Rhythm Blog | Accountable Leaders & Teams

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

5 Ways CEOs Can Create a Culture of Innovation

Alan Gehringer Thu, Jul 19, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

We have all heard the saying "A fish rots from the head down," right? Not that I am comparing my CEO friends to fish, but it does drive the point home that creating a culture of innovation starts with you as the leader of the organization.

Peter Drucker, one of the fathers of modern business theory, said if an established organization is not able to innovate, it faces decline and extinction. I could not agree with him more, for in all of my years helping companies, I have witnessed far too many that wait until they are in decline or experiencing shrinking markets, stale product offerings or products that are being commoditized to begin innovating. They usually do not have the resources once in decline to be successful, which is why it is important to build a culture of innovation while your business is strong and healthy.

How SMACCC Will Save Your Company

Barry Pruitt Wed, Jul 11, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

“A good plan executed right now is far better than a perfect plan next week.” - George S. Patton

Patton had it right. An executive pattern that I’ve often seen is paralysis while waiting for perfect. As a mid-market company, you don’t have the time, profit, or revenue that allows you to wait for perfection before execution. It may not be a sexy story, but it's time to SMACCC to save your company.

Several years ago, I was coaching a CEO for a $17mm company. He had a financial officer who would not get the books quickly closed at end of the month, who often had to restate earnings, and who only reported instead of interpreting the numbers for financial decisions, realistic projections, and future initiatives. This CEO worked hard but was unwilling to be hard on the financial results. I sent a copy of Simple Numbers by Greg Crabtree to no avail. My final advice to the CEO? Replace his financial officer. The CEO didn’t, and one year later the company let go of nearly 30% of the workforce. Waiting for the perfect that never happened put them at risk of what occurred. They haven’t recovered.

Are Benefits Enough to Attract and Engage the Best People?

Alan Gehringer Tue, Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

While a lot of companies say that employees are their most valuable assets, not all walk the walk. It takes a lot of time and effort to find, hire and retain the right people to join your team. It also takes considerable time to onboard and get them to the point that they are making a positive contribution to your organization -- three to six months in many roles. The last thing you want is to lose someone after all this effort and expense. We also want to fully engage these “A Players” so that they are happy and contribute their best. There are a lot of components that contribute to attraction, retention, and full employee engagement.

5 Insights You'll Gain From Executive Coaching

Cathy McCullough Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The famous mountain climber, Phil Powers, said it best during an interview on NPR’s "This I Believe” segment: “Concentrating on how I move through the world is important. It’s why I reach mountain summits and life goals with energy to spare.”

As a best practice, Powers uses a concept taught to him by his mentor, Paul Petzoldt. Penzoldt recommended a ‘rest’ (i.e., a slight pause) with each climbing step taken. It allows a climber to move swiftly, yet still find a brief pause in every step. The cadence of this sequence creates, in the end, a higher degree of forward-movement with what seems like less effort.

Most leaders dive into leadership without a second thought. I love the optimism that comes when people find themselves suddenly leading people (vs. tasks and initiatives they’ve been responsible for completing). The problem, though, is that most leaders simply don’t see the impact their leadership approach has on those around them (positive or negative). They don’t pause while climbing the mountain of business objectives for a rest step. They don’t give themselves quick moments of pause that allow for slowing just enough to gain the energy to keep moving forward.

Couple this lack of ‘pause’ with how fast everything moves in today’s world. Every motion, every thought, every piece of information we gain in a 24/7 world makes the concept of ‘pause’ seem ridiculous. It can even make us feel unworthy, lost, and unproductive. 

3 Leadership Tips for Successful Change Management

Chris Cosper Wed, Jun 27, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

“Innovation is the key to success.”

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

“You must create a culture of continuous improvement.”

Here are three pieces of great business advice I’m sure you’ve heard a hundred times. They all make perfect sense, but like most good advice, they’re easier said than done. The reason they aren’t easy is because they all involve change, and change is hard. Let’s face it; coming up with a new idea isn’t that hard. Creating a plan to implement your new idea isn’t even hard. It’s when you start involving all the people affected by your idea that things get messy.

10 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement in Your Manufacturing Company (Video)

Alan Gehringer Mon, Jun 25, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

I grew up in a manufacturing family. My grandmother had her own manufacturing company, and my father was a partner in a local manufacturing company. I still have very fond memories working in and running the business. It was like one big happy family - most of the time, that is. We had employees that stayed with us pretty much from the beginning and that would be close to forty years in some cases. How do you get employees to stay with you for the long term and contribute to the best of their ability? One of the answers is to ensure they are treated with respect, appreciated, and given the opportunity to be fully engaged. Being fully engaged means different things to different people, but here are some key approaches to consider. 

How CEOs Grow Accountable Leaders & Teams [Video]

Cathy McCullough Fri, Jun 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The question of how to grow an environment of accountability is a common one.

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:

A Leader’s Template: 6 Questions to Ask in Your Next One-on-One Meeting

Cathy McCullough Tue, Jun 5, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

It’s fairly understood that great leaders don’t lead processes; they lead people. You’re probably aware, too, that great bosses have truly honed their skills in the areas of communication, information sharing, clarifying expectations, and celebrating wins.

Within the context of great leadership, though, comes crazy-busy days, last minute interruptions, sudden calls to meetings, paperwork, and more. If you’re spinning in one of these moments in time, this at-a-glance checklist might help you focus on continuing the maximize your leadership impact when you’re in a pinch.

How to Use Job Scorecard KPIs to Drive Your Performance

Jessica Wishart Wed, May 23, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

If you read our blog often, you know that we frequently recommend using a Job Scorecard - we find this tool is exceptionally helpful in a variety of situations. Use it for hiring, use it for clarifying expectations around roles and goals, use it for ongoing performance conversations, use it for personal career growth. The Job Scorecard truly is a versatile power tool that can increase productivity and effectiveness both for individual contributors and for team leaders. However, I’ve noticed that many of our clients get stuck filling out the Job Scorecard template. To be honest, I got stuck on it myself. The part that seems to trip us all up is the part that can maximize the return on your investment of time and energy to create the Job Scorecard - the Desired Result KPIs. 

Why Are Job Scorecard KPIs so Important?