Hey all, Kenny Chapman back here with you today to download some more of my thoughts on leadership and living your best life. 

As leaders (in any industry, though the home service industry is my bread and butter), I’m a big advocate for clarity on all levels. 

It’s only with a clear idea of the truth that we move and progress and win the game. 

I spoke with one of my clients recently over at Blue Collar Success Group when this issue came up. I want to talk with you about it today. 

Namely, is the action you’re taking, the leader you are, really driving the change? Or is it a result of some other factor you’re not aware of?

Is your success or failure a direct effect or side effect of you?

This difference is critical in making the most of your primary purpose and stepping into your greatness. 

This is a tough issue, but I know we can take it on today. 

Let’s talk about how you become an intentional leader and grow your business due to direct effects. 

how do you become an intentional leader

Effect Vs. Side Effect

I love the opportunity to just connect with you. 

I invest a lot in my understanding of life, world leadership, and how to rewire the subconscious mind. 

But even more than this, I thrive on the chance to share what I learn and help others make their teams, businesses, and lives great. This is what gets me up in the morning. 

I just love this opportunity to connect with you. 

So thank you for being with me. 

Share this blog with someone you know. Check out and subscribe to my podcast—all that stuff. 

I’d love to connect with you even more and others, and the little act of sharing makes a huge difference. 

I’m here to give back. 

That’s what this platform is all about. 

This is a little bit timely, just with everything that’s happened over the last 16 months with COVID and many different types of things happening in the world. 

We often hear about the side effects in the drug world and the pharmaceuticals and around different things. 

Today, I want to kind of just help us understand that drugs are a lot like leadership. 

Oh God, Kenny. Kenny must’ve started drugs again because now he’s talking about drugs and leadership. 

Bear with me here, my friend, because this makes some sense. 

Leadership Is The New Drug (Or It Should Be)

Now, what do I mean by that? 

A drug exists to influence some sort of behavior change or create something different in the reality of a situation than what we currently have. 

Good drugs help us make a change to get healthy again. Bad drugs help us change and escape or cope with other things in life. 

The funny thing is: most drugs can be good or bad in different situations, in different doses, etc. 

Leadership exists to basically do the same thing. 

Leadership exists to influence behavior, to change a situation, and to create something that doesn’t currently exist. 

Drugs and leadership are very similar. 

Maybe leadership’s a new drug, 

I don’t know, but here’s what I want us to think about when we look at effects and side effects. 

There’s this thing in pharmaceuticals where they talk about side effects or adverse effects. 

By the way, everything I talk about today, I want you to tie back to your own company, culture, and leadership as we explore these concepts together. 

Let’s say I’m going to influence change. 

If it’s a drug, let’s say I’m going to take an antihistamine cause I have allergies. 

If I’m going to take an antihistamine, I want to not sneeze as much, right? 

This is the “why” that I’m going to take this drug. 

Now a side effect could be that I get tired. 

A side effect is simply not the intended result. 

Side Effects In Leadership: Not The Intended Result

It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad because side effects in leadership can also mean you didn’t intend for that to happen. 

Let’s say I’m going to roll out a new benefits program. 

All of a sudden, my culture got better. 

I didn’t realize that was going to happen; my intent was to offer better benefits to draw in new talent. But now, my team works better because they feel more secure and valuable. 

That’s the side effect. 

Or I can change my pay plan because I think I can control my labor costs a little bit more. 

Let’s say I cut out an overtime policy that looks like it’s wasting money.

All of a sudden, my culture went into the garbage because people think I’m all about money, and THEY don’t matter. 

Maybe I cut the specific overtime policy to make room in the budget for added benefits. Who knows how that’ll shakedown in regard to culture.

It’s a side effect, but it doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad.

It’s the lack of specific intent that makes it a side effect. 

Sort Your Side Effects And Analyze Them

We can’t avoid side effects in our leadership. When we affect change, it happens. 

But we can manage it, attempt to predict it, or at least react to it in an honest way.

So we need to look at the side effects of our actions as leaders.

Then we look at the adverse effects. 

This is simply an effect completely undesired or harmful. 

Side effects on their own aren’t good or bad, but when it turns into something negative, it becomes an adverse effect.

What does that look like? Let’s say I roll out a new pay plan. 

My top producer quits as a result. I’ve had it happen to me, for sure. Anyone else out there? 

Back in the early 2000s, I rolled out a new incentive-based program to my business. 

I modeled it off of one of my colleagues in the industry, and he was running what was probably one of the biggest successful businesses at the time. 

I thought, “Hey if it’s good enough for Dave, it’s good enough for me.”

So I implement this thing. 

Boom! My top producer quit. 

Two other people gave notice. 

Wow! That is an adverse effect. 

When you’re watching a commercial on TV, and you see the drug ads, and it’s like: 

Oh, and by the way, there’s all of these this and that and this that might happen. 

After you take the drug, that is completely an adverse effect that was undesired. 

And that was harmful, right? 

We want to manage these and be able to understand how this works when we’re creating change in our cultures and organizations. 

We don’t have as much data as these pharma companies do to see what may happen. But it could be a make or break for our business if we don’t. 

Let’s Flip Everything We Just Read On Its Head

The subconscious mind is very much like the drug, meaning that the drug doesn’t care. 

I was recently doing some research and studying around different things that had taken place during COVID and different drugs that were introduced to the market and different things. 

I heard somebody was talking about side effects.

And I came across one interesting medical professional saying there was no such thing as a side effect, only direct effects. 

It made me stop. Woah. That’s way different than what I’d thought about this topic for my whole life. 

You either get the effect you want, or you didn’t. 

We would call it a side effect if I’m selling my allergy pill to someone who wants to be sneeze-free and also becomes tired. 

However, for the antihistamine, it’s doing exactly what it’s intended to do. It doesn’t care about your reason; it doesn’t care what you want.

The effects of the pill are the effects of the pill. 

There happens to be a reaction to it you didn’t want or intend. 

I want you to think about that for the subconscious mind.

There’s no such thing as good or bad. 

It doesn’t care whether you get up and run five miles every day or you get up and have four bong hits every morning. 

Quite honestly, your subconscious does not care. 

It just does the program we’ve developed over years of habits. 

Building Effects In Leadership With Intention

When we think about impacting our clients or our teams, what really matters is intent and awareness. 

What do I want from this pay plan that I’m going to change tweak that it’s going to affect? 

I need to think ahead, so I can make the very best possible effort that I can to make sure I don’t have an adverse effect. 

Make sure that I don’t lose my top producer. 

Make sure that I don’t come across as just being this money-grubbing leader that doesn’t care. 

That’s where we want to make sure that we’re looking. 

What’s the intention? What will the effects be? 

If I’m going to have a price increase, there’s going to be an effect. 

There’s going to be a side effect. 

Your job as a leader is to make sure one outweighs the other. 

That’s the deal. 

Leadership’s a lot like a drug. It’s true. 

All we’re doing is trying to influence change and behavior. 

Homework: Reflect And Plan With Intent

Think about it for yourself. 

I’m going to raise prices. What does that mean? 

That means my conversion rate might go down a little bit. 

That means my selling technician, salespeople, frontline, or whoever, may lose the confidence to close. 

I might have a little bit of a dip. 

What else? Maybe one of my competitors starts to undercut me and try to poach my regular clients. 

It could happen, for sure. I’m not saying a price increase is the wrong choice, but have you looked at all the potential side effects and adverse effects?

Do you have a plan or intent in how to manage them as active effects?

I mentioned the benefits earlier. 

If I’m going to implement a new benefits program, there can be an effect that the team gets excited. 

This is awesome. 

I improve my culture as a side-effect. 

I didn’t realize that I really was rolling benefits because I care about my team. 

Maybe it’s a recruiting thing. 

I can no longer recruit quality service technicians without having a benefits program. 

Now I’m going to roll my benefits program. 

Maybe I didn’t realize the side effect could be that people didn’t think it was enough. 

Now their morale is too low. 

Maybe I implement a hiring bonus to attract competitive new, skilled team members. 

Awesome. But my experienced team gets upset they didn’t get a bigger bonus this year. Uh oh.

Complex, right? This is why you need to slow down and reflect and plan.

We want to be mindful of those potentials and how to handle them.

You can’t make every decision and change perfect, but you can avoid being completely blindsided.  

Take the time to reflect, talk with others, and lead with intent. 

Final Thoughts

Leadership is a drug in every sense of the word. 

It’s addictive, it changes lives and processes, and it can be a positive, healthy game-changer for your team and business. 

But it may also wreck it totally. 

Side effects are the unintended effects of your actions. They can be good or bad, really. 

But in truth, you shouldn’t let there be side effects. 

You need to think about how to lead with intent and plan for as much as possible, and manage what you can’t. 

In this way, you turn your side effects into direct effects, amplify your leadership, and unlock your purpose on the path to intentional leadership. 

My friends, whether you work with me or not, follow me or not, I hope you take away this one idea from this article: 

You are the leader. Lead with intent. Guide your team and your own life with greatness by being aware of how your actions impact everything through reflection and honesty. 

Now go and make it a better-than-fantastic day! 

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