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Archive | EOS

6 Key Drivers of Success

A few weeks ago, a friend sent us an article by New York Times business columnist Adam Bryant along with this question, “In your experience, do these six ‘success drivers’ make sense?” The article summarizes extensive interviews Bryant conducted with leaders of successful companies whose names you would recognize.  He was looking, he says, for […]

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Company Core Values – Do You Believe?

I read a post on LinkedIn from Harvard Business School Professor Michael Wheeler, a behavioural economist (essentially a psychologist who tries to understand why we consistently do the seemingly irrational things we all do).  You can see his post here. It describes an appalling situation – a British Marine was recently convicted of murder and […]

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Business Leadership: Uncommon Courage

A couple of months ago, one of our client teams found themselves facing a difficult decision.  They realized that two functions they’d always kept separate really belonged under one leader.  Keeping them separate created unnecessary complexity, causing extensive debates about overlapping resources, workflow and priorities.  Combining them would eliminate confusion, increase speed and quality, and […]

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When It Gets Generic

Solving issues is hard work. Straight forward, but hard. In an executive Level10 meeting recently, one of my EOS clients’ VP of Manufacturing looked around the room and said “we need to deal with handling requests for information for possible opportunities better”. What? Who is “we”? What is “better”? For that matter, what does “deal […]

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Just Around the Corner

To paraphrase philosopher and logician Kurt Gödel, you can’t be in a system while at the same time understanding the system you’re in. In other words, you need to raise your head from time to time and see the system for what it is, whether it’s good or bad. We are normally so buried in […]

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Committed or Compliant?

“Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” – Margaret Thatcher What do people in your organization do when decisions don’t go their way? Do they accept the decision even though they disagree with it? Do they demonstrate through their words and actions […]

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The Checklist Manifesto – the book

One of the long term goals for all of our EOS clients is to decide when and how they are going to document their core processes, necessary for scaling their business profitably. There are only 8-12 core processes for most companies. They include processes for functions like HR, Marketing, Sales, Operations (there may be a […]

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Making the Case for Results

Are you really focused on Results? Most leaders would say “yes” immediately – it sure seems like the correct response.  But really focusing on results can be more difficult than it seems.  it requires three things: 1. A strong Data Component.  Are you running the business on a handful of important numbers that give you […]

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Business is a Sack Race

I have helped all sorts of companies implement EOS. Construction companies, software companies, wealth management companies, wine distributors, and more. When I ruminate on what is common among these clients – one aphorism comes to mind – business is a sack race. What I mean is that any organization can only move as fast as it’s slowest […]

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Trust and Intent

A friend of ours has backed himself into a bit of a corner.  On the promise of extraordinary returns, he made an unconventional investment.  The people he invested with have assured him that the investment turned out great, but more than a month later, he still hasn’t gotten a check. This reminds us of a […]

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What we can learn from Nick Saban about success

Two things happened recently that showcase the power of Nick Saban’s famous “Process” for winning college football.  This feature aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes, and this photo (Photo originally tweeted by C.J. Schexnayder @kelph ) of Darth Vader reading Saban’s book became an internet sensation, highlighting the only half-joking belief (and the nerve) of some […]

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Just say it!

One of the toughest obstacles for a leadership team of a company to overcome is “vulnerability based trust” where it’s safe to have conflict and take risks rather than fear them. It’s human nature to avoid uncomfortable or risky situations. Sure, there are people who are calm, cool and collected when the heat rises in […]

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Are you being held hostage?

Business owners “give up the gold” when they fail to resolve two issues that prevent them from having truly great people in their organizations. In fact, there are only two people issues in the wonderful world of business. They come in many disguises but they all boil down to two root causes: Wrong person … […]

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What Makes You Glow?

We had a great moment in a recent client session.  The team was working to define their Purpose, Cause or Passion.  When you get that right, it gives everyone in the company a clear statement of “why we exist.”  At its best, this becomes the emotional heart of the business.  It’s not something most of […]

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Why Some Companies Are Able to Reach OUTRAGEOUS Levels of Success

If you’ve been reading Alabama Entrepreneur for a while, you know that I have always been obsessed with identifying and adopting the habits of what I call the “five percenters” – the top five percent of the most successful entrepreneurs.  I’ve spent 30 years studying reasons why some companies achieve outrageous levels of success that […]

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Box Person or People Person?

A few years ago a national retailer, after analysis of its worst performing stores, decided to close the worst of the worst. On that list was a store that had it baffled. It was a good location in a good trade area with plenty of traffic and great visibility. But, it continually lagged behind other […]

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Speeding Up By Slowing Down

We just met a Leadership Team that works hard to move their business forward as fast as possible.  So when a new issue emerges, one of them takes the lead to tackle it right away, even though the issue may need input from other members of the team.  The first thing the lead person does is […]

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Leverage your strengths?

In the world of EOS, we often talk about “elevating to our unique ability” and delegating the rest.  Dan Sullivan writes in his book, How The Best Get Better, “Focusing on one’s weaknesses leads to a constant struggle with oneself throughout life–accompanied by a sense of deficiency, failure, and guilt….The best entrepreneurs in the world […]

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I’m Confused

In an EOS® Annual Planning session last week, one of our clients put “Fear of Conflict” and “Failure to Hold Each Other Accountable” on their Issues List.  Those issues are obviously connected.  Yet when it came time to solve issues, the team chose to work on just about anything but those two.  They were, it […]

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Throw a Flag Ref!

We are finally in football season! And if you’re a fan, whether it’s Pop Warner, high school, college or the pro’s, you have either heard or maybe even yelled “Throw the Flag Ref!” when you see an illegal block, blatant un-sportsman like conduct or some other infraction by a player. People at sporting events are […]

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What Do You Really Want From Your Business?

  The top ten answers to that question, plus the reason why 95% of entrepreneurs never get what they want         In my 30 years of being an entrepreneur and serving other entrepreneurs as a trusted advisor, I’ve seen just about everything that can possibly happen in a small to medium-sized business.   I’ve worked with hundreds […]

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Raise the Bar

At our last quarterly meeting with our team of EOS Implementers, my partner, Don Tinney, shared a very inspirational message about mastery. He shared a quote from a very powerful documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It’s a movie about Jiro, the owner of a sushi restaurant in Japan. It’s truly worth watching if you obsess […]

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“Look eye, Daniel-san!”

In the movie, “The Karate Kid”, Mr. Miyage exhorts Daniel to “Look eye, Daniel-san, always look eye!”.  Most communication issues can be distilled to a lack of “Look eye”. These issues have many symptoms but the most common is “avoid eye”.   It’s interesting to note that with all the technology at our disposal to make […]

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Commitments

”Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Five, because deciding is different than doing.” That is how Fred Kofman begins his post entitled Are You Making This Mistake at the End of Your Meetings? If you are a member of LinkedIn, you can read the whole post […]

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The Case for LMA

LMA is an abbreviation for “Leadership, Management & Accountability. Think of it as a formula; L + M = A. You can’t create Accountability, it must be taken. Accountability is an outcome, a bi-product of great Leadership and Management. Great bosses are masters of LMA. They know how to get the best from their people by keeping them […]

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Getting What You Want

Chris White, a Certified EOS Implementer in Florida recently shared a link to a thought provoking video.  Click here to view the video. For me, the key statement in the video was:  “So just make sure this is something you want.”   Five days before a scheduled EOS Quarterly Session with his leadership team, the business […]

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The Four Delusions of Success

In his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There Marshall Goldsmith points out that the fundamental beliefs that drive our success can also make us resistant to change.  We overestimate our contributions and sometimes take credit for things that others have accomplished while often ignoring our own shortcomings. These delusions are the result of success, […]

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Avoiding “Thump, Thump”

As a leader, you must be a good communicator. There is a simple discipline that doesn’t require any time, investment, or learning on your part, and it will help you become a great communicator. In addition, it will help you avoid what one client calls “Thump, Thump.” The discipline is called “echoing,” and it works […]

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Fire Yourself As Often As You Can

The President and Chief Operating Officer at BuzzFeed, Jon Steinberg, wrote a great post in LinkedIn, entitled Fire Yourself: The Goal is To Have Nothing to Do. You can read the whole post here. This concept is near and dear to every EOS Implementer and the companies who run themselves on EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System). We call it […]

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One Bad Apple

A few years ago, I took on an assignment to turn around a family-owned lending company and prepare it for sale.  One of the biggest issues was a truly toxic culture in the Operations group.  Fully half the company’s employees worked there, and they consistently treated our customers as if the customers were lying and […]

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Volunteers – 5 Essential Qualities

Yesterday, September 8th marked the 4th year of the Sub-5 Ride for Parkinson’s Research. The event challenges cyclists to complete 100 miles in less than 5 hours while raising funds for Parkinson’s research. On Sunday over 300 cyclists departed Hampshire High School at 7:30 am. This group of cyclists collectively logged over a half million […]

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Compartmentalize

In a prior life, I often found myself dealing with about 136 issues daily, hoping to solve as many business problems as possible.  But, no matter how many issues I moved off my desk, the next day there’d be a few more there waiting for me.  I measured my productivity and success by how many […]

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Accidental or Intentional

A young friend of ours recently started a new job.  The work itself is great, but the environment isn’t, at least for him. Soon after starting, he discovered something that wasn’t apparent during his interviews.  People in the company are routinely subjected to razzing.  No doubt it is well intended, but it’s often executed without […]

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Scorecards vs Dashboards

The scorecard is one of the foundational tools we teach our EOS clients. When I explain that it is a tool to enable management by exception, many of my clients respond that they do that already with a dashboard they keep. One of the key differences between scorecards and dashboards is that typically, not always, […]

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Are You Keeping Score?

Imagine yourself at a basketball game.  Just before the tip-off, the announcer lets everyone know that although the scoreboard isn’t working, tonight’s game will go on as scheduled.  He explains that the players are ready to go and that the sports writers will report the outcome by the end of the month.  Would you be […]

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Chop Wood-Carry Water

I recently read “Eleven Rings” by legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson and he shares his secrets on how he managed 2 of the most talented players in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and built 2 successful championship programs.  His secret: Less is more! This book is more than just a memoir of his accomplishments; it […]

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They Are Watching You

I read a great quote this week by Warren Bennis. You may have heard it: “A leader doesn’t just get the message across—a leader is the message.” This quote serves as a powerful lesson and reminder for us. As leaders, our actions speak louder than words. Recall the five aspects of all great leaders: Giving […]

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Lencioni on Healthy Organizations

Here is a brief video (3 1/2 minutes) from Patrick Lencioni telling us all what we have to do to have healthy organizations. If you don’t see it, you can find it here. Very simple stuff: We need a cohesive leadership team, all of whom are behaviorally aligned. We need an intellectually aligned leadership team. […]

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How Do Your Meetings Rate?

Before starting the EOS Process with prospective clients, I ask them to rate the effectiveness of their meetings on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 10 is great). Over the last 5 years I have asked that question of over two hundred leaders. On average, they rated their meetings a 4.7 – Not great.  […]

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Seeing Fear Junction Clearly

     I found a new way to help teams reach significant breakthroughs in a recent session, and it relates to my essay on “Fear Junction”.  This was a story I told in one of my newsletters about the electrician who told the fable – not of a real electrical switch box – but of […]

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Email isn’t Perfect

The shortcomings of email communication is not the only point of this post. It is the subject  of a short video, entitled  Why Email Starts Fights,  from Ed Muzio, the CEO of Group Harmonics, which you can view it its entirety here. The video is co-produced by CBS Interactive/BNET. In it Muzio quotes a study in the […]

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No Apology Necessary

During this year’s busy Annual Planning season, one of my clients was moved to tears while reflecting on the past year.  He was recounting a “personal great”, and filled with pride for his daughter while sharing a few of her significant accomplishments.  He struggled to finish the story, and ultimately needed to take a short […]

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Daring Greatly

Does your organization or company have a number one goal, a BHAG (big, hairy and audacious), a 10 YEAR TARGET? If you have one, is it audacious; does it inspire and motivate you? Or have you limited yourself by what you think is possible instead of the possibilities of daring greatly.  About 30 years ago […]

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The G in GWC

In EOS terminology, GWC stands for Gets It, Wants It, and has the Capacity to do the job. It’s half of what we mean when we say you should follow the EOS analog to Jim Collin’s dictum and  Get All the Right People in All the Right Seats. Besides sharing your values, each employee should […]

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What Seemed Impossible

In the past several years, I have been regularly impressed by leadership teams that have achieved “big” things.   At the front end looking forward, it was logical for each team, based upon their history, to conclude, “There’s no way we’ll do this.” So what made the difference? How did these teams of ordinary people […]

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“I wanted it more”

In each EOS session, I ask clients if there are any “people issues”. To create clarity around any discussion about people we use the Accountability Chart™ and the People Analyzer™. It’s amazing how quickly these two tools focus the discussion and take egos, opinions and emotions about people issues out of the debate.  The Accountability […]

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EOS before there was EOS

In this short video, Steve Jobs talks about managing people at Apple. I am pleased to see him espouse the same principles we talk about when implementing EOS with companies. I should not be surprised at this since we always tell all our clients that EOS is based on timeless management principles; they have been […]

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Start Every Meeting Right – The Segue

If in less than five minutes at the beginning of every meeting you could do a simple discipline that would get everyone’s brains engaged in the meeting and their minds set right; erase all unproductive negative emotions, feelings, and history that destroy meetings; let everyone know where each other’s heads are; get everyone to connect; and […]

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5 Tips to Help You Get More With Less

Doing more doesn’t necessarily help you get more from your business. Instead of trying to do more, focus on doing less. Here are five practical, real-world tips from my clients that have helped them get better traction:  1. Reduce the number of meetings Ask yourself, “What is the value of people’s time?” Some meetings are […]

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Are We Going to Abilene?

The Abilene Paradox is a paradox in which a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of any of the individuals in the group. The Abilene paradox was introduced by management expert Jerry B. Harvey in his article The Abilene Paradox: The Management of Agreement. The name of the phenomenon comes from an anecdote in […]

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Fear of the Integrator Seat

Recently I took a new company through the Accountability Chart exercise.  The Accountability chart is the tool that gives structure to our business, allows each member to go into a role that fits his or her God given talent.  As we were going through the exercise the assumption was that the owner would go in […]

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Micromanaging Rocks

Some leaders and managers have been tempted to deviate from the 5-minute rock review we teach in the weekly Level 10 Meeting™, desiring something more detailed than a simple, on track / off track, report.  The concern that team members are inappropriately reporting rocks to be on track when they are not has lead some […]

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Trust and Done

One of the transformations that happens to companies when they implement EOS is that they create a leadership team that trusts each other. Often, before EOS, company leaders spend lots of time in unnecessary meetings updating each other on commitments they have made to each other or on the progress of the functional group they lead […]

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I Have This Rock…

I have this Rock… and now I can see that I really need to do something else instead.  Can I just not do that Rock? This is a fairly common request from companies that are just beginning their journey to implement EOS.  When this question shows up, I offer two rules to help them stay […]

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Qualities of Great Presidents

David McCullough, biographer of John Adams, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman was asked recently about the qualities that made these presidents along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln truly great.  He listed four: 1.       Integrity 2.       Courage 3.       Patience 4.       Determination George Washington, our first president had no example to go by. He set […]

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When Celebrating Becomes Strategic

Some of my teams hit an emotional wall after their first year of implementing EOS.  Teams that begin with many large issues to resolve, can make significant progress in the first year and, because of what is still left to accomplish, still feel unsatisfied and a bit discouraged.  It’s not unlike the marathoner who, after […]

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Delegate!

Last week marked the 500th time I’ve heard a leader utter the words “I can just do it myself in the same amount of time it takes me to teach someone else.” I hear this often, and when I do, I think to myself, “Oh boy, we just lost another one.“ When I say “another […]

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Clarity Breaks

An article in Fast Company magazine, Why You Should Work From A Coffee Shop Even When You Have An Office,  prompted this post. You can read it here. Entrepreneurs and leaders of companies of all sizes oftentimes get lost in working in their business. The todo list they came into the office with this morning grew, […]

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Accountability – To Be or Not to Be?

Those familiar with EOS know that an Accountability Chart crystallizes roles and responsibilities for everyone in the organization. It’s built by focusing first on the right structure for the organization – identifying the major functions (seats) necessary to execute on the company’s vision over the next 6-12 months and then carefully defining the five roles […]

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Are You Doing Business as Usual

At a recent annual meeting with one of my EOS clients, the leadership team, as part of the process, challenged their entire strategic plan. In EOS terminology, they examined the answers to the eight questions in their Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO). You can download a copy here. For now I will focus on just one question – […]

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Visionary VS CEO

A new client of mine who had just completed the Accountability Chart with his team was clearly in the Visionary seat.  After the exercise he said:  “ What’s the difference between a Visionary and a CEO, it looks like the Visionary doesn’t do much!”   A visionary is someone who has lots of ideas, a strategic […]

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Just Say No

It’s normal going into a new year to make all kinds of resolutions.  Many of us think about doing things we haven’t been doing consistently in the past, things like exercising more, reading more, spending more time with our children, etc.  The presumption is that doing more will produce a better life. I’m going to […]

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It’s Just an Issue…

This is a phrase professional EOS Implementers use frequently. It helps leaders keep things in perspective, avoid unnecessary drama, and focus on resolving Issues (rather than lamenting their inevitable existence). The following story reminded me just how important that discipline is…in business and in life. An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One […]

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Thank You

At this special time of the year, many of us will be hitting the pause button on our businesses to reflect, rest and spend time with family and friends.  So, I also wanted to pause and thank all of you who are part of our EOS Worldwide family.  Thank you for taking so much of your […]

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Are you a Leader or One Who Leads?

A leader may hold the title but it’s the person who leads that excels at coaching and getting the most from his or her employees. If you’re on a leadership team, which person are you?  Although many leaders understand that coaching their employees is a large part of their job, few profess to excel at […]

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Accountability for Owners

One of the biggest challenges faced by owner-operators is accepting that they are accountable in a detailed way for the success of their business. Too often the default behavior and underlying belief system is “Hey, I created this business; I get to run it any way I want and no one can tell me what […]

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Is Your Vision Shared by All?

If your company’s Vision isn’t shared by all you won’t have everyone engaged in making it a reality. It’s only a vision if everyone sees the light. In other words it’s shared by all.  Last week I had the opportunity to visit North Lawndale College Prep, a charter high school on Chicago’s west side, and […]

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Pride Goeth Before Destruction

Many of us are familiar with this proverb, but few believe it enough to set our egos aside when we’re around other people.  When our focus shifts from elevating our team to elevating ourselves, “team” is destroyed. It is REALLY refreshing when a person refuses to take a seat on the team because they know […]

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Same-Page Meeting Video

If you have a visionary/integrator relationship, have a partnership, or know of one, watch this three-minute video. An effective discipline I’ve been teaching for the last nine years is the same-page meeting. It’s for business partners and/or visionary/integrator relationships, and it keeps these two people 100 percent on the same page. This makes the organization much more […]

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Not Easy

Some say EOS is simple, not easy. The Entrepreneurial Operating System is simple – 20 simple, practical tools, implemented in logical order following a simple, step-by-step process to strengthen all 6 Key Components of your business.  See below to hear what business owners are saying: Keeping it simple, eliminating complexity, plays a huge role in […]

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Raising the Bar

A client of mine shared a great analogy to explain what happens in an organization (like his) that is growth oriented, striving to be the best, and continually raising the bar as all companies must, to evolve, survive, and thrive in the long run. Picture all of your people holding onto a bar. Imagine each […]

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Compliant Resisters

Compliant resisters are very hard to spot in your business.  On the surface, they present a positive response, tacitly agreeing with the vision, the plan and the requirements.  They are very careful about not communicating anything that might jeopardize their position in the company.  Their seat isn’t their passion – it’s just the means to […]

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What is an Integrator? Part II

If you haven’t read my previous blog, “What is a Visionary?”, it’s a vital read before reading this one. With your accountability chart complete (click here to download the accountability chart), you will clearly see illustrated the need for an Integrator. This is the major function that all major functions report to. The intent of […]

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What is a Visionary? Part I

One of the most powerful EOS tools is the accountability chart. It’s powerful because it crystallizes the right structure (click here to download the accountability chart) and illustrates all available seats in your organization. In addition, it clarifies who reports to who and who is accountable for what. All that said, it also illuminates the […]

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