Find Your Calling and Your Purpose (1)

Man waiting for a call.  Image shows a man waiting for his calling or purpose to call him on the phone.
Calling and Purpose

God, please tell me what to do!

God speaks to a lot of people in the Bible.  Even some people today, you can talk to them and they are sure that God has called them down a path.  He does not speak to me in any sort of obvious way, and waiting by the phone for him to call and tell me what my purpose is, doesn’t seem to work.  My wife and I were talking today about how communications isn’t just about email, and while God hasn’t adopted that either, he has left us plenty of instruction. He has left us his word, and he has created us uniquely to have a purpose.

Over the past couple of years, I have worked through a transition in my life, from a Defense Contractor to an Executive Coach and Management Consultant.  I made this transition partly of my own volition, but also to pursue an opportunity to minister to people in the marketplace. 

As a defense contractor, I was doing work I was passionate about, was interested in, and that I thought useful and cutting edge for the Navy.  Other people had other priorities, and I was out of contract dollars to keep my technology growing.  What I realized quickly is that I am not a software developer.  That is not my experience nor my gift.  I have written some R and python scripts, but I am not efficient or effective. It is a daunting thing to be dependent on others to bring your vision to life, without having money to pay them to do it.  Rather than go after investors, I chose the consulting route and pursued the opportunity to be a Chapter President for @Truth at Work in San Diego.  My goal was to use my leadership and management education, training, and experience to create a successful consulting practice to serve others.  Along the way, I could also support business leaders who are lonely, isolated, and overwhelmed, by getting them into community with other believers.  Then COVID came and put a halt to everything.  So I began to ask myself, is this just my great idea, or am I really pursuing my calling?

In the Executive Coaching world, continuous education is a real thing.  If you plan to help others to continue to get better, then you need to continue to better yourself.  So I went back to school, got a certificate from the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine.  Then I started getting into other groups and started reading and rereading a lot of books (including the Bible!).  Another thing that I did, was to become a client of the process, and hired my own coach, who has also helped me to prioritize what is important, to listen to subtle and not so subtle clues, and to try to figure out what God is really calling me to do. 

I believe it was Larry Buxton who explained to me that the word Enthusiam is actually derived from words meaning “God within”.  I found this tidbit at the Merriam Webster Dictionary:

What is the history of enthusiasm?

… Enthusiasm entered the English language around the beginning of the 17th century. It was borrowed from the Greek enthousiasmos, meaning “inspiration or possession by a god.” For the first two hundred or so years that it was used in English, enthusiasm was primarily employed to refer to beliefs or passions that related to religion…

So what if God is the source of our enthusiasms? If so, then things that we are enthusiastic about, are things that deserve attention.   What things are you enthusiastic about?  What things bring you joy?  What do you get lost doing?  At this point it doesn’t really matter if it makes you money, unless money making or spending money is your calling. Usually the money comes as a byproduct of pursuing your calling or passion, but that’s not to say that you may also need to make money to be able to pursue your passion. At any rate, list down those things which you are passionate about.

If you are feeling stuck or wanting to talk about a transition in your life, please schedule a time to talk and see if we can help you to Activate Your Passion! You just may find it helps to Optimize Your Performance!

Columbus Day: The Perfect Day Off

columbus day

What Columbus Day Means to Me

The original meaning behind Columbus Day was to celebrate the European discovery of the Americas. Like many things, this has become divisive and offensive to certain people, especially Native Americans, whose lives and communities that have been impacted ever since. Today, I think other than the federal government, there are not many people celebrating Columbus Day, but as a defense contractor, it was one of my favorite holidays. How often do you get a day off for just you? A day where you don’t have to do or be anything except the things you want to do? Do you ever feel like you would love to go where you want to eat or do what you want to do for fun? 

My Perfect Day

Honestly, I prefer to be with my wife and family. But for one day a year, it has been awesome to be able to drop my kids at school and then get on with a day that I enjoy. Sidecar donuts for breakfast, on to the beach, as typically the weather and water are mild to warm, and often the waves are decent. After the beach, the next thing on my list is a great taco shop for a carne asada burrito and maybe some ice cream at Handel’s. At some point, it is back to real life, grabbing the kids from school, getting dinner ready, and back to family life. Typically that day is very refreshing as it is all about me and what I like to do. I do like other holidays, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day for remembering important people, and Labor Day for picnics and barbeques with family and friends. But Columbus Day tends to be about me, and if it’s the only day a year, it’s great to make the most of it. 

Schedule Your Own “Me Days”  

I think it’s so important to schedule days like today because everyone deserves time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s good to make sure you have some time to pursue your passions and get away from the day-to-day. On the seventh day, even God rested. So take the time to do some things that you like to do. Start with one work day a year. If you could plan your one perfect day, what would you do? 

Tackship Consulting Is Here To Help

Activate your passion, and optimize your performance with Tackship Consulting. If you’re ready to make a change, please set up a time to meet with me here.

Remembering The Heroes Of 9/11

September 11th

Remembering The Heroes Of 9/11

We are coming up on the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This moment was a defining time in American history where sadly 2,996 individuals lost their lives that day. 

Even though September 11th, 2001 was a day of fear and terror, there were heroic men and women that worked hard to serve and rescue as many people as they could that day. One of the men was known as “The Man in the Red Bandana,” and his name was Welles Crowther. Welles worked in the Twin Towers as an American Equities Trader, but he was also a volunteer firefighter. 

When the plane struck the building, Welles was working above the impact area on his tower. He was able to find the only stairwell that was not blocked due to the damage and fire of the impact. Welles jumped into action allowing his training as a firefighter to take over and he demonstrated the characteristics of teamwork, courage, perseverance, love, leadership, and zest. Welles repeatedly went back into the building to save as many people as he could. 

Sadly,  as he was leading firefighters back to the building, in search of more people to assist, the tower and he died. What he did on 9/11 and what he died doing was incredibly heroic. He had made it out safely, he didn’t have to go back inside, but he chose to make a sacrifice to try and give other individuals a chance to live as well.

Welles was personally responsible for assisting around two-thirds of those survivors who were stranded above the impact zone. He helped a total of three separate groups of people to exit the building, and after his passing, they went to his apartment and found an application to the New York Fire Department. Welles wanted to get out of equity trading and get back to helping the community. When his story got out, the city made him an honorary firefighter, and Welles was honored as one of the 343 firefighters that died on 9/11 at the World Trade Center.

One of the other character traits that described Welles is prudence. Dr. Ross Porter created a video about Welles Crowther and how he demonstrated the character trait of prudence. 

Porter describes prudence as “putting first things first.”, I think of it as doing what needs to be done, before doing what I want to get done while making sure it aligns with my goals and purpose,  and that’s what Welles demonstrated that day. 

Leaving A Lasting Legacy

While we never know when our time will come to an end, we can live each day to the fullest, demonstrate the characteristics we want to be remembered for and work on the important things. We can all take the lesson of living with prudence and focusing on things that need to be done, before doing what we want to do. 

Activate your Passion, and Optimize your Performance with Tackship Consulting

As an executive coach, I can help you incorporate the character trait of prudence into your life and your company while helping you achieve your goals. To learn more, fill out our contact form today! 

The Data Component of Traction

Data Component of Traction

Data Component of Traction

Data is a great and comforting thing for me. I like to see numbers, so I know where I stand. Am I improving? Has my performance declined? Statistics about performance abound, in sports, business, and even our personal lives. Fantasy sports is all about tracking the performance of individual players or teams, and we create competitions based on this data.

The stock market is all about different metrics on the performance of companies, which we invest or divest of so that we can increase our personal value.

Personally, my 100-yard freestyle swimming time is something that I’d like to see go down over the years that I have been swimming.   

Measuring something can help to maintain focus on that thing. Numbers are a fascinating way to track our lives, personally and professionally. I think about the number of people who track their performance in running, swimming, weight lifting, cycling, weight loss, and calories. If we focus on numbers, we can figure out what we need to do to move the number in the direction we desire. For example, Weight Watchers has historically been a way for people to lose weight by focusing on calories or points and tracking those numbers daily to create change in weight for people.  

Similarly, in business, focusing on our data can allow us to see the performance of our company and see if we are moving towards our goals (10-year target, 3-year picture, 1-year plan, Quarterly Rocks). As we set our goals in the Vision component of Traction, we want them to be SMART, and if you recall the “M” in SMART, it stands for measurable. When we measure and keep track of the data, it will allow us to see how close or how far away we are to the desired outcome. 

Providing people with measurables and targets can help them focus on something important. There needs to be a balance to set the right measure for people to track their performance while integrating it into the rest of the organization. If your sales team is bringing in more work than your operations team can service, you may want to adjust your sales team number to larger clients rather than the number of clients.  

EOS Measurable Advantages:

  1. Numbers cut through the murky subjective communication between manager and direct reports
  2. Numbers create accountability
  3. Accountable people appreciate numbers
  4. Numbers generate clarity and commitment
  5. Numbers create competition 
  6. Numbers produce results
  7. Numbers create teamwork
  8. Numbers help solve problems faster

Create a scorecard

Creating a scorecard is a great way to track data. The Traction scorecard looks like this:

Who – is the person accountable for the measurable.

What is the Measurable? Anything that you can easily track: revenue, cash flow, new leads, and customer satisfaction. 

What is the goal for the metric?  The goal of the Company Scorecard is to go over it at the weekly meeting. Then track the number each week of the quarter to monitor progress.

As with most Traction approaches, there should be a limited number of measurables, 5-15, and less is more since you want to focus on what is essential and not just measure things for measurement’s sake. Allowing for objective, data-driven analysis of performance, helping people to stay focused on tasks that help improve the numbers.

Keep focusing on the measurables for at least the quarter, and if something needs to change, then it needs to wait until the next quarter. Eventually, you will dial in the right measurables so that your employees, divisions, departments, and company are all tracking the right things that help to achieve your rocks, plan, picture, and target – this is Traction. 

Get Professional Help

Our professional team can help you create measurable goals that everyone can easily follow. 

Activate your passion, and optimize your performance with Tackship Consulting today. To learn more, schedule your free consultation.

The Process Component of Traction

The Process Component of Traction

Your Values & “Why”

There is a lot of value to “why” your company does something. The why can help your customers resonate with your product or service or potentially even your ability to attract and retain talent. 

A process is the “how” you interact and serve your customers. In the Traction book, it’s referred to as the “way” you conduct business. It is an essential aspect of the definition of your company. If your team can articulate it, it gives you an air of professionalism, giving confidence to your customers that you know what you are doing.

The process is often associated with large corporations and can also be associated with bureaucracy or rigidity that does not allow for creativity. However, everything we do in life follows processes.

Processes are a part of life

What we do when we wake up in the morning, to our arrival at work, is all a process that we do every day. Similarly, how you serve your customers can be easily articulated. When you document your process, you can better understand customer touchpoints and who is interacting with the customers– allowing you to better train employees.

Likely, you have sales/marketing and operations departments, where the product gets generated, or the customer gets served, and a finance/admin team where functions like hiring and payroll get done.  

One TackShip customer has an overarching process of Design, Build, Maintain – three basic steps that when combined with their “why” and their “what,” sets them apart from their competition.  

Another TackShip customer provides real estate services. Documenting how they can serve their customers in the discovery process and secure the space for their customers, allows them to provide the needed insight for customers who may not understand the process. The brand is their process, and you could even go so far as to trademark your own process.

Keeping the process simple

In previous blog posts, we’ve talked about the process of creating an Accountability Chart. You may have already started by identifying core functions and who is accountable for their performance. Eventually, you want to be able to identify the steps of each of these functions so that they are repeatable and do not rely on a single “hero” to complete.  

If you find that your process is lacking, you may want to create a new aspirational process, which is how you would like your customers served better. In this case, determining where you are and where you want to go can help create a roadmap for investment in tools, process development, or people who can take your system to the next level. In documenting processes, as with all things in the EOS world, the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle applies.

Similarly, to the process, the easier it is to understand, and the easier it is for employees and customers to learn. In Traction, this can be done by documenting the 20% of the process that gets 80% of the results. Write down the steps of your process with some bullet points of specific procedures. 

Here are some examples of core processes in an organization:

1. HR 

2. Sales 

3. Marketing 

4. Operations

5. Accounting

6. Customer Retention

By focusing on the individual core processes for each department, you can help to ensure the intended success of the organization as a whole.

Get Professional Help

Figuring out the process for your company and documenting it can be daunting. Tackship Consulting is a professional executive coaching firm that can help. We specialize in helping organizations like yours navigate the pain points to take their business to the next level.

Activate your passion, and optimize your performance with Tackship Consulting today. To learn more, schedule your free consultation.

What Is A High Performing Culture

High Performing Culture

Creating a Culture That Lasts

“Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast” – <attribution>

Culture is a critical part of your company.  If you don’t get the culture right and ensure that it continues to develop in meaningful ways, toxicity, dissatisfaction, and retention can become real issues.  

When the focus turns towards creating a high-performing culture, it gives everyone a better understanding of what is needed and expected to keep the company healthy and performing at a high level.

Seven key aspects for a High Performing Culture

During my time at the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine, the following seven aspects were identified as critical in helping employees work as effectively as possible while also creating value and optimizing the company’s performance.

Trust Trust is an ability to personally connect beyond a task at hand and work together as a team. 

There are two types of trust, predictive trust, and vulnerability-based trust. First, let’s look at predictive trust. When it comes to this type of trust, there’s this idea that if I ask you to complete a task, you will do it. 

With vulnerability-based trust, people accept their coworkers, even though they might make mistakes and aren’t perfect.  Patrick Lencioni calls this “bare naked trust”. Basically that you are able to accept and be accepted by your coworkers, both for strengths and weaknesses.

Autonomy Autonomy is the ability to use talents and implement new ideas that help the company. 

Letting people have the ability to try and learn, fail and grow helps them become more capable and take on more responsibilities. And as we mentioned in our last blog post, make sure that the visions and values of the company are clear so that it gives a guide for future decision making. The opposite of autonomy, is micro-managing, which no one likes.  

Ownership Ownership is about taking on responsibility while performing roles with ease.

Employees should be able to take ownership of their place within the organization and have the ability to make decisions on how they want to get tasks done. This directly correlates with autonomy because as long as the standards are set up front, let employees do their job and see if they can achieve or exceed the expectations set for them. 

Truthfulness– Truthfulness is not being afraid to speak and receive the truth.

Similar to ownership and autonomy, if you’re able to trust your employees to have a clear understanding of the vision and values, then they should also have the ability to speak the truth based on how they perceive it.

By having the space to bring up what is bothering them or ways things could improve within the organization, helps the team continue to grow, understand, and feel ready to take on more responsibilities.  It also can provide a sense of ownership within the organization

Facing and resolving negative realities– It’s normal to make mistakes in life, don’t be afraid of talking about them. 

No one is perfect, and regardless of how hard someone works, things won’t always go according to plan. Often, mistakes are made by employees.  These mistakes can be from a number of reasons, lack of training, misguided enthusiasm, and rarely they might even be malicious.  Understanding and allowing imperfect people room to learn allows for growth and trust within the corporate culture. That said, there is a difference between a misdemeanor mistake and a felony mistake.

A misdemeanor is when someone makes a small mistake but with the right intentions, or possibly needs more training. A felony is when someone makes a big mistake, from a position of malice or neglect which may have significant or grave consequences for the company.  

It is up to leadership to determine the difference, and figure out how the potential of their people. Don’t spend time trying to fix something that won’t change. 

Development– Development is the opportunity to focus on bettering your current skills or even taking the time to learn some new ones.

In life, the only constant thing is change. This means you need to understand how to help support your team, both technically and relationally. It doesn’t matter if the support comes through coaching, conferences, or training. What matters is providing opportunities for your employees to continue to be successful and knowing how to assist them along the way. 

Mission orientation– Mission Orientation is knowing the bigger picture while ensuring that everything aligns with the mission and vision. When you understand the mission and values of the organization, you feel a part of the team, you can relate with your coworkers, which means the culture can continue to grow.

The importance of a High Performing Culture

Culture is essential to the success of any company. It doesn’t matter how skilled your employees are or how long you’ve been in business. When the culture is toxic, nothing will go according to plan.

Values need to be lived, not just aspirational. As a leader, you have opportunities to celebrate values and ensure that those who are behaving in ways that exemplify them are recognized.  You cannot over-communicate your values.     The success of any business comes from everyone working as a team. If there’s a toxic environment, the organization can’t function properly. If you have a toxic culture, your company won’t function well. But once you deal with the toxic culture and provide a place where employees can grow and develop, you’ll start to reap the benefits.

Get Professional Help

Knowing where to start and how to create a high-performing culture can feel intimidating, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Tackship Consulting can help you understand the areas you’re doing well in and where you can improve while creating a culture that supports the growth and development of your employees.

Activate your passion, and optimize your performance with Tackship Consulting today. To learn more, schedule your free consultation.

Core Values And Finding The Right Employees

Core Values And Finding The Right Employees

Who’s the right fit for your organization? 

A tenet of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is making sure that you have the right people in the right seat within your organization that follow your core values.

While ideally, one would identify the critical functions of the company, often companies grow with limited human resources and many people are filling many hats trying to keep the cash moving and flowing, as the company grows. Eventually, understanding the core functions of your team, and assigning accountability for these functions will allow for better use of people, within your organization.  

What are your core values?

Your company’s core values really are your company’s “lived values.” That is, the values on the wall that one or two people came up with, may not be the same values that are lived out every day within the company.  A couple of ways to identify your true core values include identifying the core capabilities of highly respected people in the organization, as well as aspirational values that your want all of your employees to strive for.  Either way, the ability to recognize and celebrate your values within your organization will ensure that they are lived.

In an interview with the CEO of Titus Talent Strategies, Jonathan Reynolds shared the importance of lived values and how his company is committed to creating a culture that truly sets them apart from the competition and allows them to continue to evolve alongside their partners.

From our conversation, I learned that creating core values is essential, but you need to make sure that they’re being lived out through the actions of everyone in the organization. 

Ask yourself this question: are my values “lived” or are they just words on a wall? Then think about this: if you asked an employee what your company’s core values are would they be able to tell you? If they can’t, then you don’t have lived values. 

Keep in mind that values should be specific to your organization and clearly defined, communicated to be truly lived by everyone within the company. If they aren’t, this could lead to you not filling your organization with the right people.

People Analyzer

One of the ways you can ensure that employees are living out your values as a company is by using the people analyzer tool from EOS.

This tool allows leaders to evaluate employees against their core values, something many companies don’t do but is essential for creating a successful culture built on these values.

An example of utilizing this method could be by putting your company-specific values, and the names of each employee, into a people analyzer sheet, then rating each person with a +, -, or +/-.

The ultimate goal is to find people who get a “+” in each section because if they have the same values, that gives you a better idea of whether they’d be a good fit for the organization.

Yes, this tool is useful when hiring people. But it can also determine where current employees need help living out your values.  Assessing how people live core values can be utilized in annual performance reviews to ensure that they are moving in the right direction.

Finding the right person

Just because someone shares the core values, does not mean that they can do any job in the company. Ensuring the strengths, personality, abilities of your employees match their tasking, is also critical to ensuring your people are in the right seats.  

If your people are not working in areas where they can thrive, their personal growth, as well as the success of the company, might be hindered. Taking the time to ensure a good fit with people and positions, roles and responsibilities ensure a place within your organization where they can shine and where they can fully use their skills because, in the long-term, it will benefit both of you. 

Conversely, qualified people who don’t measure up to your core values may look good on paper but will tend to create headaches, division, have other adverse effects on company culture.  “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” is often attributed to Peter Druker.  Interestingly your core values are also the core of your culture, and a strategically talented hire can go sideways pretty quickly if they do not mesh with your core values.

Accountability Chart

Another way to ensure that your company is functioning to its full ability is through the Accountability Chart. This idea focuses on keeping track of responsibilities throughout the organization because everyone has their span of influence that they’re accountable for working on; there won’t be multiple people in charge of the same task. For example, HR takes on hiring, firing, training, employee benefits and helps to resolve problems within the workspace.

When you utilize an Accountability Chart, you can keep track of the different roles and functions within the organization while keeping track of the performance of your employees.

If you don’t know where to start, that’s okay. We recommend beginning with the sales/marketing, administration, and financial department because these are often the core functions within any organization.

From there, clearly state the job functions for the positions within those different departments. By doing this, you’ll be able to figure out the roles and responsibilities for both your current and future employees.

The Accountability Chart also provides specific individuals who are accountable for these functions.  They may not be the people who handle every little aspect, but each person in the organization should have some sort of accountability for something that they do for the company.  This helps to establish ownership with the employee base.   

Get Professional Help

Trying to find the right fit for your company doesn’t have to feel impossible. Tackship Consulting can help you examine the difference between your written and lived values, how to incorporate them into your organization, find the right people while helping you activate your passion, and optimize your performance.

Schedule your free consultation today to learn more.