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Our 3-Part System Helps CEOs Make BIG Happen

My team at CEO Coaching International has helped over 875 companies reach extraordinary revenue and EBITDA growth. Along the way, we’ve refined our best practices into a proven 3-part system that drives hyper-growth quarter after quarter and year after year.

The Make BIG Happen System creates a flywheel effect by stacking daily execution on top of weekly performance improvement, on top of monthly accountability, on top of quarterly alignment, on top of annual planning, on top of biennial re-calibration. The result is a systematic process to build your business and grow BIG.

1. Establish and Maintain Make BIG Happen Rhythms.

High-growth firms follow seven iterative best practices to create alignment and focus among their teams. Collectively, we refer to these practices as the Make BIG Happen Rhythms.

  • Make BIG Happen Rhythm 1: Challenge Core Identity – This is a biennial rhythm where the foundational strategic questions like mission, vision, and core values get answered and re-examined.
  • Make BIG Happen Rhythm 2: Develop an Annual Plan – This is an annual rhythm that sets up the year for success by challenging our current strategies and developing new hypotheses that we will test throughout the upcoming year to drive meaningful growth.
  • Make BIG Happen Rhythm 3: Execute a 13-Week March – This is a quarterly rhythm that defines a focused set of specific and measurable quarterly company outcomes (i.e. lagging indicators) to drive growth and defines the specific and measurable activities (i.e. leading indicators) that will drive each outcome. We often refer to these outcomes as the quarterly goals.
  • Make BIG Happen Rhythm 4: Stay on Track – This is a monthly rhythm that directs the leadership team to review monthly financial performance against quarterly goals and make any necessary strategic adjustments to keep the teams on track for the quarter.
  • Make BIG Happen Rhythm 5: Hold Yourself Accountable – This is a bi-monthly rhythm the CEO and other key executives engage individually with an accountability partner to (a) hold themselves accountable to the completion and effectiveness of their own leading activities, (b) identify the next commitments that spur momentum toward the next milestone, and (c) determine whether a pivot might be necessary, based either on improper initial assumptions, or the intervention of unforeseen outside factors.
  • Make BIG Happen Rhythm 6: Focus on the Outcomes – This is a weekly rhythm that holds the team accountable to tactical execution of the quarterly goals, while allowing for week-to-week adjustments to tactics, and monitoring of the overall health of the company, while driving cross-functional teams to myopically execute on the top 1 – 3 quarterly goals (i.e. outcomes), despite the myriad of distractions from their day jobs pulling them away from executing on these goals.
  • Make BIG Happen Rhythm 7: Increase Productivity – This is a daily rhythm that guides every manager to ensure they have the right people in the right seats doing the right things and are addressing potential blind spots.

Notice how none of these rhythms exists in a vacuum. Each of these processes reinforces the others so that every activity in the company is generating momentum towards BIG. 

2. Apply the Make BIG Happen Four-Question Framework to Take Action.

In my first book, Make BIG Happen, I asked four questions that every business leader should explore on their journey to business and life success. These questions don’t just provide a CEO with clarity, they lead to purposeful high-level tasks that only the CEO can put into motion.

  1. What do you want? (Vision)
  2. What do you have to do? (Action)
  3. What could get in the way? (Anticipate)
  4. How do you hold yourself accountable? (Measure)

By answering these four questions, you create the foundation for a fast-growing, profitable business. The questions are universal, but the power in this framework is in your ability to apply it to all types of challenges and all levels of your organization.

The proven cadence of Make BIG Happen Rhythms will keep your company moving towards revenue and EBITDA growth. But rarely is that trajectory a straight line. Ask the Make BIG Happen Questions when you’re at crisis points or moments of potential opportunity. The answers will guide you towards the best path forward.

3. Leverage Proven Make BIG Happen Tools to Accelerate Your Success.

We cannot overemphasize how important it is to use the right tool for the right job. Through decades of experience, our coaches at CEO Coaching International have assembled over 30 proven tools and best practices to jump start your path to making BIG happen. These tools help our entrepreneur coaching clients answer the Make BIG Happen Questions, reinforce the Make BIG Happen Rhythms, and develop actionable, measurable strategic plans. Simply put, all the magic is in our Make BIG Happen Tools and their application to your specific circumstances.

It all starts with our Crystal Ball tool, which helps CEOs answer the first Make BIG Happen question: What do you want? We challenge our entrepreneur coaching clients to look a year into the future and see their companies celebrating … What? What is that one BIG goal you’re going to work towards for the next twelve months that could transform your company?

Another powerful tool is The Three Provocative Questions. Imagine for a moment that you’re starting your company from scratch. How would you and your leadership team answer the following questions?

  1. What am I doing now that I would stop doing in my new company?
  2. What am I not doing now that I would start doing in my new company?
  3. How would I compete to try to put my old company out of business?

When our entrepreneur coaching clients answer these questions, they discover a blueprint for a more dynamic company — one they’re excited to build and run.

As we help our clients move from top-level visioning down into the details, one particularly useful tool is the Monthly Financial Review Checklist.  This tool helps CEOs keep their plans and their available resources in sync so their companies don’t “grow broke.”

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 revenue CAGR of 31% (2.6X the U.S. average) and an average EBITDA CAGR of 52.3% (more than 5X the U.S. average).

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