We bring interesting and committed business owners, CEOs and top executives together in formal peer groups.
What we do is not for everyone.
We learned early on that there are many leaders who think it is a “cool” idea to hang out with other leaders to BS about the issues they are having in their company.
The problem is, the big-talking, always complaining leader has no intention of changing anything; they just want an audience to pontificate or bloviate to.
Why is this? Everyone else outside of their company is tired of hearing about the same old issue(s) that will never be resolved.
We are referring to spouses, friends, relatives inside and outside the business, vendors and suppliers, professionals including the CPA, business attorney and banker, and literally, anyone else within earshot.
And because the leader has no idea how to fix the issues and has no willpower (also known as courage or guts) to do what is really needed, this is a never ending speech.
We had one owner in a group who complained about his controller, a long term employee who could never get the financials done on time. Turned out the guy was in the office all day, and instead of doing what he was getting paid for, he was running some other businesses on his employer’s time and dime.
This went on for years until someone else in the company found out what was really taking place and took some long overdue action to change things.
Now, to weed out the talkers and to get a better sense if the leader is a doer, someone who makes thing happen, we ask just for a few documents to weed out those who are committed versus those who are not:
- We ask to see your business plan and your most current completed monthly profit and loss statement and current balance sheet.
- We ask to see the last performance evaluations you have completed for your direct reports.
- We ask to see your current organizational chart.
If the leader cannot provide these documents, no matter what size business they lead or how long they have been in business, we know they are not serious about participating on a Strategic Advisory Board.
That is how we operate and while we are in the business of bringing interesting people together, they have to be 100 percent coachable and open to coaching others. They also have to be sufficiently organized and focused on having an efficient, effective and financially viable business.
The leader has to be growth oriented (personally, professionally and corporately) and they have to be willing to make the investment of time and other resources to not only participate but to implement and report back to their Strategic Advisory Board each month.
Not with talk, with an updated Strategic One Sheet Navigator.
If you want to learn about Ken Keller, his bio is available on Linked In.
Why do you want to participate in a Strategic Advisory Board?
Every business owner, CEO and top executive we know is interested in growing their company.
Growth consists of increased revenue, larger profits, more and better clients, positive cash flow, a stronger balance sheet, higher productivity, improved efficiencies and reduced costs.
Many leaders mistakenly believe that all the elements needed to grow already exist within their organizations. Sadly, some critical components are missing because if they were already in use, past growth would have been be
easier, faster and considerably more efficient.
Based our research and experience, there are four elements commonly missing from the current profitable growth formula that many leaders subscribe to.
Most companies lack a formal system for individual, team and company accountability. Developing and maintaining a formal accountability system for every department and every employee is a challenging task yet can be the ultimate competitive advantage worth millions of dollars each year.
What is accountability? Many leaders think it is their formal HR evaluation system. Most operate under the belief that such a system is in place and working just fine at their companies. They are lying to themselves; very few organizations pull this management responsibility off consistently. Making matters worse, evaluations are trailing indicators not leading ones.
Accountability drives focused action towards desired results. Companies usually do a decent job of having goals and plans for sales. As a result, turnover is usually highest in sales, because the results are visible.
It’s also easy to measure production and service. But as departments move away from direct interaction with external clients accountability becomes more difficult to define.
Accountability starts with the person at the top. The leader must be held as accountable for metrics as those on the bottom rung of the org chart. And the employees have to see that their leader is being held accountable the same way they are for them to believe in the process.
For a company to become better, everything in it must improve. That includes processes, products, execution and clients. Leaders, managers and employees must also continually improve in their jobs if the organization is going to grow. People grow first, then the organization.
In a recent interview with Tim Tebow, award winning former college football player, he said that the thoughts going through the minds of the players on the day of the NCAA championship game are simply “belief and edge.”
Tebow elaborated by saying a team can win using belief that they are capable of winning and by constant improvement. Individually and collectively, the players and the team must keep and maintain an edge over their competition.
Leaders are not exempt from the challenge to become better at running their organizations. The only way employees will know the leader is serious about becoming better is when they witness their leader grow in the role.
Success in companies is often the direct result of a handful of top performers pulling the company ahead through energy, drive and the promise of rewards. Many employees complain about how the top performers go about this task. Year after year, these key individuals save the company from stagnation or decline; they depart when they grow tired of carrying the load without sufficient reward.
This toxic lack of teamwork can be replaced by a collaboration of all employees if leadership is willing to make tough decisions about reassigning people and perhaps letting people go to pursue other opportunities. The result will be a culture change to have a team working together for a common purpose instead a company paying for individual work and reward.
All thinking has to be beyond the crisis of today to the possibilities of continual success tomorrow.
This is an exclusive domain of leadership; only in rare instances do employees take a view beyond the end of the current year.
If the leader is not looking beyond the immediate future, no one is.
More accountability in a company is better, not worse; investing in every employee will pay dividends that will last for years; collaboration focuses energy on external competitors and not internal ones; and strategic thinking is a key leadership responsibility that cannot be delegated or ignored.