1 Vision Thoughts

Advice and Insight For Entrepreneurs and Leadership Teams

Your Team Needs More Moments of Truth

Your Team Needs More Moments of Truth

Do you find moments of truth to be elusive in the workplace?

Even if you’re at a place that is ethical and are surrounded by people that aim to do the right thing, the truth can still be elusive. And when we don’t have complete truth in the workplace, perception wins.

I want to share with you some examples when perception contradicts reality and help you to implement truth in the workplace.

read more
How We Scored 95 on the Organizational Checkup™

How We Scored 95 on the Organizational Checkup™

Sagefrog is a top-ranked B2B marketing firm specializing in healthcare, technology, industrial, and business services. Since its founding in 2002, the agency’s mission has been to accelerate success for business-to-business (B2B) companies through brand building and integrated marketing.

After slow yet steady growth for 15 years and an attempt at self-implementing EOS®, co-founders of Sagefrog, Mark Schmukler, and Suzanne Morris, decided to dig their heels into growing their agency and hired EOS Implementer®, Mark O’Donnell, who now serves as the visionary/CEO of EOS Worldwide.

Here’s what happened…

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How Many “Matts?”

How Many “Matts?”

I just completed a quarterly session with a client who has recently been performing well and exceeding expectations. But this one had an interesting twist.

Shortly after our last quarterly, the company’s head of engineering left. He was exceptionally talented, so his departure left a hole. In response, they moved Engineering underneath Operations (it had been its own leadership team seat) and promoted one of the engineers, Matt, to run it.

It was a battlefield promotion and no one was sure how it would go.

read more
The Visionary/Integrator Dynamic Duo

The Visionary/Integrator Dynamic Duo

Walt and Roy Disney. Henry Ford and James Couzens. McDonald’s Ray Kroc and Fred Turner. All polar opposites. One saw the future while the other made it happen.

By structuring their companies with these two vital roles at the helm, the visionary and the integrator, these entrepreneurs were able to propel their organizations to greatness – literally changing our world!

read more
Don’t Blow Off Your Clarity Breaks

Don’t Blow Off Your Clarity Breaks

I have a confession to make.

As both an EOS Implementer® and a longtime user of the EOS Process®, I have a history of blowing off my Clarity Breaks™

In recent years I’ve gotten better. As they say in the recovery business, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

I am not alone.

read more
What Happens When You Skip Annual Planning?

What Happens When You Skip Annual Planning?

A group of explorers was working its way through a jungle, hacking through thick underbrush.

Exhausted after several hours, they stopped to rest. Looking around, the brush was so thick they could only see tree trunks, leaves, and vines as the tunnel they had cleared curved out of sight. It was so thick they hadn’t even realized they weren’t traveling in a straight line.

One young explorer said, “I have an idea. Why don’t we climb a tree so we can see where we’ve been and where we are going?”

read more
From Zero to the Inc. 5000 – Five Times

From Zero to the Inc. 5000 – Five Times

The audience sat in stunned silence. A panel of Minneapolis ad agency CEOs had just been asked how long they expected to keep new employees. “One year,” “two years,” “three at the most” came the answers. Then it was Media Bridge Advertising CEO Tracy Call’s turn. “That’s crazy,” she said. “I want lifers! How can you feel any other way?”

It was a moment that told you everything you need to know about the successful entrepreneur and EOS® enthusiast.

read more
Great Leaders and Managers Solve Issues

Great Leaders and Managers Solve Issues

Every leader should ask:

“What verb describes how I most frequently impact our company’s Issues List?”

The only great answer to that question is “Solve.”

Put simply, great leaders and managers solve issues. They’re comfortable raising their hands and admitting they have an issue. They’re good at IDS™ing it – identifying its root cause, discussing it briefly, and then solving it by agreeing on a plan of attack that will make the issue go away for the long-term, greater good of the organization.

Sub-par leaders seem to be good at everything but that, but why?

read more
A Path Out of Chaos

A Path Out of Chaos

“I don’t know an entrepreneur without a business operating model that doesn’t live in chaos,” says Adam Radulovic, President of XL.net in Park Ridge, IL. “EOS offers a path out of the chaos you’re probably in today.”

In September 2020, Adam and XL.net were accepted into the Forbes Business Council, the foremost growth and networking organization for successful business owners and leaders worldwide. It’s a testament to their hard work and perseverance, as they made their way through the chaos.

Adam describes what running his business was like before EOS.

“It was nothing for me to put down several energy drinks every day just to sustain myself,” he says. “I was putting myself under constant pressure. I’d say that for every day I worked in the business, I was aging five. I wore every hat in the company which was emotionally overwhelming as I was accountable for everything. It was like, ‘Let me grab this. I’ll just do it myself.’”

read more
The Pin That Holds EOS® Together

The Pin That Holds EOS® Together

“Jim, it has been just a messed-up quarter. I would grade it a ‘C’ at best,” said the operations leader.

“I have to agree. Things are just off with us and the team. I give the quarter a ‘C-’,“ said the integrator.

The feedback went on in a similar fashion from the rest of the team and I have to say, I was baffled.

This was a great team that rarely had bad quarters. They had their struggles with clients and staff like everyone else, but nothing like “just a messed-up quarter.”

The crazy part was that the team and I really didn’t know what the cause was.

read more

Your Team Needs More Moments of Truth

Do you find moments of truth to be elusive in the workplace?

Even if you’re at a place that is ethical and are surrounded by people that aim to do the right thing, the truth can still be elusive. And when we don’t have complete truth in the workplace, perception wins.

I want to share with you some examples when perception contradicts reality and help you to implement truth in the workplace.

read more

How We Scored 95 on the Organizational Checkup™

Sagefrog is a top-ranked B2B marketing firm specializing in healthcare, technology, industrial, and business services. Since its founding in 2002, the agency’s mission has been to accelerate success for business-to-business (B2B) companies through brand building and integrated marketing.

After slow yet steady growth for 15 years and an attempt at self-implementing EOS®, co-founders of Sagefrog, Mark Schmukler, and Suzanne Morris, decided to dig their heels into growing their agency and hired EOS Implementer®, Mark O’Donnell, who now serves as the visionary/CEO of EOS Worldwide.

Here’s what happened…

read more

How Many “Matts?”

I just completed a quarterly session with a client who has recently been performing well and exceeding expectations. But this one had an interesting twist.

Shortly after our last quarterly, the company’s head of engineering left. He was exceptionally talented, so his departure left a hole. In response, they moved Engineering underneath Operations (it had been its own leadership team seat) and promoted one of the engineers, Matt, to run it.

It was a battlefield promotion and no one was sure how it would go.

read more

The Visionary/Integrator Dynamic Duo

Walt and Roy Disney. Henry Ford and James Couzens. McDonald’s Ray Kroc and Fred Turner. All polar opposites. One saw the future while the other made it happen.

By structuring their companies with these two vital roles at the helm, the visionary and the integrator, these entrepreneurs were able to propel their organizations to greatness – literally changing our world!

read more

Don’t Blow Off Your Clarity Breaks

I have a confession to make.

As both an EOS Implementer® and a longtime user of the EOS Process®, I have a history of blowing off my Clarity Breaks™

In recent years I’ve gotten better. As they say in the recovery business, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

I am not alone.

read more

What Happens When You Skip Annual Planning?

A group of explorers was working its way through a jungle, hacking through thick underbrush.

Exhausted after several hours, they stopped to rest. Looking around, the brush was so thick they could only see tree trunks, leaves, and vines as the tunnel they had cleared curved out of sight. It was so thick they hadn’t even realized they weren’t traveling in a straight line.

One young explorer said, “I have an idea. Why don’t we climb a tree so we can see where we’ve been and where we are going?”

read more

From Zero to the Inc. 5000 – Five Times

The audience sat in stunned silence. A panel of Minneapolis ad agency CEOs had just been asked how long they expected to keep new employees. “One year,” “two years,” “three at the most” came the answers. Then it was Media Bridge Advertising CEO Tracy Call’s turn. “That’s crazy,” she said. “I want lifers! How can you feel any other way?”

It was a moment that told you everything you need to know about the successful entrepreneur and EOS® enthusiast.

read more

Great Leaders and Managers Solve Issues

Every leader should ask:

“What verb describes how I most frequently impact our company’s Issues List?”

The only great answer to that question is “Solve.”

Put simply, great leaders and managers solve issues. They’re comfortable raising their hands and admitting they have an issue. They’re good at IDS™ing it – identifying its root cause, discussing it briefly, and then solving it by agreeing on a plan of attack that will make the issue go away for the long-term, greater good of the organization.

Sub-par leaders seem to be good at everything but that, but why?

read more

A Path Out of Chaos

“I don’t know an entrepreneur without a business operating model that doesn’t live in chaos,” says Adam Radulovic, President of XL.net in Park Ridge, IL. “EOS offers a path out of the chaos you’re probably in today.”

In September 2020, Adam and XL.net were accepted into the Forbes Business Council, the foremost growth and networking organization for successful business owners and leaders worldwide. It’s a testament to their hard work and perseverance, as they made their way through the chaos.

Adam describes what running his business was like before EOS.

“It was nothing for me to put down several energy drinks every day just to sustain myself,” he says. “I was putting myself under constant pressure. I’d say that for every day I worked in the business, I was aging five. I wore every hat in the company which was emotionally overwhelming as I was accountable for everything. It was like, ‘Let me grab this. I’ll just do it myself.’”

read more

The Pin That Holds EOS® Together

“Jim, it has been just a messed-up quarter. I would grade it a ‘C’ at best,” said the operations leader.

“I have to agree. Things are just off with us and the team. I give the quarter a ‘C-’,“ said the integrator.

The feedback went on in a similar fashion from the rest of the team and I have to say, I was baffled.

This was a great team that rarely had bad quarters. They had their struggles with clients and staff like everyone else, but nothing like “just a messed-up quarter.”

The crazy part was that the team and I really didn’t know what the cause was.

read more

Take Your Scorecards to the Next Level

A cornerstone of the EOS model is using the discipline of measurables and scorecards for leadership and departments to proactively track performance and hold employees accountable. Every company’s scorecards are unique to you and your processes. And, you probably put a lot of work into finding the right set of indicators to track weekly so you can make better decisions.

When done right, your scorecards are a proactive tool, helping you anticipate problems before they actually happen. But are you still using paper, spreadsheets, and emails to organize and share your scorecards?

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Putting Faith in EOS®

Catholic Charities is a nonprofit organization supported by generous individuals, foundations, businesses, and faith communities, serving people across the heart of Central Minnesota.

“Stressed and Blessed.”

That’s how Steve Pareja, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, responds when asked how he is feeling about all the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is no leadership training, there is no MBA program, there’s nothing that can prepare leaders to lead organizations through a pandemic,” he says.

To help make the most of all the changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic, Steve credits EOS for bringing a discipline to his team that has helped point everyone in the same direction.

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Don’t Take the Road to Nowhere

I worked with an entrepreneur who had no defined plan for his business. He was looking forward to just one day at a time. When I questioned what he wanted from his business, he shrugged. “I’m not sure? I just want to grow.”

It was no surprise to find that the rest of the team offered a similar response. The business was drifting on a directionless path. Their aimless behavior of working towards nothing, with no future target in mind, was clearly hindering their ability to grow. They were like a rudderless boat, floundering and going nowhere.

As Henry Kissinger once said, “When you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.”

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The Vines That Bind Us

As Steele Benefits continues to grow, that growth has uncovered some issues for Wes that need to be resolved.

“We’re growing so fast that I don’t know how I would survive without EOS,” he says. “But I’m also, unfortunately, still at a point where I start my day at eight o’clock and I don’t turn the laptop off until six. Then I turn it back on at nine after the kids go to bed and it stays open until eleven. I even find myself opening it up again on Sundays to make sure I’m ready to go on Monday.”

As the saying goes, EOS is simple, but it’s not easy. And for Wes, one of the biggest challenges has been in letting go of the vine. Or in his case… ‘vines.’

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What the Heck is a Measurable?

Imagine you’re playing a sport but you can’t see the scoreboard. You don’t know the score and you don’t know how much time is left on the clock. You’re not sure if you’re winning or losing, and the frustrated coach tells you, “Just play harder.”

I know that sounds crazy, yet that is how a lot of companies operate. No one knows what the targets are or how they are doing in terms of achieving those targets—they don’t know if they are winning or losing. They are just working hard.

This results in wasted time, poor resource allocation, weak overall performance, and ultimately, terrible results. Just like playing that awkward sport above, the people in the company have no idea how they are doing and as a result, perform poorly – or at a minimum are frustrated, confused, unmotivated, and rudderless.

In contrast, imagine a workplace where everyone knows exactly how they are doing.

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Change For The Better – EOS Spotlight

KAI Design & Build provides architecture, MEP engineering, interior design, construction management, program and project management services for public and private entities.

In 1980, Michael Kennedy’s father started KAI Design & Build from nothing in the basement of his house in St. Louis, MO. In 2008, Michael took the reins as president of the company then became the owner and CEO in 2017.

From a humble beginning, KAI and its family of companies have grown to some 400 people as Michael continues to build out the organization, attributing a lot of that successful growth to EOS®.

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4 Marketing Basics to Move Your Company Forward

The global health crisis has caused many entrepreneurial companies to seek new ways to deliver services within the current constraints and limitations. So how will your organization continue to engage prospects, leads, and customers in our new, socially distant society? We recommend taking a look at these marketing strategies and committing to a marketing program for the long haul.

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The Power of a 90-Day World

The second week of February.

According to U.S. News & World Report, that is when 80% of the people who SET New Year’s resolutions GIVE UP on their New Year’s resolutions. The reasons (and purported cures) are numerous, but this inability to sustain effort and commitment toward one or more big goals is simply human nature.

This is also true in business, as Gino Wickman discovered while observing his own leadership team (and those of many other entrepreneurial companies) and wrote about in Traction. No matter how aligned he and his fellow leaders might have been after a great Annual Planning or Quarterly Pulsing™ session, Gino noticed that 90 days later “you will get far off track, start to lose great people, lose sight of your vision, and end up right back where you started – in chaos.”

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Simplify Everything

As businesses grow, so does their complexity. For example, the more staff you hire the more complex everything gets.

I had one new client where the head of sales said that he had deliberately stopped selling because he did not have confidence that the operations division had enough resources to deliver what was being sold to customers. The head of operations, on the other hand, was shocked to hear this for the first time. He responded by saying that he had just laid off five operations staff members because he wasn’t confident that there were enough new sales coming through in the pipeline.

These two leaders had never effectively communicated with each other about their misperceptions. Their circles were not connected. They had created an unnecessary and dangerous level of complexity that should have been easily avoidable. This disaster demonstrates why leaders need the skills to simplify everything.

Simplify, simplify, and then simplify further.

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Are Your WFH Employees Effective?

Whether an employee is working from home (WFH), remotely, or from your office, there’s a simple way to determine if they’re a highly accountable top performer.

Watch as Certified EOS Implementer® Mike Paton shows you how to better judge an employee’s or a team’s ability to consistently contribute to what you’re trying to accomplish in your business.

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