Taking you from what is to what is possible. That has been our core purpose since Center for Executive Excellence was founded on this day in 2013.
Since launching our firm five years ago, we have served more than 300 clients, built a social media following of over 20,400, posted 155 blogs, and published 30 articles in Forbes and Huffington Post. If you’ve been part of our journey over the years, thank you. We have been honored to provide you with information and insights along the way to help you grow yourself and your team.
While our firm’s numbers are impressive, it’s the numbers that I have logged in the role as CEO of Center for Executive Excellence that I want to share. As I reflect over the past five years, here are some nuggets that I have collected in my role:
1. Partner with an accelerator. You can hang your shingle out and go completely solo, or partner with someone who’s built a reputation as a trusted consultant in your industry. I chose the latter. I have been honored to know our Co-Founder, Dr. Tony Baron, for over ten years. With a double doctorate in psychology and theology and decades of executive coaching experience with Fortune 100 companies, Tony has been my mentor, trusted advisor, door opener, accountability partner and friend. The first two clients we signed were a direct result of Tony’s stellar reputation in the field. Liftoff.
2. Upgrade your operating system. If I teach what I knew about leadership and culture from 2013, I would be working from an outdated playbook. I do two things to upgrade my professional operating system every day. The first thing I do is read. Before I open my Inbox, I scan Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Atlantic, and The Economist for trends, research, case studies, and theories about leadership, culture, and organizational purpose. I share an article that I find most interesting with my online community. The second thing I do is work closely with our Director of Marketing, Danielle Aguas — nearly 25 years my junior — to learn about trends, technologies, and perspectives from her generation. Working by her side helps me upgrade my operating system in real time as she discretely mentions things like, “Indeed is the preferred job search site over Monster.” Check. Thanks for the update.
3. Know what you don’t know (and find someone who does). In one of my favorite TED Talks of all time, ”If you want to help someone, shut up and listen”, Ernesto Sirolli suggested that he has never met an entrepreneur in the world who could “make it, sell it, and look after the money.” In Year 3, we realized that we knew how to “make it” and how to “look after the money”, but we didn’t know how to “sell it” at a scalable level. We brought in a consultant, Pat Valentino, who believed in what we were doing and who could help us define and capture a target market. Thanks to Pat’s expertise, we built a process to attract and retain clients that have resulted in exponential growth. Even coaches need coaches.
4. Take your own medicine. One of our core beliefs as a leadership consultancy and culture alignment firm is that we don’t ask our clients to go through something that we have not gone through ourselves. We recommend that our clients get clear about their organizational purpose because we know that purpose is a performance multiplier. We are inspired every day because of ours: Taking you from what is to what is possible. When our clients ask if we can help with strategic planning, we say, “yes and no.” We can help with strategic planning only if we can help with strategy execution. We use a balanced scorecard every year to determine our organizational goals, then align employee goals and track them quarterly to ensure that we know how what we do each day impacts our strategic goals. These are just two examples that help us directly relate to what we ask our clients to go through in their own leadership and culture alignment process. We’ve been there. We do that.
5. Celebrate your wins. Part of the work we do with clients includes StrengthsFinder training and coaching. Gallup’s strengths-based science is based on 5 decades of research and development. They’ve studied more than 1 million work teams, conducted tens of thousands of individual interviews, and coached more than 12 million people to discover their strengths and leverage what they do best. One of my top five strengths is Achiever. People with Achiever in their top five feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day, we must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about ourselves. And by “every day” we mean every single day — workdays, weekends, vacations. While being an Achiever has certainly helped me lead the growth of our firm, it can be overapplied to the point of burnout for myself and my team. “Celebrate our victories” is actually written into our balance scorecard to remind us to stop, reflect, and appreciate our accomplishments as a team.
We can look ahead tomorrow. Today, we celebrate.
Question: What have you learned in the last five years that has helped you grow as a leader?
TODAY ONLY – To celebrate 5 years, we’re extending a promotional Re:Imagine Leadership Summit rate of $500! (that’s $185 off the regular rate). To register, click here or on the image below. Learn more about this one-day leadership event of the year.
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