Go Climb a Tree

shutterstock_145817480-300Our 5-year-old neighbor has fallen in love with the tree in her front yard. Mercifully for her mother’s peace of mind, it is not too tall. Watching her this weekend, we reminisced. My own favorite tree around the age of 10, until we moved 5 years later, was a weeping willow. High above the roofs, I would watch the storms rolling towards us across the Minnesota prairie, or on quieter days, sit still above the storms of junior high social life.

In EOS®, we talk about a team cutting its way through a forest. If someone doesn’t get up in a tree to guide the action, the team can easily burn through lots of fuel and time cutting a zigzag when they could be heading straight towards their goal.

When was the last time you climbed a tree above your business?

As momentum grows for 2016’s business goals, be sure you’re not zigging when you mean to be going straight. It can be hard to take the time and focus away from those all-important clients, that essential networking, but you will reap the benefits all year.

Besides, it can be surprisingly fun! Like the view and the wind at the top of a willow on the prairie.

Don’t want to be up the tree by yourself? Create a team that helps you lose the zigzag!  

Learn from the experience of over 2000 successful entrepreneurs.

Posted in: Business Coaching, Planning

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This has been the best year of my life!

shutterstock_256217692One Year Later…

“This has been the best year of my life!”

so said Scott, the founder of a CPA firm, at our annual planning session in December.

“When we did this plan last year, I did worry that we were over-reaching. We already had so much on our plates… but, the growth and changes were coming whether we were ready or not. We hit our revenue targets, invested in infrastructure for more growth, and we all got more time with our families. Unbelievable!”

Then Scott looked at his leadership team one at a time…

“Now, I look at what we’ve accomplished, and how the rest of you have stepped up, and I know we can hit our big hairy audacious 10-year target! I know we can do so much more next year! I’d go anywhere with this team.”

I confess, there were some teary eyes, including mine.

Making a plan that would work amid crazy growth and regulation changes had seemed impossible a year ago. A couple of team members had balked at being offsite for a whole day to make plans and try to remove stubborn issues that seemed to block every attempt the team made to grow.

Now, not only did they look back at a year of amazing progress, they knew how to wield a new tool to better control their business and their lives. They have built value in their company that rewards their risk, their time, their sweat. It has changed the way they run their business forever.

Every entrepreneur, every business leader, who works hard and takes risks and gives their all to building their organization, wants to feel this kind of success! Can you do it? Let’s talk! After less than 10 minutes on the phone, we can decide if a free 90-minute consultation is for you. Call Lynda now!  404-830-2400

Posted in: Planning

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Business Planning Isn’t Worth it!

business planning & strategyThey yawned. They paced. Do we HAVE to be here?

No, it wasn’t me taking my kids to see their great-uncle Ned to hear his stories about trains, AGAIN (insert groan, rolled eyes).

This week, it was enlisting leaders for a half-day planning session for the Board of Directors of my local Chamber of Commerce.

Is it really important? Can’t you just send us notes? Between the inherent restlessness of busy, energetic people and the situational ADHD of our ever-pinging phones, the idea of focusing on anything for half a day seems, well, just weird.

So why bother? What’s the return? Let’s talk about that…

Time: research shows that for every 1 minute of planning, you gain 10 minutes in execution. Yes, really, 10 times return on investment. Spend 4 hours, get 40. What could you do with 36 more productive hours?

Focus: You have a lot of energy. Not infinite, but a lot. Think about the sun. Spend enough time under its millions of kilowatts and you might get a sunburn. Focus a few of those kilowatts through a laser – you can cut steel, or pretty designs in anything. Focus yourself and your team, and the energy you’ve been using being very busy will become as productive as that laser.

Speaking of energy: A planning session, done right, ends with participants saying “I’m re-energized.” “I’m excited about our future.” “I can’t wait to work with Justin on…” “Wait until our clients see what we’ve come up with – it’s going to be explosive!”

shutterstock_274167260Wouldn’t you like to hear your team saying that? Wouldn’t you like to feel like that? Time, focus, renewed energy – that’s the ROI for good planning time. Try a focused planning session! You, and your team, may fight it at first, then you’ll fight for it.

While this is simple, it is not easy. I offer a free 90-minute consultation to you get headed in the right direction. We can decide in 5 minutes if that is a good investment for you. Or it could be there’s someone you care about that needs to see this – be sure to share!

Contact me to schedule a free 90-minute consultation



Posted in: Business Coaching

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Too Busy to Plan?

Work Smarter Not HarderWe hear this a lot this time of year. If you’re like most business owners, you’re moving fast to juggle the 137 things you need to get done today. It can feel like all those plates will fall if you “check out” long enough to make a business plan. Even worse if you include a few other leaders. It’s the beginning of a new year – that internal engine is revving up, it just needs to get moving.

Getting everyone on the leadership team on the same page about where you’re going and how you’re going to get there takes focus and time, it’s true, and it can be hard to nail things down in an ever-changing world. To quote one of my clients, “parts of the plan changed almost immediately, but what we’d learned while making the plan made everything, and I mean everything, work better.”

Here are a few tips to make your planning process most effective.

  • Include your leadership team.
  • Set specific, measurable, attainable goals for the company for 2016.
  • In addition to revenue and profit goals, pick 1-3 other measurables to target, like number of new clients or percentage of on-deadline delivery.
  • Less is more: Set 3-5 goals that, if complete, would significantly move help your firm in the next year (for example: Hire 2 engineers, 1 project manager and 2 interns and effectively integrate them into the team.)
  • Decide what the priorities (we call them Rocks) are for the next 90 days to achieve these goals, and who on the leadership team will own each Rock.

Keep it simple – don’t spend a lot of time trying to lay out the whole year. Your business is moving fast! Things will change. Make progress in 1st quarter, then reassess and set the next Rocks for 2nd quarter.

Reap the rewards: easier work, better communication, faster response to problems – what’s not to love?

While this is simple, it is not easy. I offer a free 90-minute consultation and mini-training to help you get headed in the right direction. Let’s have a brief conversation and see if that is right for you and your team.  Contact me here.

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When Generations Collide

partner conflictsRick got in a confrontation with Al over offering processors the option to work from home 2-3 days a week. Al insisted it was necessary to retain young workers. Rick felt they were losing control and productivity would suffer. Rick is in his 60s, Al in his 40s, the processors in their 20s – different stages of their lives, different generational approaches to work. Quite a stew. At one point Rick threw up his hands; “do what you need to do” and stomped off. They’ve been great partners in building their business, and have rarely gotten so heated about an issue, but there have been increasing tensions as they’ve grown from just 5 people to 30.

While both partners were inclined to paper over the peace, the remaining two people on their leadership team insisted that they bring the issue into the next leadership team meeting. There they dove into the issue of people working from home, using the IDS™ tool we teach in EOS®. During the Identify part of the process, it became clear that the confrontation was rooted in an increasing discomfort for Rick with the way younger workers were fighting to balance their lives with work. To Rick they didn’t feel committed to the company he had worked so hard to build, to them, he was a curmudgeon and a workaholic. Al’s time and energy was being increasingly drained by trying to be the peace-maker.

It was an eye-opening Discussion (the D in IDS™) for everyone on the leadership team. More importantly, a simple Solution (the S!) emerged. Jon, who as the holder of the Finance/Administration seat worked on most people policies, took on the to do item of researching work-at-home policies that had been effective in other companies. Rick decided he would do some research on his own to try to better understand the millennial generation at work.

Every team has it’s tough spots, and in the context of business its easy to think of communication as a “soft” something that we don’t have time to focus on because we need to get on with the “real work.” The leadership team recognized a brewing problem between their founders and had the courage to call them out. Several clients have had these kind of intergenerational communication issues this month (sometimes I think they get together and create a monthly theme for me!). The system of tools we call EOS® gave them the way to navigate touchy conversations in an open, honest, business-focused way. This was especially helpful where the leadership team includes family members!

Posted in: Multi Generation Workforce, Partner Communication

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Goodwin Growth on Buckhead Business Radio


Lynda Martin, Business Consultant and Coach with Goodwin Growth works, was featured on Buckhead Business Radio talking about the Entrepreneurial Operating System™.  Listen in below!

Connect with Lynda on LinkedIn

Click here to get the free Organizational Checkup offered in the show!



Posted in: Business Coaching, Company News, Media

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It’s Simple: Don’t Limit Your Options

Sharing coffee and shop-talk with commercial realtor Brooks Morris, we were digging into the challenges of helping businesses that don’t have good planning skills, or think they don’t have the time and bandwidth to make a plan.

Brooks was telling me it works so much better for him to build relationships 2-3 years out so that people have time to absorb and weigh options. He’s known plenty of business leaders who have 3 people set up at desks in the conference room, then call 6 months before their lease is up. The result? Their move becomes an all-absorbing, momentum-draining scramble.

Brook Morris quoteEver had that experience?  It can happen in so many components of our business – cash flow, staffing, projects… When we allow the tyranny of every day’s demands to prevent planning time we don’t save time – we just think we do. Build a regular habit of meeting with your leadership team to get up above the tangle of demands coming at you.

At EOS we use the Meeting Pulse™ as a simple, practical tool to get out of the scramble. Then we see peace of mind invade the company’s leaders! Try it – you’ll love it!

Posted in: Business Coaching, Planning

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Business Issues

The final Key Component™ is where all the work of strengthening the other components really bears good fruit for the firm and everyone in it. Here’s where the team gets healthy.

Business - Elephant in the roomIssues include anything that is an obstacle, a worry, an idea, or an opportunity. Issues wake us up at 2 in the morning, they lie buried (and sometimes ticking) in the bottom of our inboxes, they sit like elephants between us and our partners.

When the other Key Components are strong, issues can’t be ignored. They get smoked out. The great news is that, in an environment where the vision is clear, the right people are in the right seats and the right numbers are known, the issues also become clear and much more solvable. That’s because it’s easier to identify them without it getting personal. It’s easier to see what the real problem is.

The solution may be hard, but it won’t be a mystery! Using a tool called IDS™, which stands for Identify-Discuss-Solve™, I’ve seen teams resolve problems that they’ve been discussing ad-infinitum (some would say ad-nauseum) for years. If you want to know how you can experience this kind of clarity in resolving lingering issues in your organization, contact us to schedule a complimentary Strategy Session!


Image Copyright: tiero / 123RF Stock Photo

Posted in: Business Coaching

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Business Process Mapping

Business Process MappingIt’s easy for most of us who run our own businesses to make “Processes” the red-headed step-child of our time and effort. We know how we do what we do, and it hardly seems productive to take time to write it down. After all, it’s just common sense anyway.

When I got John and his team to slow down long enough to identify the main processes of their business (there were 7), and document the 5 basic steps for each one, he was stunned to learn that he had no idea how some things were being done in the company he’d built!

And the whole team found places where the people who worked for them were tripping over each other, duplicating effort, or actually working in opposite directions.

Now?  A quiet efficiency has replaced arguments over who sent what to which client when. Clients are referring their friends. Peace reigns in the land!


To learn more about how business process mapping can help your business become more efficient, Contact Us to schedule a complimentary strategy session!


Posted in: Business Coaching, Planning

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