Archive for Business Coaching

Are You Making This Mistake With Your Employees?

spa marketingFor visionary leaders, fierce determination and strong feelings about how things should be run often lead to hidden conflict with your employees. They are watching you and working to please you, often by keeping the lowest profile possible, or by dropping everything to fix the “one thing” you were on them about yesterday.

Do these stories sound familiar? Are your employees focused on you…or on what the customer needs?

For one client, the founder of a day spa, tension and arguments came to center on towels: getting them dried right (to be fluffy), folded neatly, distributed to the right places in stacks that were beautiful.

Yes, beauty in a stack of towels.

Sound obsessive? If you’re running a high-end spa in exclusive Buckhead in Atlanta, that is just the beginning of the obsessions. She was frustrated both by having to redo the towels herself and by high staff turnover.

For a well-known architect, it meant that staff signaled each other about the expression on his face when he walked in the door.

Were their designs going to be torn apart today? Or was he going to be super-sweet?

For the owner of an earth-moving company, it meant that employees were texting each other when his car was spotted coming into a job site. If only they would focus that much attention on keeping up their vehicles and safety!

The challenge for high-energy people here is two-fold:

  • Understand how the high energy you carry radiates out to everyone around you and use it purposefully in every interaction.
  • Build a culture that transmits the joy and value of your obsessions.

Many business owners we have worked with had little idea of their outsized impact on the people around them. “They stop talking when I come around. I don’t get what’s really on their minds. They just scramble to do what I say (on a good day) or say they get it and they’ll do it, then don’t”.

But unless you want to micromanage every stack of towels, or every design, or every pile of dirt, you’ve got to have a culture where it’s as if the air itself transmits your values.

“I just want things right! That’s how I built this business.”

“It’s so simple – why is it so hard for [employees] to get it.”

“How could they not see that (messy towel stack, unbalanced design, cost of poor maintenance) when it’s right in front of their face?”…

and finally, “But I’ve told them and told them! We have checklists!”.

One of my mentors used to say…”Your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

For the architect, the solution was to take a few minutes before getting out of his car and just breathe. Checking in with how he was feeling helped him focus the strong feelings he had about the blah designs he had seen yesterday. Over time he stopped exploding in an angry lecture at the project’s team. He focused his fierceness to pass on what it takes to dig in and question a design from the perspective of the customers’ customers and to help new designers push aside ego to make the building both practical and elegant – the firm’s trademark.

To build a living, breathing culture that embodies your values takes at least a couple of years, followed by forever maintenance and infusions of enthusiasm where your actions and those of every leader in your company show you stick to those values. There are also four structural needs:

  • Discover and articulate your real and dynamic core values
  • Build those core values into every hire, reward, and yes, every employee separation
  • Breathe life into them on a regular quarterly pulse
  • Support and sustain them with documented processes – and sometimes even checklists!

If you are working for or with a visionary who drives you crazy, help them implement some sort of system to clarify for everyone around them what, exactly, they are trying to bring into being. What talents and skills do you have to evaluate the feasibility of an idea? To move it forward?

It takes patience on both sides; patience that leads to amazing visions becoming a reality in the world of business.

If these steps seem vague, or overwhelming, you will not be surprised that I recommend implementing a great system by hiring an EOS Implementer. Let’s set up 20 minutes on the phone to see if we can help you. Contact us here


Posted in: Business Coaching

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Heart and Soul Part IV: Practice Oxygen Mask Leadership!

“My favorite flight instructions are those concerning the need for an oxygen mask. Passengers are told ‘If you are flying with a small child or with someone who made need assistance, put your oxygen mask on first, then assist them with theirs.”

shutterstock_172220423-smallThe first time I heard this, I wondered if I would be able to do it – you know, put my mask on first, and THEN help my child with hers.

What kind of mother do you think I am?!

Then I realized that if I did not get the oxygen I needed, neither of us would and we’d end up passed out in the seat, helpless.

That happens in the day to day. We sometimes get lost in the demands, the requests, trying to do our best and keep everyone happy.

And before you know it, we feel like we need some oxygen! With needs always calling our names, it’s very easy to get caught up in the rapids of the river of responsibility.”  Robin Lewis

When was the last time you took a Clarity Break™???

(Don’t know what a “Clarity Break™” is? Click on the link above to find out!)


Continue reading…

Heart and Soul Part I: The Real Engine of Business

Heart and Soul Part II: Ineffective Sacrifice

Heart and Soul Part III: Case Study – Return to Joy

Posted in: Business Coaching

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Jump the Leadership Chasm

shutterstock_155633888Greg had a big people problem – well, person problem. He had built his engineering firm from 3 people to 35 with the help of a good friend’s son. Justin was hired to sell and market – and boy did he! A typical millennial, he was excited to work events where he found customers and great connections. Greg was the closer. Back at the office Justin pivoted to automate the delivery of customer-ready documents. When a different kind of project came through the door, he found an app to manage work flow so his engineers could stay focused on design and specs, then, back out the door again to beat the bushes for more business. Greg and Justin were twin whirlwinds in almost perfect sync.

Then the business grew. Great, right?

If you’ve been there, you know what happened next. Greg needed Justin to focus on what he was hired for – a marketing plan, a sales plan. Justin agreed, but thought Greg’s approach was a little old-fashioned. They hired other people to manage operations and projects. Justin continued to attend events and be great at networking. No plan surfaced. Greg’s frustration met Justin’s “different ideas” about how to plan, but it was hard for them to tell exactly where the breakdown was. The friendship began to deteriorate. Employees got conflicting direction.

Enter the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS). As the leadership team used the Accountability Chart™ to clarify roles they would need to grow to the next level, Justin realized he didn’t want to let go of operations… or sales… or being Greg’s go-to for everything.

Greg:  “We had a conversation that had been brewing for a year. It cleared the air. The next step was painful for all of us.”

Justin:  “Lynda helped us gain the clarity we needed to go our separate ways. I’m grateful that it came to light in a way that kept our relationship whole.”

And now? Someone who loves to market and manage sales has taken over that seat. The team feels more productive and the company is 2 months ahead of its sales targets. Justin continued in a non-leadership role, finishing a couple of projects he was working on while the whole team activated their networks to help him find another company in more of a start-up mode. Justin is thinking that he can make a good living helping companies during those critical first five years – “not everyone thrives with that kind of crazy, but I do!”, he says.

Use the discipline of an accountability chart to define the seats you need for you to get what you want out of your firm in the next year. To learn how, call or write me. I’ll give you 90 minutes of my time so you can see how EOS can help you get the right people in the right seats to attain your vision!

Contact me


Posted in: Business Coaching, Leadership, Millenials, Multi Generation Workforce, Planning

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Take Care of Your Money

Take care of your money – isn’t that more motivating than “financial management”?

business money managementYou’re busy. There’s a client issue to solve. You’ve got to follow-up with that potential client you met yesterday. Your employees, even your leaders, are clamoring for attention. There’s money in the bank. Your accountant is good. Income statements and spread sheets are time consuming and require focused attention – maybe tomorrow evening you’ll have some time, or maybe next week.

I know.

It doesn’t always feel productive to work on the financial minutae.

And it’s complicated.

Here’s my advice:  If you haven’t done so already, figure out:

  • Where is my profit is coming from? (by client, by product, by service type)
  • How do my cash flow and that bottom line on my income statement relate?
  • How do my budget and cash flow projections for the year compare to reality each month?

Do those 3 things.  Get as simple as you can!

It’s not easy, and can take a year or two to really get in shape. Be patient.

Keep asking yourself, your team, your accountant, how you can most simply answer those two questions. Get it on your scorecard.

Over time, you’ll gain perspective on one of the two most important things your business stands on (the other one is people).

I know, from my own businesses and from helping my clients through this process, that when you can answer these 3 questions– annually, quarterly, monthly, even weekly:

  • You will build your “ability to predict” muscle as a business
  • Profitability will increase
  • Your team can make spending decisions wisely
  • Peace of mind will free leadership mind
  • A sense of control will return

That’s a lot of return on your investment of attention, time and energy. And the best thing is that once you’ve got the system in place, your money worries become much less of a distraction.



Posted in: Business Coaching, Planning

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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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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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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!


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