to bite you.

First of all, just that it happened so early on in your career. It highlights this thing about the blindsides that you don't see the things through their eyes. Knowing that there's another way to lead is important and that it all happens through connection.

It is something that stuck with me so far through my career. Sometimes, I would go to the opposite extreme like try and get too much buy-in or get that camaraderie. There were times in my career where I had to go back in the other direction. By that time, I was leading 500 people and I had 32 managers that reported to me. I had never managed at that level before. I had managed a lot of people but I never managed that many people. I was a great problem solver. They were always coming to me with problems. I got myself so stressed along the way that I just solved problems. I’m like, “Solve them.”

They come to me with a problem. I just solve them, which whenever I say this and speak in front of a group, I always say, “How many of you in this room are great at solving problems?” Everybody raises their hand. How many of you have ever said, “It's easier for me to do something and take the time to teach someone else, trust someone else, and ask someone else.” Everybody was like, “That's me.” That led to my second major understanding of myself. When I was under pressure and I needed to get things done because I wanted to deliver those results that were expected of me. One year, it was almost $100 million in revenue that we had to deliver. There's a lot of pressure on your shoulders.

In solving them, I realized one day all I was doing was solving other people's problems. I was not making myself any better. I was not making them any better. I was creating with them a dependence on me. I was teaching them by my actions that I didn't trust them to make their own decisions. That was the second point in my career when I went, “I've gone completely back to that girl in the onion bar and grill in Spokane, Washington. I've done it again on a different level. Now I'm impacting people's careers.” That's what prompted me to write my first book is that story. In that story, that sense of finally coming to grips with what I was doing wrong, it was that moment where you're like, “What are you going to do about it, Sherlock?”

VCP 104 | Exceptional LeadersHow convenient your name is Sherlock because it just fits right in. I love this insight. It's a counterintuitive truth that we all are battling with where we have this element to slow down to speed up. In order for us to pause, see that what we're doing is not helping ourselves by solving the problems but we slow down and see a better way to allow other people in and to help them to help themselves and many other things, that's when the real potential gets unlocked. I think that's a beautiful way of looking at it. That's what you modeled in your story. It's really cool.

Part of the devastation to drive this home was my husband and I went on a trip to Ireland. It was my first time in Ireland. Before we left, he said, “Promise me you are going to unplug.” We have ground rules when we travel because both of us have that kind of job. We have this agreement that every morning, even when we're on vacation, we get up, we have one hour where we check emails, and we answer phone calls, whatever. People know that. They know you've got one hour of opportunity. After that, everything else is shut down. On that trip, I didn't shut down.

People kept calling me going, “I have this problem. I know you're on vacation but I just need a minute,” I remember looking at my husband over dinner one night and he had this look like, “This is what you're going to do when we're in Ireland?” That was the moment when I went, “This is not working for me. This is not going to work. This is not going to be sustainable.” How I decided to change and how I did change after that made that whole difference to what you're talking about slowing down to speed up. I had to do it out of necessity but it was the smartest thing I ever did and it was tough.

It takes some training that you have to continue. You start with small things and you start to build that muscle over time. I'm sure that it still sometimes rears its ugly head.

I'm building an entirely new team from scratch. I've got seven now. I have an entirely virtual team. They're all based out of Kenya. People are not going to be able to meet until we have vaccines around the world. A lot of what we do in my team is very end-result-driven. They’ve got projects and things. It's testing me again like, “How do you create a team? How do you build their skillset? How do you build their confidence? What do you do when something goes wrong?” I'm finding new ways to screw up.

It’s to show you that you're always learning something new. That's one thing that no matter what stage you're at in terms of building your business, you start to continue to create ways to disrupt yourself and do new things that allow you to grow. I love that about you. That's neat that you're doing this initiative. Also, I'd love to hear more about what the impetus of this was? If you don't mind digging into this, why Kenya? What prompted this?

That’s a fun story. As a solopreneur, you become an entrepreneur because you have something you want to share with the world. It starts out with all these great ideas and energy. You're gung-ho. You’re like, “Now, I'm getting tired. How many things do I have going on? I can't do it all. How do I grow and scale?” I knew that I needed some support. I knew I needed help somewhere. I also knew that when this happened in my business, I was not at the point where I could hire somebody in the US. It wasn't feasible. I wasn't making enough money to pay myself, pay them, and keep the business going.

The goal of a leader is to have a team be so good that they can take his job.

I had a client that their company is based in Singapore. They also have a team in Bangkok, Kenya, and Katmandu. I got to know the gal that headed up their team in Kenya. We were working very closely together on a couple of projects for this client. I went to Singapore to visit the offices and meet with the team. She came from Kenya. We got a lot of time to get to know each other. I knew at that point in time the reason that my client had the teams in those areas was because they were affordable. They could get talent and a workforce at prices that they could work with.

It's amazing. The wages that we pay, to us, it seems so low. To my group, it's a very nice middle income. There are a ton of people that are highly educated but they don't have jobs. Many of them have two Master's Degrees. I said to her, “Esther, how do I find somebody like you?” She's like, “Hire me.” I said, “I can't do that to my client.” I will say that she does work for me now. She introduced me to another friend of hers who used to work for that company. I can't take that away from my client.

Long story short is they helped me find a couple of people. I kept adding to my team. We have a second company now because I've had so many people ask me, “How do I get a Lorna? How do I get a Josie, an Edward, or a Victor?” I have all these contacts now in Kenya of amazing people that I couldn't hire them all. We are matching businesses like you and me with talented people out of Kenya. It's been amazing. I would have never even thought of a second company. It is so much in line with what I do on my own. It also is creating opportunities that they never thought about it. I have this huge following in Kenya. I'm a rock star. What can I say?

That's beside the point. There’s something about this that speaks to you where we are in this world now. Talk about globalization. Because of technology, we've come. Anything is possible. It opens up many possibilities to be able to work across the world, in the Bay. Also, to connect with people, work with people and create jobs wherever they are. That's why I wanted to share. This is a great thing about that. It's a great story. I'd also like to jump back in time and do a little rewind on you. I feel like we jumped right into the future. Now, we're going to go back. I want to get back to what caused you to start this business that you're in now, Shock Your Potential. I want to know the story that prompted you to leave the world of sales. You had been in the corporate world. What was the jump-off point? Tell me about your entrepreneurial journey.

I try to answer this as not brutally honest as possible but as clear as I can be. For a while, I didn't answer this question the way I'm going to answer it now. The reason being and I think that many people reading will at some point in time in their history or their career can recognize this. The last position I was in, I was let go. It took me the longest time to say that like, “I'd never been fired. What do you mean?” I wasn't fired. I was let go. The company that I worked for, their headquarters, decided to make a change. They brought in a new CEO. Before you knew it, the executive team was all turned over. I watched my colleagues going. I knew that there was a possibility on that but I firmly believed that I was going to be the next CEO. That was what the interim CEO was coming in to do was to decide. I firmly believed I was. When it happened, I was like, “This happens.” It happens at the VP level. My whole team was coming in.

They were all there. They wanted to go out for dinner with me. I'm like, “I have a couple of requests. I have to process and approve some people's expense reports. I have a few things that I'd like to tidy up. I won't tell anybody what's going on. I'd like to leave and then go straight to the airport. Stay out there so that I don't go to my hotel room where all of my people are.” I said, “If you trust me enough, I'd like to work through this day,” because it all came down about 10:00 in the morning. They're like, “Okay.” I worked. I finished my day. I had my suitcase because I was going to move hotels anyway. I got in the cab and went out to the hotel. I went down to the bar and had dinner. I called my husband. I'm like, “I got fired.” He's like, “When are you coming home?” I’m like, “Tomorrow. I changed my flight.” I was sitting at the bar. This guy next to me goes, “How was your day today?” I said, “I just got fired.” He's like, “What?”

I say that now because I've had enough time to process it. I also then got home, sat down on the couch, and slept in the next day. I ended up getting the actual flu and then walking pneumonia. I had so much stress and anxiety knowing that might be a possibility. You're either going to be a CEO or you're going to be fired. There were no options. For a while, after I did decide to start this business and promote my book more, I knew I wanted to write another book. I wanted to speak and train. I had a lot of connections all over the world. I knew there was that opportunity. For a while when people would say, “Why don't you start the business?” I'm like, “I decided it was time for me to promote my book. It's time to leave Corporate America behind.”

VCP 104 | Exceptional Leaders

I wasn't lying but I wasn't fully truthful. I realized I wasn't fully truthful with myself. I had to grieve for being let go, that termination, being fired. I had to find that spot in me that said, “It's okay for people to know this because there's a lot of people who've been the same way. They might not have been able to have the opportunity to do the things I'm doing now or bounce back as quickly.” It's a hard part of the story but I think it's important.

I just thank you so much for sharing that because that's what people need to hear is that honesty. It's a vulnerability point where people hide the things that make them human. I often say that when you embrace your past, you become so much more powerful to move forward. It propels you forward. Oftentimes, we run from those little things that make us look flawed.

Exactly. Especially as I'm crazy color hair and this larger-than-life person. I don't go around saying, “I was fired.” That moment when I finally said, “This is okay.” It's okay to say, at that point, I was so fortunate because I said to my husband, “With this, I can either go back out and get a job or I can start my own business again.” I had a business a couple of times before. He said, “What will make you happy?” That was a hard question to answer because I didn't know. It had been long in a number of years but long in terms of how much I'd grown by leading many people and having this opportunity. I didn't know who I was as an entrepreneur anymore.

I used to be able to say, “Here's my card. I'm a VP of Sales. I'm this. I bring in $100 million a year.” My whole persona had been wrapped up with that other person. In the first two years of this company, I struggled with, “Can I do this?” It’s because I don't even know how to introduce myself anymore. When I talk about shocking potential with other people, I had to keep reminding myself, “I better keep shocking my potential.” There's nobody else here to tell me, “Good job. Great day. Great report. I love how you did that.” Now, it's me.

It's great how do you say that. There is that element of you have to be your cheerleader of sorts. You also have to realize that there's this identity crisis you're going through. You deal with that. On the other side of that is something that is beautiful. You emerge as this person who fully understands who you are or who you've become after going through that transformation of saying, “I'm no longer that. It's part of me but I've transcended that. Now I'm this. I'm going to be me in this form going forward.” I love that you say, “I'm going to celebrate this. I'm going to be the one who champions this new form of who I am.”

It doesn't mean you only have to be the one. I have a very good friend. She's the publisher of both my books. I call her when I'm at those moments where I'm like, “Kate, somebody's got to tell me that I'm doing the right thing because I am grilled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb.” She's like, “Where do we want to start?” Having those people that are in your corner but then will also be completely honest with you will give you clear feedback. Those people are invaluable to keeping you going, especially during the tough times. We saw a lot of tough times in 2020.

The one thing that a lot of people who've come on the show have said is that there is an element of having that community and having people around you to help you support. It's not a solo venture. It takes a village. In fact, that's the interesting thing about this business you're getting started. You're creating this business that is a village of people who are supporting you. That's an important thing to recognize.

You have to be paying attention when opportunities drop in your lap

Because we're doing so many placements, it's moving fast. The next level of this business is for me to take all the things that we do in Shock Your Potential but apply it to all these talents and teach them how to be a part of the global world. What does it mean to work with a US partner? How do you manage an 8 or 9-hour time difference? What's the important thing to put in an email? Those basics that they may not have because of different kinds of experiences. I want this to become a community where we're training people. It can be anybody.

We're starting in Kenya to have a competitive advantage. The gal who heads the staffing portion of my company was 1 of those 2 people that wanted to come over and now I've got them both. I figure I've done with a client for a long enough time now. She said to me like, “This is amazing. You are giving people hope here in Kenya.” You don't think about it but you're like, “Yeah.” Talk about unemployment. It's up as high as 70%. This is stuff that none of us can comprehend. It is some hope and yet it also meets a lot of needs for those of us struggling on this side of the pond as well.

It's a win-win. I think about this from the point of view of a legacy that you're leaving behind. You could have said, “I'm going to continue to drive my business forward and make an impact on people,” but on the people who you're serving. Here's a legacy that goes deeper. It goes deeper into seeing people who wouldn't have opportunities to create something meaningful for themselves maybe or would struggle a lot harder. You're creating something for them that has a more meaningful impact. That is something about this that resonates for me. It’s the legacy that you're creating for yourself.

I hope so. It's fun. It has brought me more joy than I would have ever expected. It also just came from that moment where you're paying attention. You're listening to what people say. You're like, “Why are many people asking me about my team? I can facilitate this.” I can say, “I know a few people. I can facilitate it and I can make it a great experience.” You have to be paying attention when those opportunities drop in your lap.

That's great. It's so beautiful. It's nice because of the fact that on the surface, someone might say, “It's taking advantage of a situation.” Absolutely not. It's quite the opposite. It's seeing a need and making sure that it's being met but doing it in a way that's helping others. I want to ask. You've been on quite an amazing journey of seeing yourself come from this place of not seeing both sides of a leadership journey, of seeing yourself only one-sided. Look how great I am to now seeing that you do have an impact on people. You have something that you can offer. You've been on an amazing journey in the corporate world and in the entrepreneurial world. What I want to know is what have been the big lessons that you've learned about yourself along this path that you want to share?

The first, the biggest is if you go back to me in Ireland realizing that I have I've got myself into a situation that is not serving me, my team, and my company. When I came back, I had them all on a call and said, “You guys had a great trip. Relax. It was great. We're going to do some things differently. The reason we're going to do some things differently is I need to apologize to you all. I have not been fair to you.” There's just dead silence on. It wasn’t Zoom then. It was a conference call. I said, “I have not allowed you guys to show me what you can do. Let me tell you what I mean.”

I explained. I said, “I've made you dependent on me for answers, not because you think I'm the only one but because you probably think that you can't do without my permission, approval, or direction. That's not fair to you. That's not fair to me. We're going to do this differently. We're going to hit some road bumps on the way probably.” The next thing I said before I tell you a little bit about how I changed. I said, “Here's the thing. You are all going to screw up. I screwed up seventeen times before breakfast. You may just not see it but you're all going to screw up. I don't want you to worry about screwing up. There are three things that if 1 of these things happen or 2 or 3, it's a big screw-up. Let's try to be careful not to do these. Is everybody ready?”

VCP 104 | Exceptional Leaders

They all have pens down. Do you have pens and paper? You hear the silence. I go, “Number one, nobody dies. Number two, nothing burns down. Number three, no one goes to jail.” I go, “That's it. Other than that, you're going to screw up when you make some decisions on your own. I'm here for you when you need me. Come to me when you need me. We'll work through it together. Other than that, I want you to start taking risks.” It was the sense of like, “Okay.” When people would come to me and they'd say, “Michael, I have the problem. I got blah-blah.” I'd say, “Tell me more, Tony.” They'd say, “Blah-blah.” “That's interesting, Tony. Tell me more about what happened next.”

Pretty soon through this process of Tell Me More, which is the name of the book. I literally say, “Tell me more,” so many times that sometimes they’re like, “Why do you keep saying that?” I tried to learn how to have different versions of it. When I would do that, they would unpack a problem. I always talk about if you've ever packed a suitcase so full, you have to sit on it to try and zip it. You're then like, “This is not going to be good. This might pop open underneath the plane.” When you have that, you have to unzip the suitcase. You have to take everything out. You have to decide, “Do I need to repack it nicely? Do I leave some stuff here? Do I pack a second suitcase?”

Now you make decisions when you see all the parts laid out. That's what I was trying to teach my team. It’s to get them all with the parts laid out. The critical point was this. Once they had them all lined out, we've answered tell me more and every element. I'd then say, “Tony, with everything that you said, what do you think you, we, I, or the company should do?” Ninety-five percent of the time, you're going to have the right answer. All I have to do is say, “Tony, that sounds great. That's a smart decision. Is there any way I can help?” In the 5% that maybe you're wrong, I can say, “That's interesting. Let's talk about that a little more because I have a couple of concerns about that. Would you mind if I shared it with you?”

I ask you permission. I don't just tell you. I ask you permission for me to be able to share because then that makes you feel like this is a gift, not a mandate. You're going to go, “Tell me where it's wrong,” and I'll say, “Let's talk about this. Here's the reason I'm concerned about this. Do you see any other ways that we could do it?” The hardest part was trying to keep myself from solving the problem. As they talk, I'm like, “I know the solution.” The learning part of the process was I can't make you better until you learn how to unpack the suitcase from your perspective. My job then is to validate or guide, not direct.

The evolution of my team just went, “Wow.” The end result was fun because when people would come to me six months later or a year later, they'd say, “Michael, I have a problem. Here's the way I saw it first. Here's how we broke it down. This is what I thought I should do. This is what I tried. This was what worked. This is what didn't work. I need some help. Can you help me brainstorm this?” Nobody was coming to me for my permission, blessing, whatever. They were coming to brainstorm with me. Even though I was the leader, we were colleagues attacking a problem together.

This is just so beautiful because it's like, “I think about this. What would Michael do?” They've already got you in their head already.

They would say that. I asked, “What would Michael do?” I hate it. I'd say, “Tell me more.”

The great thing about this, did you think about who that is? This person that you've become, which is such a great example. I think about all the stories that I've been navigating through in terms of my leadership journey but also in the coaching that I do. This shows up all the time. I think about those early years when you're someone who likes to just solve problems or you start to get into that mode of like, “I got to get this done. I'll do it myself. I'll run and do that stuff.” That's what I keep on thinking about is how much you evolved from those early days of that, “This is great. I'm doing amazing. Look at me. I'm pushing the team forward.” What are you doing to them? You're solving problems for them. You're not allowing them to figure out the process.

I always tell people that your goal as a leader is to have your team be so good that they can take your job. You always know a true leader who goes, “I can be promoted.” You know the leader that hasn't evolved that says, “Why would I do that? They'll take my job.” That, to me, is a measuring point of where somebody is on the continuum of their leadership journey. The ones that are moving forward for their people understand that's how they escalate themselves.

That's abundance versus scarcity. That's a big mindset shift people get to go through. I could talk with you for hours and days. It is insane. Is there anything else before we move on to the closing out? Are there any other lessons you want to share that was from your journey?

The one thing that’s funny that the whole tell me more strategy, I've been very good at it with my team. Not always good with my children. One day, I was with my son. This was a few years ago. He's on the phone with me. He's telling me why he hates his job and why this is wrong. I'm like, “You would have to do this. Why aren't you doing that?” My husband, all of a sudden, raises this piece of paper. He’s written across it, “Tell me more.” I went, “Honey, tell me more about what's going on with your job. Tell me what you don't like about it.” It's easy to slip into that. I know everything my son should do correctly and I still struggle with it. I am much better about it. I know it makes him feel better. It definitely makes me feel better. It makes me a whole lot less of a nagging mother.

As parents, it's just so much harder to get out of that mode. I can relate. I can't tell you how many times my son is like, “Stop coaching me.” One last question. What is 1 or 2 books that has had an impact on you? Why?

There's one that I have read and I always would have my leaders read it. It's very simple. It's John C. Maxwell's How Successful People Lead. It's small. It’s a short read. It talks about the five levels of leadership. Whenever I have people read it, especially if they've been leaders for a long time, they're like, “That's kindergarten-like. I know the difference between the five levels of leaders.” It sparks such great quiet conversations because level one is you're a leader. People follow you because they have to. You have the position or the job title. Level two is people follow you because they want to. They trust you. They believe you.

People follow you because of what you've done for them. You've promoted them. You've nurtured them. You've helped them. People follow you because of what you've done for your company. They are like, “This is a person I will follow because she's got vision.” The final level is people follow you because of what you've done for organizations as a whole, like on the bigger stage. It's a great reminder to us all that you can be, in many people's eyes, that fifth level. The next day, when you have a new hire, you are back to level one with that person.

Every new person that you bring on your team is following you only because of your title and position unless you recruited them and brought them over. That keeps us humble and reminds us that we have a responsibility to build that credibility with everyone who we ask to follow us and believe in us. If we don't, we haven't deserved it with them and you're never going to get the same results, effort, or dedication from your team until you've at least moved up to the second level.

VCP 104 | Exceptional Leaders

I'm so grateful that you brought this book into space because it's the first time I've heard this one brought in. It's a great choice. It also brings to mind this feeling of this leadership is not a title. It's a responsibility to serve. You have to show up and always be bringing that constantly, “It's not what I did yesterday. It's what I do now.” That is important. How I show up in that presence of now for the people who I'm leading and that's important.

I'll tell you one other element of it too. I didn't think about this until I had it in motion. When you've established a lot of trust with people, they trust you, and they felt like they are a part of the process. They know that you care about them and you are developing them. When you have to come to them with something tough that is non-movable, we're going to change the pay structure. I did that through both those companies where we turned every pay structure upside down and it was painful for people. My managers didn't want to do it. The people didn't want to do it.

When I came to him and said, “I know that what I'm going to tell you, we're going to do. You're not going to like it. I know it's going to be hard, difficult, and you all want to tell me why we shouldn't be doing it. Unfortunately, this is a no discussion issue in terms of whether or not we're going to go to this. This is company policy. This is a company mandate. We will make it happen. However, I will be here to handle any questions and pushback. Do you want to roleplay it with me before you roll it out to your team? Bring it on. Whatever I can do to help.

This is where I need you to understand that this is an immovable object and we have to have a united front. If your team sees that you're not going to follow through or they see that you doubt it also, we are going to lose good people.” My team was like, “We will charge up the hill with you on this. We don't like it. We don't want to go to this war. You've pulled us into this battle. We have to fight this battle. We'll do it.” That's when you know that you've built people behind you when they will say, “Even though I hate this and I wish it wasn't true, I will do it.”

Michael, this has been so great. The stories, the insights, and knowing about all the stuff that you've done along your journey to make an impact. I talked about legacy. That's one thing that is staying with me for you is that legacy is a big part of the thing you're leaving behind, whether you like it or not. You're making an impact.

I did have one person who worked for me for a couple of years who always hated my tell me more strategy. He left the company before I was terminated. He called me about three months later or so. He said, “I just want you to know. You know how much I hated some of the things that you had us do. I hated you tell me more strategy.” He goes, “I bought your book for all my fifteen people that report to me. I told them they better read it.”

That's one thing for sure. I want to make sure people know, go out and grab this book. You will not regret it. The proof is in the pudding.

That's the name of one of the chapters. It's called The Pudding is the Proof.

Thank you so much for coming on the show. I also want to give people information as to how they can find out more about you. is where you can absolutely find me. You can email me at Our other business is called Kukua means growth in Swahili. My team is teaching me Swahili. It is pretty darn funny. They do a lot of laughing about it. You can find us through any of those channels.

Thank you so much for coming to the show.

Thank you, Tony. It's been a pleasure.

Thank you to the readers who are coming on the journey with us. I know you're leaving with so many great insights and a lot of laughs to enjoy with us here.

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About Michael Sherlock

The Right Person in the Right Position doing the Right Things

As leaders, it is our job to ensure that we have the Right People in the Right Positions doing the Right Things. The most critical element is always the Right People.

If we have the Right People, but we don’t have them in the Right Position, or doing the Right Things, then the blame falls to us. Leaders must constantly evaluate themselves while also evaluating their team.

How do you know if it’s you, or if it’s them? Give yourself the mirror test.

We challenge our clients to reflect on every single member of their team, evaluate their strengths in their positions, and then to review any perceived weaknesses by asking themselves the following questions:

1. Has this person been thoroughly trained?
2. Is their weakness because of lack of talent, or lack of training?
3. If I improve their training, will they be successful?

At “Shock Your Potential” we help businesses to create the Dream Teams of tomorrow by developing Exceptional Leaders today. We work virtually and in-person on single session trainings as well as multi-platform training and coaching and have an on-demand training app for leadership and sales professionals. Search for “Shock Your Potential” in both Google Play and the Apple Store.

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