For the fifth year in a row, some of the world’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business thinkers gathered in Newport Beach, CA for the CEO Coaching International Summit.
Founding Partner Mark Moses opened up our 2018 event with the latest BIG numbers from another successful year at CEO Coaching International. Our clients represent:
- $7 Billion In Revenue
- 50,000 Employees
- 160 Companies
- 19 Countries
- 40% annual CAGR for companies we’ve worked with for four years
- And a HUGE 210% Median Profit Growth Rate across the board for our clients
You don’t hit those kind of numbers by being timid or afraid. Mark detailed how the speed of change, globalization and disruption is accelerating and what the consequences of not paying attention are.
Are you paying attention?
Here are some highlights from the 2018 CEO Coaching International Summit:
Kim Scott on Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing Your Humanity
Kim Scott and her company, Radical Candor, believe that good bosses have to “Care Personally and Challenge Directly.”
She illustrated this maxim with a story from her time at Google. After a presentation that Kim felt she’d knocked out of the park, her boss, Sheryl Sandberg (yes, that Sheryl Sanderg now at Facebook), asked her to take a walk. Sheryl praised Kim’s work and her team’s success, but noted that Kim said “um” a lot when speaking. Was she nervous? Would she be interested in taking some speaking lessons? Kim, flush with her success, didn’t really listen. Then Sheryl said, “You know, Kim, I can tell I’m not really getting through to you. I’m going to have to be clearer here. When you say um every third word, it makes you sound stupid.”
As this story and Kim’s chart make clear, too much empathy from the boss can be ruinous, insincerity is just manipulative, and aggression from a bully is obnoxious. Radical Candor hits that sweet spot that will make you a more effective communicator and leader.
Jaspar Weir on Leading a Millennial Workforce
At TaskUs, Jaspar Weir and Bryce Maddock lead a global workforce of more than 10,000 people, 90% of whom are millennials. As a millennial himself, Jaspar was very attuned to the challenges and opportunities of keeping a younger workforce engaged and on-target. So TaskUs implemented a three-step process at all of their offices around the world to take the pulse of the company:
1. Decide on a metric. Jaspar is a big believer in the employee net promoter scale, so he and Bryce decided this would be the key metric they would use to monitor the health of their corporate culture and make adjustments where necessary.
2. Measure it. Jaspar uses employee engagement surveys as the means for measuring his workforce’s engagement. To maximize participation, TaskUs emphasizes that the surveys are anonymous, allocates work time for their completion, and creates group incentives based on completion percentage.
3. Get actionable. When you get your results, “Listen hard, and be ready to change fast,” Jaspar says. Be prepared to read unflattering things. Resist the urge to pass blame or go on witch hunts, and accept that what your employees perceive as negatives is the ground-floor reality at your business. Take action based on low numbers, and be as transparent as possible with your employees about the results, what your action steps will be, and how you’ll hold yourself accountable.
Ashutosh Garg on Building India’s Second Largest Pharmacy Brand from One Store
After 25 years in the corporate world — including stints at Lockheed Martin and Hughes — Ashutosh Garg decided to be his own boss. In 2003 he founded Guardian, a chain of beauty and health retailers that is now the second biggest pharmacy brand in India and the country’s largest life-care retailing business.
So how did Ashutosh transition into entrepreneurship? He shared six key ideas that will help anyone who’s preparing to break out on their own figure out the best use of their valuable CEO time:
- Be available at all times – start ups are a 24X7 job for the entrepreneur.
- Be ready to operate as the CEO and the office boy – no job is too small or irrelevant.
- Recognize that systems are critical – also recognize that systems will be the organization’s biggest weakness in the first few years.
- Manage cash carefully and recognize the “burn” early and plan for it.
- Empower people to make decisions but don’t take your eyes off the road.
- Forget your ego and your anger – everyone will be your advisor.
LaQuita Ann Cleare on How to Communicate Like a World-Class CEO
Expert communication and public speaking skills aren’t just for big stages and lecture halls. LaQuita Cleare notes that speaking is something we all do, all day. A CEO who can’t get a point across clearly and concisely, or who can’t talk to employees in a way that motivates and inspires the team, is failing at an essential duty.
Here are three of the tips LaQuita shared that can help you communicate like a world-class CEO.
- Walk on stage like you own it. Your first impression speaks volumes and if you timidly walk on stage or start speaking before you’ve “planted yourself,” you’ve squandered a great opportunity. Instead, walk on stage confidently, stand right in the center, make eye contact, and then begin speaking.
- Keep your hands where people can see them. Some speakers like to have their hands in their pockets thinking it makes them look relaxed. It doesn’t. Other people will wave their arms like they’re swatting flies. This just makes you look like a madman. Instead, think of the box that’s bounded by your chin and your belly. With few exceptions, that’s where your hands and arms should reside.
- Vary your vocal tone. This is an obvious one but it can be hard to pull off. Nobody likes to listen to a monotone speaker yet as a non-professional speaker, it’s easy to fall into this trap. Change your vocal tone to reflect your message. There are times when your voice should sound excited, subdued, sad, happy, and a range of other emotions. But this takes practice to perfect. And don’t forget the power of the pause–let silence do some of your talking.
LaQuita says that one of the keys to making your point stick is to make the person you’re talking to feel something. The feeling that we get watching a really effective public speaker lingers long after we’ve forgotten every exact word or phrase. After all, “If we want to simply read beautiful words we can read a book,” says Laquita. Your emotional argument is every bit as important as your factual argument, whether you’re trying to rally the boardroom or fine-tuning your branding to tell a story that customers will want to be a part of.
Ryan Rieches on Rationalizing Emotional Decisions
Why is Nike’s “Just do it” such an effective slogan? Because it’s not just a slogan — it’s a call to action, a celebration of the athlete in all of us, and a subtle way of communicating that a consumer doesn’t have to be a pro athlete to appreciate a good pair of running shoes.
Three little words and Nike has engaged you emotionally, and given you a rational framework for purchasing its product no matter what your fitness level.
That kind of layered appeal is what Ryan Rieches of BrandingBusiness thinks separates bad marketing from great marketing. So many companies are afraid to think outside the box when it comes to presenting their products to the general public. They worry that customers “won’t get it,” or that a creative campaign might bury the lede: the product. But Ryan says that simple, descriptive branding isn’t what sets companies apart from the pack. BIG ideas are the ones that break through, make an emotional connection, and create an enthusiastic consumer base.
Dr. Tim and Anne Jordan on the Most Common Parenting Mistakes by CEOs
CEOs and entrepreneurs are used to pushing, hard: their businesses, their employees, and yes, themselves. But it’s not always easy, or effective, to try to transfer our own inner drive to achieve to our children.
Dr. Tim and Anne Jordan believe that motivating children is not really a parent’s job. That might sound like a counterproductive approach to CEOs who focus so much of their time on motivating themselves and others, but you can’t “run” your family the way you run your business. Instead of asking, “How do I motivate my kid?” the Jordans suggest asking “How do I support my kid’s internal motivation?”
Consider the young child who shows you a drawing and asks if you like it. Lavishing the picture with praise and sticking it up on the fridge isn’t going to help the child find motivation to keep drawing. Same is true of an older child who comes home with a good report card. Rather than praise or criticism, the Jordans recommend asking the child questions that will help bring him or her closer to finding motivations on their own. Asking “What do you like about this picture?” might lead the child to talk about his love of color, and by mirroring that back to him, he realizes why he loves drawing. Asking a straight-A student “Why do you like all those As?”might mirror back the feeling of accomplishment, and motivate her towards more success.
Mike Morris on How Grasshopper Perfected the Science of Marketing
Grasshopper is one of CEO Coaching International’s biggest success stories. By keeping an eye ahead of the curve and doubling down on what they do best, Grasshopper grew itself into the premiere virtual voicemail provider and sold to Citrix for $170 million in 2015.
A big part of that growth process was Grasshopper’s willingness to ask itself tough, provocative questions, including three questions Mike Morris says transformed the company’s marketing:
1. How to grow more than a few percent per year?
2. How to test new things without breaking the budget?
3. What channels can be optimized?
Grasshopper didn’t have the budget to compete with some of the larger players so they had play smarter. The first step was to free up $200,000 and use that cash to run hundreds of experiments and see what marketing strategies deliver the best results.
At their quarterly planning sessions they took input from everyone to create marketing experiments. They kept what worked and moved on quickly from what didn’t. Eventually, they settled on two key metrics for a successful marketing channel: a CPA less than $200, and scaling of at least 300 signups per month.
With these metrics as their guides, Grasshopper saw a 4X increase in annual customer acquisition volume and sustained 20% – 30% annual revenue growth, both of which were big contributors to that eventual $170 million exit.
After all their experimentation, here were the key drivers to Grasshopper’s growth:
- PPC Optimization
- SEO Build out
- Affiliates and Partnerships
- Drop Activation Fee
- Increase phone number inventory
- Drop fees on premium phone numbers
- Selective Re-pricing
- National Radio
Of course, your key drivers will differ. But the point is–experiment! Do controlled tests, change a variable, and figure out the best formula to grow your company.
Sheldon Harris: “Allow Me to Introduce You to… You”
Think hiring the best is too expensive? The pennies you pinch hiring B or C talent will be dwarfed by the damage a bad hire can do to your bottom line — not to mention the headaches to you and the extra cost of finding a replacement.
Talent Insights assessments should be part of your best practices for all hires, especially at the senior level. CEO Coaching International’s Sheldon Harris has seen first-hand how these tools can help CEOs identify the behaviors and motivators that drive a candidate’s work performance. The results of these assessments can go a long way towards predicting how someone will — or won’t — mesh with your corporate culture, and with the BIG vision you’re working towards. The assessment can also be enlightening for the candidate and lead toward a productive interview dialogue.
A stellar resume is great. Enthusiastic references and a clean background check are even better. But knowing why people work the way they do and how they will react to stressful situations is a priceless resource that will help you get key hires right the first time.
Although the Talent Insights assessment generates a nearly 50-page report, Sheldon highlighted 4 specific pages that he focuses on when reviewing the output.
- The Style Insights Graph (shows your natural and adapted style in the DISC dimensions)
- The Motivation Insights Graph (measures the relative prominence of six basic interests or motivators)
- Time Wasters (identifies time wasters that may impact your overall time use effectiveness)
- Value to the Organization (identifies the specific talents and behavior the person brings to the job)
By understanding and using this tool, you can significantly improve your hiring process and the effectiveness of your team.
Mark Thompson on Traits of the Most Admired Leaders and Organizations
Mark is a New York Times best-selling author and leadership coach who has worked with such luminaries as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Tony Robbins, and Jim Collins. Mark also worked as Charles Schwab’s Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Experience Officer.
During his keynote, Mark shared 4 key traits top leaders exhibit that have led their companies to greatness.
For the full recap of Mark’s presentation, CLICK HERE.
The 2018 CEO Coaching Summit would not have been such a BIG success without the passion and dedication of all our clients, speakers, sponsors, families, friends, and the entire CEO Coaching International team. Thank you so much to everyone involved, and we hope to see you all again in Miami, Florida on May 1 – 3, 2019.
About Mark Moses
Mark Moses is the Founding Partner of CEO Coaching International and the Amazon Bestselling author of Make Big Happen. His firm coaches over 160 of the world’s top high-growth entrepreneurs and CEO’s from 19 countries on how to dramatically grow their revenues and profits, implement the most effective strategies, becoming better leaders, grow their people, build accountability systems, and elevate their own performance. Mark has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Blue Chip Enterprise award for overcoming adversity. His last company ranked #1 Fastest-Growing Company in Los Angeles as well as #10 on the Inc. 500 of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. He has completed 12 full distance Ironman Triathlons including the Hawaii Ironman World Championship 5 times.