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


Read tips for using it below.


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. 😊

EOS® for Integrators: Three Tools for Integrators

EOS® for Integrators: Three Tools for Integrators

This is a post for integrators only, to remind you of three tools you should be revisiting with the team annually as a way of proactively helping them reset some of the habits we built during the first two years of your EOS journey.

  1. LMA Review – The 10 things leaders and managers DO (see pp. 20-21 in the toolbox tab of your Leadership Team Manual) is something we asked each leader to self-assess as Yes or No when considering all the people they had LMA responsibilities for (often called direct reports). As a habit, once a year ask each leader to read through the list and reaffirm they are all Yes or recommit to changing all No answers to Yes.
  2. Core Process Review – Take a deep dive at a quarterly/L10 into one of the handful of core processes to make sure the leadership team SBA’s it, the metrics are clear, and flush out any issues with it. Ideally each should be reviewed once a year to make sure it is accurate and any issues identified should be solved.
  3. Delegate and Elevate – The continuous issue that comes back is having a leader doing work that should be getting done by their team. Remember my challenge to move away from $20/hour work to the $100 – $1000/hr work that members of the leadership team should be focused on?

The given is that each of you are still doing 3 quarterlies a year and a 2-day annual off-site. Whether you are graduated or not, as the integrator each of these tools helps you more easily manage the business and develop your leadership team. Do any of these need to be reviewed?

If there is anything I can do to help you/support you, let me know – I have some sheets and a few tricks for facilitating these discussions with your group.

Responsibility or Accountability?

Responsibility or Accountability?

The short answer for any leader working in an EOS® company is – Yes.

But these two words are not equal, and two leadership gurus I respect have pulled me both ways.

Patrick Lencioni included Accountability as layer number four in the pyramid made famous in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Seth Godin muddied the waters for me with a recent post:

Accountability is done to you. It’s done by the industrial system, by those that want to create blame.

Responsibility is done by you. It’s voluntary. You can take as much of it as you want.

Seth Godin – seths.blog.com

First, let’s look at the definition of these words (courtesy of Merriam-Webster):

Responsible (adj) – liable to be called on to answer. Able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations. [Responsibility is the corresponding noun]

Accountable (adj) – subject to giving an account: answerable. Capable of being explained: explainable. [Accountability is the corresponding noun]

merriam-webster.com

The definitions make responsible an individual thing, and accountable being imposed on us. Seth Godin’s point is that the stronger word is responsible because it triggers action inside of us and we take on responsibility for our work. That is what we all want in our kids, our team, our friends . . . right?

In working with dozens of leadership teams as an EOS Implementer®, I don’t agree — especially when we apply this to leadership teams. A culture of accountability will have a greater impact on a team and a company.

In EOS® we stick with the word Lencioni presents us because in the context of a healthy team, accountability becomes the culture of the TEAM. It’s critical to have individual ownership, but having an accountability culture within the team will help get individuals back on track when they start to fail at responsibility. We all get tripped up and fail.

Leaders, imagine how it changes your job when the team drives and supports each other to be accountable!

In the end, we want individuals to be responsible for their work — to have something happen inside of them where they are able and ready to answer to and own their work (responsible). The bigger goal is to have a culture of accountability, starting at the leadership level. The trick is to do that and still have it feel kind, supportive, loving, and trusting, not like the industrial system Godin describes.

Lead well, and look for evidence of responsibility and accountability this week — and recognize it!

The Biggest Barrier to Delegation

The Biggest Barrier to Delegation

I can’t let go of that; if I don’t empty the trash, who will?

These young people have no work ethic; if I don’t mow the lawn, who will do it?

People have to get paid around here; if I don’t double-check all the time sheets, how will it get done?

In my Delegating Greatness post, I share language to listen for and one action to start the work of learning to delegate. The reality is that there’s a first barrier I see leaders struggling with, and that is the fear of letting go. It’s not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t.

We need to be open and honest with ourselves before we even start the journey of delegating and elevating. The risk, if we don’t, is that there will never be any time to lead, or the world of “a genius with a thousand helpers” will continue to exist. If you have more than 5 people in your organization, you can. I will share a story later where I prove that even a seemingly “solo-entrepreneur” did not have that as a barrier.

Whether you think you can or you can’t — you’re right!

Henry Ford

First, I challenge leaders, when teaching the Assistance Track™, to look at their time as being worth somewhere between $100 and $1000 an hour. The next step is to take an open and honest look at all the work they are doing and identify all of the $15 to $30 an hour work. The latter list is the work that someone else needs to do. The aha! for most leaders, if they are open and honest with themselves, is that the people they delegate to are better than them at doing it and they LOVE doing it! The other aha is that when we thank them for helping us and really helping the company stay on track with their work, they feel rewarded because we trust them with something we have always done.

My delegation story had to do with email/scheduling and balancing my checkbook. One requires 1 to 2 hours a day and the other 1 hour a month. In the first quarter of this year, I gave both away — one to my admin lead (Emily) and one to my accounting team (Simply Counted in Holland). The impact was 20 to 30 hours of work per month off my plate. My first action: breathe a little more, work a little less between 6pm and 11pm. My second action: focus on higher value work of spending more time in one-on-one conversations helping clients and building tools to guide leaders through changes the EOS® Journey asks them to make. (FYI — I thought the latter would be the immediate result, but I learned there was a middle step. 🙂 )

Hear yourself say won’t or can’t, and change it to will and can. EOS gives you the tools, and if you need a guide you know where to find me.

Note: If you are not familiar with EOS® or the tools I mentioned, they are all free on the EOS Worldwide website. Here is a little more about me and the EOS® journey, and if you want to learn more let me know and I will send you a free copy of Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman or I am happy to give you ninety minutes of my time to walk you through it.

Honest Listening: What Peter says and one practice

Honest Listening: What Peter says and one practice

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.

Peter Drucker

When she walked into my office, she was clearly nervous. We had worked together for six months. In the next five minutes, she shared a very personal medical condition, how the treatment would take her out of work, and her concerns about her job and her health. There were tears.

I heard the words – and knew the next step was to leverage the policies we had in place to help all of our people get the same level of support and organizational compassion.

Somewhere in those five minutes, I heard some other unspoken messages:

  • I want to be a mom more than anything
  • I am scared
  • I love this job
  • I trust you to help me Scott, that is why I am sharing this

Within the unspoken words is the space where empathy happens, where we get to really understand what matters to people, and where the passions and fears exist that help us truly know someone.

The next time you have a conversation, listen for the unspoken messages. What do you notice? This is the real practice of honest listening, and it takes putting them first.

Strategic Time: Are you at 10%?

Strategic Time: Are you at 10%?

How much time do you, as a leader, spend on the strategic work of your business?

Wondering what strategic work is? First, here is what it’s not:

  1. Simply being in a room with your peer leaders and your team leader: Harvard Business Review (Stop Wasting Valuable Time by Michael Mankins) did a study on leadership teams and found 65% of them focused on talking at each other with information and not with each other to solve the biggest issues for the organization.
  2. Building an agenda with what the team wants to talk about: When studying leadership teams and how they structured meetings, the outcome was 3 hours per month spent on strategic issues. Ever been in a meeting where ‘input into your area’ or ‘issues being raised about your team/group’ ended up in you defending your team with the outcome being low trust, no decision, and multiple people leaving feeling like ‘that was a waste of time’? Be honest – given the choice, we build agendas that keep people ‘out of our business’ and don’t invite their input and help.

The solution is actually pretty simple, and yet not easy because too many leadership teams don’t fit the description of healthy (a cohesive, functional, open and honest, fun-loving team that enjoys working together).

Here is what strategic work is:

Weekly

  • Getting into a room each week to do a quick review of the health of the business (metrics and people/customer stories)
  • Providing an open and honest update to peers on the status of the big work for that quarter (we call them Rocks in EOS) and closing the loop on all the things people committed to doing after last week’s meeting
  • Picking 1 to 3 big issues the team feels need to get addressed and fixing them
  • Leaving with a clear idea of things to do, messages to cascade, how effective the meeting was, and what we can do next week to make it more effective

Quarterly

  • Spending a day together reviewing the long-term plan, getting on the same page around the progress to the plan for the year, updating the biggest issues/obstacles/opportunities for the year, putting a new 90-day plan in place for what has to get done, and solving a few big issues
  • Doing a fun activity together where work is NOT the topic, but connecting with each other on a more personal level is

Yearly

  • Getting away to do the quarterly work in a longer term way

It is always about spending time on the important things, and it begins with a commitment to spending 10% of your time being more strategically focused as a team. This quote showed up today in my inbox and I hope it challenges the excuse I hear most often from leaders when I share a picture of strategic time:

“I don’t have the time.” …almost always means, “this is not a priority.”

Seth Godin – sethgodin.com

If your team is spending too little time on strategic stuff or you want to step back and really look at your time, here are two great lenses to help you:

  1. Stop Wasting Valuable Time by Michael C. Mankins
  2. Read pp. 165 – 198 in Traction: Get a Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman

Time is a gift, so use it for the most important things. I hope this helps start a great conversation with your leadership team.

Listen . . . Lead. Repeat often!

The Most Valuable Hour in Your Week

The Most Valuable Hour in Your Week

We get busy.

The ‘To-Do’ list on Monday often starts with what was left on Friday. Then the messages start coming in from the people that depend on us for things — boss, peers, customers, kids, spouse, aging parents, our team, and friends. Then we respond like we have on every other Monday — we get to work.

If you stood back and considered your day, how confident are you that you are working on the most important stuff? How confident are you that you are successfully balancing the competing priorities in your life?

I was coaching a highly intelligent and capable leader who was struggling with this feedback: “You are not following up with some of your peers on key work, and are getting the reputation of not following through.” Her life was much like what I described in the first paragraph. I simply asked the question, “How do you prioritize your work when the list gets long?” Her response: “The list is always long, so I just get to work.”

The good news — she did not need marriage counseling, a spa weekend, or even a job change. She just needed to practice managing herself.

For this practice, I asked her to set aside an hour a week to step back, reset her priorities, reset herself, and THINK about the work/business that was being entrusted to her. The result? The top 2-3 priorities started getting done every week, her follow-up was more timely with key peers, and she made time for the important things while letting a few other things go. The feedback from her leader three months later supported the impact: “The sales team is feeling more connected to your work and the impact you are having on our business is exactly what I expected when we hired you.” Her feedback was: “I feel like I am having an impact and I worry/think less about work when I am not there.”

This is a practice Stephen Covey called sharpening the saw, and Gino Wickman calls a clarity break™. The people targeted with this solution are leaders who have big goals, many resources to get focused, and a world that wants a great deal from them because of their position, personal capability, personality, and power. The simple solution? Spend an hour or two a week to reset yourself and make sure you are focusing on the things that matter to you, so the barriers that are getting in the way of your own focus and joy get removed. Is your life more like this last sentence or the first paragraph of this post?

In working with and coaching leaders who live that first paragraph every week, and ironically becoming that person, the only habit I have found that allows us to be our best is to stop doing and spend some time thinking. To work ON our life and take a break from being IN our work. Try it — get away from your desk to a quiet place, turn off your phone, and spend time to review your priorities, think about the people that matter, solve a couple of big issues you or your team has placed in your hands, and plan your return to work with new focus.

I am still working on being 100% successful on that one hour a week,  so expect it to be hard.

Here is a short video where I explain the form I have created for myself to use during my TRU time. This is named after my focus of generating TRUst and facing some of my important TRUths that I want to live by.

Our work as leaders starts with us working on our own clarity, confidence and energy/joy for our work. Start making that a priority this week by practicing a clarity break!

Extra resources to learn more:

Key Leadership Skill: Sharpening the Saw or Clarity Breaks – 2 Tips to help you get started

Key Leadership Skill: Sharpening the Saw or Clarity Breaks – 2 Tips to help you get started

We are all too busy.

Do you believe that? I see too many leaders struggling with this feeling, and with the health effects that all too often follow this constant state of being.

At this moment, 20+ leaders from my EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System®) clients are doing a 6-week challenge to develop or reinforce the habit of taking one hour every week to spend time in what Stephen Covey called ‘sharpening the saw’. Gino Wickman calls it a ‘clarity break’™, and like many of the leaders I coach, I have struggled to establish the habit. I believe it is important, and currently I have two straight weeks of clarity breaks going, so here are two tips that have helped me:

  1. I created a template to make it easy to focus on the most important questions I need to answer each week and the work I need to review.
  2. The place is important. I live near Lake Michigan, and have found that a short drive to the water and sitting in my car helps me detach from my work. The picture you see here is the view that I have. My desk and coffee shops did not work for me.

Clarity breaks don’t fix being too busy, but the impact is to help you see your priorities more clearly so that the time you have will be focused on them. (FYI – check out my LinkedIn article about 3 Things Leaders Should Stop Saying in 2018 – “I don’t have enough time” is one.)

I am thinking of doing a broader Clarity Break Challenge in a few months for all of the readers of this blog and I am open to allowing each of you to invite people from your company. If you have interest in learning more, sign up here; if you would like to explore doing a challenge with leaders/individuals within your company indicate that in the note space. I would be glad to explore the possibility of kicking it off with a webinar or lunch and learn to help jumpstart their success.

Listen . . Lead. Repeat often!