Click on the icons below to subscribe.
Guest: Mark Moses, the founding partner of CEO Coaching International and best-selling author of “Make BIG Happen!”
Episode in a Tweet: Mark Moses shares 4 big coaching lessons as the leading coaching firm for entrepreneurs and CEOs celebrates 10 years of making BIG happen.
Quick Background: In 2018, we’re celebrating 10 years of helping CEOs and entrepreneurs make BIG happen for their businesses. And no one is more surprised by the phenomenal success and longevity of CEO Coaching International than Mark Moses.
“Ten years ago, I thought I might do this for six months,” Mark says. “Today, this work has become such a passion of mine that I can envision myself doing this until the end of my business career, which probably won’t be for a long time still.”
On today’s show, Mark looks back on four big coaching lessons he’s learned from working with some of the biggest and best companies and leaders in the world. What separates the merely good from the truly great? What are the best practices that keep the best companies on top? And what are the actionable, measurable steps you can put into place this year that will transform your business?
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.
Four Big Coaching Lessons from 10 Years of Making BIG Happen
1. Have a purpose.
“At my previous company, what we did for clients, provide them with mortgages, that was such a commodity, that it didn’t really feel purposeful to me,” remembers Mark. “It was purposeful in the sense that we employed 550 people, but not in the work that we did.”
“What’s different here at CEO Coaching is that I really, really feel purposeful about what we do,” Mark continues. “We get to make a difference every single day and that really feeds me. The 10 years here has just flown by, and I think it’s because we’re doing purposeful work. There’s meaning in what you do.”
2. Hire the absolute best people.
“Good is not good enough,” warns Mark. “If you want to build a company that’s going to crush your competition, hire the absolute best people. Go get them, go get the absolute best. Pay a premium for them, and it will drive your business.”
What makes a potential hire the best? Mark recommends that CEOs picture where they want the business to be five, or even 10 years down the road, and hire for that goal.
“One of our highest-growth clients, TaskUs, just crested over $100 million in revenue, and they recently hired a COO that came from a billion-dollar-plus company,” Mark says. “Additionally, they hired a CFO from a billion-dollar company, and the head of sales from a billion-dollar company. Those are the people that have the processes and the systems that will take the business where the CEO wants it to go.”
Along the way, you might lose longtime staff who were good enough to get you where you are, but not good enough to get you where you want to be. Other employees might bristle at having a new boss to report to. But your job, as CEO is not to make everyone happy: it’s to do what’s best for the business. “If the ego gets in the way and an employee can’t deal with it, they’ve got to go,” says Mark. “Hire great people, empower them, and get out of the way.”
Mark won’t compromise on hiring top talent, but he also won’t compromise on the corporate culture he’s established in the last 10 years. “We would never bring on anybody here that isn’t living our values,” he says.
3. Hold quarterly planning sessions.
Once you have your vision for the company and a top-notch staff in place, how do you make sure the two are aligned?
“I’ve learned that the companies that outperform all the others, companies that just kick butt every single quarter, they get together for a quarterly planning meeting with their leadership team,” Mark says. “They review the annual plan, review the accountability, review what went right, what went wrong, what we learned. They ask, ‘How did we actually do compared to how we said we would do on initiatives and key activities?’ They review the scorecard. They look at the opportunities in front of them, they look at the challenges in front of them. They look at the goals for the coming quarter and set a format for keeping score and measurement along the way.”
Another of Mark’s big coaching lessons is that the best companies bring in a third party to facilitate planning sessions, which means the CEO can participate instead of facilitate. And it frees employees to be more open and honest with potentially vital feedback.
“In the meetings that I facilitate, I’ll have the CEO speak last,” Mark says. “I want to bring everybody else out. I want to watch their body language when they’re not buying something. I want to ask them about it and I want to understand why they feel that way. That conversation would never happen if an outsider wasn’t there and wasn’t willing to have the courage to call that out.”
4. Nail down accountability and measurement.
“This is the hardest part,” Mark notes. “Recently I spoke to an audience of 600 CEOs and entrepreneurs. I asked the question, ‘How many people know where they want to go?’ Most people put their hands up. Then I asked, ‘How many can name the top one, the number one specific and measurable activity that will lead them to the outcome that they want?’ About four hands go up. It’s hard. But the firms that can clearly define the specific and measurable activities that they can keep score on that will lead them to the outcome that they want will far surpass the others.”
One typical stumbling block is that companies focus on their lag indicators (last year’s sales, last quarter’s profit, etc.), rather than on mapping out leading activities that will push the numbers way up. Setting a goal like, “I want to hit a billion in sales” might sound crazy. But CEO Coaching client Rich Balot didn’t just hit a billion: he did it ahead of his timetable by breaking down that billion into yearly and quarterly goals. By tracking and measuring the daily activities that lead Rich to hit his short-term goals, Rich’s company kept growing towards that big goal.
Another CEO Coaching International client, Grasshopper, analyzed and broke down its radio and direct mail spending until they knew exactly how many advertising dollars it would take to translate into a certain number of leads. Following those steps and measurements, and Mark’s other big coaching lessons, led to massive scaling, and eventually, a $172 million sale to Citrix.
1. Know what you want. Only the CEO can set the vision for the company. Make it BIG!
2. Figure out how to get it. Hiring top talent and putting lead activities in place will help you clear whatever roadblocks might get in your way.
3. Hold yourself accountable to the goals you set, measure your progress, and correct course as necessary.