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How CEOs Find the Courage to Make Tough Decisions

Guest: Brendan Neef, Founder and CEO of Victory Transportation Systems. Victory has been selected for the Inc 5,000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America three times. And Victory has been recognized twice by the Houston Business Journal as one of the best places to work.

Overview: Your company can only grow as fast as you and your team are growing. If you hit a roadblock that you just can’t clear, the third-party perspective of a mentor or CEO coach could be essential to helping you break through.

On today’s show, Brendan Neef discusses how working with CEO Coaching International accelerated his growth into a leader who can make tough choices, establish better plans, build a stronger team, and Make BIG Happen.

Brendan Neef on gaining the courage to break through the wall:
“We just couldn’t grow anymore. And it didn’t matter what we did. And so that’s when we engaged with Sheldon Harris. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Sheldon starts giving us the blueprint on how to scale the business and the tough decisions on personnel we’d have to make… And I wasn’t ready to make those decisions with people. I didn’t have the courage to say, ‘Hey, I love you and you’ve really helped me get here. Now I’m going to remove you or put you in a different role.’ I told Sheldon, ‘I’m not ready.’ Eventually I pivoted and decided to come back to Sheldon because I was really tired of hitting the wall. I’d rather get some courage and make those tough decisions that I needed to make. Now I’m really starting to feel that I’m hitting my stride on how I can run and manage the business, whereas before I probably never felt as comfortable or felt that I had the know-how to make those decisions. And so the two things that give me that confidence today, one is re-engaging with Sheldon with the commitment to making those decisions, and two, getting on the bandwagon of talent. It’s just night and day with the talent that we’ve brought in over the last 12 months.”

Brendan Neef on quarterly planning and keeping score:
“One of our big things for 2023 is really improving our scorecard of things that are meaningful and impactful. Refining the quarterly planning process and then refining some of those key things that happen throughout that quarter that are the key drivers of what we’re trying to do for 2023 and beyond. One of the focuses is the scorecard, which will make a huge difference if we can get down those meaningful weekly metrics and KPIs. And then when we’re not hitting them on a weekly basis, what can we do between now and next week to start getting the upward momentum on that particular one where we’re struggling?”

Brendan Neef on high-EQ accountability:
“One of the things we’re really getting better at is finding out where employees think they are versus where that manager thinks they are. Asking them a question: ‘On a scale of one to 10, where do you think you are?’ And they’ll say, ’10, 8 or 9.’ And then the manager will say, ‘Well, today I think you’re a 4 and let me tell you why. And then let’s put something in place over the next 30 days where we can get you to a 6. And if you can keep progressing, we’ll give you a chance to get to a 7 or an 8.’ No surprises. Keeping everything in the forefront. If you see something you’re not happy with, have that quick, level-one conversation with them. Let them know what we need to do to improve their performance to where we’re wanting them to be. And then maybe understand why they’re not performing. Maybe there’s something going on at home. Maybe we put too much on them. Maybe there are obstacles that don’t need to be there. Maybe they’re confused. Maybe they’re being too coached by too many different people. Just really increasing that level of engagement and communication to where they know where they think they are, and then they understand that if we don’t think that’s where they’re performing, we’ll sit down and see how we can all get on the same page.”

When It Comes to Your Leadership Team, Nice Guy Doesn’t Cut It CEO Coaching International’s Mark Moses asks CEOs a provocative question about talent: How many people have you fired too soon?

The Key To Hiring Next-level Talent in a Post-Pandemic World Kurt Wilkin, the Co-Founder & Visionary of HireBetter, explains how CEOs can improve their value propositions and get creative about attracting the best talent.

About CEO Coaching International

CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 67.8% during their time as a client, nearly four times the U.S. average and a revenue CAGR of 25.5%, more than twice the U.S. average.

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