1 Vision Thoughts
Advice and Insight For Entrepreneurs and Leadership Teams
Whether you’ve hired family members in the past or if it’s your first time considering it, the decision to hire a family member can be a huge one.
Recently, a family business owner called me to talk about whether she should hire her daughter to run operations in the business. The owner and their sister have run the business for over a decade and are a well-matched integrator and visionary team.
The business has been a successful one. Both owners have had a lot of fun building the business and they are both ready to retire. Now they’re considering hiring a member of the family to take over the Integrator role. With this, there are many things to consider.
Now in her third year as president of ERC (Employers Resource Center) in Highland Heights, OH, and as the first female president in its 100-year history, Kelly Keefe credits EOS for helping her become a stronger and more confident leader.
“As a female President, I was certainly faced with challenges I never expected in today’s world. But I am thankful that I had the tools and skills to deal with them.”
“EOS has helped me organize my thoughts and better lead the organization. I knew that we needed a system that would last.”
This week, I sat down with Aubrey Huff, the Campaign Development Manager, Hero Squad at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She shared her wisdom about how professionals in all industries can live out their core values, what it means to find meaning in your career, and how The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) makes a lasting difference for cancer patients and their families.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a perfect example of an organization with a well-defined mission and a clearly defined set of core values. The people they attract, like Aubrey Huff, are those who create an aligned and unified culture, and drive success for the organization.
In Chapter 6 of “Traction,” Gino Wickman shares ten “commandments” of a team that’s great at solving issues.
Because solving an issue often requires one or more decisions to be made, they are also referred to as the “Ten Commandments of Good Decision Making” in the eBook, Decide!
One of the core EOS® Tools for helping a leader determine whether someone is in the right seat is GWC, which stands for Get it, Want it, and has the Capacity to do it.
When evaluating whether someone GWC’s their job, you must ask three questions and answer either “Yes” or “No” to each one.
“Maybe” is NOT an option
Technology has taken over our world.
Everywhere you look, people are looking down at their various devices. They are checking email, text messages, and social media on their smartphones, checking notifications, and health data on their smartwatch while taking notes on their tablets. During this flood of information overload, the ability to be present and focus on what’s going on around us completely disappears.
Leaders of entrepreneurial companies are usually being pulled in many directions at once. When everything feels so mission-critical, it can be difficult to know what to tackle first. That’s where data comes in.
Referring to the data on your company Scorecard can help you get clarity on what you need to focus on right now.
Your company Scorecard is more critical than ever, so we’ve dedicated an entire Lead Now session, as well as this blog, to be a class in “Scorecard 101.”
Bonfire Engineering and Consulting is a network and technology services organization located in Denver, CO.
Like most entrepreneurial companies, Bonfire Engineering and Construction has high aspirations both in purpose and in product.
They believe all Americans should have access to high-speed internet that will drive economic health and vitality of their communities by increasing job opportunities, improving education, and making healthcare more accessible.
During its four-year journey as a company, they’ve gone from the lows of losing a co-founder to some amazing highs of growing by 50%, building a culture of people that truly care about their purpose, to diversifying their revenue.
Bottleneck, logjam, impasse, run aground – there are lots of ways to say that things are not moving forward – you’re stuck.
We’ve all been there, and once you realize it’s happened, you immediately start looking for ways to get UN-stuck.
While there are many ways that organizations get stuck, it is often the result of an organization outgrowing whatever systems, resources, or people that brought them to where they are. Implementing EOS® helps you gain traction so you can begin moving forward again, allowing you to get what you want from your business.
All companies running on EOS® follow the practice of having a weekly Level 10 Meeting™. I’ve seen many companies do these meetings, and one huge mistake keeps rearing its ugly head when clients get to the Customer and Employee Headlines, and again when they get to the Issues List. They launch right in and wind up missing the real stuff.
Typically, visionaries hold titles like company founder, president, or CEO.
But that’s just a title.
A visionary tends to be a great leader with lots of big ideas, is a relationship builder and salesperson, and tends to operate more on emotion.
The book Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Waters explores the role of the visionary in-depth and says, “If you are a visionary, you are one of only 3% of the population that create two-thirds of the new jobs in our economy.”
Now, more than ever, the world needs visionary entrepreneurs – they’re the ones that will solve our current problems and pull us all forward.
But they can’t do it alone.
Several of my clients recently asked for help in putting together company or departmental scorecards. For many organizations and leaders, finding the right set of 5 to 15 leading indicators that provide an absolute pulse on the business (or the department) is a difficult challenge. Often it takes several months or longer to truly fall in love with your scorecard.
One of the first things an EOS Implementer® does when working with clients is to determine the right structure for the organization using the Accountability Chart. While this can be a straightforward exercise for your leadership team, some of your team members may have difficulty when it’s time to build out the Accountability Chart for their own departments.
Do your employees know what a Level 10 Meeting™️ is? At all levels of your company? If you’re running your company on EOS®, your leadership team should know what a Level 10 Meeting is and your entire organization should be engaged in regular Level 10 Meetings every week.
You may know your customer’s demographics such as their age or gender, or maybe the size of their company, and you may also know the geographical location of your customers as well, but do you know their psychographic profile? You are likely missing the most important part.
Identifying company values, along with a mission and vision of the future, is considered table stakes if you want to run a successful company. But integrating and living by those values is more difficult than it seems.
If you’re an entrepreneur or a business leader and you’re feeling ‘frozen in place,’ you’ll want to get unstuck as soon as possible so you can lead your company and your people. In the best of times, you’ll hear us at EOS talking about the importance of taking regularly-scheduled Clarity Breaks™. We feel that now is a critical time for Clarity Breaks, so we’ve dedicated an entire Lead Now session, as well as this blog, to be a “Clarity Break 101.”
Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured, gets managed.” I’m beginning to understand the true meaning of his words as I work with my clients and businesses I own. A good Scorecard is the key to accountability. I began asking why this was and the answer became so obvious, I have to admit I was a little embarrassed that it took me so long to get it.
Do you remember the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen? When all his courtiers were too afraid to tell the Emperor that he was naked for fear of being labeled stupid? Ever feel that sometimes your team might be trying to tell you something but can’t?
The only business that doesn’t have issues is one that has already gone out of business. Having issues isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s what you do with them that counts. The first step in handling any problem is acknowledging that it exists. Then you can do the following.
The EOS Business Spotlight series showcases entrepreneurial-minded organizations running on EOS and their leaders who take initiative, confront hard facts and pressing issues, and lead with calm, clarity, and confidence. This could be your story too.
A successful coach isn’t always a game-winning coach. I’ve seen evidence of this up-close in all of my experience coaching youth sports, where our team might lose but each individual child comes out of the game with more experience, focus, and positivity. It is often the very same in business.
“Houston, we’ve had a problem!” It seems that nearly everyone in the world recognizes these five historical words. They were first spoken by Captain Jim Lovell, the Commander of the Apollo 13 Space Mission, over fifty years ago, when an explosion midway to the moon should have killed everyone on board. The actions of the three astronauts after the incident still serve as a lesson to us all about unexpected tragedy, focus, discipline, and perseverance. Today, our unexpected explosion is Covid-19, and what are we to do?
In EOS® quarterly sessions, I always ask teams, “What kind of scores are you giving your weekly Level 10 Meetings™?” If I hear low scores – sixes, sevens, eights – I ask, “Where are the 10s?!” People often respond, “We don’t give 10’s. There’s always room to get better.” Here’s how.
I recently shared a 90-Minute overview of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) with a leadership team that was deciding whether to work with me to implement EOS in their company. The team shared that they were frustrated with their current situation.Despite growing consistently for the past several years, they felt like things were getting harder, not easier. People who used to be great for the business suddenly seemed to be struggling. Systems that had worked well for years suddenly seemed to be breaking down. Revenue was up, but profit wasn’t as high as they wanted it to be. After presenting the EOS Tools and the EOS Process® to the team, I surveyed the room to see how they reacted to the content — and was surprised to see one person wiping away tears. Worried that I had upset her somehow, I asked if she was OK. “I’m just so relieved,” she said, “After hearing you paint a picture of what EOS can do for our company, I finally have hope that things can actually get better. When can we start?”
For some, simple business might appear to be an oxymoron. Almost all of the businesses I have worked with over the past 30 years have been anything but simple. Is it possible to keep business simple, with a simple business structure, a simple business plan, simple business processes, and simple management? Is it really possible to simplify business?
In recent quarters, I’ve had four clients with the same issue. In each case, the leadership team was puzzled and felt stymied. The companies had been running on EOS® for about a year and a half and during that time, they had experienced big growth in revenue and profits. But then it stalled out without warning. What happened?
After your senior leadership team has mastered the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, there comes an exciting – and maybe slightly scary – milestone in your implementation of EOS: it’s time to teach the rest of the company how to do it. We call this the “rollout,” and it begins when your leadership team works together to help next level leaders, managers and supervisors begin using EOS foundational tools in their departments or teams. Whether you do your rollout to one layer of management at a time or to everyone all at once, there are a few things you can do to make sure the process goes as smoothly and successfully as possible.
Some time ago I had a conversation with a client’s Integrator. This was one of those lessons-learned conversations that are painful to have, but are fertile soil for learning and growing. They had just fired an employee and it didn’t go well. It was a painful and difficult termination, but the leadership team’s actions had farther-reaching effects as well. Not only did this People Issue impact the company’s internal operations, but it also impacted their clients. Here’s why.
One of my clients, a small software company in Detroit, had this a-ha moment in one of their quarterly sessions. “With great power comes great responsibility. We have great power (talent on our team), and we’re not being responsible because we aren’t focusing it effectively.”