CEO Coaching International just wrapped up its 2017 CEO Coaching Summit. For the fourth year, we gathered together some of the world’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business thinkers in Newport Beach, CA to share their expertise on making BIG happen.
Founding Partner Mark Moses kicked off the event by sharing some staggering statistics. CEO Coaching International coaches:
- 142 companies
- With $5 billion in annual client revenue
- Representing 25,000 employees
- And has clients in 14 countries
None of that would have happened without our company getting results for its clients.
Mark shared the 16 things we have learned coaching some of the best entrepreneurs and CEO’s in the world. Here are a few of them:
- They think BIG
- They have a specific plan and they EXECUTE
- They hire TOP TALENT, no excuses
- They have FOCUS and DISCIPLINE
- They MEASURE everything
- They have a COACH
- They celebrate VICTORIES
Here are some highlights from the 2017 CEO Coaching Summit lineup of all-star speakers:
Gazelles’ Founder and CEO Verne Harnish on Clearing the barriers between your company and BIG success:
“The barrier to everything starts between your ears.”
It’s easy to externalize problems when your business is struggling. But strategic planning guru Verne Harnish doesn’t let his clients take the easy way out. Ultimately, the CEO is responsible for the success or failure of a company. And, usually, the barriers between a struggling company and success are obstacles that the CEO has put up in his or her own mind.
In his illuminating 2017 CEO Coaching Summit keynote presentation, Verne discussed how clear vision and strong strategic planning can help CEOs leap over these ten common barriers and grow BIG:
1. The competition. Every single week, Amazon’s top brass surveys its marketplace and looks for new competitors. Whether you’re an industry leader or an emerging player, you have to keep one eye trained on emerging competition.
2. Marketing for sales instead of scale. The functional barrier to BIG scaling is effective marketing. Too many companies confuse, or even intertwine, their marketing and sales. Just because two things are related doesn’t mean they’re the same. Hold separate sales and marketing meetings. Hire a head of marketing to blow-up your brand, and a head of sales to close the deals.
3. Pricing. How you price your product is the most immediate way to impact your revenue. If you don’t know your market, and you don’t know your customers, your price tag might end your sales pitch before it starts. Too high? Your competition will undercut you. Too low? You’ll look like your industry’s bargain bin.
4. Poor talent retention. What are the top reasons employees leave a company? Money? Benefits? Nope: “You make me work with stupid people and make me do stupid things.” The new generation entering the workforce places a lot of value on purpose, and the strength of office relationships. If you want to retain top talent, keep them focused on top activities that push the company forward.
5. Not pressing the easy button. A company’s number one job is to make something or provide a service that makes someone else’s life easier. Amazon asks itself every week, “What do we need to do this week to make things even easier for our customers?” Think about ways you can make things 1% easier for your own customers every week.
6. Wasting the CEO’s time. You are the CEO. You’re not a salesperson. You’re not an assistant. Your time is precious. Any minute you spend on an activity that doesn’t push the company towards your big vision is a wasted minute.
As CEO, your goal should be to reduce the time you spend managing the day-to-day operations of your company by 80%, so that you can focus instead on these KPIs:
– The ratio of no’s to yes’s. Say NO more often so you have more time to focus on your company’s big goals. Don’t get distracted by shiny new objects.
– Meals with influencers. Identify the top 25 relationships you need to nurture that will help you scale your business, then start reaching out and networking with them.
– Managing your calendar against constraints. Figure out the constraints on your business, and make time on your calendar daily or weekly to address those constraints and come up with permanent fixes.
– Maximizing brainpower. Facebook has billions of people creating and refining their product everyday, yet they don’t pay them — they’re users. If you get more brains engaged both on the employee and customer sides, you’ll end up with a better product.
– Quiet reading and thinking time. A good CEO is always learning, whether that means keeping up on the news and innovations that are trending in his or her industry, or reflecting on how to improve company performance.
7. Underachieving employees. If you want to 10x the company, you have to 10x the people working for you. Top companies have top talent. Think about ways you can help underachieving employees catch up to the superstars on your team. If they can’t, then you need to make some changes.
8. No routine. If you’re not organizing your time, you’re probably wasting it. Having systems in place, for you and for your employees, leads to efficiency, optimal performance, and measurable outcomes. Don’t think of a routine as a constraint. Routine sets you free.
9. Too much complexity. We talked earlier about providing an easy button for your customers. A lot of successful companies go even further than easy: they can summarize their businesses and their value in just two words. Ikea: “flat packed” (less air in packaging, easier shipping). Southwest Airlines: “wheels up” (planes turnaround fifteen minutes faster than the competition). Apple: “closed ecosystem” (simpler for customers, more control for the producer).
What are your company’s two words? What are the simple, easy to identify things you do really well that customers will pay top dollar for? What are the complex activities that your customers won’t miss that you can cut out?
10. No view of the finish line. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how can you achieve it? Figure out your goal, track it with a scoreboard, and hire a coach who can help hold you accountable.
This last point really gets to the heart of the CEO Coaching International philosophy, and the lessons of the 2017 CEO Coaching Summit. CEO Coaching International’s clients, partners, and friends have all succeeded because they have goals — BIG goals that they work towards every single day.
John DiJulius on How quality customer service makes product pricing irrelevant:
John’s 2015 book was titled, “The Customer Service Revolution,” and in the two years since, his insights on how top customer service provides added value to your products and services has proved prescient on the following trends:
1. Sell an experience. The millennial generation of consumers trade in purpose. They don’t just want top dollar product or service quality, they want top dollar experience. And that may mean on-demand customer service help, or well-trained, customer-facing employees who help your customers relate to, and maybe even grow attached to, your company.
2. Customer service is money. Customer satisfaction is no longer something nice to read about on comment cards. For example, research shows a 5% increase in customer service can raise profit by 75%. If you’re fighting your competitors by slashing prices, you need a new battle plan.
3. Discount and die. Discounts aren’t a strategy — they’re the tax you pay for your average product and the average experience you’re providing your customers.
TaskUs’ Bryce Maddock on Using the employee net promoter score to measure how happy and engaged your workforce is:
Six-figure entry-level salaries. Free meals. In-house gyms. Napping pods.
We’ve all read about the incredible benefits and workplace perks that top companies like Google and Facebook give their employees.
But Bryce Maddock wondered: why are the companies that are riding, and even driving, the wave of workplace automation investing more in their employee experiences than other companies?
Bryce figured out that companies like Google and Facebook expect their employees to execute a level of job complexity that McDonald’s and Walmart don’t. Complex work is always going to require a human touch. Companies that aren’t anticipating a wave of automation to completely replace their workforce are the companies that have become obsessed with their employees.
Bryce wanted TaskUs to become one of these employee-obsessed companies. They use the employee net promoter score to determine who its happiest employees are, what makes them happy, and what could make them happier.
TaskUs focused on improving three key areas that mattered most to its employees:
1. The quality of the workplace facility.
2. The quality of employee benefits.
3. The quality of employee connection to company leadership.
In three years, TaskUs’ employee net promoter score improved dramatically. This translated into a high reputation on social media, better talent retention, and a 30% increase in services charged per hour.
VisionLink Advisory Group’s Tom Miller on Five employee expectations that should be driving your compensation program:
Incentive plans don’t work because they’re usually designed to change behaviors. You don’t want to change behaviors — you want to change RESULTS. Today’s top talent prioritizes purpose, relationships, and creativity, not gaming an incentive system to trigger a bonus. Instead, your compensation program should link salary, equity, incentives, and benefits with these five key drivers:
1. Adequate minimum assured income. Are you giving employees enough base compensation to pay bills and meet their standards of living?
2. Performance upside. If an employee makes a positive contribution to the company’s success, what’s the upside for that employee?
3. Long term wealth. In the last decade, this has become especially important when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. If you want employees to stay with you for the long haul and focus on sustainable growth, those employees need to see themselves in the big picture.
4. Family protection. Quality benefits keep employees feeling secure in the lives, and at their jobs.
5. Secure retirement. Employees want financial security to be waiting for them at the end of their working days.
Mimi Doe of Top Tier Admissions on Top 10 myths about college admissions:
Do you want to get your kid into a top school? There’s a specific strategy and Mimi Doe shared it. Here are a few of her tips:
- 100 random hours of soul-less volunteer work will not get your child into a top school. It’s better to support your child in finding out what matters to him or her then taking action in that arena because he deeply cares.
- Have your child write their own essay. Colleges can sniff out a parent written essay in two seconds flat and it’s the kiss of death.
- Talk to your child about the college admissions process in terms of what he or she is interested in, not what YOU want to have happen.
- Colleges want well-rounded incoming classes, not well-rounded students. So, your child should focus on what they do well and enjoy the most.
Bill Whitehead on How to get to the actual objection to your sales presentation and eliminate it:
“Let me think about it.” The words every salesperson dreads hearing at the end of a pitch.
When potential customers raise an objection to a big purchase, an unseasoned salesperson will politely head for the door and promise to check in at a later date. But at this point, every second ticking away puts that salesperson, and your company, one second closer to a missed sale.
Instead of packing up and moving on, your salespeople should use Bill Whitehead’s four-step process for turning Maybes into sales:
1. Acknowledge the objection. “I understand this is a big decision …”
2. Restate your value proposition. “… we just spent a lot of time discussing how this purchase could be really good for your company …”
3. Ask the question. “… so you must have a reason that you want to think about this more. May I ask what that is?”
4. Shut up and wait. This is the hard part for a lot of salespeople. Let the customer collect his or her thoughts, and explain the root cause of their hesitancy. Salespeople who start getting defensive or too aggressive are salespeople who talk themselves out of sales. It’s amazing how often a customer will get to the root of their objection — and remove it from their own mind — if they’re just allowed to talk through it.
Jack Daly on Focusing your existing sales team on High Payoff Activities:
Need more sales, hire more salespeople, right?
You can double your sales without spending one extra cent on employees if you follow Jack Daly’s advice and reassess both your company, and how your employees are spending their time:
1. Paint your company. What’s your vision for your company? It should be so specific that you can see it in your mind, paint a picture of it, draw it, and articulate it to every single person who works for you. If not, you and your team will never be on the same page.
2. Focus on HPAs. Your vision for your company should lead you to a set of High Payoff Activities that drive sales and profits, and drive you closer to your big vision. Whether it’s a daily number of calls or a monthly mailing target, figure out what those HPAs are, and don’t waste your company’s time on anything else. It’s first things first, and second things never.
3. Make a cut. Sports teams cut underachievers. Jack once fired a new hire before lunch on his first day at work because Jack knew he couldn’t hack it. The bottom 25% of salespeople account for less than 6% of sales. If you can’t improve low performers by refocusing them on HPAs, then replace them.
Jennifer Carroll on The Phil-osophies of life:
Nothing can prepare you for being a successful entrepreneur with the world in the palm of your hand and a wonderful wife and kids, and then being handed a terminal prostate cancer diagnosis. Phil Carroll was that entrepreneur and he passed away at age 47. His wife, Jennifer, was with him the whole time and she and their daughter Jessica, took the audience through a torrent of emotion as they described the highs and lows of living large, living long, and leaving a legacy. They shared the four Phil-osophies of Life:
- Be Positive
- Celebrate Life
- Get Checked (for prostate cancer)
- Leave No Words Unspoken
After Jennifer and Jessica spoke, there was not a dry eye in the room, yet there was great optimism about the importance of living a full life–and “bending over and taking it like a man” to get checked for prostate cancer.
1105 Media CEO Rajeev Kapur on How doing the right thing can be wrong for your company:
Few things kill a business as quickly as complacency. And right now is a very bad time for CEOs to be complacent. Changes in technology and the workforce are disrupting every kind of business, from the top down.
“Most companies fail not because they do the wrong thing, but because they do the right thing too long,” cautions Rajeev Kapur. Rajeev has a motto he drills into his employees at 1105 Media: #BeAmazing. He wants his team to push themselves, innovate, disrupt, and that’s the same philosophy he uses to drive growth for his clients.
Rajeev also advises his clients to keep an eye on what’s coming next. Here are the big four disruptors Rajeev sees on the horizon that CEOs need to get ahead of:
1. Artificial Intelligence/M2M Learning. Any job a computer brain can do as well as a human brain is going to the computer.
2. Robotics. Any job a robot can do as well as a person is going to the robot.
3. IoT/Automation. Any job that can be automated should be, to free up human employees for more important tasks.
4. Big Data/Analytics. Companies that aren’t investing in cutting edge analysis aren’t going to see the next big trends coming. Do you want to be the next Blockbuster Video, or the next Amazon?
Cyrus Sigari of jetAVIVA on Living life and the benefits of cold showers and deep breathing:
As the founder of the largest selling light jet company in the country, Cyrus is used to rarefied air. This time, he decided to climb the highest mountain in Poland, in -20 degree Celsius weather, in nothing but his shorts and shoes.
He hooked up with world-record holder Wim Hof (who climbed Mt. Everest in his shorts), went through some extreme training, and not only climbed a cold mountain nearly naked, but also “relaxed” by swimming in 34 degree Fahrenheit rivers.
Crazy yes, but he’s never been more fit in his life, and it’s translating into being even more effective as a business person.
Rob Follows of STS Capital Partners on The power of setting a super big goal–like summiting the highest mountain on each of the seven continents (and yes, that includes Mt. Everest):
We all thought Cyrus was crazy until Rob took the stage. Rob is a member of a very exclusive Seven Summits Club–people who have reached the summit of the highest mountain on each continent. He shared some of the preparation, heartbreak, and exhilaration that goes into an effort like that–and, unfortunately, the body bag count.
Rob reminded us that the word “if” is at the center of the word “life.” And he challenged us to say, “What if I was to live my dreams today. Why? So that you’ll never be lying on your deathbed looking back at your life and saying ‘If only I had…'” You don’t want to be that person.
Keith Alper of The Nitrous Effect on Moving from like to love:
You thought Tony Robbins was a bundle of energy? He’s got nothing on Keith.
Keith shared how you take your people from “like” to “love” and he spelled it out his his L.O.V.E. potion.
- Listen – employees need to be heard; there are many channels of communication and they are 2-way
- Ownership – Employees want to feel necessary and that they can contribute to (and have some ownership in) the company’s success and that everyone shares a meaningful purpose.
- Vibe – create a work environment that is positive, fun and – most of all – where you live into your company’s values. They want to feel proud that they work there.
- Empathy – employees feel you genuinely care about them; you let them be who they are.
Are you spreading the L.O.V.E. potion in your organization?
Rich Balot of A Wireless on Growing a business from $100 million to over $1 billion in sales in less than five years:
Hey, it’s not easy. When Rich hired Mark Moses to be his coach, Rich’s business was on the ropes. One problem was people–the head of sales and the CFO were the wrong people. Only problem was, the head of sales was Rich’s best friend.
Part of being a CEO is making the tough decisions. Rich ended up replacing the head of sales and the CFO with A-level executives and the business began an upward growth track that resulted in selling the company for a substantial 9-figure sum.
Rich also realized the importance of having a vision and direction for the company. He started “to plan the future instead of letting the future just happen,” set a BHAG to reach $1 billion in revenue in 10 years (over $1 billion now), and implemented a strategic planning process.
If you want to make BIG happen, get the absolutely best person for each job, pay them well, and if you make a wrong hire, “fire fast. And don’t forget, if you’re a CEO, act like one.
David Stillman of GenZGuru on The new generation that’s entering the workforce and no one seems to be talking about it. Until now!
Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2012, is 72.8 million strong. They have never known a world where the phone wasn’t smart. And that has major implications in terms of how you manage them.
These folks are different than the millennials. Rather than being collaborative like millennials, they tend to be fiercely independent. Instead of “participation trophies,” they want to earn victory, or suffer in defeat. Due to 9/11 and the Great Recession, Gen Z has a very pragmatic mindset when it comes to preparing for the future.
And yes, FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, is very much alive for Gen Z.
Gen Z is here and they are entering the workplace. David and his son Jonah’s new book, Gen Z @ Work, is a great way to learn about how to work with then.
Adam Witty of Advantage on How to use authority marketing to generate new business:
What is authority marketing? It’s the strategic process of systematically positioning a person or an organization as the leader and expert in their industry, community, or marketplace to command outsize influence over all competitors.
And with this influence you can generate new sales.
Adam said your goal isn’t to be famous, it’s to be famous to the people who can write you a check, otherwise, it’s just ego.
One way to build this influence is to become a book author, and using Adam’s process, you can become a published author with just 20 hours of your time.
See You Next Year at the Summit
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the 2017 CEO Coaching Summit. We hope to see you all back in Newport in 2018 so we can all share new lessons and experiences from another year’s worth of BIG!
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International is an executive coaching company that works with the world’s top entrepreneurs, CEOs and companies to dramatically grow their business, develop their people, and elevate their own performance. For more information, please visit: https://www.ceocoachinginternational.com