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How to Handle Cancers in Your Culture

We've all been in areas of our lives where we didn't know how to handle someone who was just causing problems.

There's not really another way to describe it sometimes. You feel like you've gone the extra mile to get them aligned, and you just can't figure out why they suck.

Well, the hard truth is: they might just be a loser.

Without trying to make too many assumptions, I'm pretty confident you can think of at least one or two people who fit that description. If you have any type of foundational values in your life, you probably wish you could do something about it.

Well, here's how you can.

1. Delegate Your Emotions

When you're aware of how you are influenced in your life — whether that's internally or externally — and in what areas it may change, you're able to delegate your emotions for individual situations.

What I mean, here, is when you know you're in a situation when you may not be thinking clearly, as long as you are aware of your pattern, you can delegate the decisions you make in those moments to one of two things: 1) rules you set when you were clear-headed or 2) someone you trust 100%.

For example, if you know when you disagree with your spouse, you tend to say things that are unnecessarily offensive just to be ashamed about it later, you can do two things: 1) write down a rule for yourself to guide you during those moments, and 2) ask your spouse to implement a trigger in the moment to remind you of your rule.

Now, I'm not saying your spouse is a cancer, but the emotions in moments like that often are. They're not real feelings; they're just simply habits we've created to respond to certain triggers, and much of the time, they can be incredibly unhealthy.

In this case, you can only be upset at yourself if you're unwilling to implement because the ball is back in your hands.

When you're dealing with people or situations that prey on emotional control, this skill is an absolute mind-bending detriment to their strategies. It allows you to focus on the patterns in play, see them for what they are and hold yourself accountable to the decisions that ultimately align with your vision for your life.

2. Eradicate the Cancerous Culture

A few years ago, I made a decision that cost me over a million dollars a year, and there was no doubt in my mind it had to be done.

At the time, I had a guy working for me that was an incredible producer, and for the most part, he did things on the straight and narrow, ethically. However, I started to catch wind of him doing some things that were grounds for termination and potentially more, so I sat him down in my office and bluntly let him know. When we concluded the meeting, I went back to my office and just shook my head.

The logical part of me asked: "Why in the world would someone who is making seven figures a year risk everything to get one deal done?"

In addition, my gut told me: "Cut this guy. It's not the first time. It's just the first time he got caught."

I didn't listen.

About two months later, I got proof that he had committed blatant fraud. Within thirty minutes of me being notified, he was back in my office, apologizing and promising that he was just going through a rough time in his life, and that it was completely out of character.

Let's just say it wasn't out of character at all.

Two weeks later, I discovered that our branch manager had been letting the guy continue to come into the office and do business under someone else's name.

Not only was I baffled at the arrogance of these pricks, but I was infuriated that they cared so little about anyone else that they would willingly put my company's reputation and future on the line. These guys endangered our team members' jobs, their families and their livelihoods, and it was intolerable.

Immediately, upon finding this out, I drafted an email to the manager, letting him know that everyone working at that office was terminated, immediately, and that all active business would be handled by my corporate office.

In his book-long reply, there was one sentence that made it clear: "Cody, you overreact to everything."

There was no response necessary.

See, the issue I had was that everyone who worked in that building knew exactly what was going on: the guy had been fired for fraud, and it was illegal for him to be on company grounds.

Where others may see my decision to let everyone go as extreme, it was one of the easiest decisions I've made. In all of our organizations, we are very transparent about what we expect from our people and our culture. We don't wait to be asked why we didn't do the right thing, we just do the right thing in the first place.

The passive, "I didn't know that was my responsibility", explanations had to be completely eradicated.

These types of things happen in relationships, families, friendships and companies everyday, and they repeat themselves because the culture persists, is able to recuperate and eventually takes over.

Simply, it must be destroyed.

In this video, I talk about building a winning culture after you've cleaned house.

3. Dominate

Cultural cancers will always exist. They have been around since the beginning of time, and they're not going anywhere soon. It's in our human nature to better our own lives and survive at all costs. The issue is that some people interpret that as a "me against the world" mentality and disregard anyone in their way.

The best thing you can do when you run across people like this is outgrow them. Be the bigger person. Be unwavering in your actions. Be the light in the room. Live at your standards, and completely clear any expectations you have of those people or situations. If you are un-phased, they have no leverage and are, therefore, powerless, which will likely encourage them to exile themselves before you ever have to make a decision.

If you have not listened to X Squared yet, do so. There is nothing more powerful than aligning your focus on things that help you build your ultimate life, and that's entire mission.

I look forward to getting your feedback on the next episode.

You are the reason,


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