For Visionaries: 2 Tips to Maximize Your Impact

For Visionaries: 2 Tips to Maximize Your Impact

2 Tips to Maximize Your Impact on the Business AND Decrease Your Frustrations

You sit in the visionary seat because of your unique ability to see big trends, solve big problems, build/maintain important relationships, and generate ideas that will help your business get to the next level.

Lately I seem to be having conversations with visionaries that are seeing EOS® as a system that restricts their access and voice in the business. That is not the intent of EOS and of the accountability chart that created a much needed structure in your organization. Here are two key truths:

  1. Your opinion moves people when they hear it: I heard a story of a financial executive touring a trading desk one day when he made kind of an off-handed comment about gold looking interesting. When he revisited the area a week later he noticed the large positions they had taken up in gold. When he asked about the reasons for the shift, the team responded that they were just “following his advice.” A single comment had moved hundreds of millions of dollars! A leaders words move people, so choose them wisely.
  2. The Integrator – Visionary relationship is critical to your business: The reason Rocket Fuel was written was to equip you to do that. In the opening paragraph it says, “You will learn to utilize this partnership the right way to free yourself up, maximize your potential, and achieve everything you want from your business.”

Also recognize that all your ideas are not great, and some are gold and need to be done. Here are two things that will help you leverage your unique abilities and have a big impact on your business:

  1. Same page meeting with your Integrator: This is a critical time to prioritize your ideas, support each other, and IDS big topics that need to be supported by both of you before they hit the business. Follow the guidelines in Rocket Fuel to set this up, and call me if I can help refine this time for the two of you.
  2. Define the core processes that most impact your work: Generally it is either the sales or product development process that the Visionary spends the most time in. By defining the process and what parts or steps you will be the owner, it frees you up to be involved in the business without having to worry about the day to day follow through. Remember the story of the financial leader? Your voice just shared without the context of a process will most likely result in priorities being shifted without debate, and ultimately it will negatively impact the clarity and focus of the team.

Don’t stop being you because the strengths you possess are needed by the business. The lesson we all have to learn is that strengths overused become weaknesses, so put in the work to build up the relationship with your Integrator and refine the processes that will help your ideas get vetted and gain traction that you can see without having to be there every moment.Lead well . . . . ~ Scott

The 2021 EOS Conference in Houston is still open. Might be a good retreat to spend time ON the business and network with other visionaries.  Here is the link if you want to check it out.

Especially for Visionaries: 3 Things to Watch and Listen for Now

Especially for Visionaries: 3 Things to Watch and Listen for Now

Your team needs you to help them make some critical shifts

In the last 3 months I have found myself repeating the same question: When you look around the organization do you see the team playing more defense or offense? One thing I have observed in some organizations because of the recent crisis, is a shift of things like cash, PPP, employee safety to the top of our list, and things like lead generation, client check-ins, and many of the activities that drive sales and deeper customer relationships have stopped.

the visionary for your organization, I challenge you to do the following 3 things over the next few weeks:

  1. Watch the organization(including your own activities): Do you see more defense or offense from the team?
  2. With your Integrator (at your same page meeting) take a look at your leadership team: Which departments are working well together and which ones actually had more communication/coordination issues over the past few months? Get it on the issue list and let’s work to solve it.
  3. Take a look at your accountabilities as the visionary: Are you spending enough time doing these? If not put it on the issues list and IDS it with the team so that you can get back to the big things your organization needs from you to grow and thrive. If they see you playing offense it will help them find the time and courage to make their own shift.  

Spend the next few weeks really watching and listening to your organization. Put some time in your clarity break to do some thinking about the culture and future of your leadership team and organization, and challenge things that need to be challenged. That is what the visionary does, and the organization needs you to put some of these unique abilities into action. As always, let me know how I can help.Lead well . . . . ~ Scott

Consider attending the 2021 EOS Conference in Houston next year. I attended the most recent one (it was virtual) and I was super impressed with the content and organization. It had all the passion I would expect from putting a bunch of EOS leaders in a facility for a couple of days. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: Breaking Through the Ceiling

EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: Breaking Through the Ceiling

In the last 6 months, I have looked into the eyes of some overwhelmed leaders. You are both in a tough position, because the team looks to you for strength and leadership, and yet you are human and hit the ceiling like anyone else.

  • Who does the Integrator turn to for support? The Visionary
  • Who does the Visionary turn to for support? The Integrator
  • What if you sit in both seats? See below

Both of you should find a peer group in which you can feel safe to talk. Some examples include Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Vistage, Young Presidents Organization (YPO) or, in West Michigan, Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring (JEM). Having a mentor or finding another peer group that meets monthly can also be a great place to get some help.

The most powerful thing you can do is to admit to your team that you are hitting the ceiling and then do something about it. Remember our first conversation about being a good leader is a lot like being a good parent?

  1. Have a few rules 
  2. Repeat often 
  3. Walk the talk

If you don’t walk the talk on taking care of yourself so you don’t hit the ceiling, your team won’t either – it is that simple.

Make sure you are supporting each other (or getting support from an outside group) and you are walking the talk when it comes to being your best.

TIP: Remember the Back to the Basics Checklist under the toolbox tab (p. 33) to help you think through what you need to do to break through the ceiling. And contact me if you need more help.

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 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
I’m offering regular support on your journey toward people-centered leadership, with weekly reminders and a free coaching session. Bookmark this page to enroll on an experience when needed.

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)
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. 😊