Rhythm Blog | Liz McBride

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Leadership Lessons: 5 Ways My Teenagers Teach Me How to Face Adversity

Liz McBride Tue, Jun 12, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The best advice I was given before my boys reached their teenage years with wild emotional swings was "don't ride the roller coaster with them.” I smiled and nodded and thought to myself, “my sweet boys are going to be the exception.” I was wrong. Hormonal imbalances are the real deal, but...enough about me.

I’m living in the parallel universe of handling teenagers and being a strong leader in the face of adversity. Both can feel like a ride you can’t wait to get off of, may make you feel unnerved, and once you've recovered, will leave you with an intense craving for funnel cakes or your carb of choice. I’m finding whether I face the difficult person in an office or a messy, disgusting bedroom, there are key strategies that work in both situations:

7 Key Plays from Our CEO Playbook

Liz McBride Thu, Apr 5, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

One of the top 10 moments of my life was the Predictable Results book launch party at our Breakthrough Conference last October. To sweeten this moment, the MVP subject to one of my chapters was co-presenting a breakout session with me. I was incredibly proud to showcase Randy Carr, the CEO of World Emblem who is featured in chapter 11. Yes, that’s right - chapter 11. Such an unfortunate number for a chapter regarding a CEO. As Randy said, “Dude! Chapter 11? That’s bad juju! What are you doing to me?” Randy describes his chapter in his bi-weekly letters to his employees at World Emblem as: “The chapter after 10.”

All juju aside, Randy’s story was the perfect ending to the book because this playbook rings true to many CEOs in different points of their reign. CEOs may naturally revert to the skills and backgrounds that got them where they are today - and there may be more they need to do. Perhaps, like Randy, they inherited the company and don’t automatically feel the love and Core Purpose of the family business, perhaps the organization is hitting a growth plateau and what worked before just ain’t cutting it anymore, and, more commonly, CEOs feel they are being crystal clear on the expectations and are baffled when seeing the chaos and missed goals.

“World Emblem was doing fine, but revenue was stagnating. When leaders are overwhelmed with the fires of day-to-day work and the fear of making a misstep, focus on growth suffers. And so does the leader’s confidence. What most are missing is an operating system that offers a clear definition of the critical role they should play and a path to fulfilling it effectively.”

How the Best Companies Get Started with Rhythm [Customer Stories]

Liz McBride Thu, Mar 8, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

When rolling out a new process, it’s best to start with a core group of champions who will help integrate the system into existing processes and authentically evangelize it to the rest of the organization. At Rhythm Systems, we start with the CEO and the executive team and then help to cascade Rhythm through virtual or onsite training, help and tutorials, and certification. Our goal is to make cascading Rhythm down into the organization scalable yet seamless.

I’m not a fan of “no pain, no gain,” especially as it relates to introducing a new program. We should make the change pain-free with ample support systems. Hey, maybe it could even be fun! Whether it’s safe or fun, getting started with Rhythm can revisit and inspire the culture you want to create. It’s a good thing my like-minded clients feel the same way and have wowed us with some creative ways to get their teams started with Rhythm. Here’s How:

5 COO Insights to Manage the Human Factor after an Acquisition

Liz McBride Tue, Feb 27, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

In my last blog, I shared Steve Hoffa from Alpha Guardian’s tips in 5 COO Insights to Keep Your Acquisitions Alive, which described a transition from two companies - Cannon and Stack-On  - as they evolved into one company with multiple brands: Alpha Guardian. During the interview process, a common theme emerged that deserves its own spotlight as it is the least predictive yet greatest weapon to bringing M&A to its glory or to its knees: the human factor.

When Cannon Safe started on this journey, they would attend M&A conferences with their proud plan in their fists. “What we learned from others who went before us was that they were really harping on the HR side of things - the people,” Steve explains. The executive team didn’t think it would be their story, however, Steve concurred that during the M&A:

“We learned the human aspect was the biggest concern and yielded the greatest focus. We had our comp plans in place but, that didn’t factor in the drama and emotions. The people component is everything! Especially when you’re keeping them.”

If I were a betting woman (only when Powerball is $500 million - I have standards), I would have wagered the people side of the M&A would have been then Cannon Safe’s greatest triumph. I learned that even companies with the strongest culture feel the impact as Steve explains:

“The M&A bent our tree.”

5 COO Insights to Keep Your Acquisition Alive

Liz McBride Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

It’s no wonder that  70-90% of mergers and acquisitions fail when you consider the complexities of the deal coupled with the sheer change management needed to quell the human factor. In a recent HBR article, How to Keep Your Team Focused and Productive During Uncertain Times, Amy Gallo shares “...employees who are concerned about their future are likely to be distracted and unproductive.”

There’s no room for distracted and unproductive employees if you’re trying to come out of the other end of an acquisition and hit a 30% growth goal. As you may have been able to gather from my previous blogs on Cannon Safe, I’ve never known them to back down from any challenge.

How to Use a Think Rhythm: A Proven Process for Business Breakthroughs

Liz McBride Tue, Jan 23, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Creating a regular habit to think, or a Think Rhythm, can be a powerful way to:

The purpose of a Think Rhythm is to...wait for it….think. It’s not a time to ready, aim, fire at approaches; rather, it’s a time to slow down before you speed up on execution. It helps you to work smarter instead of harder on achieving breakthroughs for your business.

Take Your Core Values Outside

Liz McBride Sun, Aug 13, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

First thing’s first. I should get personal travel and/or injury insurance the next time I visit the Cannon team.

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with this work hard, play hard team for the past few years and, it’s safe to say, we push each other to the edge, way out of our comfort zone, while living to tell the tale.

The Cannon Safe and Gun Vault teams allow me to join in on their team building while we’re tackling their strategy and annual or quarterly planning. They’ve taken me ziplining across canyons in 115-degree temperatures in Las Vegas. 

How to Close out the Quarter for Future Success

Liz McBride Thu, Jul 27, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

As I’ve said before, I learn as much from my clients as they do from me. And then I unabashedly make it my own, share it with others, and blog about it.

Igor Sigmundovic, Product Owner and Rhythm Expert at Infobip, shared with me a concept they practice where they “close out” their priorities each quarter. They are asked to add a comment to their priorities at the end of the quarter to capture the final status color, red-yellow-green-SuperGreen, on how the priority landed, and then explain any further work to be done on this priority.

People Are Confused - What Should I Do?

Liz McBride Sun, May 21, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

I’m a fly on the wall during a client’s departmental quarterly planning meeting when someone completely unsolicited said, “I love Rhythm. I finally know what my job is.”

It’s fair to say we’ve all had times when we weren’t crystal clear about what our job really was. Whether we were starting a new role, getting used to the latest reorganization, or, navigating our path with a vague job description as our map, we were moving forward with a ‘fake it till you make it’ mantra.

Roll Down Your Sleeves: 5 Tips to Being a Productive Leader

Liz McBride Tue, Apr 18, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Leaders can plan their day meticulously, but then fires erupt or a team member reaches out and all focus is lost. When the true response to “Do you have a few minutes? Did I catch you at a good time?” is a resounding “No,” we push our agenda aside and answer, “Of course!”

At planning sessions with my clients, I hear notes of productivity killers with these familiar phrases:

“I just ended up taking it over and doing it myself.”

“It takes too much of my time to coach my team. It’s easier to just do it myself.”

“I need to make sure it’s done right so I need to own the project.”