How Leaders Can Avoid Burnout with Michael King

Reading Time: 17 Minutes

In this interview, Michael King shares his methods for helping leaders avoid burnout.

After the Interview:

About Michael King

Michael is an executive and business leadership coach and the founder and CEO of Teams.Coach, LLC. Using his proprietary T.E.A.M.S. methodology, Michael helps business leaders clarify and execute at high levels to develop measurable business growth and company-wide collaboration.

Michael has close to twenty years of hands-on experience leading teams and organizations. In the past five years, he worked with a wide range of clients, from solo entrepreneurs to top company executives.

Read the Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes. While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview

Welcome back to the Deliberate Leaders podcast. I am your host, Allison Dunn, Executive Coach and Founder of the podcast, I am super excited to introduce our guest today, we have with us Michael King. He is the founder and CEO of Teams.Coach LLC. He is an executive and business leadership coach. His proclaimed superpower is the unique ability to combine critical thinking, and a sense of humor to create systems, strategies structures necessary to navigate business work, business growth and change. I am very pleased to have you here with us today, Michael, thank you for joining us.

Thank you for having me. This is gonna be a blast. So thank you so much. 

You bet. So kick this off with the deliberate conversation, what is your number one leadership tip for our listeners?

My number one leadership tip right now is value relationships over your systems and strategies. We can dive into that a little bit more, but, but I’ll just go ahead and leave it with that just like with just a very blanket answer, like that of valuing your relationships more than you value your systems and your strategies.

Okay, so I think that’s going to be a good tie in because you talk about really creating systems, strategies and structures. But your greatest tip is it’s the people who do them. I love that. So valuing them. Absolutely. So I’m, I’m going to kind of tee up, the topic we’re talking about today is uncoming methods to avoid burnout as a leader. And as we know, there’s a lot of burnout that has been happening, especially with transitional shift that we’ve had in our, our, in our world. I’m just gonna just hit up his bat. So I did it to learn more about that. So how did you get where you are today?

I started out probably a little bit more of an unconventional journey of of the executive coaching process. I have been coaching leaders for a couple decades now. But my journey started off in the pastoral world. So I was a creative arts and worship pastor became an executive pastor for the last couple of decades. And probably I would say, over the last 10 years, my influence started to reach outside the walls of the local church started coaching some other churches and some other church leaders. But then all sudden, some big brands started to get incorporated into my coaching practice. And the things that I valued the most about creating healthy team structure internally inside the church, I decided I was going to educate myself a little bit more to try to figure out, how can I expand that, that impact outside the church and I feel like I’ve found my best place outside of the local church. So the roadmap from, you know, from everywhere, from being a recording artist, to executive pastor to selling Toyota cars for season, finishing out my masters, and now I’ve owned a company for five years, and we’re growing. So

that’s fantastic. I feel like when we can marry two things that work well together, where I feel like coaching is just very advisory that you could just a trusted advisor, I feel like those are good compatibility. So that’s fantastic. What would be your best piece of advice that you’d give a business owner?

The best piece of advice I would give a business owner would be to listen intently. And and try not to get distracted by things that aren’t your thing? I think? Well, not I think I know one of the things that we kind of deal with quite a bit with with the clients that we serve with is that in a competitive marketplace, you’re going to consistently be in a consistently get pulled into a world in which you’re compared to everything else around you. So knowing what’s yours and what’s not yours is one of the best things that you can clearly identify. And just to stay true to. I think there’s just there’s just way too many things going on right now and way too many options. So having trusted advisors listing clearly and making sure that you’re committing to the things that are yours and not trying to have things that aren’t yours is a really big issue right now.

What would so I in coaching I and I’m sure you do as well, you kind of you can identify that moment, what would be things that you would help people identify as triggers where they’re they are taking on things that aren’t there? So

great question. You know, as, as a CEO or an entrepreneur, everybody kind of feels the pressure of being the visionary of their organization. And being a visionary within your organization has implications to it on the the pros and the cons of that. And one of the things that you just really need to be careful of is making sure that your vision is really clear. Because as as you’re trying new things and as you’re dreaming bigger dreams. A lot of times we find out that things that we do best or finding out the things that don’t work. Does that make sense? Yes. So, in that journey, desperate leaders end up reaching for things that they shouldn’t be reaching for, or they’re reaching for things that they saw somebody else doing that doesn’t necessarily fit into their brand, or even their value systems, or even the products or services that they do provide. And so by being a visionary, it’s like, you have to do it, you have to be a visionary within your organization. But it has to be clear, it has to be focused. And so I would say that that’s something where I’ve seen that I’m actually working with a couple clients right now that they’ve gotten themselves into just a little bit of a mess, because they diversified a little bit too much. And they’ve gotten themselves off center, from the things that they were supposed to be doing in the first place.

Good advice. I’m kind of on the same idea of that, what is some of the biggest mistakes that you’re seeing leaders making?

Right now, I would say, you know, when we talked about originally, that first question that you we talked about valuing your people, over your systems and strategy, when the when the, when the heat is on, and when the pressure is up, you really find out what you’re made of as a leader. And I think one of those things is if you can, just in being committed to raising the emotional intelligence of your organization, and being emotionally and psychologically committed to your team and making sure that you as a leader, are 100% committed to bringing out the best version of the people that you lead the people that you serve. The biggest mistake I see is that when the pressure is on, you start looking at KPIs and the KPIs depending on what they are, they could be anywhere from cashflow issues to certain goals that you establish. But behind every single numbers, a person and every single person matters. So making sure that we just don’t lose sight of that, in the middle of that I tell quite a few of my clients this all the times that sometimes. And more than not actually, we don’t really necessarily always get to choose the people that we get to work with. So understanding the value of human capital, and making sure that we get people into the right seats is so important.

And knowing knowing that, you know, you just share the idea of the human capital being such a critical component, have you recognized that, at least over the last few years as businesses needed to make accommodations and shifts for being you know, working from home and whatnot? What are some of the key things that you’ve seen businesses be able to do to effectively maximize human capital, while also, you know, doing the things getting the KPI is doing the part of the business that needs to get done?

You know, the, there’s this very interesting dichotomy that’s happening right now. Use, excuse me, you see it in what we do as executive coaches, but all of a sudden, it’s 2020 2019, or whatever. And it’s right at the very beginning of this, this COVID thing, right. And now all of a sudden, somebody went in, they threw a switch on the wall. And we realized, we have to be a digital organization at the exact same time that we have to be a brick and mortar organization. So when answering your question regarding that, I would just say that probably one of the biggest things that stands out is that you are no longer an organization that you just have to think through a singularity. It’s, you know, if you’re a retail location, or whether you’re running an online business, you actually now have two different you have one singular business, but you have two different presences. And I think that that is very important to notice is that your digital organization, or your remote organization, actually requires completely different systems and structures and processes in order for it to work than it did before. So if you’re expecting the old things to work in the New World, you’re going to be behind, you’re going to find out that you’re going to bubble the ball a bit. And just, you know, making sure that you’re navigating that and being a being willing to make that shift. If you’re willing to make a shift, you’ll be fine. But if you’re trying to continue just to keep going down that path, you’re going to struggle a bit

Great. I’m sure that recruitment and recruiting top talent is as challenging in your market as it is in hours. I know that my clients are faced with a big challenge around that particular thing do you have? Do you have any suggestions on how you’re helping clients overcome that?

Well, one of the things just to consistently remember is that people are loyal to people, they’re not loyal to brands. And so and you’ve, you know, I it’s Simon Sinek or Henry Cloud or whoever said this statement is that people don’t leave back jobs. They leave bad bosses. You know, we call this the great resignation. This season that we’re going through, I call it a little bit more of the great reckoning is that all of a sudden, the workforce now declares, these are the things that are important to us, and you will meet our demands, otherwise we won’t work for you. That’s, that is 2022. And so so we’re bumping into that we’re bumping into this place where it’s hard to find really, really great employees. So number one is just simply this love the ones that you’re with, look at the people that are on your team, and find out okay, where are my superpowers? Is there a hidden talents that are currently on my team that aren’t being currently utilized, because if maybe, maybe they’re currently not being utilized, because I didn’t even know that I wanted these specific talents. But by me using these specific talents, maybe my team is going to feel a little bit more fulfilled in what they’re doing. And maybe it’ll create some more opportunities for us as a team and as a business. So, and I have many examples of how that’s played out in a couple of different organizations that I’ve worked with as well. But I think the concept overall, I think you probably understand that.

And so beyond loving the ones you’re with, which I feel like a lot of organizations, even with, with folks leaving and not being able to make the transition or being unwilling to modify and choose not to stay in the workforce, you can actually do more, sometimes with less, if you do love the ones you’re with any other tips around what you’re helping clients to do, in it, gaining talent to them.

Yeah, game key talent to them requires you to be very focused, and very, very clear with the objectives that you’re trying to accomplish as a team. Now, and also to by the way, is that when you do love, the ones that you’re with, by utilizing the people that are on your team, in creating an internal fan culture, this allows allows you to to attract the things that you make visible. So never really count yourself short, when when you do have something that’s that is actually working internally. But by creating that, that internal culture, we have a couple different organizations that we’ve created some incentivization processes for the employees to bring on people that we feel like would be would be a great fit. Now, here’s the thing that that probably is just going to have to be addressed is that right? Now your you are going to pay a little bit more for top top tier talent than you did a year ago. And if you’re trying to hold on and get bigger results, by thinking the way that you did two years ago, you’re probably going to have a little bit of struggle. So if you’re willing to think about it a little bit differently, maybe you have to adjust your your scope of your your scope of your vision just a little bit for season, maybe not try to accomplish as much, but try to accomplish the things that are most important for right now. And making sure that your team is the most focus, because at the end of the day, people want to be a part of winning teams. And when you’re a part of a winning team, that will attract as well. So loving the ones you’re with clear vision clear focus in making sure that you’re not spread too thin and what your team is starting or spread. Yes, spread too thin, where your team’s gonna get burnout in the process.

Good tips. Michael, if you had a crystal ball, you know a lot about leadership, effective leadership has changed over the last decade. What do you think those changes have been? And then what do you think leaders need to be thinking about going forward? Well, we

kind of started off talking about this whole idea of, of emotional intelligence. And I think that when it comes to emotional intelligence, it’s probably going to be one of the most important topics that we discuss over the next couple of decades, within the workspace, burnout is also going to be something that is going to be incredibly important for us to be consistently talking about over the next few decades. So what I’ll say with that is going back in time, and then looking through the crystal ball, what we’re finding out is that the things that we’re hearing from our teams about how they feel about us as leaders, is the most valuable pieces of data that we can actually have. So if you are in environments where you’re doing 360 degree reviews, and you’re only doing them once or twice a year, you have to be able to come to the realization that you’re probably only checking boxes, and the data that you’re getting now from those two, two times a year checkpoints, it’s probably more compromised data than it is accurate data. Does that make sense?

That makes perfect sense. So how often would you suggest doing that type of feedback loop?

Yeah, I’m glad that you asked that. So in our team’s methodology that that we that we actually do with our leaders, and I do have a free worksheet and resource kind of like an EOS system for people that would like to have that. But, but we actually build it into where we record data on a weekly basis with our top tier leaders and we make it accessible. The reason why we do that is because we want the most honest and the most safe feedback possible. So when people expect it, and they know that it’s anticipated, and they know that their their feedbacks gonna matter, then the knowledge actually gives you some important feedback. Now, the key that we found on this is creating environments, which people can give the feedback, but knowing that they don’t have to go into a bunch of detail or justification as far as why they feel something, but they can just literally just turn on the blinkers. So they can get a little bit of attention. And hopefully, that will force the leader tasks, right questions.

Fantastic. I fully endorse you listeners, if, if you don’t usually utilize a feedback loop system inside of your business, it is so incredibly critical. So let’s say I mean, I also recognize that certain organizations don’t and choose not to do that. So with that kind of lens in mind, what would you say are the top things that every leader can do to improve their leadership skills, regardless of direct feedback, and regardless of their current skills and abilities?

I think teachability and being being committed to lifelong learner, lifelong learning is absolutely key, especially if you’re in higher levels of leadership, you may not have a feedback mechanism built within your team. I just in my personal experience of working with teams, those teams that don’t have feedback mechanisms, at some level, or at some cadence, typically, you’re sending the wrong message to the people that serve on those teams. And so you have to be really careful about the justification of why you’re not doing that in the first place. But making resources available for team making sure that you’re championing some sort of community and championing some sort of, excuse me, and championing some sort of some sort of resource available for your team to be able to consistently commit to lifelong learning and advancing their skills within within their space. And also to, if it’s not clear within your leadership pipeline, as far as how people can get to the next tier of engagement, promotional opportunities, bigger opportunities for more responsibility, figure out ways to make those things visible and make it clear. You know, the the highest levels of leaders, or the top tier talent that we’ve worked with, we found is that they’re always looking, they’re not, it’s not necessarily a stairstep mentality, but it’s more of an amplicon amplification mentality is that they want to get into your organization, and they want to make the biggest difference, and that sometimes people have a rough time making the biggest difference, and they don’t know where the roads gonna end. So be very clear and transparent about how people can advance within your team.

I also want to just emphasize, is that I know that the generation that is, you know, coming up, you know, behind me, it’s really important for them to understand what their pathway is incredibly important, and what you know, what are the requirements and the steps? And when do they qualify? And how soon do they qualify, because I think if you outline that then sets the expectations and the targets for them to you know, reach for for the next rung. So ever more important, I love, I love the fact that that is a key tip on, regardless of your skills and abilities, outlined the skills and abilities you’re expecting your team to have, as they can, you know, move up. Good. Why I always love to hear from other executive coaches or coaches in general, can you share why? Why do organizations and CEOs need coaching, or consulting for that matter?

So because we only know what we know, and we build everything to our level of understanding. So think about that, right? And so even as we started off talking about systems and strategies and structures, and this is, and this is kind of like my superpower, like, you know, if you ever get caught in a personal one on one conversation with me, we would probably sit down at a table and you’d ask me a question and in at some point in the conversation, you’re gonna go, you’re gonna wonder did my check out that he float off into a land of somewhere. But it’s just because the way that my mind is wired is that I can I start to reverse engineer things and, and start to bring, bring solutions to the table that are a little bit different. But when it comes to a senior leader, when it comes to why they need coaching, is that everybody builds things to their level of understanding. And I think that that’s probably one of the biggest weaknesses within it is that the world is changing so fast. I probably the best thing that I did for myself is about five years ago, I brought on an executive coach and you still with me today, and it’s amplified everything it’s helped me see things that I can’t see. And it’s also just helped champion me being like, okay, if I’m going to be an executive coach, I have to model that I’m being willing to learn and to be committed to teach ability as high as anybody else I’d like to so

that’s fantastic. I believe every coach needs a coach. So I’m 100%, the congruency of that. Would you mind if I asked you, you know, without, you know, giving too much kudos to your coach, what are some of the things that have been transformational in the way that you think that has elevated, you know, you to be able to have that perspective, and that synergy and two brains are better than one?

Yeah, mindset with without a shadow of a doubt. And my, my story was getting into coaching and my transition out of full time ministry into the executive coaching space was in wasn’t incredibly painful one. And I started actually diving into going back to school to my master’s in executive coaching and organizational leadership, not because I wanted to leave my pastoral role, I just knew that something was really, really off internally with the team that I was a part of, and I just, you know, maybe it’s a little bit of self deprecation, but I always assumed that I’m the problem, right. And so that’s why I did that. And so and then, along the way, as I transitioned out of out of that role, and went into executive coaching, I, there were some significant things that I had to shift about my mindset, how I viewed myself, I view the world, my potential. And I will tell you that that was a catalyst for the life for that impacted of every single life that I coach. And so I highly suggest that somebody would, would look into that.

That’s fantastic. I have formulas and in like, things that I it’s some of my go to trainings, it’s sort of the baseline of where I address either mindset or growth and change. Do you have any special formulas that you use that you go have a go to? And it’s kind of just an off the cuff question, I live up? Well,

this isn’t necessarily from my coach, but one of the things that that I will say, just just basic leadership systems, and in just influences, so like, are the things that that, you know, are our influences and our outputs? So when we think about it, even for you, you are the sum of the five loudest voices, the sum average of the five loudest voices in your life? And so we’ve heard that before. And so what are the things that we that we’re that we’re hearing, you know, are we actually controlling the inputs, because for this, here’s how this kind of works is just the the things that we hear determine the things that we think about the things that we think about, determine how we feel, and the things that we feel determine most of our behaviors and some of our decisions that we make. And that in itself consistently, it helps me just get ahead of the curve a bit, making sure that I’m personally responsible for the type of inputs in influences that are in my life, I’ve had to strategically place the right people in one of those five seats. So if I want to be a better dad, I’m going to go ahead and put a great dad in one of those five seats. If I want to be great with my finances, I’m going to put a really good financial advisor and one of those five seats, but the type of energy that’s coming in from these five loudest voices, it’s been just a really significant game changer in my posture in how I think how I how I lead. So. So if that’s helpful for anybody, man, I hope that hope that lands,

absolutely, we talked about it a lot here deliberate directions, and I 100% agree. And I appreciate you sharing the formula of the inputs creates the outputs. And so what do you what are you allowing as the inputs into your world? So fantastic. Michael, what is the best way for listeners to contact or follow you?

Yeah, absolutely. So I do something which is a little bit different is that if you have a specific question, so now my the thing that I sit with the majority of time is I end up working with C level leaders and their teams. So we develop from from our app platform all the way through through executive coaching is that we have we developed things that keep executive coaching simple, but help you move the needle in a way that’s tangible, when we want you to have results. So if you have any questions regarding this, if you have any questions regarding how to how to avoid burnout, as a leader, I’m actually going to give you my cell phone number here and also my website. And you can also follow me on all social, but my cell phone numbers Area code 763-245-4984. And if you ever have a question, feel free to just text me directly. So I’ll get that 763 to 454984. Or you can actually go to this, this link on my website. It’s just teams dot coach. That’s just the domain and five Call me on all social platforms with the same.

Fantastic I will make sure to include that URL probably not your cell phone number in the show notes if that’s okay. It’s totally fine. Okay. Michael, thank you so much for joining us here today and deliberate leaders we we have a big job to do and I’m glad there’s others of us out there that are passionate about helping others.

Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.

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I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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