50 Tips to Get to $50M
50 Tips to Get to $50M
I have started, invested in, or played a major role in several companies over the past 30 years. My main focus has been in the Marketing and Lead Generation space, with three companies exceeding $289,000,000 in annual revenue. My current venture, Abstrakt
Marketing Group, has grown by a minimum of 20% for 13 years straight, will surpass
$78,000,000 in 2031, and will grow to at least $100,000,000 by 2025.
All of this is to say, I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way on managing and growing business. I’ve narrowed down to 50 top tips for business leaders, which I’ve been sharing in my weekly #50for50 segment in The Grow Show podcast.
I’ll continue to edit this guide with those lessons, so check back often and connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any suggested topics or feedback!
Chief Executive Officer
Abstrakt Marketing Group
As the CEO of a large workforce, I often only hear about employees who are outperforming their departments or performing so poorly that it’s becoming an HR issue. It can be difficult to see the trees through the forest when myself and our leadership team are so engulfed in the day-to-day tasks of business administration. To combat this, we began requiring team members to recognize each other. That’s right—I said require.
In today’s performance-driven workplace, mandated recognition should be the new normal, and that doesn’t mean you have to take the fun out of it, either. On the contrary, putting recognition policies in place creates an environment of appreciation and collaboration, which drives better results and higher productivity. So why not make mandatory employee recognition part of your team culture?
A good manager will recognize their team members for a job well done whether it’s mandatory or not, but making recognition an official policy makes sure there are no gaps in coverage. This doesn’t mean that everyone on the team will be recognized; it means that people will be acknowledged for going above and beyond in areas beyond their A-Player metrics.
We recognize team members who show ambition, who make changes to their approach to better serve their customers, or who have positive attitudes that impact the mindset of their teams, among other things. This approach helps keep morale and motivation high and encourages innovation within teams.
When creating a mandate policy around team recognition, it’s important to set clear guidelines for when and how to recognize team members for their work. These guidelines don’t have to be the same for every team, and it’s good to customize the reward to the individual being recognized. We’ve done everything from offering energy drinks and coffees to creating events for team members and sending them to see their favorite band in concert after a particularly impressive performance.
Using messaging platforms like Slack makes team recognition more effective and transparent in the workplace. Having all the kudos sent through one platform allows everyone to see what others are being recognized for, leading to increased engagement and collaboration between departments. It also lets team members engage with others that they typically wouldn’t be in contact with. For example, our Slack channel allows account managers to see work that the operations team is doing that will benefit their customers but might not have been communicated otherwise. Currently, we’re even working to automate the shout outs that are included in our MAP meetings stored in Salesforce so that they automatically push to Slack. This will make sure that the employees being discussed behind closed doors know they’re being appreciated and can be celebrated across the organization!
You may encounter some resistance from those who feel uncomfortable with mandatory employee recognition policies, especially if your organization is accustomed to more informal processes. To combat this resistance, emphasize how this policy can actually benefit both individual employees as well as the whole organization by incentivizing hard work and rewarding top performers accordingly. There are no downsides to making sure everyone has an opportunity to recognize each other’s accomplishments publicly—it ultimately just leads to a more appreciative company culture overall.
Mandating employee recognition in your organization can have tremendous benefits when it comes to increasing engagement and productivity among your teams. By establishing clear guidelines for when and how individuals should be recognized alongside using tools like Slack, you’ll be able to make sure every hard working member of your team gets the appreciation they deserve while setting up an environment conducive to creativity and collaboration.
Stream Season 2, Episode 1 of The Grow Show to find out more!
Business leaders are often reluctant to hold their team members accountable because they worry it’ll lead to them quitting. We understand that you don’t want to risk losing a team member, especially with the cost and time associated with replacing them. That may lead you and your leadership team to avoid confrontations and not push your team members enough. But accountability isn’t about punishing people; it’s about setting high expectations that challenge employees and help them reach their potential.
Leaders need to understand that accountability isn’t a “me vs you” situation, but rather an opportunity to show a commitment to developing that team member. By challenging individuals and holding them accountable in a positive and fair manner, you give them the gift of high expectations.
Here’s an example of how to do this: “Jeff, you’re doing a solid job. You can keep doing what you’re doing and always have a place here in this or a similar role. Or, I can push you, give you the gift of high expectations and hold you to what I think you’re capable of. And, one day you could be running a division/department/team, what would you rather have?”
Accountability works best when leaders set up the right environment and conditions for it. This means creating an atmosphere where employees feel valued, appreciated, and heard. It also includes creating a level playing field.
Your employees should have clear expectations on performance and know how they will be measured (hopefully through an easy to use A-Player Score). When you have clear insight into your team’s activity, you can be more honest in discussing their performance and provide constructive feedback without feeling like you’re being too critical. You also have to make sure that employees have access to the resources they need to succeed – from training materials to coaching support – so they can meet their goals and are consistently improving.
High expectations can help create successful companies. For example, Amazon is known for its high standards and rigorous performance management process, which has helped them become one of the world’s most successful businesses. Similarly, Google has a culture of accountability where individual performance is measured against company goals on a regular basis, and people are rewarded for meeting those goals with bonuses or promotions.
Giving the gift of high expectations requires more than just holding people accountable; it also involves creating an environment where employees are recognized for their efforts. Employees feel supported as they work towards achieving their goals and mandating recognition helps improve morale and motivate employees without any sort of threats or punishments. It’s important to recognize success when it happens and encourage everyone in your team by celebrating small wins along the way, so everyone feels motivated to reach their full potential.
Stream Season 2, Episode 2 of The Grow Show to find out more about how you can give your team members the gift of high expectations that will lead them towards success!
Being a manager is like having a superpower; you have the ability to inspire, motivate, and grow people. But the reality is that most of us fall into the trap of getting stuck in our offices with our heads buried in spreadsheets, tasks, and emails. It’s time to get back out there and work IN THE BUSINESS.
Let me tell you why this is important, and how it worked for me when I set aside all my duties and managed a team of 7 SDRs. Spoiler alert: despite what the “work on the business, not in the business” crowd says … we continued growing, we didn’t miss any existential threats, and our year-over-year growth streak continued.
I’ll admit that thinking of missing my weekly meetings and letting my direct reports function with less oversight was scary at first. Thankfully, I realized there was immense value in diving into the day-to-day activity and expectations of a specific department. What made this experience truly valuable was managing a team of SDRs.
It had been years since I directly managed a sales team, but it taught me how to delegate tasks effectively, provide feedback constructively, and set goals that were challenging but achievable. Taking on this role allowed me to build relationships with employees I typically wouldn’t have worked so closely with.
It also gave me an opportunity to reconnect with our customers and understand their needs beyond what surveys and reports could tell us. No amount of data or analytics can replace direct conversations with customers, and through those conversations, I was able to better recognize opportunities for improvement in our processes.
I’m passionate about urging business leaders, directors, CEOs, and entrepreneurs alike to take time away from their typical duties and get their ass back into their business. This could mean anything from facilitating customer conversations on the frontlines or managing a special project team like I did—just don’t forget to be proactive in your approach!
Working IN the business is essential for recognizing areas of improvement, understanding customer needs better, and connecting more closely with your team members, all factors that help accelerate growth and success.
Get more insight into my time on “The Pirates” and hear from my co-hosts about growth strategies and sales hacks in Season 2, Episode 3 of The Grow Show Podcast: https://spoti.fi/3Q1UPya.
As any entrepreneur knows, rapid growth doesn’t come without diligent budgeting and a well-thought-out plan. Your business goals must be tangible, measurable, achievable, and relevant to be successful. But how do you make sure your budgeting process is sound? The answer lies in the Business Growth Formula – a simple equation that helps you identify exactly how much revenue growth you need to reach your goals.
With this formula, you can easily calculate the number of sales pitches it will take to get there.
Here’s how it works:
Here’s an example:
Using this formula is a great way to start the budgeting process and build measurable and achievable goals for rapid growth. By understanding customer attrition, average selling price and close rate—key factors that influence business development—you can accurately identify the amount of revenue growth you need and how many sales pitches must be held to get there.
The Business Growth Formula can help ensure that your company reaches its maximum potential in terms of growth and profit! Hear more about how to implement this with your business, get valuable sales and business growth insights from my co-hosts, and more with Season 2, Episode 4 of The Grow Show.
Watching your business grow is such an exciting and rewarding process. But with the thrill of expansion comes the challenge of maintaining quality standards across departments and making sure that new hires understand and live up to your company’s core values. Without quality checks in place and enforced, businesses risk sacrificing their hard-earned reputation, not to mention customer loyalty, just for the sake of growth. Quality is not a cost—it’s an essential KPI.
While the goal should be to fill new positions quickly, you need to make sure it’s done in a way that upholds standards across the board. Legacy employees who already understand and abide by your company’s mission can help keep this process on track, but as you hire more people from outside the organization who may not understand existing standards, it becomes increasingly important for leadership to implement quality checks and a corresponding process.
For starters, managers should take time to review and discuss job descriptions prior to making an offer in order to make sure incoming employees understand exactly what is expected of them. Also consider investing in technologies such as software-based credential checkers, which can help both employers and potential hires verify qualifications for certain jobs. We like to think that we have an agreement with our employees where they agree to perform certain activities and we agree to certain payment and administrative terms. Both parties can track progress and compare goals, which helps us see which employees are going above and beyond and which (if any) are cutting corners.
It is essential that business leaders start viewing quality control as a KPI rather than a cost of growth. At its core, having high standards helps protect customer loyalty — something no business owner would want to sacrifice for the sake of expansion alone. Not only do customers expect these standards when engaging with your company, but they also make sure your enterprise continues running smoothly even as it scales up operations.
From legacy employees to new hires, every individual within an organization contributes to its success or failure depending on how well they live up to those standards set by the business leader themselves. Quality should be embedded into all aspects of corporate culture; from recruitment processes to customer service policies and beyond. Ultimately, when companies strive for excellence at every level, they’re much more likely to achieve long-term success, no matter how quickly they’re growing! Find out more and hear additional sales and business growth best practices in Season 2, Episode 5 of The Grow Show.
When it comes to success in the workplace, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why successful teams need to have a way to measure performance and motivation on an individual basis. That’s where the A-Player Score comes in. By combining a number of variables into one score, managers can track daily performance, and leaders throughout the company can provide transparency into their individual and team activity.
The first step in implementing an A-Player Score is to identify the variables that will be used. Variables should be objective and measurable on a daily basis. Common variables might include the number of dials made, audits completed, invoices sent, or other company-specific tasks. The number of variables used can vary, but a good rule of thumb is 3 to 5.
Once the variables have been identified, managers need to establish systems for tracking progress on each variable every day to determine success or failure. This system should be clear and concise so that team members understand exactly what they need to do to achieve their goals.
The next step is to set expectations for team members so they know how their performance will be evaluated against their A-Player score throughout the day, week, and month. It’s important that these expectations are clearly communicated and that any changes or adjustments are communicated as well. This will make sure everyone has access to the same information and can work together toward achieving shared goals.
For example, let’s say that in one day, a salesperson needs to do the following four things:
Let’s say each activity is weighted evenly (25% each) and that the salesperson completes 3 of the 4 activities but doesn’t have all of their deal information updated in Salesforce. In this simple example, they would have an A-Player Score of 75%. Now, imagine if you had a score for each salesperson, the sales team as a whole, or the sales and sales enablement departments combined. You could use this data to see gaps in performance, room for efficiency, and which employees are going above and beyond the minimum expectations.
Ultimately, success isn’t just about reaching targets—it’s also about celebrating wins when individual scores reach or exceed predetermined goals set for them at the start of each period (day/week/month). Celebrating wins boosts morale and encourages team engagement; it also sends a message that hard work pays off and reinforces positive behavior within the organization.
Implementing an A-Player Score can help boost morale and increase productivity across any team or organization. By providing an objective way to measure performance and motivation on an individual level, leaders can create a culture of transparency and accountability that leads to greater success overall.
While I hope this simple breakdown was helpful, there’s a lot more that goes into the A-Player Score. The above just scratches the surface. Check out Season 2, Episode 6 of The Grow Show for more information on A-Player metrics and even more valuable insights from my co-hosts.
In far too many organizations, customer referrals are a reactive tactic when sales are down. They’re relegated to a bullet point in some sales leaders’ plan to improve performance. The plan is approved, the team jogs (not runs) at securing referrals for a couple weeks and then … referrals get shelved until the next fire drill.
Making your account managers and customer success managers responsible for generating and selling their own referrals can help to offset their churn, improve their customer retention, and provide them with an additional career path. Adding another bucket of revenue outside of the sales team should be a no-brainer but most companies don’t implement this.
Referring customers is a great way to increase sales and close more deals. Not only do referrals typically close faster, but they also often lead to higher customer satisfaction and retention rates in the long term. This is why account managers and customer success managers are perfect people to generate and sell referrals. By leveraging their existing relationships with customers, they can create new leads, promote products or services that would benefit customers, and ultimately drive business growth.
An added benefit is that training your account management team on the sales process allows you to scout out future sales people and gives those employees an additional career path if they find that sales is their passion. This training can mimic what you already have developed but will need to be broken into smaller chunks and reiterated often for people whose main focus is customer retention and engagement.
In addition to helping generate new leads, making your account managers responsible for generating their own referrals can help offset high churn rates. Most customers who have had positive experiences with an account manager will be more likely to stay on board longer if they feel their feedback is valued or that they’re being rewarded in some way. Offering incentives such as referral bonuses provides added motivation for current customers to spread the word about your product or service, resulting in more satisfied customers overall and higher retention rates from existing accounts. The sales should impact your account manager’s retention rates so if their retention is down, they can add activity around referrals in addition to their save plans.
All in all, taking advantage of customer referral strategies can be a great way to grow your business sustainably over time. Plus, it’s an easy strategy to implement! By having your account managers generate their own referrals, you can close deals faster while still providing a break for less experienced sellers. You’ll create an additional pipeline outside of the traditional sales team structure and gain more loyal customers who are willing to stay on board longer due to incentives like referral bonuses, which ultimately helps your bottom line. So what are you waiting for? Start tapping into the power of customer referrals today!
Want to learn more about account managers selling? Stream Season 2, Episode 7 of The Grow Show to hear more from me and get additional insights from my co-hosts.
When it comes to marketing and sales, client success stories are often the best way to demonstrate your value and expertise. But what if you’re missing out on the real potential of these stories? From boosting sales presentations to inspiring team members, there’s plenty of hidden value in client success stories that can be leveraged to create a more successful business. Let’s explore how client success stories can help you make a bigger impact than ever before.
Client success stories are essential for any successful marketing strategy. Whether you’re trying to reach new customers or gain the trust of current clients, these stories can show potential buyers what you can do and why they should choose you. Client success stories also make a great addition to any website, as they provide visitors with an inside look at what it’s like to be a customer of your business.
When it comes to sales presentations, client success stories are invaluable tools. Instead of using technical data or jargon-filled explanations in your pitch, try using real-life examples from past customers who faced similar problems and were able to benefit from your product or service. Not only will this help potential customers relate more easily to your solution, but it can also make the whole presentation much more engaging and memorable. Client success stories can also be useful for motivating and inspiring an internal team. When team members see successful experiences from other clients, it shows them that you believe in what you’re doing and that there’s something real behind your product or service. This can help build their confidence in the company and drive them to work even harder for its success.
It’s clear that client success stories have a range of uses beyond simply boosting customer retention rates — though they do excel at that too! To ensure that these stories have a lasting impact on your business, make sure you invest time and resources into developing high-quality case studies that accurately reflect your company’s successes. And don’t forget to use them not just for marketing purposes but also for inspiring the team and winning over current clients. By leveraging client success stories in this way, you can make sure your business is always making strides towards its goals both big and small.
For more on this topic, stream Season 2, Episode 8 of The Grow Show.
It’s no surprise that many private companies struggle to find the balance between ambition and accountability. After all, when you’re a small business, it’s hard to mimic the same results-based process of public companies. But if you want to continue growing your business and reaching higher goals, establish expectations and hold yourself accountable—just like the CEOs of public companies do. Here are some tips on how to fake it until you make it by creating an environment of accountability in your small business.
The first step is to set your goals and make them public. Publicizing your small business’s goals creates a sense of urgency and responsibility among executives. It also serves as a benchmark for progress and keeps you honest about reaching the stated objectives. We do this during our quarterly company-wide “vision meetings” so the whole company can track our progress on meeting goals. We celebrate milestones and shout out individuals who are making significant progress and if we’re behind on goals, and we communicate the plans we have to get back on track.
Next, it’s important to create a partnership team or internal board that holds the CEO accountable for meeting these objectives. This team should meet quarterly at a minimum. The idea is to have someone in the organization who has the authority to challenge ideas and hold people accountable if they are not living up to expectations.
You should also find outside parties who can provide constructive feedback on your progress toward meeting goals. This could be in the form of bankers, lawyers, or even other entrepreneurs who understand the challenges of running a small business. Having external advisors provides true accountability and more diverse opinions and solutions.
Finally, one of the most effective methods of holding yourself accountable is by forming an executive leadership team where no one is immune from taking ownership of results. A well-structured team allows each person’s strengths to shine through while holding themselves and others responsible for their actions. When everyone is held equally accountable for their performance, all members work together as a cohesive unit, driving growth within the company more effectively than any single leader could accomplish alone.
Small businesses need to create systems of accountability similar to those found in larger, publicly traded companies if they want to reach their ambitious goals. Whether it’s announcing targets publicly or bringing in outsiders for objective feedback, fostering an environment where each person owns up to their mistakes and successes helps set the foundation for sustainable success over time—all without having to go public!
For more on this topic, stream Season 2, Episode 9 of The Grow Show.
Here’s our secret to winning these awards so YOU can do the same. Awards are incredibly important for small business owners and their success. Winning awards builds credibility, differentiates your business from the competition, and boosts morale within the company. It also helps attract new talent and new business.
Award submission needs to be someone’s job (or at worst, an important part of someone’s job). And, the budget needs to come from sales or marketing. Yes, there are implications for talent acquisition; but this is a revenue-generating activity and it should be treated as such. The KPI for the owner of this initiative is AWARDS WON. They will tell you this is out of their control, but it’s not. It is within their control and I would highly discourage any other KPI for this role.
There are so many awards out there. You truly have no idea how many exist. It’s shocking. It’s a worthwhile exercise to identify the awards available given your type of business. Once you’ve identified the total potential, you should segment these awards by level of competition and effort. This will be important in a subsequent step.
You need the entire organization to understand how important these awards are. They need to know that if they want more GREAT team members and/or more GREAT clients, awards are critical. On average, prospects are reading 7+ pieces on companies they are meeting with before the sales meeting. Potential employees are doing the same. You need the buy-in because a lot of these awards come with surveys. And, you’re going to need the team to go out of their way to fill out surveys or work on submissions if you want to win.
The reality is that some awards are more prestigious than others. The further reality is that having some awards that are less “prestigious” is a lot better than having none at all. Long story short, don’t spend all of your time working on super prestigious and super highly competitive awards. Have some balance. Apply for some “Oscars” and some “MTV Movie Awards.” 😂
There has to be a regular cadence of celebrating the awards the company wins. I recommend quarterly. You should display the number of awards the company won in the previous quarter, and you should also have a cumulative running total. It’ll shock you when you hear team members talking about these totals to their colleagues, to their client, to their prospects, or to their friends.
Winning awards can be beneficial for businesses looking to grow their sales numbers and increase their incomes by up to 63%. If you put in the effort to apply for these programs and make sure all your documents are accurate and up-to-date then your chances of success will skyrocket. So get applying today!
For more on this topic, stream Season 2, Episode 10 of The Grow Show.
How to Optimize Your Time and Get the Most Out of Every Day
Are you a manager feeling overwhelmed and stretched too thin? If so, you’re not alone. Recent studies have found that the average manager spends three hours a day on interruptions, which means up to 80% of their time is being spent on things that are not the most important for the organization. That’s why we developed the playbook for managers. It’s a simple system that helps busy professionals optimize their time and get the most out of every day. With our playbooks, you can finally take control of your day and make sure all of your tasks are completed efficiently and effectively.
Time blocking is a great way to prioritize and organize your daily activities. The idea behind it is simple: block out specific times throughout the day to dedicate to certain activities. Each of these blocks is called a play. With the playbook system, you can easily identify which tasks need to be done first, which ones can be completed later, and which don’t need to be done at all. And I understand that as a manager, you will need to spend time answering questions and working on unplanned needs. Those should be included in the plays as well. It’s a great way to make sure nothing falls through the cracks and that your day is productive.
At our organization, we take it one step further by creating playbooks for every position. We take all of their key activities, block them throughout the week, and make sure they are completed within their allotted times. We manage according to those playbooks. This helps us ensure that everyone on the team has an understanding of their roles and responsibilities each day and never has to wonder what they should work on next.
Once you have created a playbook for each position, it’s important to analyze your activities and adjust your plays as necessary. You want to prioritize certain activities above all else so you can maximize productivity in the long run. This could mean focusing more on customer service than administrative work or vice versa depending on what is most beneficial for your organization.
Once you have identified which tasks should have priority over others, it’s time to implement the playbook structure into your daily routine. Here are a few tips and techniques:
Creating playbooks for managers has helped our organization become more efficient, effective, and successful as they strive towards achieving their goals. With its easy-to-follow structure, businesses of any size can employ this strategy with ease and reap its rewards almost immediately! If implemented correctly, managers will find themselves having more productive and less stressful days while also finding greater success in their positions!
For more on this topic, stream Season 2, Episode 11 of The Grow Show.
It’s clear that when it comes to business success, company culture matters—but not enough people are talking about how to create and nurture an effective culture to ensure long-term growth.
At its core, company culture is about creating a positive workplace environment that encourages collaboration and trust, respects employees, and allows for creative problem solving. It’s about fostering an atmosphere of growth and opportunity where everyone feels valued, appreciated, and empowered to achieve their best. This type of culture not only helps organizations attract the best talent; it also leads to greater employee engagement, collective innovation and creativity, higher profits, and improved business performance over time.
Investing in your culture is especially important for growing businesses. During times of growth, your employees will be doing more than they were asked to do when they first started in your organization. People are going to be burning the candle at both ends, taking on different roles, helping you with that growth. And if somebody’s feeling good, and they’re motivated by your company culture, then you can manage that growth and push forward. If your company culture is not strong, it isn’t going to happen.
So how can organizations nurture an effective company culture? The key is to focus on long-term objectives while maintaining employee satisfaction in the short term. Organizations should prioritize communication between leadership and employees by encouraging open feedback sessions and involving team members in decision-making processes. They should also create opportunities for professional development by investing in skills training programs that help employees advance their careers. Finally, they should implement rewards systems that recognize hard work and commitment in order to increase morale and foster pride within the organization.
One of the ways we’ve built our culture is by developing roles for each team. We have a chief branding officer who helps ensure the space is decorated for holidays and that the team’s theme is represented in their area. The chief unity officer ensures everyone is aware of company-wide news and events. The chief celebration officer makes sure to share the accomplishments of their team within the team and across the company. These “officers” are chosen because of their performance, their buy-in to the company, and their desire to grow. It increases their engagement and empowers them to impact their team members and the company as a whole. Having individuals take ownership of company culture has made a huge difference for our company and it’s easy for you to implement within yours.
The bottom line is that focusing on creating a positive workplace environment has tangible benefits for both employees and businesses alike. Investing in company culture helps organizations retain their best talent—something essential for sustained business success over time. By taking the time to nurture an organizational culture that encourages growth while emphasizing respect, trust, collaboration and creativity, businesses can uncover new opportunities for innovation, all of which lead to greater results in the future.
For more on this topic, stream Season 2, Episode 12 of The Grow Show.
“Why do the Yankees always win? The other team can’t stop looking at their pinstripes”
Whether it’s the Yankees’ pinstripes, the Oregon Ducks’ green, the Abstrakt red, or your old band’s t-shirt, there’s an element of everyone being in uniform that brings a group together.
There’s no magic formula for success, but there are plenty of ways you can set yourself up for it. And one of those is having your team wearing high-quality, branded gear. A small investment in swag can go a long way towards achieving that $50M in revenue goal. Quality logo gear not only looks great and elevates your brand, but it also serves to recognize employee accomplishments, promote initiatives, and inspire employee pride and team unity. With the right swag and strategy, your team will be ready to take their game to the next level!
These are benefits of swag that I think are both overlooked and super important:
👕 Recognize employee accomplishments (think: awards, tenure, events)
👕 Promote initiatives (team goals, annual themes, etc)
👕 Employee pride (you don’t wear a brand out and about that you don’t like/believe in)
👕 Promotes team unity (everyone literally wearing the brand)
Giving out swag with a personalized touch also makes recipients feel special, which can result in increased job satisfaction.
So if you’re serious about achieving your business goals (especially hitting that $50M mark), investing in quality logo swag is definitely worth considering. It looks great, promotes initiatives and employee recognition, fosters pride among your staff, and reinforces team unity – what more could you want? With the right strategy behind it, branded gear can truly be your secret weapon for success!
It might sound trivial, but our 1:1s with team members were not good. We rescheduled a lot, the format was inconsistent, and frankly they were a waste of time.
Are your 1:1s stale? Are they happening at all? Think about it. Do you even know?
This was the spot I was in years ago when I met with an amazing consultant who opened my eyes to the MAP MEETING.
Here’s how to turn your company into a well oiled machine where every week your team members are EXECUTING.
The MAP meeting is NOT your meeting, leaders. It is your direct report’s meeting. Your job is to add support and seek clarity where clarity is needed.
This is incredibly important as most 1:1s are the leader asking questions of the direct report. When it’s the direct report’s meeting, not only do you get to answer their questions and mollify their concerns, but also you can tell week to week who prepped (who is on the ball and who is not).
🚀 M = Major Projects
In this section, you review and ensure completion of last week’s “major projects” and the plan for this week’s.
Your direct report should pick 5 (ONLY 5) projects/tasks that they are going to complete every week. The vast majority of people want to do 100 things, and in their minds, they need to. You must have them resist this urge and focus on the 5 most important items they can complete in one week’s time.
Each of these should be formatted in B (behavior) P (proof) I (impact). This ensures they know the “why” behind their efforts and the activity is clearly defined.
Think about this… If you have 50 team members and all of them are completing 5 critical tasks every single week, that’s 12,500 tasks per year that you know are moving the company forward. That is the essence of execution.
🚀 A = Activities
Here, the team member walks you through their key metrics. This MUST be a combination of leading and lagging indicators. Every position must have metrics, even those that don’t naturally lend themselves to metrics (e.g. facilities, accounting, etc).
Example : For salespeople, you’ll want to know # of sales meetings conducted, # of meetings scheduled for the upcoming week, # of these meetings converted to proposals, their forecast, and their current month-to-date, quarter-to-date, and year-to-date sales.
🚀 P = Potential business issues
This is the area of the meeting where the team members are being proactive. They’re (on their own) taking the time to think about what could impede their ability to be successful. You, as a leader, learn a lot in this section. It can be instructive on who can and who can’t scale within the organization. Also, it keeps you aware of what is around the corner.
Are you ready to take your meetings up a notch? Never miss a MAP! Implementing this system will help keep your team accountable and ensure that everyone knows exactly what needs to be done each week and why it needs to be done so you can confidently move forward with executing on projects without worrying about missing key details or tasks slipping through the cracks.
Much is made and said about the CEO being in charge of a companies culture. The so called “culture carrier”. And, while I totally agree, it’s incumbent on the CEO to set the vision for the companies culture, all too often, what the CEO wants the culture to be and what the culture ACTUALLY IS are worlds apart.
So, what do companies do? They have culture training and team building events. They try to drive culture through HR and/or through managers. In short, no one is responsible for driving culture on a DAILY basis. It’s the old “everyone is responsible”.
At our company, we believe in celebrating right behaviors, rooting out behaviors that conflict with our values and being stewards of the company vision. To ensure we do this effectively, each team has a Captain. These Captains are selected by members of the respective teams and they are responsible for ensuring that all team members abide by our core values.
Captains have full authority over their teams other roles (celebrations officer, branding officer, etc.) and meet on a monthly basis to discuss any issues or developments within the organization. They work closely with managers to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to company goals and objectives.
Plus, being a Captain is considered in all promotional opportunities within the organization – so it’s a great way for employees to prove their leadership skills and move up the corporate ladder.
Moreover, Captains are also responsible for measuring team success as well as employee retention rates – both of which have been proven to be integral components in determining effectiveness in a company’s culture initiatives.
In other words, without Captains to lead and keep morale high, it would be nearly impossible for any CEO to make sure their culture actually reflects their vision!
While there are other ways to drive culture daily, I’d submit to you that whether it’s Captains or other culture roles (see episode link), you need the people NOT the CEO to own and drive culture.
This scenario is what prompted me to add this as one of the 50 critical things you need to do to hit $50m in revenue.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking.
That’s a lot of work to build and maintain relationships like that.
But here’s the thing: having an expanded advisory board – a banker, lawyer, accountant and insurance broker – can pay huge dividends for your business.
Think of all the ways this group can (and wants to) help:
To sum up: build relationships with trusted advisors who can not only provide advice but also be a source of referrals for new customers. This expanded advisory board is critical for any successful business leader or entrepreneur who wants to hit $50m in revenue!
In business we constantly talk about scaling. Scaling in terms of revenue. Scaling in terms of headcount. Scaling in terms of physical space. You know what we don’t talk about scaling? DECISION MAKING. We don’t talk about decision making because it can be hard. It takes time, energy and thought to make the right decisions every time without fail.
So, how do you do it? Ensure that whenever a decision is made at your company, the following 3 stakeholders are ALWAYS considered. Your people, your clients and the business.
If you believe every decision should be evaluated with these three criteria, how do you make sure your team is adhering to this?
Making smart decisions isn’t easy but if you commit to following these three simple considerations whenever a decision needs to be made, then you can rest assured knowing that those choices won’t just affect the outcome of the current situation but will also positively impact the future success of your business!
But over time, after failing with “experienced managers” time and again, I realized that having managers that weren’t great at the roles they were managing was untenable. It didn’t work.
So, how do you identify those talented folks in your team who have the potential to become successful managers? Here are five questions to ask yourself when considering whether or not your top performer could be a great manager:
By asking yourself these five questions when considering someone as a potential manager from among your top performers, you can make sure you pick out the right person for the job – one who has the drive and commitment necessary for success!
So don’t wait any longer – promote a leader from the leaderboard today!
As a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure your team has the tools they need to succeed and grow. Relying on reactive training methods when there is an issue is not enough – it is a sign of leadership negligence. You must arm your team with the knowledge and skills they need before any problems arise.
Do any of these sound familiar?
These all have one thing in common. They are REACTIVE.
We created weekly best practices sessions and EVERYONE in the company must participate once a week. Here’s how it works and the problems it solves.
Problem this solves: The accountability piece is crucial because it ensures that the training is happening everywhere all the time. You as leaders don’t have to police it.
Problem this solves: How do you get team members exposure to/training for other roles in the organization? Do you “throw them in”? Let them sink or swim?
We were struggling to identify internal talent for future roles, paint a vision of where they could go, and ramp team members into new roles. This one solution helps solve all of these issues.
Problem this solves: This keeps training from becoming a back-burner item. Something that you do when you can. Publicly holding the team accountable to training reinforces its importance and keeps training top-of-mind for all team members.
Problem this solves: So often, training is the responsibility of the leader, meaning it is on the leader to ensure their people are trained. This concept shares some of the responsibility to the individual. They must seek out training weekly, whether their manager is providing or not. Manager sick? Manager out? Training will happen.
At the end of the day, it’s essential that leaders understand that failing to provide their team with the tools they need to be successful is engaging in leadership negligence. By taking the time to implement Best Practice Meetings, you can make sure that your team is armed with the knowledge they need to tackle any problem that arises.
Are you struggling to attract the talent you truly want? We were. This was the solve.
Not the short term fix. The LONG term solve.
Have you ever noticed how people talk about the companies they work for? The language they use isn’t always the same as when they’re talking about the company’s products or services. That’s because employer brand and corporate brand are different. To ensure that your company has a strong employer brand, it helps to understand what makes it unique and how it stands out from its competitors. Here are some steps that you can take to develop an effective employer brand and attract top talent.
First, it’s important to understand your current employer brand. The best way to do this is by conducting focus groups with recent hires and tenured employees. Ask them questions such as: What sets your company apart from competitors? What would they tell a friend who was considering applying at your company? What words describe your work environment?
Once you gather the answers, it can be helpful to create a visual representation (graph, word cloud, etc.) of what the ideal employee experience looks like at your company.
Next, take the visual representation to the executive team so that everyone is on the same page. Decide on words that represent your employer brand—the values and culture that define your organization—and ensure that everyone understands how these words will be used to communicate with potential applicants. For example, ours is growth. Make sure that all departments in the organization understand this new employer brand concept, as well.
The marketing team should take ownership of the employer brand and create collateral such as videos or blog posts about why potential applicants should choose your company over others. This can NOT fall on HR because it truly is a marketing effort.
Additionally, set objectives for applicant attraction; for example, how many qualified candidates should you receive each month? Treat this just like you do your sales goals. This creates TRUE accountability.
Finally, talk about your employer brand internally all the time. Knowing what makes an organization unique and communicating it clearly can help attract talented individuals who are looking for more than just a job: they’re looking for an experience that aligns with their values. Your internal team can help with these efforts by referring people from their network and the internal brand can also help with their retention.
Creating an effective employer brand requires strategic planning and dedication but pays off in the long run when you have top talent joining and staying with their teams. By understanding what sets your company apart and taking steps to build up its reputation as an attractive place to work, you can ensure that you are attracting high-caliber employees who will contribute meaningfully to achieving long-term business goals.
As a home cook, I have always looked up to my mother. She was the type of person who could make a dish that would be the star of the show at any dinner party or family gathering. Her lasagna was no exception; it was something that I heard so many compliments on. People even asked her if she should open a restaurant or make lasagna full time! As someone who admittedly isn’t great in the kitchen, I found comfort in her recipes as they were always so clearly written out with exact steps that made them simple to follow.
This is what inspired me to think about the power of having a clear set of standard operating procedures in business. When it comes to leading your team, having the right processes and systems in place can make all the difference in terms of success. This is especially true for businesses that need to train new employees quickly and ensure consistency in their product or service.
Take Anheuser Busch for example: despite producing millions of bottles of beer an hour, each one tastes exactly the same due to their well-documented processes that are followed religiously. Even the people giving the tours give the same tour over and over again. It’s almost like they’re cooking a perfect lasagna every time.
So what can we take away from this? Well, firstly, the importance of having a documented set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your business can not be understated. These SOPs should be used to guide the way you implement clients, answer phones, build products, and train new people. It’s these processes that will help you maintain consistency and stay successful.
It may sound intimidating, but documenting your processes doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, documenting SOPs will make training new employees much easier. My challenge for you is to figure out what you don’t want to be tribal knowledge, what you don’t want to walk out the door, what you believe in most, and make sure to document those processes so they don’t go away.