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Is your whole organization aligned in contributing to the growth of your company? Your goal as a business owner or executive is to create a company where the team is engaged; the customers are doing your marketing; and everyone is making money. When your company moves in sync, you will see accelerated profitable growth.

To reach this goal, you need to scale up four key factors in your organization that contribute to growth: people, strategy, execution and cash. By making critical decisions and creating strategies to improve these four concepts, you will see greater alignment, acceleration in success and the advancement of company revenue and reputation.

I will go in depth on these strategies at a lunch and learn, co-hosted by CFO S...

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Creating the right team is a vital step in growing a successful business. Business owners often share that a pain point in their business is that they can’t recruit, train or retain the right employees to build a winning team. The truth is, hiring the right people is just the first step towards building a successful team in your business. Without the right guidance or leadership, your team alone will not transform your business and take it to its next level of performance.

Great leaders build a great team around them. You will never build a great business on your own. The bigger and better the business you want, the bigger and better the team you will need! To be successful you must find the right people, give them the right traini...

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Happy Holidays! In last month’s blog, I asked the question, “What is your #1 priority for 2017?” based on the four decisions (People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash) that every business owner and executive has to make to maximize their revenue, productivity and company. A majority of our readers mentioned that “driving flawless execution” was their main decision to focus on this upcoming year. Because of this, I will focus this month’s blog on ways to improve your business’s execution strategy.

In order to execute well, you must know what success looks like. Success means something different to every business. Hitting a specific amount in revenue, having a certain number of employees, profit growt...

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Running a successful business requires making a lot of decisions. As a business owner or executive, your business’s success depends on the sum of all the decisions you make. Base your decisions on your company’s goals and priorities for 2017. What do you plan to focus on this upcoming year?

Verne Harnish, founder of Gazelles and author of “Scaling Up,” identified four decisions that growth companies must get right to maximize their revenue, productivity and time. These four decisions involve the areas of Strategy, Execution, People and Cash. Focusing on these “Rockefeller Habits” will help you achieve your growth targets and stay ahead of your competitors.

Here are the four critical decisions facing every business leader. Please identify what decision you plan on focusing on and share it with me here:

1.Attract and keep the right PEOPLE Is everyone in your company pulling their own weight and contributing as they should? If you had to start the company all over tomorrow, would you enthusiastically rehire everyone on your team? Growth companies’ most difficult decisions revolve around getting the right people in the right seats.
Actions to take:
– Becoming a magnet for A Players who are dedicated to your goals
– Increasing accountability and results

2.Create a truly differentiated STRATEGY Do you have a solid top-line revenue growth strategy in place? The key to sustainable top-line growth is three-fold: knowing your core customer, developing a clear brand promise, and developing your Big Hairy Audacious Goals for sustainable revenue growth.
Actions to take:
– Clarifying your core values
– Discovering your SWOTs and trends
– Determining your 3-5 year key strategies to catapult your growth
3.Drive flawless EXECUTION One common challenge that quietly sneaks up on successful growth companies is the subtle transition from excellent, precise execution to passivity, complacency, and eventually poor execution disciplines. By simply tightening up your execution habits, you can dramatically improve gross margins and profitability while reducing the time it takes everyone to complete their work.
Actions to take:
– Learning and applying great business habits – click here to see
– Creating a culture of accountability
– Fine-tuning processes to run without drama
4.Have plenty of CASH to weather the storms And the last decision is cash. The first law of entrepreneurial gravity is “Growth Sucks Cash.” We encourage companies to calculate their Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) which measures companywide how long it takes between when you spend a dollar (marketing, design, rent, wages, etc.) until you get that dollar back.
Actions to take:
– Accelerating cash flow to fuel your growth
– Improving your sales cycle and make sure you are never short on cash

By understanding which decision your company should prioritize in 2017, your team will align to get faster results through organizational clarity and accountability. You will also see an acceleration in your growth by having a strategic advantage over your competitors and will position your brand as a market leader.

While each of the identified decisions requires energy and attention, there should be one that needs the most focus to reach your goals in 2017. Click here to share it with me! I look forward to your response and will use your feedback to focus the theme of next month’s blog.

It is time to begin (if you haven’t already) planning for success in 2017! Luck favors the mind that is prepared. How is your strategic plan coming along? For 2017 strategic thinking and execution planning, contact me for guidance and facilitation.

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Thank you to all who attended the Des Moines Live2Lead 2016 simulcast, and to our sponsors and volunteers who helped make this event possible! L2L took place on October 7th at Valley Church in West Des Moines, with 250 local leaders in attendance. At the event, we heard from four amazing speakers – John C. Maxwell, Simon Sinek, Liz Wiseman and Dan Cathy.

Below, enjoy the key findings from each speaker:

1. Simon Sinek: “Empathy”

Sinek believes that empathy and perspective are the most important instruments in a leader’s toolbox. Empathy is the root of human connection. It can be expressed in simple ways, like reaching out to someone and asking, “What do you need to do your job? How can I help you?” Prac...

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Everything rises and falls on leadership.” John C. Maxwell

Friday, October 7, 2016

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Live 2 Lead (L2L) is coming up on October 7th! L2L is a leadership development conference designed to equip you with new perspectives, practical tools and key takeaways. I am hosting a live simulcast of the conference here in West Des Moines! Learn from world-class leadership experts, be prepared to implement a new action plan, and start leading when you get back to the office with renewed passion and commitment.

Last month, we featured keynote speakers Simon Sinek and Dan Cathy. This month, learn more about the event’s host, John C. Maxwell, and presenter Liz Wiseman.

John C. Maxwell

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

John C. Maxwell is one of the most influential leadership and busin...

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Live 2 Lead, the annual leadership development conference hosted by John C. Maxwell, is only a month and a half away! Which speaker are you most eager to hear from?

In anticipation of hosting the live simulcast viewing event in the Des Moines area, I am excited to share with you a little more information on the upcoming keynote presenters. This month, read more about the accomplishments of Simon Sinek and Dan Cathy, and how their presentations contribute to this can’t-miss event.

Simon Sinek

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

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Simon Sinek is an optimist who teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. From members of Congress to foreign ambassadors, from small businesses to corpora...

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“Teamwork makes the dream work.” This John C. Maxwell quote rings true to every single successful organization. Yet, when working with others in any capacity you may find you are at a disconnect, based on differences in communication or behavioral styles. Because of this, projects could take longer than needed and feelings of frustration may arise between coworkers.

Understanding communication and behavioral styles can improve sales, teamwork, hiring and fit within co-workers.

The DISC Assessment can help you do just that. DISC measures behavior on four dimensions: an individual’s Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Cautiousness. DISC is not a personality test. It will show how your salespeople sell, how your managers manage, and how one’s observable behavioral style affects our actions and how well we work with others.

How is the DISC Assessment useful in improving my business?

DISC will help you build a team that works

When individuals in a group have complementary behavioral and communication styles, they can improve coordination, help employees feel more involved, and maybe even spur innovation. When they clash, they can drain an organization of its vitality and leave a legacy of posturing, power struggles and misunderstandings. The DISC assessment helps you to understand how certain behavioral styles will work with other behavioral styles, and who will perform best at each stage of the project.

According to Tony Alessandra, “Interactive Styles often see Conscientious Styles as overly-analytical fuss-budgets. Dominance Styles might sooner die than turn into dull plodders like the Steadiness Styles. Conscientious Styles, while often drawn to Steadiness Styles, have difficulty understanding the Interactive Style’s lack of focus or the Dominance Style’s impatience. And Steadiness Styles only wish everyone was as amiable as they.”

To make the best possible use of the strengths of each team member, identify their behavioral style and pair them with others who will constructively build upon one another rather than tear each other down.

DISC will allow you to hire smarter

The cost of turnover can easily be three to five times an individual’s salary. DISC can help you hire smarter, by understanding where the applicant would fit in best within your organization, and to understand how they would react to a specific set of circumstances.

Does a candidate’s DISC profile match how he or she is presenting themselves? Does their personality fit the type of person you envisioned for the position? Will they fit into your company culture? What anticipated challenges do you have for this candidate based on his or her behavioral style? Will this individual’s behavioral strengths benefit your organization?

These are all beneficial questions you can answer by knowing your potential hire’s DISC profile, as well as your team’s.

DISC will allow you to understand your own leadership style

Getting to know your own personality is a great way to understand how you can build a supporting cast to help you be better at the things you need to focus on to drive growth in your business. By knowing your own DISC profile, you will also understand how to maximize your relationships and interactions with your business, friends, family, spouse and children. You will benefit from a personal understanding of why you do the things you do, why you like what you like and why you’re good at what you’re good at.

DISC also provides a framework in which communication and interpersonal relationships can be personalized and individualized to specific members of your staff. Knowing how your behavioral style works together, you can tailor your leadership style to them based on their priorities and strengths.

Regardless of what industry your business is in, all managers are in the business of “people.” Your job is to orchestrate people to get the work done. The DISC assessment will help you utilize your employees to the best of their abilities by understanding how your employees work, communicate and think.

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