2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 3

The second day of BEF kicked off with Michael Losier, author of “Law of Attraction – The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t.”  Among the many BFOs were:
  • Contrast – The brief observation of what you don’t want will bring clarity to what you do want
  • The Law of Attraction is like a Google search, refine the search until you find what you are looking for.
  • To invoke the Law of Attraction, refine your Words->Thoughts->Vibes->Results
Our next speaker was Stephen Hightower, President & CEO of Hightower Petroleum Co.  Mr. Hightower was profiled in CNBC’s “Blue Collar Millionaires”, he went from cleaning toilets in his parent’s janitorial business to founding a multi-million-dollar oil company.  One of his big breaks occurred when his company was chosen to provide all the fuel that is put into new cars coming off GM’s production line.  At the time, he didn’t have the credit nor the supply chain to satisfy the contract.  In fact, he needed to triple his capacity.  His search for credit and supply led him to the following BFO:
  • “If the opportunity is big enough, you can find a supplier to support it.”
Having the right relationships has enabled his company to now supply the fuel for most of the cars produced in North America. The additional BFO’s from Mr. Hightower’s presentation included:
  • As long as you don’t die, you have the opportunity to do something different
  • “Exposure gives you the ability to see what is possible.”
  • “90 % of my customers are being called upon by someone else.  100% of my customers were once customers of someone else.”
This last BFO from Stephen Hightower was so powerful and valuable that it covered my BEF investment several time over.  We all have competitors, thus, to succeed for the long haul, we must CONTINUALLY exceed our customer’s rising expectations. Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2019 BEF.

2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 2

Continuing with Brad Sugars’ presentation.  Brad listed some of his favorite 5 Ways strategies (in his order of preference):
  • Margin:
    • Don’t just raise prices, continually educate your customers and team as to your value proposition
    • Don’t discount – instead of giving away cash, give away value (make it special)
  • Conversion Rate:
    • Training, training, training
    • Make a benefit list – the top reasons customers should buy
    • “you can’t outsell your competitors if you don’t know them.” – Learn as much as you can about what they do well and not so well
    • Flowchart your sales process
    • Use Critical Non-Essentials (CNEs)
  • Average $ Sale:
    • Training, training, training
    • A/B/C/D customers – guide your customers, or send some of them to your competition
  • Number of Transactions:
    • Constantly build your database
    • Rebooking
    • VIP programs
    • Special offers & events
  • Lead Generation:
    • Video testimonials
    • Professionally built website
“Marketing is the life-blood of the business.” Our next speaker was the very inspirational Dr. Jen Welter.  Dr. Welter is the first female coach in the NFL.  She coached the inside linebackers for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.  A few key BFOs are:
  • Don’t live life looking in the rearview mirror
  • Be defined by what you do, not by what people are willing to pay you
  • “You are the producer, director, and lead actor of your life.”
  • “Why fit in when you can stand out?”
  • People listen when you whisper
We finished day one with a presentation from Richard Maloney, Founder and CEO of Engage & Grow Global.  Richard’s presentation revolved around the subject of employee engagement; its definition, costs, and its cure.  Among the many, many BFOs presented are the following highlights:
  • “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Definitions of the different levels of employee engagement
img_2867-for-blog
  • According to a 2017 Gallup survey of companies in the US 69% of employees were disengaged (a 1% improvement from 2016)
img_2868-for-blog
  • Disengagement looks like this
img_2869-for-blog
  • And a Gallup poll concluded that an engaged workforce yields tremendous benefits
img_2872-for-blog
  • Richard outlined the 6 Steps to employee engagement
img_2913-for-blog A few more key BFOs
  • “If you don’t measure, you lose treasure.”
  • Resolve disagreements within your company quickly – get the “splinters” out before they become infected
  • A great question to regularly ask your team is – “What around here needs to improve to become number one in our industry?”
Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2019 BEF.

2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious – Part 1

For the fourth year in a row, the Business Excellence Forum (BEF) grew and exceeded the previous years in attendance, presenters and content.  This year there were more than 700 business owners, executives, team members and business coaches in attendance in Charleston, SC.  With that many attendees, there was an abundance of formal and informal exchanges of ideas, strategies, success stories and best practices. This year’s forum had an extensive list of keynote speakers whose presentations yielded many Blinding Flashes of the Obvious (BFOs) and new ways of looking at things.  The following are some of the BFOs that struck a chord with me, all of which will enhance the value I bring to my clients.  I am sure that some of these will have a similar effect on you. The event began with Dr. Mark Thompson and Dr. Bonita Thompson, authors of “Admired – 21 Ways to Double Your Value”.  Their presentation was about “Being The Most Admired Brand.”   They presented the five factors needed to be an admired brand:
  1. Who do you admire?
    • We admire people with the same values as us
    • We all need “Power Partners” – mentors
  2. Productive PARANOIA
    • Steve Jobs 1.0 – was fired from Apple. At that time, he was ambitious, arrogant, and lacked humility
    • Steve Jobs 2.0 – re-tooled himself and built Apple into one of the most valuable companies in the world
img_2817-for-blog
  1. Value-Creators – If your house burned down, would you:
    • Rebuild the same House?
    • Using the same Process?
    • With the same Team?
    • What about your business? Does your business create Value?
  2. Never-ending Mission – four parts
    • BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals
    • OKR – Objectives and Key Results
    • Simplicity
    • Urgency – Creates Learning & Growth
img_2831-for-blog
  1. Deliberate Practice – 6 Parts
img_2843-for-blog
  1. Redefine Success – What is your definition of Success?
img_2846-for-blog They concluded with the secret to passionate growth: img_2849-for-blog And Number 7 Gratitude. Our next speaker was ActionCOACH Chairman and Founder, Brad Sugars.  Under the often-repeated mantra of going back to basics, Brad presented some reminders and updates to the Six Steps to Massive Results seminar.  Highlights include:
  • Don’t fall in love with your product or service – break out of your rut and continually improve and innovate
  • It is no use building your marketing if you can’t keep the customers – make sure you can consistently deliver
  • With the internet and social media, marketing has shifted toward labor, away from spend
  • In the ActionCOACH concept of Test & Measure – testing has become extremely easy because of all the statistics that are available
  • Use the ActionCOACH 5 Way Formula backwards, from Profit up – 5 years, 4 years, …
Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2019 BEF.

2018 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 3

The second day of BEF began with Darren Hardy, former publisher of Success magazine, and founder of Darren Hardy, LLC Success Mentor to CEOs & High-Achievers.  His presentation was entitled Productivity Secrets of SUPERACHEIVERS and was based on what he learned during his many interviews with some of the most successful people in the world. The following are a few of the many BFOs I got from Mr. Hardy’s presentation: img_1637-for-blog
  • YES is easy. NO is the master skill
  • 3 Activities – consider:
    • What should I have said NO to last week?
    • What should I say NO to next week?
    • What should I say NO to on my Idea, Project, Commitment & Communication Lists?
  • “To many choices create paralysis”
  • Warren Buffet’s Method
    • Step 1 – WRITE all your priorities
    • Step 2 Narrow the list down to your TOP 3
    • Throw the rest of the list away
  • Don’t mistake:
    • Movement for Achievement
    • Activity for Productivity
    • Rushing for Results
img_1669-for-blog
  • Create a “Give Up” list
  • Identify your Vital Few Functions
    • Delete / Delegate
    • Find & Focus on and leverage VITAL FUNCTIONS
  • “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker
  • To be a SUPERACHIEVER
    • Stop doing
    • Master the Vital FEW
    • Out FOCUS
    • Out LAST (consistency)
    • Out GROW
    • Out FAIL – learn from mistakes
    Our next speaker was Travis Bell, The Bucket List Guy.  Travis was a speaker at the 2017 BEF (see 2017 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 4 for my BFOs from 2017).  Travis repeated a presentation he delivered to the ActionCOACH coaches only.  This year he presented to the entire audience.  There is a few additional BFOs added to last year’s Travis Bell BFOs:  
  • The ultimate KPI is How Many People Come to Your Funeral
  • Go from Selfish to Selfless
  • Separate bucket list from to do list
Our next presenter was Steve Rogers, CEO of Alchemy Advisors.  Before founding Alchemy Advisors, Mr. Rogers was the President of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.  Here are a few of the many BFOs from Mr. Rogers:
  • There is no perfect
  • The constant question – What will have occurred in the next 12 months to consider it a very successful year?
  • And
img_1744-for-blog Brad Sugars took the stage to wrap up day 2:
  • All of my clients have a Future Organization Chart (3 to 5 years in the future) These need to add a Timeline & Triggers to each new position on the chart
  • “Saving a wage cost me a fortune” – Brad Sugars
  • Hiring is not the same as Recruiting
  • Have at least 1 personal goal in your 90 day plan
  • Success:

See Your Goal Understand The Obstacles Create a Positive Mental Picture Clear Your Mind of Self-Doubt Embrace The Challenge Stay On Track Show The World You Can Do It

  Day 3 – A few BFOs from the coach’s session From ActionCOACH Kevin Simpson, a coach in Canada.  A few insights from his clients:
  • His bike shop client reduced the number of bikes on the sales floor, resulting in selling more units at higher prices
  • Conversation around what is possible. In the 19th century during the construction of a railroad, 32 spikers hammered in 63,000 spikes, each averaging 600 blows per hour for 14 hours.  They constructed 6.3 miles of track that day, which at the time was a record.  So the question is – Do we limit ourselves by our perception of what is possible?
  • To eliminate Bottle Necks – Communicate Priorities
  img_1774-for-blogimg_1785-for-blog
    • be in Area 4
    • Area 1 – Intention & Attention / no money – EXCUSE (below point of power)
    • Area 2 – Money & Intention / no attention – BLAME
    • Area 3 – Money & Attention / not aligned – DENIAL
    • Area 4 – Congruency (above the point of power)
  And finally, from a couple of conversations during breaks:
  • A business is finished (Step 6 of 6 Steps to Massive Results) when it achieves the ActionCOACH definition of a successful business
  • Content is GREAT / Context is IT!
  • “Where there is SHIT, there is FERTILIZER
  I hope you have formed your own BFOs from this blog series. The 2019 Business Excellence Forum will be in Charlotte, SC from February 17th to the 19th.  If you wish to join me and about 1,000 other business owners, CEOs, leaders, executives and business coaches, or if you would like to accelerate your success, please contact me or any of my ActionCOACH colleagues.  Our mission is to create

World Abundance Through Business Re-Education

2018 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 2

While reviewing my notes for this blog, I noticed that I omitted two Elizabeth McCormick BFOs from Part 1
  • When thingsimg_1523-for-blog get hard, ask yourself “Do I Want This?”
  • CAN
    • Communicate – Positive & Proactive
    • Aviate – Take Action
    • Navigate – Clarity
  Elizabeth McCormick was followed by Chris Voss, CEO of The Black Swan Group, LTD and co-author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.  He spent 24 years working in the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit and was the FBI’s chief international hostage and kidnapping negotiator from 2003 to 2007.  There were only a few BFOs from Mr. Voss, however they were MAJOR.  During negotiations:
  • Banish “I Understand” from your vocabulary. It is condescending.
  • Build confidence & trustworthiness – “Will you listen to what I have to say?”
  • Open by asking a question or making a statement with the expected answer or response of NO. For example: “It looks like there is no way to get the hostages released safely.”  Going for the NO gets the other side to tell you what they are really after.  Chris gave several sales-oriented examples: “It looks like you are not interested saving money for payroll processing while getting quicker service.”
  • Never say “you’re right” only say “That’s right” and then shut up!
  • Perceived EMPATHY is a Truth Serum
Our next speaker was Dr. Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments 24×7, LLC.  Dr. Alessandra is a prolific author with 30 books translated into over 50 foreign language editions, including the newly revised, best-selling The NEW Art of Managing PeopleCharismaThe Platinum RuleCollaborative Selling; and Communicating at Work.  ActionCOACH has a strategic partnership with Assessments 24×7 that enables my colleagues and I to offer a variety of online assessments, including the widely used DISC profile, the Hartman HVPMotivators (Values/PIAV) assessment, and several 360º effectiveness assessments.  BFOs from Dr. Alessandra include:
  • “Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.” This represents a prime reason we at ActionCOACH offer a complementary diagnostic coaching session before suggesting a coaching program to prospective clients.
  • Establishing a competitive advantage is founded on an understanding of customer needs (not wants) and the ability of competitors to meet those needs. Understanding your competitive advantage allows you to sell value, not price.
    • Understand your Uniqueness’s, Advantages & Disadvantages
    • To dig deeper and to differentiate your offering from your competition in a given situation use this tool
Your Advantages compared to competitor Your Disadvantages compared to competitor
Competitor A ? ?
Competitor B ? ?
Competitor C ? ?
Competitor D ? ?
  • Feedback Questions
  • How well does our solution address the needs and goals you expressed earlier?
  • What other advantages do you see in our solution?
  • How closely does this solution fit your budget & timeline?
  • How will you determine the success of our solution?
  • What needs do you see that I might have missed?
  • Alessandra presented three case studies on the effectiveness of using various combinations assessments during recruiting and hiring. As the saying goes, “your results may vary.”  Nonetheless, using assessments before offering a position to a candidate increases the likelihood of a successful hire.
This concludes the major BFOs from the first day of the Business Excellence Forum.  Stay tuned for day 2’s BFOs, coming soon.

2018 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 1

For the third year in a row I must say, the Business Excellence Forum (BEF) gets better each year, and the 2018 event was no exception.  This year there were more than 700 business owners, executives, team members and business coaches in attendance in San Diego, California.  With that many attendees, there was an abundance of formal and informal exchanges of ideas, strategies, success stories and best practices. This year’s forum had an extensive list of keynote speakers whose presentations yielded many Blinding Flashes of the Obvious (BFOs) and new ways of looking at things.  The following are some of the BFOs that struck a chord with me, most of which will enhance the value I bring to my clients.  I am sure that some of these will have a similar effect on you. During the opening session, Brad Sugars, founder, and Chairman of ActionCOACH shared the following during a presentation of the 21 Biggest Mistakes in Marketing:
  • Mistake #4 – No Numbers / At ActionCOACH we have the concept of Measure & Test. For example, in creating marketing materials, such as advertisements, we coach our clients to test multiple headlines and measure the level of response, rather than simply using one headline.  After measuring response, our clients can hone in on an effective headline.  Brad suggested that Google or Facebook are perfect venues to test marketing headlines.
  • Mistake #9 – Going for 1 sale vs. 100 / The concept of marketing for multiple sales, rather than going for one sale. This involves targeting out-bound message, while calling for in-bound response.
  • Mistake #12 – Wrong Words/Pictures / Marketing materials must address your target’s values, not your company’s values. I will be blogging and tweeting more of the 21 Biggest Mistakes during the next few weeks.
Our first Keynote speaker was Elizabeth McCormick, an amazing lady.  Ms. McCormick was the first female helicopter pilot in the US Army.  In addition to teaching the entire audience how to fly a helicopter, she laid out many gems, here are a few:
  • “If you believe that something is hard, it will be hard. If you believe something is easy, it will be easy not as hard
  • She demonstrated the “Can you exercise.” She asked a volunteer to the stage.  The volunteer extended their arm out to the side with their thumb down.  Elizabeth then:
    • Pushed down on the volunteer’s arm while the subject was resisting to establish a benchmark of the amount of force needed to overcome the resistance
    • Next, she had the subject say “I can’t” three times. When she pushed the volunteer’s arm down this time she was able to easily overcome the resistance.
    • Finally, she had the subject say “I can” three times. This time she had to apply much more force to overcome the volunteer’s resistance. Just in case we thought she was faking, the entire audience paired off, did the exercise and came up with the same result.
    • The purpose was to move us from our comfort zone to our Potential Zone.
  • “We all have a responsibility to lead from where we are.”
Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2018 BEF.

A BFO About Planning (moved)

I had a major comeuppance and Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO) this morning related to one of my monthly activities, instigated by a Darren Hardy video I watched yesterday.  During my holiday break the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I worked on a few administrative tasks in advance of their normal schedule.  Among them was a look at my Accounts Receivable (A/R) aging.  I printed the A/R Summary Aging Report from QuickBooks and thought about how I wanted to collect from each of the few past due client in the report.  After deciding on several different collection strategies based on the past due amount, age and client situation, I put a code next to each past due client.   For example; some were going to receive a statement via email followed by a call, a few would get a mailed statement and a call, etc.  I must admit, I was very proud of myself for addressing this unpleasant, but necessary task earlier than usual. This morning, almost two week later, I realized that after planning my collection strategies, I put my collection plan into my A/R folder without implementing it!  My BFO:

Planning to do something, and knowing how it will be accomplished ….

Is Not The Same As Actually Doing It!

There is no doubt that planning is essential, as the saying goes, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”  However, failing to work the plan is actual failure. In Darren Hardy’s video, he presented a weekly Sunday Planning System (http://dh.darrenhardy.com/win-the-week).  As he explains during the video, he was given the system by a billionaire he was introduced to a few years ago.  In addition to the Sunday Planning System, the billionaire told him that in order to focus and maximize his effectiveness and results, he works on one, and only one major item per day.  He addresses that item until it is complete.  Based on this system, and my BFO, my plan going forward is to plan and finish whenever possible.  No more plan, put aside to finish later.  By the way, Darren Hardy is one of the keynote speakers at the 2018 Business Excellence Forum and Awards (http://www.thebusinessexcellenceforums.com/events/?event_id1=7) February 18th to 20th in San Diego. As we begin 2018, I encourage you to plan and act to achieve your goals.  My ActionCOACH colleagues and I are presenting GrowthCLUB 90-day planning workshops in the coming weeks.  These powerful and very effective workshops will accelerate your journey to massive results in your business and life.  Plan to register, attend and implement your ActionPLAN.

2017 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of The Obvious Part 4

Paul Dunn continued with his presentation by switching gears to speak about the concept of price anchoring. He presented a case study based upon the fact that most people remember the last thing they see or hear.  The case study involved adding eight words at the end of a price quotation for a product or service img_9693-small img_9696-small Result: 30% conversion rate for price alone, 90% conversion rate with the addition of those 8 words! Paul finished up by returning to his original concept by saying “The shortcut to more is to MATTER more.” img_9713-small img_9714-smallimg_9716-small And a quote by Richard Branson img_9720-small   A very impactful speaker who spoke briefly the afternoon of the first day and then returned to speak to the coach’s conference (day 3) was Trav Bell, the Bucket List Guy (http://www.thebucketlistguy.com/).
  • After saying that a bucket list is about what you learn about yourself during the journey, he had the entire audience participate in two hands-on exercises:
  1. We were given 10 minutes to begin writing our “reverse” bucket list – a list of things, adventures, accomplishments, and people we had already met or achieved that we were proud about. We then shared items from our list with a partner.  This was a great exercise, one which I completed on my return flight to NY.
  2. After presenting his acronym MYBUCKETLIST as a framework for our bucket lists:

Meet a personal hero Your proud achievements Buy that special something Ultimate challenges Conquer a fear Kind acts for others Express yourself Take lessons Leave a legacy Idiotic stuff Satisfy a curiosity Travel adventures

Trav gave us 15 minutes to select a letter, add an item to our list and then act on that item.  Many in the audience signed up for guitar lessons or made pledges to their favorite charity.

Both exercises were empowering and great examples of coaching.  I highly recommend you seek out a partner, or coach to create both bucket lists.

Trav concluded by saying “People are dying at 40, being buried at 80.”  Don’t be one of them.   Another presenter to the coach’s portion of BEF was Traci Diaz of Break Free Consulting.  Traci gave us many ideas, one of which stood out:

The Central Question to ask yourself several times each day is: “What choice can I make, and action can I take, in this moment, to create the greatest value?”

  The BEF was concluded by Brad Sugars.  Brad stretched everyone’s vision by challenging everyone to create their 100-year vision!  He reiterated an Owner’s/CEO’s/ Leader’s responsibility to enroll and inspire their team:
  • Vision – 100 years in the future, if the mission is accomplished
  • Mission – the value your company brings to the world
  • Culture – the rules of the game
He reminded us of the ActionCOACH formula for success Dreams X Goals X Learning X Plans X Actions = Success It is useless to lead a team that is not confident and productive Productivity comes from passion and focus Realize that the better you get at _____ the easier it becomes – tackle the difficult to make it easy. After drawing the following flipchart, Brad added that you MUST be congruent with your identity, or create MORE identity img_9728-small A case study example of expanded identity:

A doctor raised his identity from doctor to entrepreneur who happens to be in the medical business.  Result – went from one office with him as the only provider to nine offices with more than 400 providers.

We coach for break-throughs, not just learning.   After the conference, I observed a great example of communicating a Unique Value Proposition in the parking lot of my hotel: img_9772-small img_9771-small I hope you have formed your own BFOs from this blog series. The 2018 Business Excellence Forum will be in San Diego from February 18th to the 20th.  If you wish to join me and about 700 other business owners, CEOs, leaders, executives and business coaches, or if you would like to accelerate your success, please contact me or any of my ActionCOACH colleagues.  Our mission is to create

World Abundance Through Business Re-Education

2017 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of The Obvious Part 3

Day two was kicked off (no pun intended) by Tim Brown, 1987 Heisman Trophy winner, NFL Hall of Fame member, and very inspirational speaker.  Here are some of my Tim Brown BFOs:
  • Be the coach
    • Be sure of yourself & your approach
    • Emphasize team
    • Look for & guide team members to see their abilities & potential
  • Talent is not enough – you need mental strength to succeed
  • Realize that sometimes a mindset change may be required to move forward
  • img_9612-small
  • Seek mentors …
    • Who can show you something about yourself
    • See what you cannot see within you
    • Say what you need to hear, not what you want to hear
  • Don’t be adverse to using a proven system from elsewhere
  • Little things lead to big results
The next speaker was Richard Maloney, President of Engage and Grow, a strategic partner of ActionCOACH.  In the course of presenting the benefits and outline of the Engage & Grow 12-week program, Rich enlightened us about the current poor state of employee engagement, strategies to raise the level of engagement and the benefits thereof:
  • img_9637-small
across the USA only 24% of employees are highly engaged.  Another way of looking at that is img_9638-small on average two out of every ten of your team are so highly disengaged that they would sabotage your company, or jump ship.  If you think your team would score as more engaged, think again.  A survey of their clients found a 30% gap between senior management’s guess and the team’s actual level of engagement. img_9640-small The Engage & Grow program taps into the science of motivation.
  • A Deloitte survey found that companies with highly engaged teams were eight times more successful over a ten year period than industry peers with lower team engagement.
  • Our job is to change the lives in front of us.
Next up was Paul Dunn, Chairman of B1G1, a global business giving initiative on a mission to create a world full of giving.  Paul’s presentation was in keeping with this year’s BEF theme of Serve More to Earn More. Paul opened with the following quote from Sir Issacs Newton: img_9666-small Using www.internetlivestats.com in order to show that time is increasingly compressed, he displayed some live global stats for that moment: (2/21/2017):
  • 7,519 tweets / sec.
  • 2,472 Skype calls / sec.
  • 58,875 Google searches / sec.
  • 68,234 YouTube video uploads / sec.
  • 2,566,295 email / sec.
  • 42,125 gbytes / sec.
And img_9670-small He quoted Peter Diamandis: img_9674-small He urged us to EARN more to GIVE more, and vis-a-versa: img_9676-small to address these global issues There are two choices we can make: img_9678-small or img_9679-small “The challenge is not to be successful, the challenge is to matter more. – Seth Godin From Simon Sinek’s “Start With WHY” img_9684-small img_9686-small This wraps up part three of my 2017 BEFA BFOs.  There will be more Paul Dunn and Brad Sugars in part four.

2017 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of The Obvious Part 2

  • After a short break, Keith Cunningham continued with many insights born out of a major bankruptcy that occurred in 2001: img_9520-small And then … img_9524-small Of course, he was speaking about ENRON
  • To repeat a BFO from part 1 – Profit is a THEORY / Cash is a FACT img_9529-small
  • If the Wall Street analysts had looked at ENRON’s Cashflow Statements, they would have easily discovered that ENRON was in an unsustainable cash situation. So … img_9530-small
  • Another great Keith quote “The key to getting rich (generating cash) is to make fewer stupid decisions.” Generate, digest and understand your timely financial statements, and scoreboards.  Your financials and scoreboards MUST be relevant, based on a granular chart of accounts and metrics that are reflective of your goals.  If you do this, you will make better decisions.
  • Get the BUSINESS into business!
Next Mr. Cunningham concluded with what I consider to be the most important message of his presentation:
  • An Owner/CEO/Leader has four jobs that CANNOT be delegated:
    1. Getting clarity about the obstacles
      • Identify and understand the obstacles to success, develop a strategy to overcome the obstacles and then build a machine to carry out the strategy / OSM – Obstacle + Strategy + Machine
      • The Machine is A Plan, the People and Execution
      • Be careful to determine the REAL problem
      • Continually ask yourself what can I do today to improve my situation?
      • Often, we don’t have clarity because we don’t ask the RIGHT Questions
        • “Smart people have really good answers, geniuses have really good questions.”
      • Powerful questions: img_9544-small Powerful Growth Questions: img_9546-small
      • To identify the underlying reasons: img_9547-small
    2. Prioritization – Allocation of resources img_9549-small Another great question: img_9550-small
  1. Organizational Chart – Structure and Who
    • Keith said “opportunity without structure is chaos and drama!”
    • One of my coaches says “Abundance cannot exist where there is complexity and/or drama.”
    • Who? img_9552-small and solve problems
  2. Culture
    • Culture, Not Perks
    • Employees are number 1, not customers
    • The source of all value is your Team (your Who) and your Culture img_9555-small img_9557-small img_9557-bottom-small img_9558-small
  • To Summarize – As a CEO/OWNER/LEADER you cannot Delegate: img_9553-small 
The next presenter was Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and Chairman of Business Network International (BNI).  Dr. Misner has been called the “Father of Modern Networking” and is a well-known speaker and author on the subject of business networking.  You will not be surprised that the subject of his presentation was networking.  Here are a few BFOs from his presentation:
  • When at a business networking function, it doesn’t hurt to ask for business – RIGHT? WRONG!  Networking is all about making and building relationships.
  • Many people, when introduced to a person of certain professions will cut the conversation short – thinking they can’t help me. That is a mistake because you never know who they know.
  • Networking is like farming – you must plant the seeds of a relationship with everyone you meet.
  • Diversify your networks – join industry exclusive, non-exclusive, industry specific, locally based (chamber of commerce, for example), regional and on-line networks.
  • Be aware of the relationship of the time it will take to build confidence with someone you meet based on your profession. img_9573-small
  • And remember perception is reality img_9574-small Be aware of how you are perceived.
This wraps up my BFOs from the first day of the 2017 BEFA.  Stay tuned for Part 3.