I spent a good number of years providing executive coaching in Dallas. In that time I helped dozens of executives find their stride and deal with the day to day responsibilities and stresses of being at the top. I did right by those people, people that (for the most part) I still consider good friends. But, if those friends were to ask me today to act as their executive coach, my first response would be, “are you sure that’s what you need?”
When a C-level exec is struggling or feeling the burden of their responsibilities, the go-to is usually executive coaching. And, while I am still happy to help those people in need, I always strongly suggest that they consider a system that fixes the problems in the business, not just the symptoms that they are struggling with.
The Stress Of Leadership
There’s nothing easy about being a leader. If the job were easy, everyone would be an executive or an entrepreneur, and I wouldn’t have ever done executive coaching in Dallas. Business leaders like you are responsible for the livelihoods of dozens, maybe even hundreds of employees. Doesn’t matter if you’re the marketing officer, the sales officer, or the CEO. You are feeling that stress.
Worse, that stress is bleeding into other parts of your life. You’re up at night thinking about this problem or the other. You work late, on weekends, on holidays. It’s never enough. You’re dealing with:
- lack of sleep
- a never ending stack of to-do’s
- working hard but never making progress, and
- cash flow problems.
And the rub is you know the business should be flourishing. You have a great model, a good market to work in, and a product or service that people want. Yet, somehow, no matter how hard you work it’s all you can do to keep your head above water.
That’s When You Google “Executive Coaching In Dallas”
Honestly, that’s probably how you found your way to this article. You were feeling these stresses and you thought to yourself, “That’s it. I’m looking for help on this.” Well, let me help you.
I know I said there are better options that executive coaching, but if you’re here, the least I can do is help you out. Here are the 5 Leadership Skills that I almost always start with, when I have a client that needs help. Whenever you hit a problem, the first thing you need to do as an individual is ask which of these 5 Leadership Skills you need to bring to bear.
(If you want the quick overview you can listen to my podcast episode on the topic.)
So, if you’re here for some simple, but effective advice scroll down to the section on the 5 Leadership Skills.
But, before you do that…
I want you to ask yourself a simple question: “If I were suddenly a perfect leader / executive/ CEO , would my business fix itself?”
The answer to that is almost certainly no. The business couldn’t have made it this far if the only thing holding it back were your skills. More likely is that the business is being held back by a whole series of issues that it is facing, often without even knowing it. The real problem is probably one or more of the following:
- an unclear Vision™,
- a lack of day-to-day Traction™,
- poor communication,
- inefficient meetings,
- using reactive (as opposed to predictive) data, or
- operating with the wrong structure for your business.
Hell, it could be all six.
If your business is suffering from one or more of these, getting executive coaching isn’t going to fix the problem. That’s more like downing a handful of pain killers to fix a broken leg. Sure, it might give you what you need to get a few more steps, but eventually that leg (much like the business) is going to buckle completely unless you actually fix it. And, actually fixing the problem is always more work. That’s why so many people choose to ignore it until it’ too late.
So, before it’s too late for your business…
Take control of it by doing the harder, but ultimately more rewarding, thing.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System® doesn’t just put a bandage on your business, give you a handful of Tylenol, and send you on your way. It empowers you and your executive team to reexamine the way your business runs, giving you the tools and guidance to build a business that operates on Honesty,Openness, Efficiency, and Growth-mindedness.
Start by taking our Organizational Health Test. This short test will give you a good starting point for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your business.
Start by reading the first chapter of Get a Grip! You can download it here for free, and these few short pages will give you a solid grasp on whether or not EOS® is right for your business.
If the system sounds like a good fit, start exploring the tools by reading our blog or listening to our podcast. Both are free and should give you most of what you need to self-implement EOS in your business.
But, if you really want to start breaking through your profit ceiling as soon as possible, contact us to schedule a free 90 Minute Workshop during which I’ll personally explain the concepts behind the Entrepreneurial Operating System to your leadership team.
. Yes, it’s free. And yes, it is zero commitment.
The 5 Leadership Skills
OK, now that I’m done preaching, I’ll get to the part where I provide some simple, applicable tips for those of you still looking for executive coaching in Dallas or the near area. There are 5 skills that act as your leadership muscles. Whenever you encounter a problem, ask yourself first which of these muscles would be most effective at fixing that problem.
First, I’d like to answer why we start with simplification. The other four Leadership Abilities are just as important and just as valuable. However, knowing how each of them can truly help you, before simplifying your problem can be very difficult. Simplification helps us take huge leaps towards solving an issue that might seem very daunting before we put it in perspective. Flexing the “simplify” muscle can mean a lot of different things in an organization. Here are a few examples:
- Identifying what is the symptom of a problem vs what is the true cause
- Reducing long term goals into achievable weekly numbers
- Eliminating “shiny things” and focusing on our EOS Rocks™
And, that’s all “simplify” really is, identifying and calling out the needless complexity in a situation.
When you talk about delegation, usually the issue is the Capacity of the person in question. Capacity can be anything from time to technical skills. You can have a rock solid CFO, but they may not have the time to handle the PNL reports.
- Learn To Ask, “is the right person handling this task?”
- Take the time to build a solid Accountability Chart™
- Consider using an EOS Scorecard™ to measure weekly outputs. Nothing will answer the Capacity question like week after week of missed milestones.
- Remove the egos from the room. No one in your organization is so important that they should be allowed to hold it back. If they can’t handle the job, find someone who can.
- Know when it’s time to hire.
When I first bring up “Predict” with a new client, they tend to think I’m crazy. They say, “No one can predict what will happen tomorrow, especially in business.” A lot of small business owners say, “part of my job is putting out fires,” or “I’m always getting blindsided.” They think it’s normal.
I’m here to tell you that great businesses don’t get blindsided. They look to the future. They define numbers that they can measure to day to predict upcoming issues. And, they deal with those issues in advance.
Prediction isn’t something that requires a crystal ball. It’s a focused, scientific exercise in deciding on which numbers and inputs from Week A can tell us what will happen in Week Z. The EOS Scorecard is probably one of the most powerful prediction tools I know of and one I regularly recommend.
When we Systemize, we put in place the core processes that keep an organization functioning at peak efficiency. These processes are what makes an organization unique, because no two organizations to anything the exact same way.
A System or Process can mean a lot of things. In a sales company it could marketing script. For a manufacturing company it might be the factory process. In a bakery it might just be that special way you make your cupcakes that no one else can ever know.
No one (myself included) can tell you what your processes are or how to do them better. That’s up to you. Here’s what I can tell you, though:
- Systemizing means thinking analytically, and
- Systemizing means thinking for scalability.
When you start flexing your “Systemize” muscles, you aren’t thinking about how you do things now. You’re putting on your thinking cap to ask how you can do it faster, smarter, cheaper, or more efficiently. And, just as importantly, you’re building a process that you can scale with your growing business.
Growth changes organizations in ways they never thought possible. A real estate group with 20 regional offices can’t afford to keep the structure of report it had when it had only 5. A manufacturing group that has grown by 5x in the past 10 years is probably going to need to start splitting responsibilities. The person who used to handle accounting, sales, and marketing for that company is probably stretched to the absolute limit.
All of these cause us to ask the question: do we have the right structure to achieve our vision? Why? Because building a great structure is about building one that takes you where you want to be, not documenting the one you have in place now.
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.