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Put your passion to work.


Each month I like to take some quiet time and reflect on all of the conversations, decisions, and actions I have taken.  I like to say this is my version of reviewing my game footage.  This month I had a lot of questions and issues arise.  I took some time to review all of the questions I had to ask in order to properly identify each issue I was trying to solve.  You can see my problem identification process here.

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The Trade Deadline

Systematic Abandonment

Every July brings an opportunity for each MLB organization to reflect on their mission and progress towards their goals.  This reflection process is what drives decisions for the trade deadline.


What are we lacking?  Do we have too much focus in certain areas?  How is the team culture? What do our recent performance trends tell us?  Who should we add to the team? Who should we let go? These are just a few questions both MLB organizations and your business should be asking each year.


Unfortunately, too many organizations focus on what new opportunities they should be chasing and disregard the strategic impact of their decisions.  When choosing a new opportunity, you are also subconsciously choosing what not to do. One of the most valuable things you can always ask is not ‘What should we do?” but merely “What should we not do?”


The great Peter Drucker coined the term ‘Systematic Abandonment’ to describe this process.  He states “If we did not do this already, would we go into it now? If the answer is no, then the next question is “What do we do now?”  You should set aside times throughout the year to consciously ask these questions.


A few examples of systematic abandonment can be:

  • Recruiting mistakes

  • Unsuccessful projects

  • Incomplete projects

  • Systems that are not delivering consistent results

  • Product lines that no longer generate an adequate ROI

  • So on and so on


Time is your most expensive resource.  So choosing what to stop frees you up to do things more effectively and efficiently.  You will get faster solutions to issues and much quicker alignment to priorities by systematically reviewing the state of your business.

Make sure you put into place the conscious practice of systematic abandonment so your organization gets re-calibrated, refocused and on its way to reaching your destination.

The Third Base Coach

The Third Base Coach is almost never mentioned when you see an interview about a team's success or failure.  However, this role is just as important and equal contributor to the players on the field.


What most people don’t realize is the complexity of the Third Base Coach role.  Most people see a guy just standing there giving some hand signals and cheering his players on.  Although true, his position is much more than what appears to the eye. Take a look at the responsibilities and skills below and you’ll understand why this role is so important.

Visionary - The ability to conceptualize cause and effect of actions is a very rare skill.  The great third base coach has the ability to assess the situation and quickly act on short and long term strategies.  He is able to decide how he is going to accomplish his objectives in the most efficient manner for his team at that point in time.  Every pitch changes the situation. The third base coach doesn’t make decisions based on the situation as they happen; he has already thought about what he would do if the situation comes up and then acts.  He must be always be one or two steps ahead of everyone in the decision process.


Communicator - Once the coach has determined an action, he then must communicate those actions to his players.  More importantly, he must communicate those action CLEARLY. The coach needs to give clear direction and not send “mixed” signals to their players.  Mixed signals cause the players to act differently from the game plan. All this does is cause confusion, create frustration, and lead to negative results.  However, the coach also has to communicate with the team's Manager. He must provide a clear assessment of his players performance and their relationship to the teams dynamic.  The team manager relies on the coach to update him on the progress players are making and helping him align his players strength to create the best team possible.


Cheerleader - Human beings love recognition.  They thrive on recognition. The best coaches know how to calm their players down and get them to think clearly in every situation while providing positive feedback.  


My challenge to you is start thinking of yourself as the Third Base Coach in your business.  You team and your company will benefit greatly because of it.


Moneyball.  Have you seen it?  Great movie. The basic premise is around Sabermetrics.  If you’re not familiar with Sabermetrics here is the basic definition: “the application of statistical analysis to baseball records, especially in order to evaluate and compare the performance of individual players.”   The result Sabermetrics is used for in Moneyball is how many times can a player get on base and score runs.  Runs are what matters. Runs are what win games.

Everyday, yes, literally everyday I think about Sabermetrics in business.  I don’t think of it relating to baseball but as it relates to its emphasis on results.  At the end of the day you’re going to sell your business on one of two things; growth or profit.  That’s your result. The ability to score runs is the same as the ability to grow your revenue or increase your profits.  


I cringe when I watch ESPN and some analyst keeps talking about how many home runs a player is hitting but his team is still at the bottom of the division.  Who cares? It’s not helping move the team forward. The same thing is true in business.

I constantly see ads on Facebook from people saying “Look! I spent $25,000 on facebook ads and I received $50,000 in revenue.  I doubled my money. Let me show you how to do the same!” RUN when you see these ads.


You fund your marketing budget with profit dollars, not revenue.  Let’s say this person has a 50% margin. So on the $50K in revenue you just produced, you netted $25K.  Congratulations. You just broke even. You better hope your customers have at least a 2-3 year lifetime or else you’re wasting your money.  


Focus on results.  Actually, in this case focus on IMPROVING your results.  I like the term GMMAC (gee-mac), Gross Margin Minus Ad Cost.  This will give you a great picture of how well your marketing is performing.  Just as “On Base Percentage” is a great production and efficiency stat that will leads to wins, improving your GMAC can do the same for your business.


In this great game of business never lose sight on what matters.  It’s easy to get caught up in the hot new industry jargon and trends.  But just like in Moneyball, you can compete and win if you just focus on what really matters.

Tools to Develop Your Farm Team

Want to scale your business?  Want to delegate tasks so you don't have to be working in your business all day long?  Systems development is the answer.  Below is a very simple, yet effective outline to get you started.  Contact me today if you want to get out of the day-to-day grind and learn how to develop world class systems for your organization.

Systems Design

Trouble in the Clubhouse

Every year you hear about players causing trouble in the clubhouse.  Their egos are too big, they’re not a team player, or they don’t agree with the moves the front office makes.  Even worse, at times these players take to social media or mass media to express their dislike of their teams.  What do you usually see next on the news?  They’re gone.

Just like a player causing an uproar in the clubhouse, disgruntled employees all too often can ruin a company culture and their cynicism can spread like wildfire through the office.  A strong company culture is one of the largest success factors in a growing company.  Change is inevitable during growth and that strong culture helps your company navigate through the choppy waters. The key to handling cynical employees is to address the problem and take care of it immediately.  Your team will respect you more for doing so, and your company will be better off.   


Here are our 6 keys to handling cynical employees:


1.  Do not ignore the problem

The issue will not disappear until you take care of it.  It will only get worse the longer you put it off.


2.  Schedule the meeting

Address the problem head on so schedule a time to speak with the employee one-on-one.  The meeting should take place within a few hours of you scheduling it.  You do not want to give the employee time to plan or talk with other employees prior to the meeting.


3.  Prepare

Have your notes prepared so you make sure you touch on every issue you want to address.  Do not have the conversation in front of the team.  Tough conversations should always take place behind closed doors.


4.  Get to the point

Tough conversations are always easier when you get right to the point.  State your concerns with the employee’s actions.


5.  Uncover the key frustration

Ask questions.  Most times you will be able to discover the underlying problems that are causing the frustrations with the employee. This gives you the ability to not only fix the symptoms, but the cause.


6.  Take action

Depending on the severity of action and the outcome of the conversation, immediate action is required.  In most cases, if you are having this meeting with an employee you are at the point to part ways.  However, some coaching and counseling may remedy the situation.  Commit to an improvement and communication plan.

For the Love of the Game

Think back to when you started your business.  What was it that was driving you to take that risky leap?  Many will think right away, “to make more money.”  I would challenge that answer.   The real answer for all of us is how our life will be different if we worked for our self.  It's about creating experiences.  By running your own business you are trying to achieve a life that enables you to experience all the things that are important to you.  This is where your passion lies.  


What do you strongly believe in or want to experience?  What is the feeling you get when you think about achieving these things?  These are the the questions to ask yourself when defining your purpose.  Your inner purpose is the single reason for starting, running, and growing your business.  Without a purpose you do not have a destination to plan around.


I am a strong believer in the thought of your company must be built to so it can build your life.  Do you want to spend more time with family?  Do you want to give back more at church?  Do you want to teach others?  Whatever it is, you need to work your plans backward to define the path to get there.


Think about this.  Why are there so many people who join a health club and a few months later they quit going and eventually cancel their membership?  They lost the passion about getting healthier simply because they forgot why they started in the first place.  We as business owners need to keep our purpose front of mind so we remind ourselves of why we go through the ups and downs of each day.  Your purpose is what gets you up in the morning.  It is not your business or the hundred tactical projects you need to accomplish that day.


If I were to ask you, “is your company successful?’ what would be the answer?  It shouldn’t be around a revenue number or a number clients.  It should be directly correlated to the the life you want and intend to have.

Our clients are our partners, that’s why we choose them carefully:

  • We focus on RESULTS, not work.

  • We are always candid and say what is in the best interest of the partner's business.

  • We turn away potential clients if they do not fit our criteria.

  • We hold the highest standards of integrity and ethics.

  • We value our time and therefore the partner's time.

  • We strive to be world class in everything we do.

Always Use Two Hands

From as far back as I can remember, I was always coached to use two hands.  But at some point in time, players seem to stop caring about fundamentals and become lazy or over confident.  It seems every time I watch a professional ball player drop a routine fly ball, the camera shows them immediately after staring at their glove.  Why?  It wasn’t the gloves fault.  It was their own fault for not practicing the fundamentals.


“Only the Paranoid Survive” is a great book by Andrew S. Grove.  One of my mentors introduced this book and distilled this thinking in me some years back.  This mentor knew everything about his business.  When I say “everything,” I mean he not only knew his financial indicators by the hour, he knew how much time he was wasting by having to walk to meetings across the building, use the restroom, or grab lunch from the cafeteria.  He monitored and tracked every indicator he could if he had the chance to improve efficiency, throughput, and overall growth.


Needless to say, very few surprises arise when you monitor your business this closely.  Some think it may be ridiculous to have this much attention to detail.  However, if set up correctly, you too can monitor and manage your business in very little time.  Business owners should spend the majority of their time working on the business so they can achieve their core purpose; they can only do this if they can assess the health of the business in relatively little time.


Creating a cadence of review and analysis keeps your business fundamentals in top shape and keeps you on the right path.  There are invaluable benefits to creating a KPI review process.  It reduces surprises, it reduces errors.  Don’t become lazy.  Don’t ever be over confident.  Know your numbers.  Use two hands… always.

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