Rhythm Blog | Accountable Leaders & Teams

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

8 Habits for CEOs to Grow Your Business Without Breaking a Sweat

Barry Pruitt Thu, Feb 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

At each business stage, leaders face new challenges and complexity. The Herculean effort to launch and grow a business to $1m revenue is different for CEOs, entrepreneurs, founders, key staff members, and investors than when operating at $5m. It follows that the level of challenge and complexity at $250m is different than at $500m. At each stage, you’ll experience a breakdown in the systems and processes that allowed you to more easily make it to this point – to put it simply, what worked to get you here won’t work to get you there.

Along the way, you accumulated multiple systems, developed workarounds, and put a few band-aids on any process that became strained with growth. At each stage of your business, you’ll experience stress on previous systems and processes. Whatever you did last year won’t get you to your next year plan, your 3-5 year targets, or your longer-term BHAG without a whole lot of sweat – and likely, not at all. To grow to the next level, you have to (once again) streamline your systems, processes, and reassess your talent. You cannot rely on memory, paper, or the systems that you used earlier in your career or business.

I’ve observed eight specific habits exhibited by successful leaders and CEOs as measured by consistent revenue and profit growth (fueling greater community impact), and each can be learned by anyone. Develop the following habits and you’ll be on your way to continued growth.  

12 Tips to Keep Top Talent (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Tue, Feb 20, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Many successful mid-market companies have cracked the hiring code. Perhaps you use a hiring method like Topgrading to ensure that you bring in only the best people - the ones who are superstar contributors and a good fit for your culture and Core Values. But, then what?

In our current economy with the extremely low unemployment rate and the rise in popularity of contract work, your top talent has more options than ever. And, according to Gallup's latest State of the American Workplace Report, 51% of employees say that they are actively looking for other opportunities. You have to give them compelling reasons to stay, or you will just keep wasting resources to hire and train for the same positions over and over again.

Here are 12 ways to keep your top talent from walking out the door:

5 Best Practices to Manage Remote Employees

Jessica Wishart Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

At Rhythm Systems, some of our team works in the office, but most of us work remotely. As an office worker with the flexibility to work remotely on occasion, I can appreciate the challenge of both settings. In the office, you’ve got the drive by “Do you have a minute?” conversations and the typical water cooler chat that can be distractions, and at home, you’ve got the temptations of family members, pets, domestic work, and your favorite TV show on Netflix vying for your attention. So, which is better?  

A CEO's Guide to Planning for a New Year

Jessica Wishart Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection, will come even more effective action.” - Peter Drucker

Self-reflection is critical for good leadership, but many leaders struggle to take the time to really reflect. CEOs may not invest the time to be reflective for many reasons, including pressure to spend time getting results. "Sometimes it’s hard to see an immediate ROI on reflection — particularly when compared with other uses of a leader’s time,” as Jennifer Porter explains in a recent Harvard Business Review article. While it can be hard to set aside the time, Col. Eric Kail explains in Washington Post series on leadership that “it is essential for any leader… Reflection is what links our performance to our potential. It is the process of properly unpacking ourselves as leaders for the good of others."

As we embark on a new year, now is the perfect time to engage in some self-reflection. This time last year, our CEO Patrick Thean spent his executive coaching time with his CEO clients creating personal plans for the year. Unlike setting a resolution, which can often seem like an afterthought or an aspiration that lacks real commitment to change, setting a plan for yourself requires the discipline of self-reflection and the accountability of working with a coach. If you want to improve yourself as a leader and as a person in 2018, spend some time reflecting on the questions below and writing out a plan for your year. 

5 Podcasts CEOs Should Listen to in 2018

Jessica Wishart Fri, Jan 5, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

At Rhythm Systems, one of our core values is Keep Smart; we are a team of voracious learners. But, it can be difficult to keep up with everything we want to learn, especially since there is so much great content out there for leaders to consume. I think it is safe to bet that I'm not the only one with good intentions and a "pile of guilt" (also known as the stack of business books I meant to read last year and never got around to.) It is nearly impossible to keep up with all the great articles and books promising to share the latest business growth hacks, reveal industry trends, and make you a better leader. In our crazy, busy days, sometimes we don’t have time to read a blog post, much less a whole book.  

If you are trying to grow your skills and stay informed in the new year, try listening to a few podcasts instead of staring down the “pile of guilt" for yet another year.

Don’t Get Stuck on Your Job Scorecard

Jessica Wishart Thu, Jan 4, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

One of the priorities for our Consulting and Client Services team here at Rhythm Systems this quarter was to nail down Job Scorecards for each team member.  Some of us had Job Scorecards when we were hired (some of us have been around longer than the tool!), but as our company has grown and changed, so have the roles we are all filling.  Additionally, we are looking to hire for new roles on our team that we have yet to clearly define, so it was necessary for us to revisit this tool this quarter.  

5 Steps to Having an Accountability Discussion (Video)

Cathy McCullough Wed, Jan 3, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Most of us just don’t like to have hard conversations. Conversations in which you need someone to hear you can be tough for a number of reasons, but in the end, it’s a leader’s job to have the uncomfortable conversation. You can't build a high performance organization without this leadership skill. Whether you like it or not, you must master having a conversation that gets the point across that you need to see someone do something differently. The secret, then, is doing it in such a way as to build personal accountability (which, if accomplished, will minimize the number of times you have to have the same type of conversation with the same person). 

The Value of a Great First Day

Paige Wilcox Mon, Jan 1, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

I joined Rhythm Systems as Client Services Manager back in September of last year, and I have to say, my first day stood out as exceptionally thorough and welcoming. It set the right tone for what continues to be a great work experience, so I’m sharing a brief overview of that day to help inspire some on-boarding best practices for your team!

Business Lessons from the Story of David and Goliath

Barry Pruitt Fri, Dec 22, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

“Goliath had as much chance against David as any Bronze Age warrior with a sword would have had against an opponent armed with a .45 automatic pistol.” - historian Robert Dohrenwend

Over three thousand years ago, a shepherd boy, smallest and last in his family, ran onto a field of battle to face a giant of a warrior. He carried with him five smooth pebbles and a sling. This boy and his story have much to teach us as men and women business leaders.

Why You Should Invest in Performance Development, Not Annual Reviews

Jessica Wishart Fri, Dec 15, 2017 @ 11:17 AM

As we head into the end of the year, many leaders are gearing up for more than just Annual Planning and holiday celebrations - many are brushing off their systems and processes for yet another round of annual performance reviews. According to a research paper from Gallup entitled Re-Engineering Performance Management,"Traditional performance management systems are broken. Companies, leaders, managers and employees have long participated in time-consuming, frustrating performance reviews that have not yielded clear improvements in individual or organizational performance.” Ineffective annual reviews also hit your company’s bottom line: "The cost of lost time spent on traditional approaches to performance evaluations alone is estimated to range from $2.4 million to $35 million per year for a company with 10,000 employees.” It is time to consider ditching the laborious annual review process. But, many leaders aren't sure what to do in its’ place.