By EOS Worldwide
ERC provides training, HR consulting and support, coaching and assessments, and research services.
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. ERC has been around a hundred years and I want to make it last another hundred.”
WORKING SMART ON THE BUSINESS
When Kelly became president, she found that company profits were minimal, expenses were high, and volume was not increasing. Part of the problem was that the organization couldn’t get any traction as it was doing a lot of customized, one-time projects.
“It wasn’t that we weren’t working really smart. It was that we were working really hard on these individual projects,” she says. “But we weren’t working smart on our business. We were doing everything one time.”
Kelly knew she needed a plan, but it seemed that so many things needed to be worked on at once that she didn’t know where to begin
“In classic visionary style, I found myself bouncing off the walls, with shiny objects everywhere.”
It was while she was having coffee with a couple of other business associates outside of the company that the topic of EOS® came up.
“I later went to a presentation given by Certified EOS Implementer® Kris Snyder and what really hit me was the authenticity of several EOS clients in the room. They kept saying that EOS was really simple, but that it was really hard. That it involved some painful growth, but that you just had to keep trusting the process. That provided some mystique for me along with a whole lot of optimism.”
Kelly ended up reading the book Traction and afterward, turned to Kris and said, “Let’s go.”
SINGLENESS OF FOCUS
Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and because ERC offers a lot of classroom training, they quickly found themselves facing a $350,000 shortfall in revenue.
“I credit Kris for kind of shaking me up a bit saying, ‘Kelly, you just lost $350,000. How are you going to get $350,000 in the next 90 days?’”
With a focus on just a couple of company Rocks, Kelly and her team got to work and discovered that they were able to repackage their membership packages while at the same time, blew the dust off of an online training program they had created but had never marketed.
“Turns out we didn’t have to reinvent anything,” she says. “And if we hadn’t been working with EOS, we’d be reinventing things right now.”
Like many other organizations, Kelly discovered that the trial-by-fire presented by COVID was actually an opportunity.
“When COVID first hit, it was scary,” she says. “But now, in a way, I am thankful it happened because it gave me the opportunity that I needed. It was a real timeout from the business which gave me the chance to work on the business. Working from home was time away from hallway chatter and all the shiny things that pop up in the office environment.”
As a visionary, one of Kelly’s biggest challenges was getting a handle on all of the ideas that constantly vie for her attention.
“I probably have thirty-two shiny objects that I want to roll out at any given time. Thankfully, using IDS™ in conjunction with the Level 10 Meeting™ keeps me in check. It’s super hard for visionaries like me to shy away from these shiny objects, but the process keeps me accountable and that keeps me focused.”
Unlike many entrepreneurial leaders who struggle with being open to other ideas and opinions, Kelly says she’s thankful that she knows her weaknesses and is not so set in her ways that she can’t change.
“I see a lot of leaders out there who are basically, ‘My way or the highway’ and in many cases, they really struggle with implementing EOS because they are too set in their ways to make the necessary changes.”
For Kelly, having an open mind and trusting the process has been a winning combination.
THE EOS JOURNEY
Now more than ever, leaders need to know where they’re going and how they’re going to get there. EOS is a tool, a resource, a community of like-minded people that know the struggles they’re going through.
“Even though it can be a hard journey, leaders need to realize the powerful outcomes that can happen,” Kelly says. “Having a trusted Implementer and EOS to turn to has made all the difference.