Today’s special guest has devoted two decades of his life helping leaders advance their organizational effectiveness and personal excellence. Greg Salciccioli is a renowned executive coach and enterprise consultant. He is also an accomplished keynote speaker and the author of the “The Enemies of Excellence: 7 Reasons Why We Sabotage Success.” Greg is also the CEO of Coachwell and Coachwell Capital.
In this episode, Greg discussed why many brilliant and successful people sabotage themselves and what you can do to prevent a similar scenario from happening. You will also learn about life management and the importance of self-care.
This is one of those episodes you’ll most likely listen to over and over again, so don’t miss it!
The Secret Method for Shattering Your Income Barrier
A lot of times, we talk about business, which is great. It is important. For a lot of you in the audience, that is the type of information that you are craving. Occasionally, I like to bring in someone bringing a topic that I know has the capacity to literally change some people’s lives that are reading this because these are the type of messages that have impacted me and changed my life.
There are a couple of things I want to say before I introduce our guest. There are two parts to the business. There is the performing side of the business, which is the doing. That is your strategies, learning how to market, and operations. That is important. When you are new to the business, you are going to spend a lot of your time, but there is another part of the business, which we call the becoming side or the being side. That is the type of man or woman you become in your business, the type of leader and character that you develop. What I will tell you is as long as you get in business, the more time you will spend on the becoming side rather than the doing side.
The reason for that is you will realize that impact comes from who you become. You will realize that, most likely, if your business is to fail, it is not because of performance. It is usually a flaw in character. Your talent has the ability to move you further than your character can sustain you. I will tell you an alarming thing and why Greg, our guest that I’m about to introduce, is important. It is that only 1 out of 3 leaders will finish well. That means that 2/3 of the people reading this or out there will get disqualified because of a moral misstep.
We all know those stories of someone that we have admired. We put up on a pedestal and we find out they made a decision that crumbled everything. All that to say a little bit more of a serious tone, but these are the topics that matter. We are talking about wisdom. I’m very excited to introduce my guest, Greg Salciccioli, who is the author of The Enemies of Excellence. He, for me, has also been a mentor and a coach. He is someone who has come along and I have learned a lot from him.
Greg, welcome to the show. How are you?
Chris, I’m doing well. Thank you for having me on the show. I appreciate it.
Let’s talk about the Seven Enemies of Excellence. This is a three-part series. We are going to start with a story, then go into the seven enemies of excellence, and we are going to come back with what you call Three Powerful Solutions Against These Enemies of Excellence. Let’s get this going. Everybody loves a story, so let’s set the precedence here.
I want to go back to what would be the worst morning of my life. This was a morning where if you ever had this when you are sleeping, it is 6:00 AM, but you are going to sleep in that day, which I was, and your pillow feels so perfect. I feel so good. I’m sleeping, but I hear this phone ringing. At that time, we had a line phone and it was in the kitchen. I did not believe in having a phone in our bedroom because I did not want to have that bother us.
I’m hearing this phone ringing, but I don’t want to get up or wake up. I’m fighting myself out of it. I get up. Diana stirs a little bit. I go to the kitchen and on the other end is a friend, who also is a client who I have been working with. I can tell the moment I pick up that phone that he is in deep trouble. All he says is, “Greg, can you please come over right now? I need to see you,” and he hangs up the phone.
I know where he lives. I quickly go, jump in a shower and get ready. On my way out, Diana says, “Why are you up so early? What are you doing?” I said, “My friend has a problem and I think it is serious.” As I’m driving over to his house, I’m trying to figure out, “What is it? Is it the business? Is it a staff member? Did something go wrong?” As I’m going there, I’m getting this bigger dread that this is something that I have not experienced before. I don’t know why I was feeling that way.
As I pull into his driveway, I’m thinking, “What am I going to experience?” I go up and knock on the door. He opens up the door and he has got these scratch marks from someone’s nails across his face. He has got these despondent bloodshot eyes and only says, “Please, come in.” As soon as I step into his house, I hear the scream I will never forget. It is like a scream that goes through your body to your soul. It was his wife screaming, “Why?”
Most likely, businesses fail not because of performance but because of a flaw in character.
As I walk into the front room, I see a meltdown of a marriage, a man, his legacy, his business, and his life. I’m watching a meltdown that is serious and destructive. Just so everyone knows, this organization no longer exists where it was thriving and so vibrant. As I walked into that room, I sat down and began to talk with him and his wife. He had an affair. As we began to unpack that, I saw that in his life, I had seen indications of it. You know you can sometimes see from the outside, but you do not see the whole backstory until you get into someone’s life, until they are transparent about it and share it.
Greg works with some of the top entrepreneurs, business owners in the country that are doing tens of millions of revenue, and wealthy guys. As you began to unravel this, you began to see a pattern. It did not just happen at one point. There was a process that led up to that ultimate decision that toppled this guy’s life because you talked about his reputation, net worth, and everything that he had built.
You begin to call those the Seven Enemies of Excellence. Help us understand what was the path that this guy went down and something that we can obviously learn from his experience so that we can avoid this? The number one thing anyone says is, “I don’t want to be that guy or that woman.” That should be gut-wrenching to go, “I never want that to happen in my life.”
This is a person who had to lose everything and had to even leave town, moved to a whole different area of the country to start over, and has never really gotten back to the point of success that they had at that moment or prior to that moment. The backstory is quite interesting. This is why I wrote the book. It is because I wanted people to avoid this. There is a way to build sustainable success, but let’s talk first about why do intelligent, brilliant, and bright people sabotage their lives? Why do they do it?
We have all asked that. When we look online, we see people in the news and we are like, “Why?” That question screams at you. Let me talk about the backstory because, at any scene of a crime, any detective group is always looking for, “What was the backstory? What led to this disaster? Why did this happen?” We will unpack the backstory then we can therefore go forward with that and understand how we can build sustainable success and not end up like this man, his wife, the employees that no longer have a job, the company that no longer exists, and the loss of so much.
The backstory usually begins in the life of the leader because when you look at the seven enemies, it usually begins in a mindset or a framework. It is the genesis of this problem. All of us have an ego. Ego, courage, and confidence are important, but what orientation does that ego have? Which way is it pointed? Is it pointed towards building something that gives me significance, makes me feel important, gives me lots of value and wealth, or is my ego turning and building something that is a little more altruistic rather than egotistical where I’m building something, a great product or service that serves others that improves our community and world?
The ego is much safer in that orientation than it is in the other orientation because egotistical, narcissistic, and self-serving is a very unstable ego that leads to all the other enemies. They all are attracted to it. Just much like a gigantic magnet, you are attracted to it and then once they get involved in your life, they all have their own destructive, cumulative impact.
What is that first enemy? You call it egotism. I like this phrase, “Egotism says, ‘I know best.’” This is level one. This is where it begins. Unpack that a little bit.
Most people who get locked into this end up being intoxicated by their own views, own judgments, and decisions. People are talking, but they are just in the background. They don’t hear counsel. They only take in counsel. It is like, “I know better than Chris and Greg.” Somebody even reading this now or when they do download is going to say, “Who is this guy?”
They know best. They see themselves as the most intelligent person walking into the room. I had a business owner one time. He flew across the country to meet me. He came into my office in the conference room and said, “Greg, my name is George and I want you to know, most people consider me the most intelligent person in the room.” Let that sink in for a moment.
It is dangerous. It means, “I’m no longer teachable and open to the counsel of other people.” We all are smart enough like, “Regardless of how intelligent I am, I’m still going to have blind spots.” If all of a sudden I cut off any type of feedback or counsel from other people because I think I always know best, anyone understands that you are just wide open to get knocked down because of a blind spot you have.
Egotism then leads to our next enemy.
Life mismanagement is number two, which says, “I will get to it later.” I called this the when-then trap. When this happens in my life, then I will spend more time with my family. When my business gets a little bit more established, then I will start taking care of myself, like exercise and going to the gym. Let’s unpack enemy number two, life mismanagement.
Every person in leadership is always at risk. You will never have no risk. There are three enemies in the low-risk category. One is obviously ego and two is life mismanagement. We will talk about the third, which is bad habits. We are always at risk. I want you to operate from that foundation. All of us are always at risk. Ownership, leadership, and entrepreneurship are intrinsically risky. I want us to get that clear.
In life mismanagement, if we do not manage ourselves or do good self-care, invest in our relationships, or critical relationships for us because relationships don’t go on hold, they either are being enriched or depreciating. They don’t have a middle ground. The key is that if we are not investing in ourselves, self-care, sleep, nutrition, or hydration. Most corporate people are chronically dehydrated.
Your talent has the ability to move you further than your character can sustain you.
They think they are hungry, but they are dehydrated. We do not have the electrolytes that we need. There are quite a few things around that, exercise, journal time, thought leadership time, or all of those things that help you stay at a high level of preparedness and health readiness to then have the best idea. Many times, an entrepreneur’s best idea is a nap away or a rest time away. This is important.
I know entrepreneurs I work with both running Multipliers Brotherhood, which is the top real estate guy in the country, all the way to our incredible students with Wholesaling Inc and REI Radio. Life mismanagement is something I see on a regular basis because everyone buys into this mentality that, “I have got to sacrifice it all. I have got to burn it at both ends in order to make it.”
We are not saying there might not be a time where you got to be able to turn something on, but the problem is when you turn on, don’t turn off and just stay on because, at some point, you are going to crash. Let’s touch on this third when you talked about bad habits, which is fundamentally, what harm could it do? What is this enemy of excellence right here? This is probably starting to pick up things like maybe drinking a little bit or things to self-medicate? What do you see here?
What happens is when you are not doing good life management, you are looking somehow to escape the continuous pressure because you are not depressurizing, enriching yourself, or refueling yourself. Therefore, you are looking for some way to escape. It could be alcohol or over-eating. A lot of people stress-eat. It could be improper viewing of content on your phone or online.
It can be gambling. I have a lot of entrepreneurs who get stuck in gambling. You are looking for something to escape the pressure that you don’t allow yourself to depressurize or don’t systematically depressurize. You don’t refuel. These bad habits become hooks. They get in and have a disorientating factor to them. They take away your edge, innovation, creativity, and strength. Many times, it leads to the next enemy, which is it breaks down relationships. There is an acceleration happening here versus the deceleration. These are all cumulative, but there is also an acceleration towards self-sabotage.
Meaning that as you step into it, this pace picks up and this downward spiral gets faster. You have hit the first three and I want to summarize those for the readers. We are not looking at an infographic like you have built, which is great, but number one is egotism, “I know best.” I move into life mismanagement, “I’m not taking care of my body, spirituality and all those types of things.” I start to cope or escape through, “What harm could this do with bad habits?”
Now, we are starting to pick up the pace here and then we move into number four, which is the indulgence, which you are fundamentally telling yourself, “I deserve it.” If you have been in business or you push yourself to the max, that phrase right there should resonate with you. How many times have we made decisions on overspending or doing something we should not do because we go into the guys like, “I have been busting my butt for my family and this business. I have been sacrificing and I deserve it?” Unpack this a little bit more.
Back to Rob. Rob said to me while I sat at his house, “I thought I could have a little naughty on the side.” I said, “If you realize there is no side, you can’t have a little bit of indulgence over here and expect you are going to have healthy relationships and perform well over here. You are not.” It is all together. You can’t compartmentalize.
As males, especially, we tend to want to do that, but you can’t. It is all on the table or a one playing field. You do not exist in different dimensions. You are in one dimension. The key is that we are taking things to an escalated level. This indulgence controls me more than I control it. A bad habit I can work with here and there. We all have them and we are all working through them. In fact, the secret is to build a good new habit to let go of or you can release a bad habit. The key is indulgence has power and the flywheel effect to it. It sucks us into it and it is now dictating to us.
This is a loss of control here, whereas I might feel in control playing with these certain types of habits and so forth. When I move over into indulgence, all of a sudden, there is a loss of control over my behavior. We are talking about different types of potential addictions or going down that road, which makes sense. Let’s go to number five. It is broken relationships.
What I’m asking myself or anyone in this position who is saying, “Why don’t they understand me?” What happens here when all of a sudden, the relationship is beginning to break down? You are catching momentum towards sabotage. This is the story of your guy. He was catching momentum that led to that point of when you got that call in the morning. What is happening here?
Unfortunately, this is a lot of people’s stories throughout history and time.
As we said, it is 2/3 of leaders’ stories.
What happens here is that the people in your life are trying to reach you but you are now even harder to reach because you have got active indulgences, bad habits, and you are not taking care of yourself very well and not thinking clearly. There is disorientation here. You have lost your North. You are more controlled by other forces than you are controlling the forces around you.
Most people end up being intoxicated by their own views, judgments, and decisions.
Your people are trying to reach you, especially the critical core people in your life, but you are not taking their counsel because you know best. “I will work harder, Chris, to get out of this,” which you are working harder but you are working more into the trap. You are burying yourself more in the problem. If people can’t reach us, they are going to leave us because they have to remove themselves. They can’t reach you and watch the destruction. They see it clearly. We don’t see it if we are caught in this. They are trying to help and reach us, but we have stiff arms. If not physically, we have a stiff arm in our head. Our conscience is beginning to get seared. There is a closed-down factor happening here.
If I’m not listening, not receiving counsel, and I’m blocking everyone out, now we move to enemy number six, which is isolation. I know it is literally one of the biggest, most comprehensive problems I see in the business world. It is why I started Multipliers Brotherhood because we tend, particularly as men, that when to say it or the shit hits the fan, things get hard. Rather than moving toward people, we want to go hide by ourselves and deal with it on our own. Now, we are over in a corner with our own thoughts by ourselves and what a dangerous place to be in. Let’s talk about this enemy. Now, we are in isolation. What is happening?
There is temporary empowerment here, which is false empowerment. We feel like, “If I can just pull away and be by myself, I can figure this all out.” We temporarily feel empowered by this, but yet it is another enemy, sabotage, and lie. We need to be in a community and connection with people to figure it out. Not by ourselves because isolation had a thread earlier on. When I told myself, “I know best,” I’m beginning to isolate myself at that point.
Isolation gets its hook in early and then pulls you out. It isolates you. There is an ancient proverb that is very scary. Proverbs 18:1 says, “He who isolates himself picks his own desire and breaks out against all sound judgment.” Sound judgment is gone. We thought we could do it on our own. Entrepreneurs do need that inner confidence and strength, but please gather the right people around you and do not do business or life alone. It does not work. It never has and never will. We were built to work in a community, collaboration and we do not do well isolated.
This speaks to a lot of people that might be following certain people that we value and read their books. You can name the names, but what they teach is that, “You are an island. You can do it yourself, and you are self-made.” Let me say straight up. It is a bunch of BS. That whole message is empowering and it is cool. There is some hipness to it in the way that that is packaged, but the reality is there is no way that you are going to summit the mountain that you have been called to and you think you are going to do it by yourself.
It is ludicrous for you to even think there is any truth to that message, but unfortunately, that message is out there. Let’s wrap up with the seventh enemy and I want to move over now to solutions for sustainable success. The last enemy, number seven, is self-sabotage, which you are finally saying, “It is not my fault.” When you get the call, this is one of the worst mornings of your life. What has happened at the end of this story? Let’s tie this in with this guy.
As I sat with Rob and watched medical people begin to attend to his wife, who had a breakdown and began to have him pour out his life. It was not only sad, but it was so avoidable. As I sat there, I thought, “All of this is avoidable,” but then he unpacked the way he had been acting and doing things in secret. As he began to even share it and as he listened to himself, he was trying to understand, “Why did I do this?” The person who lit their life or their business and burned it to the ground is wondering they are standing there with the gas can and the lighter in their hand. They don’t even know why.
What I want to say is when you get to this point, people do crazy things. I can tell stories about leaders that one ran naked through town. There are all kinds of things that you do that are incredibly strange and weird, but you have to remember, there has been a dismantling, disorientation, disconnection of conscience, and all types of things.
There is an exhausted person. They are absolutely exhausted and depleted physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. They are done. A person like that is desperate. They are going to be doing very desperate and crazy things. One is buying sprees and buying crazy things, moving out, and finding different people to relate to who will say, “It is not your fault because you are paying the bill for their life.” They are more than happy to ride that train with you.
We have seen that. There are probably some particular celebrities we can pinpoint some of that behavior. It looks like that person went off the deep end. Let me summarize these seven and let’s go over to the solution. Enemy 1 is egotism. Enemy 2 is life mismanagement. Enemy 3 is bad habits. Enemy 4 is indulgence. Enemy 5 is broken relationships. Enemy 6 is isolation. Enemy 7 is self-sabotage. For someone who is reading going, “I don’t want that to be my story and my legacy. I want to finish the race well. I want to be the 1 out of 3 that makes it.” What can you tell us? Where is the wisdom here? What are the sustainable success things that we can put in these powerful solutions? What are the solutions here? Let’s break these down.
As we talk about the solutions to this, we recognize every one of us are at some level of risk. There is a risk assessment in my book online and our company will tell you how to do that. You can take that. I will be more than happy to have our team or us help you with it. We are all at some levels of risk, but they are easily correctable by these three solutions.
The first solution is what I like to call decentralized leadership because it means if you think of a circle in your mind and there are arrows pointing into the circle. A centralized leader, which is leftover from the Industrialized Revolution, is the boss in the elevated office with the coffee cup, looking down at the minions that are working in the factory. That is the centralized leader who makes all the calls and the boss who everything comes back to him or her. All decisions, all directions, and every meeting are led by them. They want to see every email and they are high micromanagers or a controller.
A centralized leader never has time to invest in self-management, listening to others, and they know best. If you are that type of entrepreneur, you want to move to a decentralized. Think of the arrows pointing out from the circle connected to you as the primary leader, but they are empowered by you through relationship, a vision, a business plan, roles, and responsibilities. You empower them to be self-directed to let them go out and lead with their abilities, and then you guys collaborate in success.
If you move to a decentralized, you will be in less meetings. Your email box will be almost empty because you are allowing people to lead. You will make decisions quarterly and then empower people to let them run. You have got more time for thought leadership yourself, investment in you, and the best investment, which is solution number two, systematic renewal.
Relationships are critical because relationships don’t go on hold. They are either being enriched or depreciating.
I go deeply into that in my book. Chris, you are a good practicer of systematic renewal. You live in a beautiful place that lends itself to that. I love where you live. The key is that you systematically renew yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You invest in yourself and you recognize the first best strategy. It is to invest in me to make sure I’m at the top of my game and I bring strength in meetings. I bring innovation, creativity, and the best to what I do because I have systematically taken care of myself.
What that comes down to is identifying certain activities that do that. When I’m on my mountain bike on a single-track trail out here in the cascades, I am unwinding emotionally and I’m physically getting charged. I sometimes even pray while I’m out there. I can hit three accounts with one activity. When I’m with Diana, my grandkids, and our sons, I’m like a sponge soaking up all that beautiful connection and relationship. I have got five grandkids and they are gorgeous, fun, and crazy. I love it all. It revitalizes me relationally.
Let me summarize those first two, and we will hit the last one. Decentralized leadership, let me say it this way. Either you are going to build a business that completely relies upon you and revolves around you, which you are not running a business, you are fundamentally just owning a job or going to build a business in which you work on it, not in it. I will use some language like Michael Gerber to connect with this crowd. You have learned to delegate, outsource and empower people in your company to raise up leadership because your business should be able to run without you not having this arrogant approach that, “If I’m not in it, it is not going to survive.” Those are two different types of leadership mentality.
Again, systematic renewal. I like to call it replenishment. I used to have a professor that would say, “Divert daily, withdraw weekly and abort annually.” That was systematic renewal. Every day, do something to go replenish yourself. Every week, take off a day or two, whatever that looks like and weekly withdraw from the business. Annually, at least once, if not more, abort. Go out for two weeks, turn everything off, get off the radar because he was smart enough to know and tell us as young men. One of the more important decisions he had made in his life was living by that renewal.
Let’s hit the last one, which is the core group. I believe in this. I have spent so much time building this in my own life because there were times I did not feel like I could find it, but I began to realize that if I had the right men around me, not just mentors but men and peers that were walking through what I was walking. That I could relate with and if I built a core group in my life, that was going to minimize my probability of making a misstep and losing it all. If you are reading and you want to see this incredible video, go to my YouTube Chris Arnold-Real Estate and subscribe because a lot of times, these types of messages, you want to see the actual video for it and touch on the core group.
The core group is your trusted advisors. These are the men and women that you bring around you, resource you, and fill in the dimensions of your life, business, and giving you expert counsel as well as expert support. Some of the people in your core group are paid like my CPA and our legal firm. I have got three different financial advisors. They have become friends, but they are paid and I practice absolute transparency with them. This is a key for your core group. If it is going to give you counsel, you got to be transparent. As Socrates used to say, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” You have got to allow your life to be examined.
What is the second one?
The second level is what I would call colleagues, professional and personal colleagues. I have got some of those in the business as well. I have one partner in there. Those are colleagues around me that care for me and I care for them. They are investing in me and I’m investing in them, and we have full transparency.
It is fundamentally your entourage, but one that is valuable. We see entourages and a lot of times, those are jokes, but what if you truly had a real board of directors around you, a true entourage that was there to watch you, have your back and tell you the truth? Not yes and no men, but people that were willing to point you in the right direction if you got off track. Imagine if you had that in your life. That is what you are talking about and that is what a core group does.
It is a beautiful thing and I have some accountability partners. Accountability only works if you go first.
You are willing to face the shame, be vulnerable and talk about the hard things.
For everybody reading, please do understand this. You have got to invite people in to help hold you accountable like, “I want accountability. I am not safe on my own. I have too much ambition and drive. I have beliefs that I can do anything.” Those are dangerous things unless there are some limits on them.
I will give a good analogy to wrap this up. Another coach, Terry Walling that I’m working with, said, “The people in your life are like the gauges on your dashboard in the car. You are an entrepreneur. You are in the Lambo and you like to go fast. Imagine driving that thing without a dashboard. You don’t know the RPMs and the fuel gauge. Are you running low on gas? You don’t know how fast you are going. The people in your life are the gauges so that you know that you are getting optimal use out of the machine, but you are not driving it into the ground. That is what people do. They are the gauges in your life.” That is a valuable way to look at it.
Greg, what a powerful message for anybody reading. I love the fact that you talk about inviting accountability. I’m being transparent, going, “Do I bring in coaches to help me in my business?” It is the Greg Salcicciolis and the Terry Wallings. It is those men like you in my life that I have been extremely intentional about bringing in because I understand, as a man, that has been what you have been through and seen what you have seen.
Your bad habits will sooner or later become hooks that can take away your edge, innovation, creativity, and strength.
I’m young and there is a lot I don’t know. I want to learn from the mistakes of other men. Not always necessarily have to make those mistakes myself and learn from them, particularly ones as you said that were completely avoidable. If someone is reading and going, “I love this. I’m going to read this guy’s book, The Seven Enemies of Excellence by Greg Salciccioli. This guy coaches and this is maybe something I’m looking for. I want to grow myself as a man, a woman or a leader.” How do people find you?
Please visit us at CoachWell.com.
I want to thank you publicly for being a mentor and a coach to me. You guys can imagine me spending time with a guy like Greg. You got minutes with him. Just imagine hour after hour. It has been valuable talking to Greg about all types of leadership stuff, even outside of The Enemies of Excellence, which is awesome. If you are looking for a community, we have that in REI Radio. We are not only teaching people how to find motivated sellers and utilizing radio, which is hands down the best source.
My heart and passion are to create a community long-term even after people have finished the program or moved to our alumni program to begin to build this type of support. These are the topics in my life now that matter most. We will talk about marketing channels and how to wholesale, fix and flip. If you want to know where my true attention is, it is these topics because I realized these are the topics that matter most.
Thank you for tuning in. Greg, thanks for being here. It was a massive amount of wisdom you laid down. In one of these talks, people probably need to go back and read a couple of times. If you know someone that can get value from this, then share it because it could impact somebody’s life. To the rest of you guys, thank you so much for joining. Until next time when we catch you soon and add more value. Talk to you later.
- Greg Salciccioli
- The Enemies of Excellence
- Multipliers Brotherhood
- Chris Arnold – Real Estate – YouTube
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15 year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time. His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!