Unfortunately it’s really not a joke, in my 8 years as an Austin executive coach in many cases it’s true. Today owners have a serious concern, if we do train employees yet when they feel unwanted or unappreciated, they update their resumes and move on for double-digit increases. If owners don’t train, employees train themselves on our time and move on for double-digit increases.


Which is why company culture, core values, cohesive leadership teams, transferring ownership to the employee and holding yourself and your people accountable is so much more important today since employees are highly educated, on average have greater mental capacity, have a want to belong attitude plus their healthcare and 401K’s are now transferable.


CEO’s, presidents, owners and team leaders need to embrace a greater level of transparency, increase your communication to not only your direct reports also your rank and file employees. Monthly talk two your biggest customers, are you delivering your promise. Accountability starts and ends with a phrase “…can I count on you” ands it goes both ways!


Smart and educated employees want to be around smart and educated employees and most everyone wants to make a difference and make the world a better place, especially the millennials and gen Y employees.


My last thought is what I see in my members, be  your word, be consistent and be authentic.


Posted by: edstillman | June 25, 2014

Good Message – a one page plan to live your life…

Terrell Gates, CEO of Virtus Real Estate and a 8 year Vistage member shared the below thoughts yesterday to his advisory board members. An interesting and compelling read and one that makes a lot of sense considering how connected and challenged our work/life balance is today. Hopefully, you will find time to read and modify or develop your own one page life plan that will become a daily view as you live life. Thanks Terrell! Last night I had the pleasure of attending Austin Christian Business Summit.  I think a couple of you have attended these in the past, including the one last year with David Robinson as the keynote.  There were two speakers last night, one of which was Greg Brenneman.  Some of you may have heard of Greg, because he’s been the CEO or president of Burger King, Quiznos, PWC Consulting, Continental Airlines and is currently on the board of Home Depot among other companies.  He’s also the full-time chairman of CCMP Capital, a $16B PE fund manager.  This guy has apparently made a career of turning around failing companies.  One of his tools is having a simple one-page plan for doing so.  I know we’ve all been exposed to the virtues of one-page plans or even the abridged business plans we have for each of our properties.  Greg actually took it a step further and came up with a one-page plan to turnaround his life.  Although he had had material success and was generally a good guy, he had gotten to a place in his life where he felt unfulfilled and didn’t believe he was living a fulfilled life.  He simply took out one-page and created a document that would be his game plan for transforming his life.  He identified key areas of his life (family, business, personal, spiritual, philanthropy, etc.) that he wanted to evolve to have a transformational outcome on his overall life.  I like this idea, and so I thought I would share it with you.  He also cited a great quote from Dorothy Sayers:   The first, stated quite briefly, is that work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.   If you want the full context of the Sayer’s quote, go here: http://www.faith-at-work.net/Docs/WhyWork.pdf.   Have a great week, all.   Ed Stillman Austin Chair Vistage International ed.stillman@vistagechair.com edstillman.wordpress.com linkedIn.com/ed.stillman

Posted by: edstillman | May 9, 2014

5 Benefits of Writing a Business Book

Tanya recently shared this article with me and I wanted to forward it to those following me. A excellent and caring attempt in helping those 1st time book authors whether you have a business or personal story to share. Ed


Five Benefits of Writing A Business Book

How to Cut Through the Clutter and Connect with Clients

By Tanya Hall, CEO, Greenleaf Book Group

We’ve entered the information age, and with it comes information overload. Increasingly, people are inundated with sales calls, spam mail, and other marketing materials cluttering their mailboxes, email accounts, and televisions. People are tuning out. Direct mail ends up in the trash, emails are deleted upon receipt, and buying radio or television airtime is too expensive.

So how can an expert or business break through the clutter, spread an idea, and connect with potential clients? The answer: write a business book.

The benefits of writing any book are many, but here are five powerful benefits to writing a business book in particular.

Benefit One: A Business Book Identifies Your Specialty

True thought leaders are authorities on a specific topic—and the more specific and differentiated their area of expertise, the better. Those who claim to be experts on multiple topics aren’t experts at all; they’re dabblers. Establishing oneself as an expert takes experience, knowledge, and a track record of results. Writing a book on that expertise cements your reputation as a thought leader in your specific area.

When people seek you out, what specific topic do they most frequently ask you about? This is probably your specialty. Research online, visit a bookstore, or study an industry association and identify the leaders in your field. Create a table listing their strengths and weaknesses. Do you see an opening that you can fill?

Benefit Two: A Business Book Defines Your Value Proposition

Once you’ve narrowed down your specialty and differentiated yourself from your competition, it’s time to identify your key message and the value that you will bring to others. Using a nonprofit leadership example, a book could establish a value proposition of “developing socially-oriented leaders” or “teaching organizers how to motivate volunteers.” Make a list of key messages, bring in a few trusted advisors, and begin brainstorming, creating, and refining until your stated value proposition is accurate and succinct. Being specific and brief will help you quickly hone in on your target audience and will help them identify you as an authority on their topic of concern. This will ultimately help you attract the right potential readers and prospective clients.

Don’t rush this process. It may take some time to find the words that you feel you can build a brand around and live with for years to come.

Benefit Three: A Book Helps You Develop Your Message

You’ve identified your key message, and now it’s time to develop the content to carry your message forward. Quite often, this process helps experts to move beyond the surface elevator pitch of their positioning and to identify and refine the specific, actionable ways that they impact others. What tips, strategies, frameworks, and examples do you have that help communicate your message and provide value to your audience? Do you have access to important statistics, research, or fellow experts? Compile all of this information into talking points and organize them by subtopic, and then pull together supporting facts and actionable tools to help the reader apply your knowledge.

Benefit Four: A Business Book Can Help You Find Clients

If your book adequately conveys the promise and purpose of your core business work, it can be a great tool to establish credibility and help attract prequalified prospects that want the additional benefit of your speaking, consulting, or coaching services. Some authors are content to use digital publishing and an online-only distribution approach, but if you’re seeking wider distribution of physical copies in airport bookstores, etcetera, you’ll most likely need to partner with an established publisher or distributor.

A word of caution: Do your research! From self-publishing to traditional publishing and hybrid models in between, there are multiple ways to publish. The approach that is best for you will depend on your goals, timeline, genre, and resources. Just as in any other industry, quality can vary—so do your homework to avoid the less favorable publishing routes.

Benefit Five: A Business Book Gives You Something to Promote

The first rule of generating word of mouth buzz is to give people something to talk about. A book launch gives you the opportunity to launch a media campaign around your book’s release, a reason for you to connect with the media as an expert source, and physical tool to deliver to reporters, meeting planners who might be interested in you as a speaker, and your internal list of past and prospective clients.

As you secure media placements, be sure to share those articles, interviews, speaking engagements, etc. Keep a running list of your activities on your website, along with an updated press kit and speaking menu so people can easily identify you as an expert source for their topic.

Tanya Hall is the CEO of Greenleaf Book Group, an independent publisher and distributor with a specialty in developing bestselling business titles. She’s a Vistage member in CE3331 an 8 year advisory peer group in Austin Texas. Contact her at Tanya@greenleafbookgroup.com

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