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EP25 | Let People Be Powerful, Stop Rescuing Them

Uncategorized Jun 16, 2022

Are you always reaching for the kleenex box when one of your colleagues or team members is being emotional? Perhaps that’s not the right choice. In this episode of The Create Purpose Podcast, Zach explains this along with his three principles that will break the habit of rescuing your team to allow them to be their true powerful selves. 

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By me being the hero, inevitably that puts them in a victim position. The hero needs the victim and the victim needs the hero and the cycle continues. I'm not playing that game. And I don't want you to play that game either. Welcome back to the create purpose podcast today. I want to explore the number one mistake.


I see leaders making when leading their team and that mistake is rescuing their team. So let's get into it. And, and the reason I'm doing this episode is I'm seeing it all over the place. I spend a lot of my time in front of leadership teams in conference rooms and, and event spaces, facilitating them, helping them get clarity and solve their issues, and really moving forward together in their business.


And one of the things I will see is in these meetings. Somebody inevitably gets really vulnerable because that's the space that we create. My goal is to create a safe environment for people to be open and honest and really share what's going on for them. And when that happens, especially in a fast paced business growth environment, somebody inevitably gets really vulnerable that might look like breaking down in tears, sharing something deeply personal.


That's just not working for them. I live for those moments. I just do it as a coach. I love it when I see somebody getting in touch with their emotions and, and even some of their pain and, and what's not working for them in their life, in their role in the business. Because when we become aware of that, we get to make a choice, the choice to continue to live in that place.


That's not working for us or make the choice to turn around and face it. Take care of our own needs and do what we need to do to get ourselves to a spot where we can be at our best. Again, this applies to founders, business owners, leaders, and even the teams that these leaders are leading. This is very important to, to understand, because this back to my, my sessions that I'll do with leadership teams, I will see somebody.


For example, just the other week, there was a leader on the team. There was eight of us in the room. There was a leader in the team and I'm not gonna give details, but just the themes was something was said, and she just broke down crying. And she was went on to say, I just can't keep doing this any longer.


I'm working too many hours. I'm working nights and weekends and I am done. I am spent, I am burnt out. What I observe next. And this is so predictable. What, what I observe next is some other leader in the room frantically goes looking for a box of Kleenexes. That's the first reaction. When we see somebody hurting, we want to hand them a tissue, wipe those tears, you know, clean yourself up.


And then we go on to tell them it'll be okay. You're doing fine. Just take some time off, take a break. You don't need to be working so hard. You poor thing. Oh, honey. Right. That's what inevitably. And I see this again and again, and again, I challenge you to watch this play out in your life, in your business, in your teams.


Inevitably, when somebody shares a vulnerable moment and they share some of their pain with the group, watch. What happens next, somebody is going to try to make that pain go away. Somebody's gonna reach for the box of tissues. I think that is a mistake. And I, I want to, I want you to hear me out because I hesitated even recording this episode.


Cause I'm like, I don't know. There's so many trip wires out there because what is normal in today's workplace? In today's teams is when we see somebody using words like burnout and overwhelmed and stressed and, and depressed and all these things, we hand them a tissue and we send them off on their mental health day.


And I just think there's something fundamentally flawed about our approach. Now don't hear me saying people don't need a break and people don't need to take care of themselves. And our role as leaders is to care for our people and support them on that journey. That's not what I'm saying though. I'm saying our approach is fundamentally flawed because I believe.


When people are feeling that overwhelmed, that burnout, feeling that emotion, the tears are coming there's pain coming to the surface. The last thing we should be trying to do is to wipe it away with a tissue. Let me give you an example. I just shared what I often see. Right? As I see a leader who's sharing their pain, getting emotional, being really honest with, with their fellow teammates and then somebody inevitably.


Tells them it's gonna be okay, you're doing fine and tries to just calm them down. Here's what I do as the coach in the room, what I have learned. And I, when I see this, I just, I can't help myself. I want, I turn to that person. Who's hurting. I look them in the eye. I look at their tears rolling down their face, you know, and where everybody, they might feel like they're a mess.


  1. I don't know. I see it as it's, it's beautiful. It's, it's an amazing experience. When you can see somebody getting in touch with their emotions. And I love these moments. Like I said earlier, I love facing that person, looking them in the eye. The last thing I do is hand them a tissue. I do not hand them a tissue, cuz I am not going to communicate to them that they need to clean themselves up.


Cuz they. There's nothing wrong. This is beautiful. And I let them cry and I let them feel the feels. And I hear them when they say I can't keep doing this any longer. I am burnout. I am overwhelmed. I need a break. And when I hear them say these things. I'm actually going to put more demands on them instead of trying to lighten the load, I'm actually going to put some more pressure on them because I know that pain creates change.


And until they let themselves really sit in their pain and feel their pain, this is going to be their existence for the foreseeable future. So my job as a coach and your job as a leader is to let people feel. The feelings. And so when they're in that space, I inevitably often ask a question, something along the lines of what specifically is not working for you.


What do you feel like you need right now that you're not getting, what is it that's leading to this feeling of overwhelm? If you could address one thing, what would it be to, to make this journey a little easier for you? These are questions that are important because it's keeping the power with them because you and I, and the them, the other person, we are all responsible for responsible for meeting our own needs.


Nobody else can meet our needs for us. They just can't. And, and, and if we think they can, that's called codependency, Google that look that up, that is not a healthy behavior, but that is a behavior that I often see within leadership teams. And so let me break this down. I I've got three truths, three principles that I want to explore with, with you today, ultimately to lead you and I to break this habit of rescuing our team.


Instead, letting them be powerful because that's what I believe the world needs is more people being responsible for their existence. And so I have no other choice, but to be responsible, if things aren't working for me, I am responsible for changing it. Nobody else is coming. And I believe we, as leaders often take the office approach and we rescue people, we take their power away from them.


We play the hero and here's the thing. So I don't just ramble at you for the next 30 minutes, which I tend to do. My wife says that I'm, I'm really good at monologing, which is why I started a podcast. There's three things I wrote down on my legal pad that I wanted to explore. With you around this idea of, of rescuing people, instead of letting them be powerful.


Fundamentally, our job as leaders is to see people as powerful and to speak to their greatness. And so this example I shared with you just a little bit ago, I believe handing somebody a tissue and telling them that it's gonna be okay to take a break. Is not speaking to somebody's greatness because speaking to somebody's greatness means speaking to their own innate responsibility.


No one else is coming for them. They have to learn how to take care of their own needs, because anything else, anything other than that is going to cultivate a victim mentality and victims are powerless. In this context, they are. Because we always have a choice. And so as a leader, fundamentally, we have to start to see people as powerful and start to speak to their greatness.


And sometimes speaking, isn't probably even the right word. It's asking questions to them that help them get in touch with what they really are needing. That they don't feel like they're, they're getting right now. What is it? They feel like they're lacking that they, they would really like to see more of or less, right.


Our job is to get people in touch with meeting their own needs. And we can do that by the questions we ask the alternative, the op the opposite of this is rescuing people. And I think here's why I think it's so prevalent. And that leads me to the second point that I wanna share with you today is it's your ego as a leader, you and I, we all have an ego and it does come up from time to time and we need to be aware of it, but we have an ego that wants to be the hero.


Because when we're the hero, what happens in the short term, we get affirmation from others. We get the applause, we get to feel good about ourselves. Knowing that we, we help somebody or something, we fix something or resolve something, right. We got to be the hero and it feels good. And, and there's oftentimes some accolades around that.


Some just simple affirmation for some of us is what we live for. And if we live from that place, we're gonna let our.  go looking for the ways to be the hero. But I think there's another part of, of us. If you're a leader of people and you're building a team, the leaders I work with, they care deeply for their people.


And there's a fine line between being a caring, supportive leader and being a caretaker. And we so often, oh, it's so easy, but we cross that line into being a caretaker because I believe. Yes. If you let your ego lead, you're going to continue to default to rescuing people, fixing things, solving other people's issues.


But here's my question. If you continue to do that, how is that serving the individual? Because I believe you, me, a lot of leaders out there, one of the most fulfilling parts of their role as leaders. How they get to serve people. They, they have a servant's heart. There's this idea of servant leadership out there.


And I believe we've gotten it wrong when it comes to servant leadership. Because if you really looked at how we can serve somebody deeply and have the most impact, rescuing somebody and handing them a tissue is not really serving them. It's handing somebody an aspirin instead of going to work on the root cause.


That is what I think I want to challenge you as a leader. And I'm challenging myself too. I'm challenging myself as a coach to always turn and face the deeper thing, because I know that's, what's going to serve the individual more than anything else. And that is ultimately getting them to meet their own needs, to put them in a place of responsibility, because anything other than that is, would be me rescuing them.


And by me being the hero, inevitably, that puts them in a victim position. The hero needs the victim and the victim needs the hero and the cycle continues. I'm not playing that game and I don't want you to play that game either. So I wanna challenge this idea of truly serving people to truly serve people.


You need to get them in touch with their own respons. That's how we deeply serve. So that's the second truth or second principle I wanted to explore is this idea that it's your ego that wants to be the hero, but it's your deeper, most caring self that wants to truly serve people at, at, at their, at its deepest level.


And that is showing up like a great coach showing up in a way that holds up a mirror and helps that individual see what for themselves, what's not working for them so that they can go to work and make different choices. And stand up for themselves, assert themselves and get their own needs met. When that happens.


It, it is the most moving, fulfilling experience I've ever witnessed. When I see somebody take responsibility for their own life. Whew, there's nothing like it in the world. And so as a leader, you have that opportunity to create that for your team and it starts with how you show up the first principle.


First truth is you have to see them as powerful. Because when you ask them for, you know, what do you need from me? How can I help you? You're communicating to them that there's somebody who needs your help. They're not, they're powerful. Your job is to speak to their greatness. That was the first truth. The second truth is become aware of your ego and how it, it has this tendency to want to be the hero and wanna rescue and want to fix.


I mean, is there any, any fixers out there just love fixing things, you know, who Y. I'm pointing at me. I'm, I'm also I'm with ya. I have to be very aware of my ego and my tendency to want to just fix things and to think that I have the answer and I know how to solve it for others. Maybe I do. Maybe I don't, but.


The other person is the only one who can make the choices that's gonna meet their needs. And they're the only ones that can be responsible. Nobody else is coming. And that includes me. I can't come and rescue them. They need to, so my job is to deeply serve them and get them to take care of their own needs.


That's powerful. So that's the second truth. The third truth. The third principle is I've already covered this in the beginning, but it is not. Handing somebody a tissue and sending them away to take a mental health day in our culture today. I there's so much talk about, we need more mental health days built into our attendance policies and, and I'm not arguing whether we should or shouldn't do that.


I just believe that all of this stuff that we put out there are just symptoms of the true root cause. And I don't like to spend a lot of time and energy arguing about symptoms, because you might have somebody on your team who is coming to you and saying, I need a break. I need to take a mental health day.


I need, I need this. I need that. You know, I, I. I there's this there's this, I'm not, I'm gonna say entitled mentality, but I think that's such an over you. We all in business, that term gets thrown around so much. They're so entitled. Here's the thing here is the God's honest truth. Your people are a reflection of who you are.


They just are you as a leader, also have to be responsible. So if people are acting entitled, you might say, or, you know, not taking ownership, all the things that we say, those buzzwords in business and in leadership. Well, that's a reflection of, of, of you now. Maybe that's a just receive that without feeling guilty and judging yourself.


All I'm trying to do here is we have to be responsible for the outcomes that we're, we're getting in our business. And that includes some of the, the, the. Themes that we're seeing right now, you know, and this entitlement that we, we complain about and the mental health days we complain about and all this stuff, I believe that the answer can't be just giving into this and codling people.


There is a great book called the codling of the American mind that really speaks to how America is really getting it wrong. How we are actually creating weaker a weaker society through some of the cancel culture and trying to create such safe environments for people and making sure everybody feels safe and nobody's offended.


And, and I realize all the trip wires that are out there. And so I feel a little like, Ugh, crap, should I really be bringing this stuff up? And I'm not like don't hear me arguing against or for cancel culture or whatever. I, I think if you really look at the intent behind some, some of this, it it's, it's in the right place.


Now it's quickly getting misconstrued, I think. And, and it's creating a weak mentality for people and it's creating victims. It's creating more victims in the world than, than powerful people. And so here's my suggestion on point number three, around this idea is like the answer can't be handing people's tissues and just handing out mental health days.


I believe we need to lean in when somebody's coming to us talking about mental health days and needing, needing time needing a break, that's a, to a deeper issue. Our job is to go work on the deeper issue. We do that by not sending them off and letting them cope through something and get back to a working state.


But we, I want you to challenge the status quo and really lean in and be like, wow, let's dig in here. What, what is leading you to feel like you need a mental health day? Like I'm cool. Take the mental health day, but before you do, let's spend some time working through what is it? That's getting you to the point where you just need to need a break from life.


What is it? That's not working for you specifically. What do you need that you're not getting? That's my message. I hope that's what you're hearing. I'm not gonna go back and try to rerecord this, this podcast. There's some things I'm just sharing. I'm still working through these ideas myself, but if you hear anything else in what I'm sharing with you today is normal rescuing people.


That is not what the world needs. The world does not need to create more victims. We already have enough of that. We need more people being powerful and standing in who they are owning their truth, fighting for their own greatness. And we need leaders standing behind these individuals, helping them fight for their own greatness.


Speaking to that greatness is within each and every one of us. No more tissues, no more codling, no more care. Taking. Let's care for people and support them in the deepest way. I know how to do, and that is coaching them and challenging them to get back in touch with who they are. And that is a powerful individual who is responsible for their own life and has the ability to make choices and to make new choices that are gonna make that are gonna serve them in how they move forward.


So I hope this message was well received. Because I'm covering some very triggering hot issues right now. And I just assume not that's that, that was not my intent, but I do believe that people are much more powerful than we give them credit to. And the last thing we need to be doing is rescuing them and I'll, I'll end it with this.


Here's what's in it for you as a leader, as a business owner. If you do this. You will create a team of highly responsible people. People who are showing up for their own health and their own needs, and they will not be putting themselves last, but be putting themselves first, all the while working towards the greater good of.


The greater business, you will have a team of high performing people, healthy people, working together, fighting for one another be, and, and you're gonna have a team that's very loyal to one another because when you're speaking to somebody's greatness and treating them as powerful. That's an environment I don't know about you, but that's an environment that I do not want to ever leave.


I want to be a part of that. I want more of that in life. Do you, I mean, come on. And, and so as a leader, you have that opportunity to create it. And so there's so much in it for you to stand in this gap and challenge people put more demands on people, meaning we are not put on this earth to be weak and to, to.


Need to be coddled. We are strong, powerful individuals, and we need leaders speaking to that and reminding us of that and challenging us to be our best because. I believe. And if you're listening to this podcast, that's the beginning moment of you actually creating your purpose and watching others do the same thing.


When we put ourselves in a, a place of responsibility and we start to make choices that we know are serving us and who we desire to be in our lives, you have a role in that as a leader to help your people do that. And it's going to create so much of a ripple effect within your business, and it's gonna become the rising tide that lifts all boats.


So. I would love to hear your comments, feel free to share with me. What, what triggered you? What did I say that maybe ticked you off? Or you, you think I've got completely wrong? I'm not afraid of that. I I'm gonna listen with curiosity I'm I, I really cuz I I'm still figuring things out too, but I do believe there's something here that needs to be a part of the conversation.


And so I want to hear your honest opinion of what I shared today. And I will, I want to receive that and allow that to continue to shape my thoughts and opinions and so that we can continue to work toward. The greater good of humanity, we'll say. And so that we can create a better world and better workplaces and better business and all live a, a better life.


Right. And that's, that's what I'm about. So thank you for listening. And I look forward to. Exploring this with you outside of this episode. So please, you know, Instagram, Zach dot Aaron DM me. I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode until next time. Thanks for joining me on the create purpose podcast.


All right. I want to take a moment to make an announcement. I want to let you know that I'm taking applications right now for the Create Purpose Mastermind, an intimate Mastermind group for aspiring seven figure creative female business owners.

Who are looking to build their dream team. So if that's you go to, here's what it's going to look like. If you decide to spend a year with me and this intimate Mastermind, you know, when I was putting us together, I really was thinking about what are the outcomes that I want you to get as a result of spending a year in this group.

Number one is I want you to discover your unique greatness. Because when you surround yourself with people who see you for who you are and are able to draw you back to your own greatness so much can change. Number two, I want to help you master your inner game because everything in business starts with self-awareness of why things are the way they are.

Because as soon as you become aware of that, you get to decide and make a choice to change it for the better number three. I want to see you lead with confidence, you know, because I fundamentally believe you already have everything you need. You don't need another guru to show you the way and I want to see build your dream team.

And that's what you're we're ultimately going to be doing in this group is building a business. Around a team of people, the no longer centers around you, the leader, but you now have a team where you now are able to free yourself up to be the true CEO and creative visionary of your business. Ultimately to grow your business, make your business easier to manage more profitable and a lot more fun.

So if you're an inspiring seven figure creative female business owner, who's wanting to build your dream team and grow your business. Then please don't wait. There's only 12 seats available. So don't hesitate in getting your application in. What if this were to be your breakthrough? And what if this Mastermind is exactly what you need to really grow your business and bring your unique potential to life, to learn more, go to

Hopefully you really enjoyed this podcast episode. And my hope is you found. Really inspirational. And also most importantly, I hope you took away some practical things that you can start to do and apply in your own life. So finally, I have one small favor to ask of you before you go, wherever you get your podcasts, whether that's Apple Music or Spotify.

If you enjoyed this episode, leave us a review. Love to hear your thoughts. Come find us on social media, and share it on social media. It just really helps us get the word out, and helps us grow our audience. So please do that. Thanks to my team, Ashley Bolden, who handles all the admin, and Chris Skipper who handles all the music and editing of this podcast for more information on.

Purpose podcast, you can go to, and you can also follow me on Instagram @zach.arend. Please drop me a comment, reach out, drop me a DM. I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to hear what you're taking away from these conversations. What would you like to hear more of? Do you have any guests that you would love to see come on the show? And I'm always looking for great people to talk to people with great stories that can inspire you. And so if you know of anybody, send them my way, love to hear from. I'm your host, Zach Arend, and I'll see you in the next episode of the Create Purpose Podcast. Bye for now.