Commanding Business

The challenge with growth is that the habits that got you here become the limitations that prevent you from getting there. Growth not only requires us to learn new habits. It requires that we unlearn old ones. I’m Tim Hamilton, CEO of Praxent and host of the Commanding Business podcast. Each week, I interview authors, experts and real world leaders about how they grew their teams, their organizations and ultimately themselves. From leadership to management and marketing to innovation, we’ll cover a variety of topics with an aim to uncover actionable takeaways you can implement in your own organization today.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 15, 2015

The Freedom at Work program is a real strategy for empowering people in the workplace. Using democratic principles to remove fear-based leadership, WorldBlu is transforming businesses from the inside out. Our guest, Traci Fenton, was recently named by Inc. Magazine as a Top 50 Leadership Innovator and is the Founder and Chief Evangelist at WorldBlu. She shares with us the core principles of her organization and real life examples of success in organizations that have adopted the Framework of Freedom model.


Key Takeaways:

[1:34] Democracy in the workplace

[2:57] Certified Freedom Center workplaces

[4:12] The 3 parts of the Freedom at Work model

  • Freedom-Centered Mindset
  • Freedom-Centered Design
  • Freedom-Centered Leadership

[5:57] The power question to ask yourself

[6:48] The 3 core attributes of a Freedom Center Leader

  • Using power correctly
  • Love
  • Ubuntu

[8:21] It all comes back to self-worth

[11:32] Where do people get their self-worth?

[14:04] Business relationships should start with completeness

[15:55] A breakthrough moment for Rich Sheridan of Menlo Innovations

[18:51] Eradicating fear should be a number one priority

[19:58] False Evidence Appearing Real

[22:23] Building a bridge to transform people’s lives

[26:04] Looking at challenges and opportunities without fear

[29:24] Contact Traci at WorldBlu and sign up for The Freedom Center Leader Program





The Happiness Advantage

Menlo Innovations

Joy Inc.






Nov 24, 2015

Many extraordinary companies have had two primary positions of leadership. One being the visionary and the second is the executor. Understanding the difference between the visionary (aka the pie in the sky idea person) and the executor (the dig-in implementer) can make or break your business. Mark Winters’ book, Rocket Fuel, suggests most companies should only use the C-XX titles externally and should embrace a more descriptive title for each person’s internal functions. If all the members of a business are on the same page and have the same objective, the organization is able to flourish financially while maintaining mutual respect for those within its ranks.


Key Takeaways:

[1:13] The big idea behind the Rocket Fuel book

[4:04] The combination of the visionary and the integrator

[5:41] Putting a leadership team in place is the first threshold

[7:12] A visionary is an idea engine and the personality of the organization

[8:04] An integrator is the executor and the management

[10:24] The case of the missing integrator function

[12:38] Dysfunctional symptoms can be created by the visionary's lack of clarity

[14:25] It is essential to have intensity, but people can react adversely to it

[16:07] The integrator functions as the glue that unites the people, processes and systems

[18:46] The 5 rules:  

  • Stay on the same page
  • No end runs
  • The integrator is the tie breaker
  • Employee seats have no special rules
  • Maintain mutual respect

[23:16] The 5 tools:

  • The accountability chart
  • The core questions
  • The 90-day world
  • Weekly level 10
  • Scorecard

[26:29] Do problems arise by having just one integrator?

[27:47] The dynamic duos

[29:03] Strip the leadership team of the titles when used internally

[30:08] Contact Mark



Rocket Fuel Now

Rocket Fuel Book



Mark Winters Linkedin


Nov 17, 2015

Is your business taking on any clients who give you money when what it requires is a profitable endeavor? Try using your lack of resources to encourage innovation and creative change within your organization. Mike Michalowicz, the author of three business strategy books, used the advice of his mentor to learn the process of growing colossal pumpkins. After a year of taking it all in, he implemented the 5 core elements of the pumpkin growers into his business. It resulted in success, and he now helps people express their authentic selves through their business.


Key Takeaways:

[01:17] A lack of resources will force innovation

[03:00] Survival mode doesn’t foster your long-term business growth

[04:51] Express your values through business; it should be your soulmate

[09:01] Persistence is the basis of success

[11:33] Mike’s life purpose is to guide people in expressing their authentic self via their businesses

[12:58] How colossal pumpkin farming can lead to colossal business growth

[14:11] Five core elements of colossal pumpkin farming or growing your business

[21:40] Mike found 3 primary ways businesses use to convey information and engage in activity

  • Computer-based input
  • Verbal commands
  • Physical action

[22:41] A hack to systemize your work: simply record each thing you do

[24:34] Sort your clients by revenue; determine their profitability and what their cringe factor is

[27:04] The concept of loss aversion: people are more motivated to retain than to gain

[29:27] You grow by saying no

[31:04] The Profit First Book – Take your profit first

[35:03] Google “Mike Mic” to get to Mike’s website



Mike Michalowicz

Profit First

The Pumpkin Plan

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur




Nov 10, 2015

Entrepreneurial startups often find themselves maturing before they’ve had time to analyze their growth. The business structure builds itself based upon its initial framework which may no longer be applicable to the company’s present challenges.


Mike Paton, the co-author of Get A Grip, details the key components of the EOS model and describes the tools used to strengthen a business to ensure long term success. He details the steps involved in identifying a company’s vision and how to execute it.


Key Takeaways:

[1:24] What are the 6 key components to an entrepreneur's business?

  • Vision
  • People
  • Data
  • Issues
  • Process
  • Traction

[4:31] The Vision Component is ensuring the entire organization is working towards the same goal

[7:26] Identifying the goal starts with uncovering the 8 core values of the organization

  • What are the core values of the organization?
  • What is the core focus of the organization?
  • What is the company’s 10-year target?
  • What is the marketing strategy?
    • Target market
    • Three uniques
    • Proven process
    • Guarantee                                                                                    

      5.) A 3-Year strategic plan, which is tied to the fiscal year

      6.) 1-year plan - Predictions & goals for the upcoming year

      7.) Quarterly rocks - Assigning ownership to company “rocks”

      8.) Company’s issue’s -  The 50 other things you want to tackle

[29:53] The People Component is having the right people & right seats

[31:08] The accountability chart enlightens leaders to consider structure over familiarity

[36:16] Executing your vision can bring about implementation issues          

[41:14] Access to the tools we discussed in this episode



EOS Implementer

Get A Grip

Achieve Traction



Nov 3, 2015

Many businesses grow stale when a large number of employees decide to quit engaging in the organization, but stay at their current positions. If your leaders are not challenging existing employees with something new or fringe every three to six months their creativity level drops or becomes non-existent. Blending the knowledge of the current workforce and new talent (rookies) serves to expedite the creative process and enlivens the creative environment as a whole. Effective leaders in your organization will produce a fluid habitat, one which multiplies the abilities of each person on the team.


Key Takeaways:

[1:51] Is knowledge the currency of this internet equipped world? 

[5:19] We need to let go of things which are no longer true

[9:15] Modern leaders need to be able to lead when appropriate and follow when appropriate

[11:55] Exploring the book Rookie Smarts

[15:00] What are the downsides to experience?

[16:26] Intuition is our brain combining multiple historical data points and forming a conclusion

[21:35] Assumptions can limit your ability to learn something new

[24:18] Using improv to build on an idea at work

[25:51] Leaders, use your rookie talent

[27:34] How to keep your entire team in the rookie zone

[34:12] New managers are little disasters

[40:42] The logic behind the “Multiplier” leader

[44:24] The mindset of the “Multiplier” leader

[48:00] The 6 different leadership styles - Harvard Business Review

[48:57] Are you able to get more than 100% of your abilities?

[52:02] Contacting Liz and finding her books



The Wiseman Group


The Thinkers 50


The Multiplier Effects

Rookie Smarts

Gazelles Growth Summit

C K Prahalad

The Invisible Gorilla Experiment

The 6 Different Leadership Styles



Oct 27, 2015

Joining together the formidable pattern recognition abilities of the human mind with the agility of data-driven simulation modeling is a company's best option for overcoming challenges. Business Laboratory captures information from experts in your organization to gain insights and systematically inserts the scientific method to create a living model of your business.


Key Takeaways:

[1:48] Building simulation models for companies with lots of moving parts

[4:28] Modeling is mimicking real life in a simulated world

[6:38] Pattern recognition in the human mind is visual

[9:24] Information from experts is key

[10:37] Augmenting humans with computer models

[11:45] A hackathon example from Praxent

[16:28] Data is the fuel for scientific investigation

[17:32] Legacy industries can benefit from analytics - Moneyball example

[20:21] Which came first the data or the hypothesis

[25:38] Applying the scientific method to business

[31:04] Debates driven by data are essential to today’s businesses

[32:45] Programmers are excellent problem solvers

[34:53] Hiring techniques for problem solvers are outdated

[37:30] Revealing thought processes

[38:11] The analytical sandbox is a place for talented people to play

[41:13] Contact information for George



Business Laboratory

Profit from Science



Great by Choice

The Progress Principle


Oct 20, 2015

Who handles recruiting within your organization? If the responsibility currently resides in Human Resources, it might be time to re-think your recruitment strategies. Knowing the qualities and attributes the open position requires will assist you in finding the right person. Start by developing a profile of the role you want the hire to play within your company. Consider the qualifications, the skill set and the experience the person needs to make a smooth transition into your company's structure. Recruiting can be expensive but not as expensive as hiring the wrong person.


Key Takeaways:

[1:10] Kelly helps companies acquire “A” players

[2:00]  “A” players are the top 10% of candidates available for a role

[3:08] The importance of building out your recruiting strategy

[4:40] Pay for a premium account on LinkedIn

[6:31] An example scorecard - Using metrics in order of importance

[10:04] Develop a description of the role in which you are seeking to fill

[17:30] What are the requirements your company truly needs in a hire

[20:30] The best question to ask for any role

[21:35] Capturing the information you find on LinkedIn

[23:10] Breaking through the noise of recruiting solicitations

[29:10] Streamlining the interview process through behavioral questions

[33:17] Educating yourself on best recruiting practices

[37:00] Recruiting should be part of your daily business life

[41:16] Finders, Minders and Grinders

[41:57] Re-designing the org chart

[45:50] One person should not be doing all of the recruiting efforts

[47:41] Contacting Kelly for consulting





Who: The A Method for Hiring


Get Geary


Oct 13, 2015

To become a financial asset for your company a brand needs to have an essence, a promise and a personality. Building your brand requires sustainable differentiators, scientific research and most importantly, focuses on your customer’s point of view. Your brand should also closely resemble the strategy of the business to benefit your end customer. There are three questions your organization needs to answer to achieve top of mind awareness within your business sector. When you have answered the three questions you have the criteria for the top of your brand value pyramid.


Key Takeaways:

[1:26] A brand is a financial asset

[2:56] The #1 predictor for brand success is

[3:36] Brand essence

[5:26] Meaningful differentiation

[8:22] Brand promise - Your vision of your client’s future

[10:02] Whole Foods breaking down the brand

[12:44] The 3 big questions of branding

[15:51] Making intangibles concrete

[18:40] Business strategy and business brand are synonymous

[20:20] Your brand should benefit your end customer

[23:37] What is a brand personality

[25:57] What language do you use to communicate with your clients

[26:53] Brand archetype

[30:05] Playing the brand archetype game

[34:03] Scientific research brings a quantitative aspect to it

[36:40] Tim takes part in a brand value pyramid exercise

[42:53] Today’s option packages are tomorrow's standard equipment

[48:03] Contacting Deb



Sol Marketing


Investor Pitches

The Hero and the Outlaw

Brand Asset Management


Oct 6, 2015

Hiring a business coach may seem expensive and time-consuming for your organization but an outsider's perspective may be exactly what your team needs. Leaders may be in need of self-awareness coaching and managers probably need to learn more effective communication skills. A coach will help to identify core values and translate those into a 3 to 5-year strategic plan. Leadership skills are often self-taught practices which could use a little polishing.


Key Takeaways:

[1:23] Communication breakdowns led Gary from judge to private sector

[2:52] I help organizations develop strategies with 3-5 year plans

[5:15] Content and process conversations

[7:36] Telling someone one time doesn’t always get you the desired outcome

[9:19] Senior leaders need a strategic plan

[11:04] A one page plan helps flush out company goals for this month, this quarter & this year

[13:27] Identifying core values

[15:19] Figuring out the puzzle in a small timeframe, what’s it look like done

[19:04] Get out of your business to start working on your business

[20:27] Males learn best from pictures, women from talking it out

[22:26] A family or organization, handle both the same

[23:40] Leadership versus technical work or subject matter experts

[27:04] Do colleges teach leadership skills

[31:26] Full circle into self-awareness

[32:01] When there’s no one to prep the new generation



Gary Minor

Petra Coach





Sep 29, 2015

Many small businesses accept every client solely on the monetary aspect. The key to turning your business into a seven figure business is learning to say no in order to attract the right customers to you. If you find your True North, which will only come from keeping your patience through chaotic times, you will lead with direction and purpose. Believe that your business can feed your soul if you are focusing on the difference you wish to make in the world and doing something you love to do. Learn to be present, honest and authentic while following your strategic plan but keep yourself open to a different path if the universe suggests it.


Key Takeaways:

[1:41] I grew up poor in Florida knowing I wanted to be a millionaire

[4:30] Something was missing so I read everything thing in the personal development realm

[6:30] Conscious Millionaire revealed itself to me

[8:22] I grew my Father’s business, it wasn’t the same as having my own company

[10:15] A business can actually feed your soul

[11:20] I gave up my life for business and I would never do it again

[13:01] I can’t work with more than 7 clients and still find joy

[14:19] Staying highly focused and having only the important pieces

[16:58] You need to get really good at attracting the right customer

[18:52] My personal motto is “Trust perfect timing”

[21:05] If we allow ourselves the patience, we see that out of chaos a new direction presents itself

[23:16] I think we’ve passed the pivot point of conscious thought

[26:20] What do you love doing so much you lose track of time

[28:25] What are the differences I would enjoy making

[30:28] What do you do almost perfectly every time

[32:17] One sentence that sums up your True North

[33:18] Values are really about behaviors

[35:52] Business today is about being whole and complete as a human being

[37:55] Soft skills and hard skills

[40:29] Making a hiring decision based on the values of your business

[42:38] Finding J V online - The 7 steps to 7 figures



Conscious Millionaire - Grow Your Business by Making a Difference

Health and Fitness Podcast

Green Festival

Gallup Strengthsfinder

Return to Love - Marianne Williamson

Moleskin Books

Jim Collins

Gary Ryan Blair


Sep 22, 2015

From recruitment to retirement the Birkman assessment tool creates awareness in your organization. Understanding yourself is your first step to becoming a great individual. Understanding the personal styles of your team members will make you a great leader. Jim Blanchard explains how to break down the 11 dimensions of this tool and how it offers objective language for subjective conversations. From incentivizing employees to be the best they can be to dealing with emotions in the workplace, this scientifically proven program covers it all.


Key Takeaways:

[1:06] What led Jim to the Birkman tool

[2:30] Describing the assessment tool through motivators and behaviors

[5:20] Expanding your life while being more productive

[6:28] Analyzing the 11 piece parts of a personality profile

[13:05] The big discovery of you can measure how you expect other people to treat you

[17:08] Are you asking me to do something or telling me to do it

[17:45] Becoming aware of perceptions of yourself and others

[18:08] Idealistic versus realistic personalities

[20:20] Understand why financial incentives motivate me but no one else

[25:24] Understanding how different categories blend together

[26:05] Giving ourselves permission to live life based on our needs and interests

[28:10] Your empathy score - Dealing with emotion in a business environment

[30:49] Breaking down change and freedom

[36:55] How quickly do you make decisions - try breaking down the pieces

[40:00] The benefit of leaders who are self aware

[42:14] Leaders should read the book “the advantage” and understand strategic anchors

[43:52] Every decision should be based on the company’s core values and strategic anchors

[45:10] A manager manages, a leader leads

[46:24] Retention: People stay at companies when they feel they are being developed

[47:04] 62% of leaders hired outside the organization fail after the first year



Birkman Personality Profile

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The Advantage

Strategic Positioning Inc.



Sep 15, 2015

Becoming self aware and recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses as a leader can ultimately make or break your business. Delegating tasks, sharing your vision and investing in your employees will give you more time to do what you are good at and will empower your employees to be productive on their own. Continually tearing down systems and processes with the goal of never doing useless items again will catapult you to reaching your well defined, one desired metric.    


Key Takeaways:

[1:05] Andy wanted a business with residual income and found it with pagers

[3:45] I wanted to build a lifestyle business which took care of itself

[4:45] Andy had difficulty delegating and was a dictator in business

[6:52] Issue’s with a singular power hungry vision

[8:20] DIY implementation of the Rockefeller Habits

[9:40] The process is more than a checklist, it takes time and due diligence

[11:00] Translating a 50 page ardent document into a one page goal sheet

[13:42] Giving people the proper credit and helping to define their roles

[15:22] Two-weekers include checking in to verify productivity levels

[18:29] Setting the tone of vulnerability and authenticity as the leader

[20:48] Differences between micro managing and true managing

[21:59] Setting clear expectations and guiding people

[23:53] Learning to build a business, not just having a job

[24:52] An example of a coaching call

[27:50] Identifying strengths through DiSC

[28:55] Investing in the professional development of your team by 10%

[30:55] Tearing down systems and processes

[32:36] Figuring out your one metric to improve upon i.e. Moneyball

[36:10] CEO’s are looking to solve different issues but ultimately increasing revenue

[36:41] X factor is generally an industry bottleneck

[38:29] How does a company start, try PACE

[40:12] How to get in contact with Andy











Sep 8, 2015

Key decision makers appreciate compelling and powerful messages from your salespeople. An intuitive opener is able to deliver the message and discover what truly matters to your prospects. A proficient closer should move the process along to close the sale using a refined sales language. If you have blind spots in your business don’t chuck your existing structure, find out what processes can be amended to overcome objections and dramatically change your close ratio.


Key Takeaways:

[1:13] Business are missing the blind spots when developing their business

[2:05] Don’t throw away your existing development efforts just change a few things

[4:02] What is the missing link to creating new income

[6:15] Realistic sales cycles and defining the message

[8:03] Sales messages are compelling dialogue paths

[10:22] The Rock Star Checklist for sellers

[13:33] Customize your message for your business and your clients

[15:28] Refine and narrow your target

[17:04] What truly matters to your prospects, 3 times exercise

[20:35] Key decision makers want the right person involved in the sales process

[21:40] The Hunter/Farmer and Openers/Closers

[22:48] Attracting the right sales people without the BS

[26:32] Opening salespeople are more intuitive and they create fast, meaningful bonds

[29:45] Demonstrating sales language proficiencies is a blind spot

[32:25] Why an Objections Manual is critical

[34:32] Let your hunters hunt, record them so they can move on to more sales

[37:48] Language + Delivery = Outcome

[40:33] Sometimes the devil is in the details, are your sellers prepared?

[42:24] A real life client example of dramatically improving your close ratio

[47:23] Date, time, date, time, date, time







Sep 1, 2015

You are currently living in a construct. You have created mental models, good and bad, to promote your own self interests. Each day you use these models as paths to guide you through life. You then apply labels to these things so you know how to react to situations. Becoming aware that you are the architect of this construction allows you the freedom to not be swept away by your inner monologue. As an entrepreneur, you will find this difficult as you prefer to be in control. Take the challenge of allowing your purpose to find you by becoming consciously aware. .


Key Takeaways:

[1:06] The feeling of joy has left us there’s an undercurrent of stress

[2:41] I used the work of the great spiritual masters and applied it to post industrial society

[3:45] Reach out and claim your birthright of joy

[4:27] Use your internal monologue to guide you, the voice of judgement

[5:47] We live our lives according to our mental models

[7:46] Awareness is a foundation block

[8:00] You are the observer, or the witness, and not the voice in your head

[8:50] An example of a downward spiral and mental chatter

[10:56] The stories we tell ourselves individually and globally

[11:57] Visualize this

[15:44] As you become more aware you are less likely to be swept away

[19:12] The moment you label something bad the suffering begins

[22:45] Everything you do is in your perceived self interest

[26:28] Stress is caused by everyone acting in their own self interest

[27:49] Meditation and Practice will add instances of clarity to your life

[29:10] Your purpose finds you if you are consciously aware

[30:24] Entrepreneurs are control freaks, you can not connect the dots looking forward

[31:18] Dr. Rao is human too & Tim’s mentor example

[33:08] Uneasy lies the head which wears the crown

[35:28] As Governor Jimmy Carter thought he could be President, so he made it happen








Aug 25, 2015

Building your sales force from scratch has its advantages as long as you are clear on which behaviors, you as the sales manager expect from your new hires. The first people on your team will likely help you to figure out your go to market strategy and must be willing to experiment and share. For this reason, they should be curious, industrious and organized. If an interviewee has these 3 elements it will shorten the length of the onboarding process. Using a backwards planning training strategy your new employees will reach baseline viability faster to become an asset to your organization instead of a cost.


Key Takeaways:

[1:19] Training and development for sales onboarding

[2:10] Hubspot helps businesses to capitalize through inbound marketing

[3:06] How should behaviors be scaled and executed consistently

[4:59] Sales is not mimicry

[5:50] Fundamentals of inbound marketing, the product and sales acumen

[8:00] The right salespeople are industrious, curious and organized

[10:22] How the interviewee’s prepare for the interview shows industriousness

[11:22] How to find a person’s curiosity level

[14:38] Product knowledge is not as valued an asset as responsiveness

[16:12] We created an in house program because an off the shelf didn’t fit our needs

[19:24] Compensation is based on longevity sales vs quick hits

[21:27] The GPC Framework for solving a business problem

[23:44] Inbound activity also includes what is going on in between conversations

[25:52] Sales Manager concerns are basically these 2 things

[27:02] Your first people help you to figure out your go to market strategy

[30:40] Our specialization path for inbound marketing

[33:12] A BDR closes for time, a salesperson closes for money

[34:39] Baseline viability is a day of work without shadowing another employee

[37:50] Backwards planning uses 4 questions as a basis for your training program










Aug 18, 2015

: Are daily tasks bogging you down and keeping you from moving your business forward? If so, gather your executives and hit the pause button every 90 days. Step back and gaze into your industry looking for bottlenecks or problems which need to be solved. Craft the essential question based on creating solutions to those bottlenecks. Be aware of unintended consequences which may lead to additional revenue generation. A successful business is a resilient business and faith in life creates resiliency.


Key Takeaways:

[1:11] What is the X Factor

[1:30] Industry bottlenecks need create solutions

[4:37] How to change our cost per sale was our essential question

[6:17] We serviced our customers faster than our competitors by answering the essential question

[10:45] Industry bottlenecks versus individual business bottlenecks

[14:06] 5 different points of view or diagnostic levers lead you to 25 bottlenecks

[21:37] Unintended consequences or by products of your business used to generate revenue

[23:38] Tom’s is a great example of generating revenue from a negative externality

[25:45] Relationship drivers that control your business; the Outback example

[28:20] Every 90 days talk about your essential question

[31:58] The essential question must be tracked in a metric form

[32:48] Synthesized innovation

[34:11] Daily tasks get in the way of innovation

[36:29] Faith in life creates resiliency and opportunity 

[39:19] A personal reflection on the concept of gratitude and human development











Aug 11, 2015

Prolonged fear and stressors have negative health effects on teams therefore depleting them of their effectiveness. Why not make some changes to your corporate culture to alleviate burnout and increase loyalty? Customers will sense when your team is functioning at optimum levels and when your people believe in what they are doing. Clients then aspire to be closer to your tribe through partnerships. It’s a chemical response they can not resist. Build a circle of trust to ensure your work community looks out for the organization as a whole, not just themselves.


Key Takeaways:

[1:18] Acknowledging the patterns to understand the “why” behind our actions

[3:56] Burnout led to Simon’s purpose - to inspire

[6:57] The checklist of success was complete but I needed a shift in perspective

[10:56] The chemicals that lead to the good health of animals

[15:33] Prolonged fear and stress cause negative health effects

[17:07] Allow a social trigger to lead you to the process of understanding your origin story

[19:52] Your why statement can lead you to tears

[21:00] When ideas are repeated they can change the world

[22:37] Clients can sense if employees believe in their work and make decisions based on vibe

[23:33] A real life example of caring for the person in front of you

[25:53] Clarity of why, discipline of how and consistency of what

[26:40] A personal why very closely linked to the why of the organization

[30:04] Partners, Tourists and Terrorists

[32:57] Building a circle of safety is at the core of Leaders Eat Last

[36:14] The entire company is negatively affected during layoffs, not just the newly unemployed

[38:48] Trust, styles, givers, takers and matchers - making sense of it all

[44:37] Often top talents are takers

[46:14] Interview tips and escape routes

[47:26] A lifetime employment policy with a 3 month hiring process














Aug 4, 2015

How do you get your customers from their current reality of riddled with problems to the future reality of alleviating the pain or removing the problem completely? You need to get the idea out of your head and into a format people will pay attention to. Crafting the proper unique value proposition is key. This single element relays your ability to get your customer to their desired outcome without being bogged down by the solution. If they believe your unique value proposition they will ask you about your solution which leads to invaluable feedback from which to base your pricing.


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] So what’s up with the Spark 59 name

[2:01] Failing to find the right customers and markets

[3:18] A repeatable meta-process

[5:38] The Lean Canvas tool

[7:54] 9 Lego blocks to create a business model

[10:12] Running off the rails at the artist stage

[12:18] Innovation + Business Applications = Cash Flow Positive

[12:53] A love of products that make a longer term impact

[15:16] We hire a particular service to do a particular job

[18:18] Competition isn’t necessarily in just one category

[20:58] A vehicle to build better entrepreneurs is the true product

[22:42] The unique value propositions job is to make you stand out

[24:34] The finished story benefit, the time box and the risk reversal

[28:11] Testing the value proposition and the art of the demo

[30:36] How much are you willing to pay for this solution is a bad question to ask

[31:42] I was reluctant to write a book but demand testing proved positive

[35:50] The magic of traction



Spark 59






Jul 28, 2015

Salespeople are made not born. If you have the right people in your organization the best thing for your company is to support and develop existing talent. Sales managers should work together with their team members to identify what characteristics are needed to be a professional salesperson. And emphasize how important sales is to your company empowering them to have authentic conversations with clients as peers. As often younger salespeople will attempt to befriend the client instead of having an equal conversation out of a need to be liked.


Key Takeaways:

[1:53] Sandler addresses skill gaps in companies large and small

[3:35] Structures and strategies

[5:30] Negative perceptions of sales starts early i.e. Head trash

[8:47] Who is really in the position of power?

[10:34] Authentic conversations with your peers

[13:29] People buy emotionally, they make decisions intellectually

[17:25] The ideal salesperson has these characteristics

[22:00] Salespeople are made not born

[23:39] Understanding existing issues that need to be addressed

[26:52] The role of a sales manager is to develop their people

[29:20] Hold employees accountable to their own goals first

[30:58] Using a parenting book as a guidebook for sales managers

[33:04] A hallmark of good sales leaders

[33:46] An example of transformational leadership

[36:44] Adam Boyd on LinkedIn






Jul 21, 2015

If your company is not solving your customers hair on fire issue your competitor is. Your brand promise should be dictated by the clients needs and not a vague conglomeration of popular buzzwords. Inspiring employees to embrace a go with the market flow culture can help you to achieve operational excellence. And empowering those individuals to provide service beyond compare will help your company to obtain and transcend the necessary customer intimacy discipline. 


Key Takeaways:

[1:51] Rob’s extensive background

[2:46] The genius book of great thought leaders

[4:50] Strategy in terms of revenue growth

[5:36] You business strategy in a single phrase

[6:39] The brand promise - solving your clients issue differently

[9:48] The hair on fire issue

[12:18] An example of a small company that hit it big - Rackspace

[17:30] The customer intimacy strategy

[18:50] Obsessing over the metrics pays off

[23:18] 3 steps to grow your company

[24:38] The 20 year overnight success

[26:47] Create an inspirational culture

[28:02] The natural resource that is flow

[30:28] The central idea through a series of basecamps

[31:55] Changing your strategy as the market changes

[34:00] 3 different pathways or disciplines

[36:15] Embracing self organizing teams

[39:17] What does fanatical support look like to your company?

[39:50] Achieving operational excellence

[42:02] A market story of proper focus and discipline





MasteringtheRockefellerHabits- Verne Harnish

ScalingUp - Verne Harnish


Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

DisciplineofMarketLeaders - Michael Treacy & Fred Wiersema


Jul 15, 2015

Kaity and Andrew recently graduated college with marketing and entrepreneurial degrees respectively. The pair had many positive influences in their lives including Kaity’s entrepreneurial father, a volunteer opportunity in Ecuador and Professor Vijay Govindaraja whom they saw speak on his concept of reverse innovation. The concept is the act of bringing technologies, services and innovations  from developing nations for use in the developed world. The goal of this adventure is to learn what it means to be an entrepreneur in South America and bring that information back to share in the United States.


Key Takeaways:

[1:22] It all started with a volunteer experience

[1:56] The concept of reverse innovation

[2:32] 7 countries in 7 months and 100 entrepreneurs

[3:19] Marketing and Entrepreneurship courses in college

[4:26] Starting the process and finding the opportunities

[5:55] Adversity is a leading indicator of success

[6:48] We bought the tickets and then decided to






Jul 14, 2015

Legacy thinking may be taking over your business. Brainstorming sessions may not be a useful as playing strategic games that build upon constraints. Take a chance and be open to democratic solutions and flexible work environments to jump start a new idea. As long as you have hired like minded people your business will move past the old way of doing things and on to the new. Try looking at your business as if it belonged to somebody else. Use education as a way to gain loyalty with clients and when giving a presentation please be authentic. The audience will know if you are not.


Key Takeaways:

[1:32] Innovation doesn’t happen when you start doing something new

[2:33] AV is important but presentations are more important

[3:48] Solving presentation problems for today’s world

[4:46] Fall in love with problems

[6:05] There are opportunities in the things that frustrate you

[6:44] Constraints produce innovative results

[9:25] Make sure your cash cows are not a crutch for your business

[11:00] Controlling your burn through raising the bar of expectation

[12:44] Ask this of your business “Are we still adding value?”

[13:54] Become the experts by educating your clients

[15:32] People learn through interaction and metaphor

[16:44] Playing games to increase the understanding of business

[18:00] Look at your business as if it belonged to somebody else

[20:16] Annual strategic planning sessions for big deployments

[21:40] The Monday meeting created the fall of the Berlin wall

[24:50] Trying out a business democracy

[26:38] The team created their own manifesto through empowerment

[27:27] Exit interviews created autonomy in our office

[29:21] Caught in the act is a source of motivation

[31:35] Hire like minded people with similar values

[33:30] How much of an a**hole are you is a gauge of how not to behave in business 

[35:19] To be a good presenter you should always be authentic

[38:28] Download Star Realms and challenge Mulhulligan










Jul 7, 2015

As a leader you may have a hard time saying no because you are an abundant thinker. If you learn to say no to the four thieves of productivity you can focus on the most important, most profitable, most necessary part of your business. Saying no can be aspirin for the modern business person. True mastery comes with time, practice and experience. Make a concerted effort to define what it is that you can call your one thing and dedicate yourself to it. Let your heart lead your head to stop living a life of regret. Pick your moment of truth and start making a difference in your life.


Key Takeaways:

[1:34] The heart of the One thing book

[2:58] Proven methods for implementation

[3:20] Gary wrote a powerful essay that started it all

[5:16] Mission Statements should be focused on your one thing

[6:54] True mastery - 10,000 hour rule

[8:25] Entrepreneurs have a hard time saying no

[8:49] 4 thieves of productivity

[9:44] Who brings the highest contribution?

[10:58] I’m prouder of what we said no to.

[12:11] Some yeses are bigger than others

[13:59] Get clear about what’s important to you

[15:43] Different priorities than what they are living

[18:00] What you do isn’t who you are, we are looking for validation

[19:27] Saying ‘no’ builds our companies strength

[21:35] Line up your metaphorical dominoes

[23:14] The shape of success is a long flat line that ramps up at the end

[23:40] The latte factor

[24:36] The 100 Best Businesses Ever took 7-9 years to get there

[27:15] Let your heart lead your head

[28:55] Turning your to do list into a success list

[30:00] Clarity about the priority in your business and your life

[31:36] Two entrepreneurs sold their business after reading the book

[33:14] The 1 Thing website




Essentialism- Greg McKeown

TheAutomaticMillionaire - David L. Bach



Jun 30, 2015

Knowing who you are are being clear about what you want can be some of life’s biggest challenges. Make an appointment with yourself for a self discovery session. Use basic questions as tools to clean out your subconscious of all the data energy that has been stored for years. Gratitude can help to put life into perspective. Where your awareness goes your energy will go. Give as much value to your energy as you do your money and you will have more of both. Finish what you begin.


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] You have to do all the work yourself

[2:35] The burden of responsibility

[3:38] Monks should never go back

[4:31] Practice what you preach

[5:41] East meets West

[6:55] The start of the path

[8:28] If you listen you might learn something

[9:41] Special guest teachers

[10:45] Get to know yourself for personal growth

[12:36] How well do you know the tool?

[13:35] Make an appointment with yourself, M-F

[16:35]  A process of reflection

[18:45] People need to engage with others

[19:15] Time to clean out your subconscious

[20:40] Facing yourself is one of the most challenging things

[21:32] Every experience has an emotion attached to it

[24:40] Write down your problem and then burn it

[25:41] You can not destroy emotion

[28:02] Gratitude puts life into perspective

[29:09] A sense of lack makes you needy

[29:51] With will you can accomplish anything you want

[31:23] Finish what you begin, try making your bed every morning

[34:32] Where awareness goes energy goes

[35:44] Time management or energy management

[38:20] Most people can’t stay concentrated

[39:07] Treat energy the same as you treat money

[40:37] Strengths and weaknesses

[42:31] Be clear with what you want in life

[44:06] BEHAG - Tim Cullens

[45:14] Life is not short

[46:25] Private workshops and spiritual adventures



Level 5 Leadership

Happierpodcast - Gretchen Rubin



Jun 23, 2015

The culture of continual improvement drives companies towards agile management. Squeezing out productivity for the sake of productivity can lead teams to compartmentalize their roles. Knowledge workers should be empowered to deliver value as well as code. Project management software tools give the illusion of time management when in reality there is no level of accuracy when dealing with people. Allowing teams to organize themselves and then supporting that motion with an adjustable management support structure will provide project validation at many stages along the way. This is the fastest way to monetize initiatives.


Key Takeaways:

[1:09] Agile is a set of values and principles

[2:00] Commonalities with Lean

[3:54] Output versus Outcome

[4:47] The industrial era management style

[5:34] Customer delight as the focus

[7:08] Empowering teams

[9:19] Predictability and productivity of teams

[10:15] A servant leader perspective

[11:41] Trust is at the bottom of the pyramid

[12:40] Consistency of team

[13:37] Multitasking kills - the switching cost

[16:44] The fastest way to monetize initiatives

[18:24] It’s infectious when it works

[19:54] Agile provides predictability

[20:57] Mythical certainty

[23:00] Agile inspects and adapts

[25:38] Will the market accept your idea?

[28:01] The learning mentality

[29:10] Aligning cultures with Agile

[30:39] Discovering the architecture and design

[32:35] Encouraging developers to produce value

[34:12] Self organizing teams

[35:37] Building things in a quality way

[36:38] Empower your teams to self pivot

[39:20] David sees change as incremental

[41:35] Stepping into the agile concept




RadicalManagement - Steve Denning

FiveDysfunctionsofaTeam- Patrick Lencioni




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