It’s Sept 1, 2016 – summer blew by and is coming to an end. Kids are heading back to school. It’s a good time to plan my own learning/professional development. I don’t know about you, but I am wired that every September I feel it’s a start of a new year. A new year to learn.
As a child in grade school your learning was pretty much set out for you. As you moved along to high school – you got more choice as to what you wanted to learn. And then after high school the sky is the limit. But every September you start off on a new year long journey of learning. I loved it. I did go to university for an extra long time. Three degrees later. 20 years of building businesses later…..and I still am planning my year of learning starting today.
I am known in business circles as a business book junkie. But I have also been known as a groupie of Verne Harnish,...
Thank you David Greer – you made my day, week….mon
As you may have recently noticed, I’ve been talking quite a bit about the importance of companies knowing their 3HAG (3 Year highly Achievable Goal).
What companies struggle with when it comes to their 3HAG:
As a young CEO – I had big dreams. That was the easy part. I could easily see the 10-30 year picture and communicate the picture clearly to my whole team. As Jim Collins and Jerry Porras coined it – we knew our Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). We could all describe it. We would together as a team continuously make this 10-30 year goal clearer and clearer.
We had no idea at the time how we were going to achieve this goal but we did believe we would get there. As the CEO – I wasn’t too concerned on the how but wanted to be sure we all knew where we were headed. We knew we wanted to drive the company to be the Leading Global Payment Platform for face-to-face and non-face-to-face transactions.
In those early days – we were highly execution focused. We gained a lot of respect from our major banking partners who were counting on us to solve their problem of connecting their payment processing system, to enable their business...
When I was building my first company, I was loving the amount of things I was learning every day. I was a sponge and very curious of what was best practice and how others had achieved their success.
I was a business book junkie. I was reading up to 4 business books a week at the height of my addiction for a better, faster, easier way to grow a business. I was reading books from thought leaders – Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, Verne Harnish, Michael Porter, Robert Bloom, Jeffery Moore. You get the picture. We were facing many challenges and I did not want to guess a way forward. I wanted to approach the fundamental challenge of building a business with some direction.
In building a team – one of the core values of myself and my team members was – “Humble enough to want to learn every day”. I wanted to ensure we were hiring these people. I had a huge thirst for more information and I wanted to surround...
As I pull my hockey gear out for my game tonite I realize this is my 20th season in the Whistler Women’s Hockey League. I have been playing with the same team of awesome ladies who have definitely been part of my “village” while I grew and sold two FinTech companies from Whistler since 1995.
These ladies range from 18 years old to 55 years old. The newest addition to our team this year is Georgia Astle who is a daughter of one of our players. This is a first mother daughter for our team and maybe the league. Georgia grew up in our locker room on Thursday nights and is now one of our team members. How awesome!!
I grew up in our locker room on Thursday nites. We all did. When we were in our 20s we were rushing to get out after the game to get to the bar before it closed. In our 30s we were rushing out to get home to feed or take care of the kids. In our 40s we liked to hang in the dressing room after the game to have a...
Last night I attended the ACETECH Reception to kick off the year. Sort of felt like the start of school. In attendance were 150 CEOs from around Vancouver and further away in BC. I have been attending this kick off since 1997 when I first became a CEO. It was a great night to reacquaint with other CEOs I have not seen in months and to also meet many new ones. The experience in the room was impressive.
The speaker for the evening was Jeff Booth, CEO of Build Direct – one of Canada’s fastest growing companies. What I love about Jeff is his humble ability to tell his story from start up to $100M+ company. He was so transparent about the different stages he lived through as CEO of a growing company and most importantly he talked about the people – that as a CEO or a leader for that matter – you should surround yourself with.
We hear it all the time – surround yourself with great people. Yeah! Yeah! As a CEO surrounding yourself with...
When the word “Disruptor” is spoken – to most it’s seen as negative. According to the definition on Dictionary.com: Disrupt is “top cause disorder or turmoil.” The business definition from this site: “to radically change (an industry, business strategy, etc.), as by introducing a new product or service that creates a new market”.
When I think of a company that is classified as a Disruptor – I see a company that has focused on the customer, knows what matters to them and has delivered a product or service to them. UBER is a great example of this. At the root of it they are providing the same functional offering as the age-old taxi BUT changed the service level to the customer. They provided the customer with a car service that made it easy to find a car when needed, to understand the costs before they show up, made...
Over 15 years ago – I was deep in chaos with a fast growing team and company. Every day was like a week, every week like a month, and every month like a year. Time was flying and we had to make decisions fast to keep up with the speed of growth and the market. We were struggling – working way too many hours and the pile of things to get done and decisions to be made continued to get longer. It was the unending uphill battle.
I was at a conference that Verne Harnish was MC’ing and he kept talking about “The Huddle”. I finally went up to him at a break and asked “What is ‘The Huddle’?” Verne answered – “Easy – 15 minutes or less every day with your team following a standing agenda of Good News, Top Priority For The Day and Where Are You Stuck”.
Why does this work:
When I was out there looking for my first job(s) – I was looking for a place to go to make money. Looking back on it and on my resume in my early 20s, I had quite a few jobs for many different reasons. But mostly because I was making bad choices on the people I was going to work with and focused on the money I would be making in the job rather than making sure it was a great place to work where I could be successful.
So in a very adhoc way, in an interview process, I started to realize I could assess my fit, ask questions and evaluate the people interviewing me. When I was just graduating with my first degree, I got an interview with IBM. I actually knew I was not a good fit for them but wanted to get more experience in the interview process and confirm to myself that I would not be a good fit.
Maybe at the time I should not have wasted IBMs time BUT I was young and not that experienced with interviewing and knew IBM had a solid process so they could find other people...