EOS® for Visionaries: The One Thing ALL Visionaries Need to Do

EOS® for Visionaries: The One Thing ALL Visionaries Need to Do

I teach and coach in a leadership development program through a company founded by Paul Doyle, a leader who I both like and respect. It is the one piece of non-EOS work I kept after I ‘burned the boats’ last year, and that is only because I like being around Paul. Hopefully you have a Paul in your circle.

In a recent class, he shared some of the wisdom of doing management by walking around. As a Visionary, your eyes see things differently than the Integrator or the other members of the leadership team, so give yourself a chance to go connect and observe.

Here are four things that Paul Doyle shared with a group of leaders that will help your walks provide a great return on time:

  1. Make the focus on learning, not problem solving (let people fight through their own problems – don’t direct them on how to fix it)
  2. Listen more than you talk
  3. Spread time equally over the whole organization, don’t just go to problem areas
  4. Comment on successes as often as you comment on problems

You know something is broken when people start saying things like, “Oh no, here he/she comes!” The Visionary is most often an owner too, so remember to take the owner hat off, get to know the people, and make sure they know this is your listening time to just check in and learn from the experts – them! The only way to work through the fear this new habit might generate is to just do it well for 6-12 months.

Don’t let fear of not knowing names, hating ‘small talk’, or not wanting to end around on the integrator keep you from spending time in the business with the people that run it each day. If you do it right, you stay connected, the people are inspired, and the learning will help you build a great culture and company.

As always – let me know how I can help if you have some restraining forces that need to be overcome.

Extra support:
If you’re not already taking weekly Me Time, I suggest you enroll in my Me Time for Leaders learning journey. Schedule this weekly time in conjunction with your walk around to allow you quiet time to digest what you learn and make notes to help you later. Find out more about this learning journey here.

EOS® for Everyone: Retention Strategy – Cascading EOS Rhythms

EOS® for Everyone: Retention Strategy – Cascading EOS Rhythms

Lots of companies are talking about retention strategies for their people. As an EOS company, here is a case for why doing EOS really well and cascading it is the best strategy for keeping your people.

The Gallup organization came up with 12 questions that assessed an organization’s strengths in customer satisfaction, profitability, productivity, and employee turnover. The four questions they ask that statistically tie to turnover are:
Q1 – I know what is expected of me at work
Q2 – I have the tools I need to do my job
Q3 – I have an opportunity to do what I do best
Q5 – Someone at work cares about me as a person
(Here are all twelve questions)

If improving retention/engagement is a goal for 2020, here is how the EOS rhythms will help:

 Q1 –
Expectations
Q2 – Needed ToolsQ3 – What I do bestQ5 – Cares
about me
100% RP/RSX XX
Quarterly
VTO sharing
XX X
Weekly L10XX X
MeasurablesXX  
Qtrly 5-5-5XXXX
RocksXXXX

The power of cascading these tools is that, if done well, it becomes a powerful tool to keep your entire team engaged in their work and contributing at a high level.

Extras:

  1. A great post about clarity breaks from one of my partners – Mike Kren at BizStream
  2. A quick video around Daniel Pinks book – Drive that gives a simple answer for What motivates people? I would point back to the EOS tools as actions that make this happen.
EOS® for Finance: Developing Financial Literacy in Your Organization

EOS® for Finance: Developing Financial Literacy in Your Organization

This is a note especially for those in the Finance seat.

Remember when we did the cash flow drivers tool?

In my experience, half of my teams roll their eyes like they don’t need it. I can only think of one team who told me there was no/little value in the activity.

My questions to you:

  • What is the financial literacy of your leaders?
  • What do you do every year and/or with every new hire to continue to build it?

In a past role, I spent five months of my life taking leadership teams through a financial literacy/cash flow activity. It was an 8-hour class, averaging 15 people per class, and I trained over 1,500 people across the US and Mexico. I will never forget when a plant manager told me, in an excited voice, that he finally understood EBITDA! The irony was that was a key metric in his bonus, and he did not really understand it. That experience taught me never to assume financial literacy and how it is such critical knowledge for the front-line leaders to possess so they can understand the CFO and make great business decisions.

Question for 2020: How are you assessing/building financial literacy in your leaders?

I encourage you to do the 8 cash flow drivers with your leaders and find other ways to repeat that learning event in creative ways. I would be glad to help co-facilitate it if that would help, and I have a few other ideas that I have seen work if you are interested.

Extra Tips:

EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: Tips for Planning a Great Annual

EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: Tips for Planning a Great Annual

As we approach year end, it’s a good time to think about your 2-day annual planning. Here are a couple of tips based on feedback from my EOS partners:

  1. Get out of town: I consistently hear great feedback from teams when they do an overnight, even if it is just from Holland to Grand Rapids or Grand Rapids to Holland – they like being away and relaxing together.
  2. Plan some fun: Do something together that is just relaxing and creates some stories. One team went to Chicago and saw two plays – the first on night 1 and another after they finished day 2. Whether it is a comedy club, feather racing at a local pub, fishing/skiing, or just a nice dinner together, do something fun. This planning can also be delegated because every team has a person with the unique ability of planning fun.

It will be on the agenda for our quarterly, and I encourage you to sell it to your team and get them excited about it. I am here to serve, so let me know how I can help.

Extra Tips
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Learn how to use the Team Member Fact Sheet

"Trust is a gift. 

Great leaders learn it, give it,

and earn it each day."

~ Scott Patchin


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EOS® for Everyone: “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”

Albert Einstein famously said this, and it is particularly meaningful for the message I want to pass on to EOS leaders. Your #1 goal is learning.

The target market leader that thrives in EOS is entrepreneurial, growth minded, and open minded. Growth minded is simply someone who wants to be their best, and becoming their best means they are hungry for learning. A key part of this is demonstrating vulnerability-based trust by acknowledging when you don’t know something.

To be open and honest with you – I have not been great about pushing the reading list as part of implementing EOS. My mental excuse is that I see you being so busy that I have held back. But reflecting on this decision, I have let some of you who are not hungry enough to ‘be your best’ off the hook and for those of you who are hungry to learn, I have not helped you with key books that will deepen your knowledge of and skill in using the key EOS tools. As I take on new clients, that is no longer the case!

Here are the books that allow you to take a deeper dive into key EOS topic areas:

I also have some resources specifically around delegation, career development, overcoming loss, managing negative talk (in your head), managing conflict, effective communication, and lean thinking. Please contact me if you have a learning need.

I have watched with great joy the hunger for learning how to lead to growth which has allowed leaders to increase their own capacity (GWC) in their role to meet the needs of a growing organization.

I have also seen the effects of just working hard and not focusing on increasing knowledge and skills through learning. The impact of that is more subtle, but the result is leadership in a seat that becomes less proactive and more reactive.

One of the EOS values is Grow or Die, and I am constantly challenged by an amazing group of people to do this – you. My ability to be effective in my role requires me to get smarter faster so that I can effectively assist in handling some difficult situations. It is why I get on a call with 24-36 implementers every Monday to gather/share wisdom, why I read, and why I continue to do some non-EOS work to gather experience that makes me more effective for you.

Are you purposefully growing or stagnating?

Here are three things you can do today to start growing:

  1. Read How To Be A Great Boss again and commit to getting to all Yes answers.
  2. Start reading one list from the book and commit to completing the reading list this year.
  3. Set up a 30-60 minute call with me and let’s customize a plan based on where you are and where you want to go.
EOS® for Sales: Your Sales Process

EOS® for Sales: Your Sales Process

This is a note especially for those in the Sales seat.

My rock this quarter was to implement Pipedrive – a CRM tool – so I have been thinking a lot about the Sales seat I sit in on my own accountability chart.

EOS tries to keep this simple for you as the Sales leader by giving you two basic tools to help you focus your energy and build a more sales-focused ‘organization’ to support your work:

  • Tool #1 – Sales Department Check-up (p. 36 of your leadership team manual): This one-page checklist defines all of the most critical pieces of a healthy and effective sales organization. It is simple – read the statement and check the box if that is in place and SBA or FBA. A more effective way to use this is to get input from your Integrator and/or sales team on each item. Any non-checked boxes or disagreements are issues that need to be resolved.
  • Tool #2: Defining your sales process and measurables that need to be tracked to help you see what needs to happen. My story on this was a recent period of time where Emily (my admin lead) and I had not had an L10 in 4 weeks. During an L10 we did an IDS on the pipeline by opening my CRM and reviewing all the companies in the pipeline that were new and all of my clients that were in Mastery Journey pipeline (where all of you are that have completed the VB2 session). This helped us look at every client and decide what needed to happen to keep the experience on track and/or move them in/out of the pipeline. It took 20 minutes, but the result was a new closed deal and 2 scheduled 90-Minute Meetings. It also highlighted that my measurables need to be more defined so I can see the health of the process without having to take a deep dive on it.

I see too many sales leaders trying to keep the sales process hidden or vague, whether on purpose or because you don’t GWC that part of your role. I have only met a few sales leaders who possessed the unique ability to define and implement a sales process. If this is not your unique ability, get some help! When this critical work gets done, it provides the opportunity to build a sales organization where everyone is working on sales. This allows you to focus your unique abilities on the pieces you do well and delegate much of the other work.

Tips for building your sales process: I have designed and delivered a workshop that takes 45-60 minutes per process to arrive at a draft definition, and another 30 minutes to draft measurables. I would be glad to demonstrate it to you if it would help you strengthen this key component in your organization. Get in touch if you would be interested in exploring this option.

EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: The Big 3 – Core Processes / Measurables / Same Page Meeting

EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: The Big 3 – Core Processes / Measurables / Same Page Meeting

Managing chaos is hard.

In working with entrepreneurial leaders and leadership teams, the word ‘chaos’ is often touted as ‘whatever it takes’ or ‘do the right thing’ or ‘act like a superhero’. If you think these sound like values, you are correct. My reason for sharing it is NOT to encourage you to disregard your values.

Let me take you back to your 90-Minute Meeting and repeat what I said about strengthening your Process component: “Your handful of core processes define your business model. These are the key things that need to be executed on every day, and if that is done your business will become more profitable, more manageable, and honestly more FUN to lead.”

For Visionaries:
A defined process tells you where the organization needs you to contribute and also tells you what to expect the organization to do when you move on to the next thing. It also gives you measurables that allow you to watch the progress and health of the organization without having to dive in the details.

For Integrators:
Processes help all of your leaders see what they are accountable for and allows you to delegate and focus your energy on helping them get unstuck when things stop working. They also help you manage the tension between groups that might see a process differently. Have you ever heard sales pushing for closing a deal and operations arguing about design or deliverables as not being realistic?

Defining core processes and measurables are part of the big 3 because strengthening these will provide a host of benefits to your organization. I have seen six-figure cost (and profit) impacts as well as leaders saying “I finally understand what my job is.” I have also seen RP/RS issues when a leader cannot demonstrate the GWC of their role by defining and implementing a core process. When an organization fixes that, things like growth and diversification start happening.

Finally, don’t forget the same page meeting. Maybe a good topic for your next one is to spend some time thinking about your process component.

Tips to get started: I have designed and delivered a workshop that takes 45-60 minutes per process to arrive at a draft definition, and another 30 minutes to draft measurables. I would be glad to demonstrate it to you if it would help you strengthen this key component in your organization. Get in touch if you would like to explore this option.


Resources launched for you

If you need extra support, take a look at these three guided journeys I’ve developed to help coach leaders to success in some of the fundamentals:

  • Onboarding
  • Implementing a clarity break
  • Getting to know your team (I call it People-Centered 101)
3 Tips for Self-Guiding/Facilitating your EOS® Journey

3 Tips for Self-Guiding/Facilitating your EOS® Journey

I was recently in a conversation with a visionary who asked about facilitating their own quarterly and ‘graduating’.

I did not hide my joy, and reminded him that they had ‘graduated’ a long time ago so it only makes sense for them to try facilitating their own quarterly. I reminded him that the whole plan of the EOS Journey is to graduate in 18 to 24 months which is the time it takes to:

  • Master the tools
  • Get to 80% strength in the 6 key components
  • Make progress toward 100% of right person in the right seat

But his next question really made me think. It was, “What do we need to do to facilitate ourselves effectively?”

It made me think because sometimes I take for granted what I do during a session. While I do lots of writing, asking questions, and moving around post-it notes, I see my role as a guide/facilitator. The simple language I use to describe what I do is helping teams have a productive conversation. I expand on ‘productive conversation’ with my mantra of having productive conversations that lead to thoughtful actions and improved performance. I have had this belief since I started my business 10 years ago (my anniversary is October 1).

Here are three key things that, if you are committed to and skilled at, will make self-facilitating a 9-10 quarterly a reality:

  1. Set the agenda and kick off preparations 2 weeks before the session: Look back at the emails I send and copy the message. Part of being a member of the leadership team is preparing for planning, which includes reviewing the SWOT, gathering issues and feedback from your team, finishing Rocks to 100%, and spending time THINKING about the key issues that need to be put on the issues list during the day.
  2. Prepare to manage as a ‘team’: The key things that have to be done are bringing the documents, leading the different parts of the agenda, and managing the conversations so they stay on track from a time perspective and are productive. Ultimately you want to hit the objectives for the day and meet the expectations of the team.

The two key roles are: 1) Preparation (email, copies of all documents, room/food) and 2) Tracking To Do’s in the session. Generally, the Integrator can decide how the agenda will go, but here are the three key phrases everyone on the team needs to be willing to say during the conversations to share the ownership in a 9/10 day:
a. Drop it down – Said whenever we get into IDS on something that needs to be solved in the Issues Solving Session that is always after Rocks. Record it on the board and keep going.
b. With all due love and respect – Said before anyone delivers feedback on a behavior that is holding the team or planning back. When delivering a truth that could be hard to hear, start with this to make sure LOVE is part of the equation.
c. All that being said . . . – The #1 thing that makes a session ineffective is getting off-track from the topic or not getting to the point with comments. It happens most in IDS time and Rock planning, so be ready to say this followed by:
i. What’s the issue?
ii. What’s the Rock?
iii. What does Success look like?

3. Enter the danger: A key thing I think about as an implementer is how to be ready to enter into the hard discussions a team needs to have and most often will avoid if I am not there.

This hit me in a recent moment of reflection from some feedback about the value I provide as a guide/facilitator of the EOS journey. Enter the danger is simply this: when someone is not being honest, a big issue is mentioned that we need to stop and talk about, or someone needs one more question to really get to the point of a key (and sometimes painful) issue that is being danced around – I have to stop the group and make sure it gets talked about. Since this revelation, I estimate I do this mentally 30+ times a session as I read the room, the people, and the words. It is a judgement call, and sometimes it leads to an emotional and hard conversation. Sometimes I have to pull the team in, and sometimes someone on the team beats me to it, much to my delight.

This is my ultimate gauge of team health, and the #1 thing I look for in teams that are ready to graduate. As you start facilitating your own sessions, this phrase and some of the phrases above should be on display to see for every quarterly and annual.

On the back of every Cairn I give to graduated clients I share this quote:

Always remember that mastery is a journey, not a destination. Lead well!

By doing the three points I mentioned above, I believe you will be successful leading your own EOS journey.

EOS® for Visionaries: Your Unique Abilities

EOS® for Visionaries: Your Unique Abilities

Remember Focus Day when your name went into the Visionary seat?
In watching visionaries grow into their roles, the top 2 frustrations I continue to hear are:

  1. I do not even know what I am supposed to do in this seat
  2. I feel like my input isn’t appreciated anymore

Do these feel familiar?

There is an answer for both, and if you need a reminder read Rocket Fuel. You should be reading it with your Integrator partner once a year to reset yourself on how critical your roles are and how even more critical your relationship is.

My continued piece of advice for my Visionary/Integrator teams are to do those same page meetings! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get those started.

This visionary-only post is also about introducing you to another resource Gino Wickman is about to publish called Leap: Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Entrepreneur.

I know many of you coach other entrepreneurs, and I think you might enjoy this book. Take a look at Gino’s recent post introducing it.

Excerpt from post: EOS® is Adderall for Visionaries. 😊