Heck, yeah, Mint Roofing! Looking fine, scoring fine!
Mint Roofing has been an EOS® company since 2011/12 (EOS is the Entrepreneurial Operating System outlined in the book Traction). EOS is based on the philosophy that strengthening each of the six key components of an organization helps it become GREAT and HEALTHY.
Last week, the entire office staff at Mint Roofing reviewed the EOS model together and then scored each of the components from 0-100. It’s unrealistic to score a 100. We can all strive for perfection, but rarely can it be achieved. That said, scoring between 80 and 100 means you are strong and functioning optimally. Check out those numbers!
It is not uncommon for an organization to score in the 20-40 range on some (or all) of these components before there is a concerted effort aimed at improvement. Here’s a very brief recap of each:
Vision: The organization’s vision, goals and priorities are all aligned; and everyone in is on the same page. Everyone.
People: It starts with determining the right structure for the organization, and then having the right people in the right seats. Everyone’s roles and accountabilities are clear.
Data: This allows you to keep a pulse on the business using factual, objective information. It’s just a handful of numbers used to create transparency and “see” where you’re at.
Issues: This is the ability to identify and solve all key issues at every level of the organization, by identifying the root cause of challenges...not just the symptoms...and make them go away.
Process: Identifying and documenting your core processes (the key things you do on a regular basis) creates consistency and efficiency. When followed by all, it frees up energy to be used in other more productive ways.
Traction: This is all about having consistent weekly and quarterly meetings to work ON the business, and setting 90-day priorities (known as rocks). Without this, the Vision will only be words on paper.
Is achieving greatness really that simple? Yes. Is it easy? No.
Talk to anyone who has implemented EOS, and you will hear amazing stories of transformation. With that, you will also hear about what it takes to make the often difficult choices it requires for the good of an organization. The results, however, are worth it.
Curious about the health or your organization? Take the Organizational Check-up.™
WHY is a hot topic these days, and those who know me also know I’m a big Simon Sinek fan. He has authored several books including, “Find Your Why.”
What’s sad is that way too many business leaders quickly dismiss this important concept as fluffy...something for the “marketing team” to figure out.
But as one CEO who was recently brought to light on this subject, told me, “I now see that everything starts with your WHY. If you don’t know your WHY, it’s like planning a wedding before you know who you’re going to marry.” I guess I never thought of it that way.
What it comes down to is this: We all have people, causes and organizations that we are drawn to because there’s a connection. There’s a fit. We get them and they get us. Our personal WHY aligns with the organizational WHY. And boom…that’s when the magic happens.
This explains a lot when it comes to understanding why some teams work and others don’t. It’s why some teams and organizations excel and some fall flat. The law of attraction is at work.
So if a company, nonprofit, or other organization has never taken the time to articulate its WHY, how can they possibly know how to attract and connect people to successfully carry out their mission or cause? And vice versa, how can anyone identify or support an organization with gusto and vigor if they don’t understand what, exactly, they’re connecting to?
Trying to be all things to all people is exhausting. And it’s not sustainable. That’s why teams burnout and individuals get frustrated. Either the individual WHY doesn’t align with the tribal WHY, or in the absence of an articulated WHY, people naturally start looking out for their own self interests. There’s another term for that, I just can’t write it here. Hint: It rhymes with Hit Show. ;)
Do yourself a favor. Take time to discover your WHY. It’s a journey worth taking.
All of us remember the Hans Christian Andersen fable of the emperor who was deceived into thinking he was wearing beautiful new garments. These garments, he was told, were invisible to those who were stupid or incompetent. The emperor, not wanting to appear stupid or incompetent, parades through the crowd wearing only his underwear. The crowd plays along because THEY don’t want to appear stupid or incompetent either. It isn’t until a small child cries out the truth (uh...he’s not wearing any clothes, folks), that everyone is forced to admit the reality of the situation.
Oh, the business lessons we can learn from this story!
When teams can’t or won’t be open and honest with each other, they are simply parading around in false clothing. You become your own worst enemy. Organizations desperately want to be led by people willing to do the right thing, and make the hard calls. That’s what healthy teams do.
To become a healthy team, you need to “get naked” the right way:
For some teams, having an outside facilitator can be extremely beneficial. If you think you need one...get one. Becoming a healthy team takes time and practice. Be kind. Be patient. Be intentional.
Do what it takes to be a great team.
I was recently talking to a friend who had read Traction, a long time ago, so he asked me to provide a quick recap to refresh his memory. As I provided the highlight reel of this operating system widely used by organizations of all shapes and sizes to articulate direction and accountability, he began to nod and then said, “Yeahhhhh...I remember now. It all just seemed so...simple.” Skepticism crept across his face.
Simple? It was not the reaction I was expecting, but it got me thinking: What’s wrong with simple? And how many other leaders out there have had a similar reaction? I’ll never know the answer to that, but let me shed some clarity on the concept of simple:
The art of simplicity is anything but simple. But our job as leaders is to communicate a course for our teams clearly and articulately. So if that makes Traction simple, so be it.
The leadership of any organization worth its salt and pepper, has taken the time to clearly articulate their core values (the foundation on which all is built); along with who they are; and why they exist. They’ve got a one-year plan with goals, and a strategy to reach them. They are crystal clear on all of these.
Nice work...this is important stuff.
But failing to clearly communicate these messages to the rest of the organization is a missed opportunity to engage your teams, and build and enhance your culture. And culture, my friends, is perhaps the last frontier anyone can truly compete on. Strategies and tactics can be copied, but no one can duplicate your culture.
Engaged employees are those committed to the organization’s values and goals; motivated to contribute to its success; and feel personally aligned with the mission. In short, they feel connected.
There are mountains of articles and information on this topic. So for those of you who are StrengthsFinder fans, allow me to use my strengths of Input (read voraciously and file away lots of bits of information) and Arranger (now let me put them into a context for you) to summarize some of the reasons you should care about this.
Happy employees help businesses thrive. Remember the California happy cow campaign? Great cheese comes from happy cows. Listen to the cows.
People like to know and understand where they’re going. No one marches forth in the dark with confidence. Forget all those scary movies where people head boldly down to the basement in the dark. That doesn’t happen in real life. Ever.
Great talent is hard to find, and it’s expensive to replace. Some research by Gallup suggests that less than one third of the American workforce feels engaged in their jobs, and that it’s one of the top reasons for people to leave an organization. More so than their pay.
Trust me, I could go on. But I think you get the idea. Shine a light...and shine it brightly. People need to hear the messages with great consistency and repetition.
I’m an EOS implementer (a.k.a. Traction coach). And I care not only about helping teams get clear on their picture, but that they have a plan to share it with everyone. That’s where the real magic happens. And if you need help creating the magic, we should talk.
If that's a question for you, read on.
Let me start by saying, hats off to the self-implementers of EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System based on the book Traction by Gino Wickman). It means you have a determined spirit, and that you care deeply about improving the way you run your organization.
I know. I was one of those scrappy, resolute people who was inspired by the book, and confident we could do it on our own at Mint Roofing.
After struggling for about a year, we realized that reading a book can tell you a lot about how something is done, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to do it. Can you be a good golfer after reading a book? Can you ski a black diamond run because you watched a YouTube video?
This is not meant as a criticism of anyone who has gone this route. There are plenty of success stories from organizations who have self-implemented. But how do you know what you don’t know?
For our company, we eventually hired a professional implementer. I think so highly of this operating system, I began helping other businesses with their Traction process, and went on to become a trained implementer. You can learn more at vivid360.net
As part of that process, I realized that there’s not a lot of assistance out there for self-implementers. That’s where I can help with the Traction Reboot. Rather than starting with a traditional implementation, we can take a look at where you’re at in your process; how you’re using the tools; clear up any questions or confusion; and get you totally dialed in.
And then you WILL know what you didn’t know.
P.S. If you’re interested in being part of a peer learning group, sign up here. These groups will allow users of Traction to learn from each other, and share best practices.
Or...Be More Like a Strawberry
It was a great spring for strawberries! This photo is one of the many bowls picked from my garden. It’s hard not to admire how strawberry plants know exactly what to do, when to do it, and HOW to do it, to produce a beautiful, plentiful crop of berries.
Imagine if your business could run the same way.
It is not uncommon for me to hear business leaders debate about whether or not it’s the “right time” to put operational systems (aimed at process and accountability) into place. "They don’t have time! Other work will suffer! They’re already maxxed out! It’s not in the budget! We already have a vision!"
But then they are disappointed when “the crop” is less than satisfying, so they find themselves working harder to catch up, or determine what went wrong. And then, these frazzled leaders will likely repeat the same missteps because nothing has fundamentally changed. Remember Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity:
“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Here’s the deal: There is never a good time to work “on” your business, and you’re kidding yourself if you think you’ll find it. You have to make it the right time.
Let today be your season. The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) offers a simplified approach to strategic planning. But its real beauty lies in its ability to achieve goals through process and accountability; and build healthy teams and cultures. The time and effort you invest now, will produce better yields.
And then YOU can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Welcome to my first blog post under the Vivid360 banner!
For the past several months, I’ve been working to answer the question: “What do I want to be when I grow up?” But since no one ever wants to answer that, I decided that a better question to answer is: “What has this crazy life journey positioned me to do next?”
I was lukewarm...really almost resistant... to the idea of being a consultant. Did the world really need another one of those?? Maybe not, but could it use a ME?
Recently my college-age son described something as Michele-ified. “What on earth does that mean?” I asked. He replied, “You know...when you take something ordinary and make it totally amazing; or you take what looks like nothing and turn it into something incredible. Then it’s been Michele-ified.” Wow. I promise that was an unsolicited moment of clarity.
I have to admit...that has been an underlying theme in both my professional and personal life. Smart kid. And a new word for the Urban Dictionary!
So regardless of whether the world needs another consultant, I know it can use some Michele-ification.
I have worked in small business for more than 20 years, and that’s where my passion and focus remain. Using systems like the Entrepreneurial Operating System in the book Traction by Gino Wickman, is one way I can help other business owners and their teams get organized; get healthy; and go from good to Michele-ified!
So cheers to new chapters...and the official launch of Vivid360! Here we go!
Shout out to my friends at Wheelie Creative for their incredible work on the Vivid brand and logo. Thanks for making me look good.