What Now?

You are facing a downturn in the economy and business. What do you need to be doing right now?

Do you keep people or let them go?

What about your vendors and suppliers?

And what about your customers?

Consider the airline oxygen mask concept. Put your mask on first so you can ensure you’ll be able to help someone else get theirs on. You know this drill.

Your highest priority as a business owner is to protect the life and health of the company. Do everything you ethically can to keep the company alive. It’s like the federal government whose number one priority is to defend the country. It doesn’t matter how the economy and other parts of society are doing. If a foreign adversary attacks us and the government isn’t ready to defend us, then we all lose! Defend your company first!

Not your salary. Not your assets. And, unfortunately, not your employees.

Once you’re committed to this first priority, the decisions on everything else become clear. Notice I didn’t say easier. It’s clear what you must do to keep the company alive. Also be clear on the benefits of this commitment to all concerned once the crisis has passed:

  • Employees have an opportunity to find another job or to file for unemployment.
  • Vendors have someone they can collaborate with and possibly provide some temporary relief to in hopes of saving a valued and long-term customer.
  • Your best customers will be much more understanding than you think and quite possibly be willing to help.

Once the downturn is over and the company has survived, you can:

  • Hire back the people you laid off or new people.
  • Perhaps earn a favored customer status with your vendors.
  • Have customers who have a new respect for you and the company.

The real secret sauce here is to communicate with each of these groups. Go beyond just communicating. You must implement what we call the Three C’s:

  • Communicate
  • Collaborate
  • Cooperate

These are part  of our Core Values here at New Paradigm Advisors. If you apply these three C’s to the situation, we can assure you that your stress level will go down. It won’t go away.  However, it will go down. Apply the three C’s with your people, your customers, your advisors, and your vendors. You will be shocked, yet pleased,  with the results.

Call or email us and let us know your experience. Let’s learn together.

Staying Focused in Turbulent Times

I woke up this morning thinking of what I can do to deal with the current market and societal changes that are seriously impacting my business. Since I’m an early morning person (meaning I am most creative and engaged in the morning), I am flooded with “great” ideas. Some of these I’ve thought of before and some are brand new. And, for sure, they are all great ideas! So many to choose from – and all of them are distractions from what should be my main focus: to stay faithful to my main business plan.

This is a case of: “For every mile of road, there’s two miles of ditch.”

There are so many times and reasons when we as business leaders get distracted with great new ideas. But we have to be careful that those new ideas don’t pull us into the ditch. Someone once likened this to a NASCAR race. This idea of staying focused on our main thing. In a NASCAR race the cars are racing around the track at speeds exceeding 200 mph. This requires the drivers to stay super focused on the track and the cars around them. If they ever so briefly glance away toward the wall, that nano second of distraction at 200 mph can drive them right into the wall.

For almost 3 years now, we’ve been racing around the track of this economy at over 200 mph. Now we have this yellow maybe even red flag waving at us called the Coronavirus. It seems that we’re going from 200mph down to almost zero. But are we really? Is this the time to take our eyes off the track ahead and start worrying about the wall? No! As tempting as it is, we can’t stop to worry about where the wall is, or where the other cars are around us. We can’t take the luxury of this worry. To survive and position ourselves to thrive in this and the next phase, we must stay in the race and run it with renewed focus. How do we do it? Here’s some ideas. These are designed to get our eyes back on the track and driving our own race car. Nothing new or super creative here. Just good old fashioned staying focused on The Main Thing:

  • Assemble your key leadership for a focused analysis of what is happening in your market:
    • What are your customers and vendors experiencing?
    • How can you and your team proactively impact them?
    • What are you currently reacting to that you can shift to a more proactive approach?
    • Review how you service your customers in this new situation: what can you do to help them?
  • Seek counsel from your key corporate advisors:
    • CPA
    • Banker
    • Insurance agent
    • Financial advisor
    • Attorney
    • Corporate consultant.
  • If you are project based, meet with each of your clients and explore with them everything about the project with a fresh eye.
    • What, if anything, needs to change?
    • What do you anticipate are going to be the challenges to complete?
  • If you are product based, meet with your vendors and explore with them what they see as impacting the supply chain. From those discussions:
    • What do you need to meet over with your primary customers?
  • In all cases, meet with your employees and let them know what the plan is! Their loyalty and commitment to you–and you to them– during this time is supremely important and critical.  Keep them informed.

This is just a start. I’m sure you are already thinking along these lines and maybe beyond. My challenge to you remains: don’t get so creative that you lose your focus on the track ahead. Now is not the time to get distracted with a shiny thing.

Stay focused! You can do this!

Your Next Act: Where Do You Go From Here?

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

This is a question I asked a business owner, James, recently.

James has owned a very successful business for over 25 years and starts and ends everyday thinking of the business and what he needs to do to keep it successful. When I asked him where he saw himself 10 years from now, he was immediately stumped. His response to me was, he really hadn’t thought about it. He was just expecting to continue doing what he’d been doing – running the business. But when pressed, he admitted there would be some kind of transition out there in the future; but he just hadn’t put any real thought into it. So, what to do about this?

Immediately, there are four objectives for James:

  1. Consider that there really is a future transition event for him and the business.
  2. Determine an accurate value of the company as it is now.
  3. Determine what that value needs to be to support James’ retirement or what I like to call his next act.
  4. What can be done now to begin increasing the value of the company to meet objective three?

Let’s take these one at a time:

Is there really a future transition event? Understand that there really is a future transition. Pretty obvious but just because it’s obvious, it doesn’t mean we’ve developed a plan for it. Let’s be plain spoken here. You will exit your business one of two ways. Either horizontally, or vertically. It’s best that you do it and plan on it vertically.

Determine an accurate value of the company. There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to engage a formal valuation company who will do a review of your company and the market and derive a fair value of your company as it is viewed through similar companies and transactions in recent history. A second way to do this is through a less formal but still in-depth analysis and assessment of the business utilizing a business consultant experienced at growth and strategic planning.

Determine what that value needs to be. What do you need out of the company in order to fund your next act?  This is going to take some real personal reflection and planning. It will include collaboration with your spouse and all the other important influencers in your life.

What can be done now? Start now increasing the value of the company? The first thing to do is to change your paradigm from owner/operator to buyer. Step back from your position as the owner and take a look at your business the way a buyer would look at it. What would the buyer see as valuable and worth buying? What would he see as not worth buying? What would he have to invest in immediately to make his investment worth-while?

You’re at a crossroads. Continue on in the direction that you’ve been driving. Or begin looking at your business differently and begin to develop the strategies and tactics that will increase the value of your company so when you reach the major destination of your transition, you’ll be able to afford all the things you’ve always dreamed of.

Call us and let us help you with these next steps. Also, here’s a link to a great short article in Entrepreneur Magazine: entrepreneur – preparing to sell about this topic.  See what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Servant Leadership: Turning the Organizational Chart Upside Down

We all know or have lived the in the typical power structure of an organization. It is all about what you can do for the boss in the current quarter. That is, serving the boss and, in turn, the company.

If you haven’t heard the term “servant leadership,” or, better yet, worked and lived in a servant leadership environment, we want to take a few minutes and expose you to this concept. With roots in both Eastern and Western cultures as far back as the 5th century BC. In more modern times, Robert Greenleaf is credited with furthering the concept with a 1971 essay, “The Servant as Leader.”

One of the most visible 21st century companies to build their culture around the concept is Southwest Airlines. Founder Herb Kelleher put employees first and it paid off for the airline in a highly engaged workforce with low turnover and high profitability.

“Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.”– Herb Kelleher

The “secret” is in putting the workforce first. That is, a leader serves his workers and they, in turn, serve the best interests of the company and the customers. By guiding instead of lording over employees, servant leaders gain an edge in performance.

It’s an active model of employee development rather than relying on the basic transactional model of employee-company.

Where do you begin to develop and build a culture of servant leadership? Start by looking within and taking stock of what you already have. And then consider enlisting the aid of a partner. We are here to help with skills assessments, systems and programs as well as one-on-one advice.

Call or contact us for more information on servant leadership.

The New Paradigm Advisors Team

Finish Strong: Measurement

While it isn’t necessarily popular, all things of note and import need to have some quantitative or qualitative measures.  Measuring success is that yardstick on anything that helps you put your arms around it and understand its relevance to your company.

So what kind of measurements will you put in place to help secure this finish strong initiative?

There are both quantitative and qualitative measure:

  • Quantitative are mathematical and usually rely upon hard numbers
  • Qualitative are more about the quality of an attribute an and can be measured as well

Let’s start with the pure sales numbers (usually quantitative):

  • An expectation of XX% increase in sales.
  • Acquisition of YY new clients.
  • Improve your close rate by WW%.

Moving on to human resources, you might expect:

  • NN new hires.
  • Implementation of a new training program.
  • Creation of a retirement plan

Then there is operations:

  • Increased internal productivity of ZZ%.
  • Improved profitability of PP%.
  • Process improvement of MM%

On the qualitative side there are more “squishy” items:

  • Delays
  • Defects
  • Deviations

These do not have to be for a product or a manufacturing process.  Delays, defects and deviations happen in every business including service-based businesses.  Take an HVAC and plumbing company:

  • Delays can be late arrivals for appointments.
  • Defects could be dissatisfied customer visits or a problem not solved.
  • Deviations could be not following through on a standard customer interaction process.

Every one of these can be quantified and some level of over, or under, performance can correlate to a dollar or budget impact.

And so on.  You get the idea.  These are measurable goals.  The goal -setting process will help you better understand your company, too.

For more information about how to finish the year strong, please reach out to us.  We’d love to hear from you.

The New Paradigm Advisors team

Finish Strong: Being Aware of Time

Finishing the year in a strong fashion is a noble goal.  Yet, don’t forget about the element of time.

For example today is November 11.  That’s just about 7 weeks until the end of the year.  That’s 33 business days or 50 calendar days (including holidays).

OK, so now you have the schedule, a framework.  A few questions:

  • Are you going to work nights and weekends to get this done?
  • What are your major milestones and when do they fall?
  • What do you expect from your team by when?
  • What’s the end result look like and when should it be finished?
  • Who is participating?
  • Why are you doing this and for whom?

Knowing the schedule will help you build the other elements of a great plan:

  • The scope—what needs to be done and a description of what you are tryi ng to accomplish.
  • The budget and monetary component of this work—what are the costs to get it done and what are the sales goals (revenue expectations).

In upcoming posts we will delve into the details of how and why to finish the year strong.  Remember, it is about the health and welfare of your business.

For more information about how to finish the year strong, please reach out to us.  We’d love to hear from you.

The New Paradigm Advisors team

 

Words of Wisdom from Live2Lead

Now that some time has passed, we can reflect on the mountain of content from the speakers at Live2Lead.  Let’s take a moment and recap the highlights and the lessons from the day.

This list of guiding statements, tidbits and fresh ideas is actually quite helpful when put into the  context of our daily lives.  Gleaned from the speakers’ (John C. Maxwell, Chris Hogan, Rachel Hollis, Angela Ahrendts, and Marcus Buckingham) speeches that day, here are a number of memorable phrases:

  • Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • Hope is not a strategy.
  • Use the ACT approach—what will you Apply, Change or Teach—from new things you learn?
  • Connection with others is absolutely vital for success.
  • Old hurt brings new harm to a new day.
  • Trust, loyalty and unity are each a two-way street.
  • Work hard and have fun at the same time.
  • A culture is a living, breathing thing.
  • Mentor someone every day.
  • Turn off your head and turn on your heart.
  • Big isn’t good unless big does good.
  • Give 60, take 40 in everything.
  • Look for yourself last in the photo.
  • A leader doesn’t have two good days in a row.
  • Be authentic.
  • Show up.
  • Give people the tools to change their lives.
  • Focus on your self-awareness.
  • Study failure then invert it.
  • Love is space making.
  • Culture eats strategy for lunch.
  • Satisfaction creates energy.
  • If there is mist in the pulpit, there will be fog in the pews—be clear.
  • Measure what you manage.

This is quite a list to digest.  No worries—over the next few months, New Paradigm Advisors will bring light and substance to many of these homilies and help you put them to good, substantial use.

And please plan on joining us for Live2Lead 2020 on October 20, 2020.

The New Paradigm Advisors’ Team

Live2Lead: The Takeaways

The Live2Lead simulcast is stimulating in itself what with all of the thought-provoking speakers, including and starting with John C. Maxwell.

However, there is more to this day than just watching inspiring speakers on the big screen.  It is about interaction with people you might or might not know. And a place you can develop and take away a plan of action.

That’s why New Paradigm Advisors has created an event-within-an-event for the afternoon.

The takeaway workshop is just that: a session that results in a tangible plan you can take back to you company and execute.  With results. Now.

Led by Nancy Canada and Michael Visentine, the workshop is part roundtable and part interactive session.  Nancy and Michael are both certified facilitators in key areas that support New Paradigm Advisors’ core offerings: Nancy is John C. Maxwell Certified and Michael an expert in implementing EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System®.

In marrying the leadership skill development component of Maxwell with the systemized operational action of EOS, attendees will come away with several things of value, including:

  • A written 90-day action plan with a clear set of executable tactics and measurable objectives.
  • Substantive discussion with like-minded businesspeople who will be developing their similar plans alongside you during the session.
  • Valuable additions to your professional network (your tablemates).

There is something to be said for being an active learner after having spent the morning in a passive, but positive, learning mode watch great speakers.

Look at this day as a place where you show up to learn and depart with a plan.

For more information and where you can buy tickets, click this link.  Use the code “kingdom” for a special discount.

One more thing: for those of you wanting to increase your visibility via social media, use the hashtags #beintheroom and #live2lead. See you on the 11th.

The New Paradigm Advisors Team

Live2Lead: John C. Maxwell and the Power of Leadership

“The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.”–John C. Maxwell

Leadership is an acquired skill or “power.” When one sets out to learn the skills of leadership, amazing things happen.  One is the human connection.

It is truly amazing what happens when you get a dialogue going between leaders.

That’s what we are doing by hosting and delivering Live 2 Lead to the Dallas business community. This program from John C. Maxwell, scheduled for Friday, October 11, is a closed-circuit television broadcast, live, from Atlanta. Hosted by John C. Maxwell, the morning simulcast will showcase some exceptional leaders from business, industry and media in short (30-minute segments) sharing their experiences and practical ideas.

John MaxwellOur host for the simulcast portion of the event is John C. Maxwell.  Maxwell is the leader of the presenting organization, a best-selling author, coach and speaker who has sold over 30 million books.

A leadership expert, John has worked with the leaders of over 80 nations.  He speaks annually to Fortune 500 companies and organizations as diverse as the National Football League and the United States Military Academy (West Point).  Three of his books, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” and “Developing the Leader Within You,” have each sold more than a million copies.

Along with the other speakers, Marcus Buckingham, Angela Ahrendts, Rachel Hollis and Chris Hogan, Maxwell’s presentation will help attendees to understand leadership principles, add value to their communities and make new and meaningful connections.

You can read elsewhere on this site about the schedule and generalities of the program on Friday, October 11.  While others around the country are showing and sharing the morning simulcast, it’s our afternoon program that will set ours apart.

The afternoon session is intended as a working program.  Our own experts will help take the lessons and messages from the morning and help attendees develop specific action plans for their own growth and advancement.

Thanks for considering joining at the ACU Dallas Campus on Friday, October 11.  It will be a day well spent.

For tickets, click here.  It will be a day you won’t forget.

“As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me.  the first person I should try to change is me.”–John C. Maxwell

The New Paradigm Advisors Team

Live2Lead: Chris Hogan and the Inspired Retirement

“Fear may be an effective motivator, but it’s a terrible master.” — Chris Hogan

For all we do to found, build and grow our companies, do we really know what’s next–that is, what’s our next act? Some call it retirement.  And it it something to be feared.  What do others have planned or think about their “next act?”

It is truly amazing what happens when you get a dialogue going between leaders.

That’s what we are doing by hosting and delivering Live 2 Lead to the Dallas business community. This program from John C. Maxwell, scheduled for Friday, October 11, is a closed-circuit television broadcast, live, from Atlanta. Hosted by John C. Maxwell, the morning simulcast will showcase some exceptional leaders from business, industry and media in short (30-minute segments) sharing their experiences and practical ideas.

Chris HoganAs the author of “Everyday Millionaire” and “Retire Inspired,” Chris Hogan is a well-known advocate for financial peace. Chris is on the program to give the perspective of “what’s next” and how that needs to fit a leadership style.  His books are full of inspirational stories of people who beat the odds and, at the same time, found their next act.

Along with the other speakers, John C. Maxwell, Angela Ahrendts, Rachel Hollis and Marcus Buckingham, Hogan’s presentation will help attendees to understand leadership principles, add value to their communities and make new and meaningful connections.

You can read elsewhere on this site about the schedule and generalities of the program on Friday, October 11.  While others around the country are showing and sharing the morning simulcast, it’s our afternoon program that will set ours apart.

The afternoon session is intended as a working program.  Our own experts will help take the lessons and messages from the morning and help attendees develop specific action plans for their own growth and advancement.

Thanks for considering joining at the ACU Dallas Campus on Friday, October 11.  It will be a day well spent.

For tickets, click here.  It will be a day you won’t forget.

“Retirement is not the finish line; it is the new beginning.”– Chris Hogan

The New Paradigm Advisors Team