I recently interviewed Clint Pulver, “The Undercover Millennial,” and the information he shared with my audience was so on point (checkout the video above to see it).
Clint Pulver is an Emmy Award-winning, motivational keynote speaker, author, musician, and workforce expert.
If you are a manager, supervisor, leader, network marketer, or in any position where you work with people, this post is for you.
How did he come to be known as the Undercover Millennial?
One day, he was chatting with the CEO of a large sporting goods store in New York City. This CEO raved about how innovative he was and how they had upleveled the way they do business.
Clint then asked, “So, have you changed about your management style compared to how you managed them 20 years ago?’
The CEO fired back and he said, “no, not at all.” He said, “the way I manage today is the same way I managed 20 years ago.” Clint found it fascinating that a company could be innovative enough to update it’s entire way of doing business, but when it came to his management style he felt there was no need to adapt.
After the conversation, Clint decided to browse the store a bit. He noticed that 95% of his employees were his generation or younger. He wondered if these employees would feel as positive about the company as the CEO did. So he decided to ask them.
He chatted with six of the employees and discovered that five out of the six already had an exit plan. They said things like “I can't stand working here” or “I'm out of here, I feel like I'm a number, I'm not valued, I'm not appreciated, I don't even think the manager knows my name.”
That’s when Clint realized there was a major perception difference between the CEO and what his employees were actually experiencing. So he decided to do this for other companies and help them really change things from the bottom up by better understanding what their employees are thinking and feeling.
Clint said, “Everything you do as a leader matters, because you are the number one reason an employee will stay or leave your company.”
- “When an employee hated their job, they talked about their manager.”
- “When an employee loved their job, they talked about the mentor.”
So how does a manager create a community where their employees want to stay?
Leadership is no doubt one of the key factors and Clint gave two things that need to be considered when discerning what good leadership is.
Pulver found that employee’s satisfaction with their jobs teetered on two these two things. If employees were satisfied with their jobs, it was because the leadership within the business had high standards, but also made time to connect with their employees, to build lasting relationships, and empathized with the lives their employees have outside of work.
According to Clint there are 4 types of managers/distributors.
4 Types of Managers/Distributors
The removed manager/distributor is not involved or engaged with their team. They have low standards and low connection. This creates disengagement with their team.
Buddy managers/distributors are great at relationships, but are bad at having hard conversations. They really want to be liked and struggle to hold their team accountable. They have high connection, but low standards. This creates entitlement among their team.
This is the most common type of manager/distributor. They are commanders, take little time to invest in their team, expect no push back, and refuse to listen to complaints. They have high standards and low connection. This creates rebellion among their team.
This should be what all managers aspire to be. This is a title that can only be earned. Mentors have high standards and high connection. This creates respect among their team.
The middle ground between leadership and management is mentorship. A person cannot become a mentor until the mentee invites them into their hearts. Take some time to reflect on what type of manager you think you are. How can you improve your leadership and standards? How can you be a better mentor to your team?
Clint shared these 5 tips to help guide managers/distributors when building relationships with their team (which ultimately results in higher productivity, more sales, and stronger connections).
The 5 C’s of Mentorship
Great mentors help their teams feel confident both in themselves and in their mentor. This creates trust.
You can create credibility even if you are new to something by just admitting it. Be up front and open with where you are. People value honesty.
Have a firm knowledge of the product or service you are offering.
Great Mentors have the ability to create relationships so strong that honesty can exist. Remember, you can have difficult and crucial conversations and still maintain a strong relationship afterward. In fact, it is the foundation of a healthy relationship when done correctly.
To truly lead or mentor someone, they must know and feel that you care about them. They want to know you are an advocate and not just a manager. Employees want someone who will push them to grow, but also be there when they need help.
Think about that statement for a second. What does it mean to have true honesty among your team? Think about trust as a bank, you add deposits, so that you can take from it later, but you don’t want to take more out than you put in.
When you are building trust with your mentees you have to earn their trust by making investments in them. You want to build them up, train them, and make sure they are confident in what they are doing. If you appreciate their work, tell them.
Taking these little actions will make it easier to have those hard conversations when they do arise. If there is an area where your mentee is falling short, it is easier to have a conversation about ways to fix it and move forward with an even stronger relationship instead of a fractured one.
Imagine that! What would it be like to have a difficult conversation with a staff member or business partner and rather than walk away awkward and tense, you actually grow closer together??
All of this comes back to one simple idea, treat people like people. See your team as individuals, with individual desires, wants and needs.
Recognize the strengths in your mentees and allow them to play in those areas if possible.
Did you know that people will leave their jobs this year because...
- They remember how you were treated last year.
- They have had time to think and assess what they really want out of their place of employment.
How you treat your employees during a crisis will be remembered. During the pandemic a lot of horrific things happened to people by their employers. Employers asked employees to still show up as if there wasn’t a crisis happening, they asked employees to put themselves at risk for the sake of the company, or treated their employees as cogs in a machine.
Employees are loyal to companies in which they feel they are treated as individuals. When was the last time you asked about the child of an employee by name? Those things may seem small, but in the grand scheme of things your employees will feel valued at work which will result in a stronger company overall.
Growth: If your people cannot grow in their organization, they will grow somewhere else.
Recognition: If they aren’t seen, they are not heard. If they are not being understood, they will go somewhere else to be understood.
Just like doctors check the vitals of their patients - or rather the foundational things that keeps a person going, we should too. It’s time to check the vitals of your partners and staff.
Vitals determine treatment.
- Recheck the vitals
- Treat again
- Continue that cycle until healthy stability is maintained long-term.
Checking the vitals for your customers and team:
Here are some questions to ask your customers and leaders to get a “pulse” on where they are and what they need. Most leaders won’t ask these questions because they are afraid of the answers...
- What can I do to keep you here?
- What is getting in the way of your success?
- What can I do to help you get there?
The 3 P’s to help people want to stay:
Passion: Employees/distributors/business partners want to feel passionate about what they do. Are you bringing that same energy so it can trickle down?
Provide: They want to know that the work they do is helping them provide for themselves and their families.
Purpose: What is the narrative that you are bringing people into? Are you allowing people to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves? Connect them to the higher mission.
The Mr. Jensen Story - how one teacher changed a life
Something that I didn’t mention about Clint Pulver in the beginning is that he is also an Emmy Winner. The video below is the Emmy video.
The Mr. Jensen video tells the story of 10-year-old Clint who got in trouble in school for his constant tapping. His principle told him to sit on his hands so that he didn’t tap. One day, Clint’s teacher helped him shift from thinking he was a problem to having a gift that has now changed the life of thousands.
This is a must watch Emmy award winning video that you really don’t want to miss - and it’s only 4 minutes long.
- Treat people like people, not like a generation or a cog in a wheel
- Help your team thrive in their passions
- Give your team a purpose
- Authentically care about the individuals that make up your team
- Pay attention to how you are showing up for your team
- Have authentic conversations with your team members, find out where they want to go versus telling them where you are going and hope they come along.
Clint has a #1 bestselling book titled I Love it Here How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave. I can’t recommend checking out this book enough. Clint has some wonderful insights into creating organizations that people want to be a part of.
You can purchase Clint's book by clicking on the image below.