a maze showing a red arrow through it

BE PART OF THE 8% WHO SUCCEED!

It’s that time of year when there’s a lot of buzz about New Year’s resolutions. But with all the excitement and possibilities of the new year, a commonly held statistic is that only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. That means that 92% of people fail each year!! Yet we know there is great power in goal-setting. People who have defined, measurable, written goals outperform most others.

What Makes a Good Goal?

Traditional goal-setting wisdom has taught us that a good goal must be SMART:

Specific. It’s always best to write down your goals – either on paper or digitally – breaking pieces of the goal into smaller steps.

Measurable. Put a number to your goal. Set it to hit it. Find an accountability partner for encouragement and set reminders to keep yourself on track.

Attainable. You must believe it’s possible, or you won’t be motivated. Be sure you think through any obstacles and the tasks needed to overcome them. Make sure it’s possible for you to have control over the outcome.

Realistic. Be sure the odds are good for you to accomplish your goals. Otherwise, you might set yourself up for overwhelm or frustration.

Timely. Always put a deadline to your goals. Typically, people have about a 90-day attention span for goals. At EOS®, we call these Rocks – the 3 to 7 most important things that must get done over the next 90 days.

While we might have a handful of annual goals or long-term priorities, shorter timeframes build good follow-through habits and reward you with quicker gratification. By having more frequent victories, you’ll build a strong track record and create more momentum. On the other hand, long-term goals force you to grow, keep you headed in the right direction, and provide a sense of greater purpose with something exciting to work toward.

A mix of short- and long-term goals is ideal. To apply this concept to your business, we use the Vision/Traction Organizer™ (VTO™).

Here are some examples of goals with a well-defined action plan and specific deadlines:

  • If you’re trying to lose 10 pounds, get specific about your diet, workout plan and deadline, say for an important event or wedding.
  • If you’re trying to reduce stress, get specific about what you will do to make that happen and by when. Maybe your measurable is to reduce your blood pressure by 10 points.
  • If you’re trying to increase sales by 20% in the next quarter, then create a 90-day plan to get you there.

We really have two choices: either we can leave things up to chance and react to life as it happens, or we can take action toward creating the future we envision for business and life. The more successful we become, the more we can contribute to making the world a better place!

So dream big, set good goals, and take action!

Written by Chris Naylor on January 3, 2019

a picture of The Beatles, the rock band

A GREAT HABIT IS HARD TO BREAK

After a client’s recent EOS session, an owner of the company made a comment about the importance of repetition in mastering a skill. Specifically, he was talking about the weekly Level 10 meeting and, after just six meetings, how much better his team was becoming at identifying, discussing and solving issues, getting things done, improving communication and team health. He told his team, “Imagine how much better we’ll be after 52 weekly Level 10 meetings?”

Good Habits Yield Great Results

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell challenges the impact that intelligence plays in determining success and points to repetition – putting in the hours necessary to succeed. He mentions the “ten-thousand-hour rule” … that it takes about 10,000 hours of doing something to truly master it. He retells a well-known story behind the Beatles “sudden” success. By the time they played the Ed Sullivan show, they had completed 1200 live performances. In Hamburg, Germany, they played 270 nights during an 18-month stretch, often playing 8 hours per night – talk about “A Hard Day’s Night!”

Gladwell also points out that the child prodigy Mozart, who began writing music when he was six, developed late in life, producing his greatest works after he’d been composing for over 20 years. To become a chess grandmaster takes about 10 years. To become an expert at anything requires about 10,000 hours of practice.

So, whether you aspire to be a chess grandmaster, an elite athlete, an artist, a welder, a baker, a chef, or a successful entrepreneur and business owner, you must develop great habits and repeat them often. Combine repetition with a pursuit of what you truly love doing and you’re on your way towards mastery. And, the longer you repeat great habits, the harder they are to break.

Written by Rene Boer on December 26, 2016

Five professional people smiling both male and female

WHY MILLENNIALS WILL LOVE EOS® – PART 2

In Why Millennials Will Love EOS® – Part 1 we said that millennials, who were raised in a different time than we Boomers and Gen-Xers, think differently. They have very specific expectations for information and for their work environments. TheVision/Traction Organizer™ and the Accountability Chart provide the vision, big picture, and culture that millennials need to understand and to be engaged.

In Part 2 I want to share specific EOS Tools that will help you lead, manage, and hold millennials accountable, as well as the rest of your team.

Quarterly Rocks

Millennials need to see progress, completion, and evidence that they are building new skills. Setting priorities for the few most important things that must get done each quarter at the company level, by department, and for individuals creates clear alignment that everyone is rowing in the same direction. This quarterly rhythm shows completion of tasks more often, develops job skills and can provide a variety of work. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to lead without changing positions.

Weekly Level 10 Meetings™

Maintaining human connectivity is critical for digitally native millennials. The weekly pulse of reporting, holding each other accountable, and problem-solving is frankly the lifeblood of any healthy team regardless of the ages of its members. For millennials, using the IDS and the Issues Solving Track™ during this weekly problem-solving session gives the team opportunities to be creative, share, and be exposed to new ideas

Scorecards

A powerful currency for millennials is flexibility — when, where, and how to get the work done, as long as it gets done. Working remotely and flextime don’t work for everything, but they can work for certain roles. The key is how to hold people accountable. A weekly scorecard of activity-based metrics that track specific job responsibilities will provide the tool for many to self-manage their results and keep their boss and teammates plugged in.

Process

Documenting your handful of Core Processes brings consistency and scalability to how the work gets done. When followed by everyone on the team a consistent process also gives additional autonomy.

In addition to these tools, you need to master the Five Management Practices™ that speaks directly to the kind of feedback and direction millennials need to get.

  • Practice 1. Keeping expectations clear – yours and theirs
  • Practice 2. Communicating well – more listening than talking
  • Practice 3. Maintaining the right Meeting Pulse™
  • Practice 4. Having Quarterly Conversations – 1:1 meetings to talk about what’s working and what’s not
  • Practice 5. Rewarding and Recognizing – within 24 hours, open and honest, be their boss, not their buddy

Written by Clark Neuhoff on August 14, 2017

a hand holding a magnifying glass over rocks

MICROMANAGING ROCKS

Some leaders and managers have been tempted to deviate from the 5-minute rock review we teach in the weekly Level 10 Meeting™, desiring something more detailed than a simple, on track/off track, report. The concern that team members are inappropriately reporting rocks to be on track when they are not has led some teams to create elaborate “rock crushing systems” that include breaking rocks down into smaller action steps, plotting those steps out across a timeline, tracking completion of those steps and reporting the progress in weekly meetings.

While I understand the motivation behind creating such systems, I urge you to treat the root causes rather than the symptoms. Not completing rocks and inappropriately reporting rock progress are symptoms with an underlying cause.

A person who exhibits the symptom of not completing his or her rocks doesn’t get it, want it or have the capacity to do what needs to be done. In other words, if someone can’t set and achieve proper rocks for their seat, you have the wrong person in that seat. Solve that root cause issue and you won’t feel the need to micromanage human activity in your organization. You also won’t need to waste valuable time in your weekly meetings. When the right people say a rock is on track, you can believe it. Trust them and get the heck out of their way. Don’t slow them down by adding complexity to their lives.

There are lots of project/task management tools/apps available in the marketplace. Do you really need to create another one? Is that your company’s Core Focus™? Let your people choose the productivity tools that work best for them and use your creative time and energy to build something to bring in an additional million dollars of revenue.

Simplify, don’t complicate. Trust your people, don’t micromanage.

Written by Don Tinney on August 12, 2019

two people in a meeting room talking

IS YOUR BUSINESS GUILTY OF DYSFUNCTIONAL PARENTING?

My son didn’t like what he heard from me, so he went to his mom and got the answer he wanted. We call this “the end-run,” — it also happens in business.

For example, have you ever experienced dissension in your organization where employees sided with one leader over the other? It’s like a reality show where alliances are created to overtake the other party.

How Are Your Business Parenting Skills?

As “parents” of the organization, the leadership team has to be on the same page and speak the same language, especially the Visionary and Integrator.

If they are not, similar to children in a family, the troops will divide and conquer. For a company to be healthy, the Visionary and Integrator have to be on the same page. It’s a Process issue and it starts with communication. 

In EOS®, we recommend the Same Page Meeting™. 

As the Visionary and Integrator, this could be the single most important thing these two individuals can do – to represent a united front so the vision is crystal clear. Then the team can determine how to get there and what everyone’s role is in getting there.

Getting on the Same Page

The Same Page Meeting has a simple agenda with the main objective of ensuring the Visionary and Integrator hash out differences and getting on the same page instead of arguing in front of their team or giving mixed signals.

As illustrated in this video by Gino Wickman, the three agenda items in a Same Page Meeting are:

  1.     Check-in: Start on a personal note and see how each of you are doing
  2.     Build An Issues List: Be open and honest on what the issues are and list them out
  3.     IDS™: Follow the Identify, Discuss, and Solve process

When you follow this simple process, it helps to resolve any open issues that are creating friction in the company, resulting in more alignment across the organization and a clear direction for the team.

Written by Don Maranca on November 25, 2019

a hiker standing on a cliff edge looking out over a vast view

ROCK ON!

In a recent EOS® Quarterly Meeting, the leadership team was proud to report that they had completed each of the ten Rocks (key priorities) that they had committed to getting done. They had gotten close in previous quarters, always exceeding the goal of 80% completion but this was their first “100% quarter”. In fact, I’ve conducted hundreds of sessions with leadership teams over the years and none has ever completed all their Rocks. So, I asked the Integrator and his team, “What did you do differently this quarter to complete all your Rocks?”

Here’s what they shared:

1. We started early by identifying any obstacles that needed to be overcome and the resources we needed to complete our Rocks
2. We set high expectations by agreeing that ALL our Rocks needed to be completed
3. We set benchmarks and reviewed them in our Level 10 Meetings to ensure that we were on track
4. We worked as a team, communicating often, holding ourselves and each other accountable and helping each other stay on track
It’s important to note that this client began implementing EOS earlier this year.

A healthy and cohesive leadership team makes commitments carefully, accepts accountability and wins or loses together. And, winning becomes an all-the-time thing.

What is your attitude toward setting Rocks? Do you go into quarterly meetings well-prepared, thinking about the most important things that must be accomplished? Have you thought about obstacles that must be overcome and the resources you’ll need? Do you start early so you’ll finish early? Are you being completely open and honest in your weekly Level 10 Meeting™️ about the progress you’re making on your rock? And, are you willing to call out a peer if you sense that they’re not really on-track?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then Rock On!

Written by Rene Boer on September 19, 2019

5

THE MAGIC AND CURSE OF PUTTING YOUR BUSINESS ON AUTOPILOT

The autopilot can be an aviator’s best friend. It’s precise, alleviates workload, and provides good peace of mind. All positive factors, but if the pilot isn’t careful, it could lead to big trouble!

Take the case of Eastern Airline Flight 401 where the crew was preoccupied with diagnosing a gear light problem and didn’t notice the autopilot was inadvertently set for a gradual descent, causing the plane to crash (CFIT) and kill 86 on board. The crew relied on their autopilot system as they had done thousands of times before. Only this time, their reliance turned into a deadly mistake.

I fly the Cirrus SR22, a high performance/complex single-engine aircraft, operated through multiple layers of automation, including a really sophisticated flight control system! The one big challenge with all this great automation is keeping up basic flying skills, since I rarely need to fly the plane manually. But if the system fails – then what?

Is Your Business Running on Autopilot?

Are you getting too comfortable with certain aspects of your business? Sometimes it’s not obvious. For example, one of my clients recently got out-bid on a long-standing contract they had been servicing for years. It was a shocker. They had become complacent and then, one day, it was gone!

In hindsight, there were signs of this coming, including more competitor bids, subtle hints from the client to cut costs, and the initiation of a new bidding process. But none of this made it to the top of my client’s issues list, and therefore was overlooked.

When things are running smoothly in your business, it can be like flying on autopilot. You get comfortable until blindsided by a sudden failure that you may not be prepared to handle.

How to Recover from Autopilot Failure

Pilots frequently practice emergency procedures with instructors to build confidence and proficiency in the cockpit and prepare for the unexpected.

You can do the same within your business by holding weekly Level 10 Meetings™ and focusing on solving your most pressing issues through IDS™ (the Issues Solving Track™).

Be pro-active to avoid your own preventable crash (CFIT)!

Written by Randy Taussig on October 21, 2019

A woman talking to a business man at a table in a cafe

YOU DON’T NEED AGREEMENT, YOU NEED COMMITMENT

Many of my clients talk about the struggle they’re having with getting agreement on their team. They say things like “my team is just not on the same page” or “I need to build consensus with my staff.” When I hear this, my answer is always the same: you don’t need agreement, you need commitment. Here’s what I mean…

I’ll be having a conversation with a member of the leadership team that goes something like this:

“Jim, wouldn’t it be easier if I got them all to agree with the idea?”

“Absolutely, John,” I say.

“Then why wouldn’t I try to get agreement?” says John.

“Do you think the hard decisions that are needed will be made with this approach?” I respond.  “Do you think you will build the best plan with everyone’s two cents as a part of it? At the end of the day, do you think your team will respect you more if you are trying to get everyone to agree?”

Let me answer this last one. They won’t.

Faster horse or enduring company?

Now don’t get me wrong. I think one of the essential roles of a leader is to get buy-in, or as we say in EOS®, get the Vision shared by all (SBA). The problem lies in words like ‘consensus’ or ‘agreement’. Consensus management doesn’t work. Great leaders set a vision and then get the team to commit to the vision.

We all want leaders that are concise decision-makers. They get the information they need, make a decision, and then build commitment, not consensus.

As Henry Ford famously said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Buy-in is important, but lead your team. Have the strength to ask for their commitment and not worry about creating agreement.

At the end of the day, it’s the difference between creating an enduring company or just developing a faster horse.

Written by Jim Coyle on September 26, 2019