Rhythm Blog | Accountable Leaders & Teams

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Your Leadership ETHIC Drives Predictable Results

Barry Pruitt Tue, Apr 24, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

I was pleasantly surprised and wonderfully rewarded by the success of launching our new book, Predictable Results. I find it curious that I’ve been asked several times about Steve Tamasi of Boston Centerless (Chapter 7) and what I think has made him successful as a CEO. I’ve been considering this question quite a bit, and finally, think I have my answer.

First, this question caused me to think, sort my thoughts, and try to distill an answer. The thinking process led me to a broader question. Why does any leader or CEO succeed when others fail? I’ve known CEOs that run in the same circles, belong to the same mentor groups, attend the same conferences and hear the same speakers – even read the same books, yet one has succeeded and the other failed.

Calling for Performance-Oriented CEOs

Patrick Thean Thu, Apr 19, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

People ask me all the time, "What is so special about Rhythm? Why do your customers have so much success?" I jokingly reply, "I don’t know, either we are just awesome, or we have chosen awesome customers. But it is much easier to choose awesome customers, and they will make us successful." And we all laugh. However, there is a lot of truth in my statement.

We choose awesome customers who are already successful and have the right characteristics for our method and software to make them even more successful. They have a strong desire to go from good to great. It takes a lot of hard work to make this climb. Unfortunately, it is not easy. We are here to help. We can provide the tools, playbook, and coaching, giving our customers an unfair advantage over their competitors. But our customers are the ones making this climb, and they do it well!

3 Action Steps to Leverage Stress for Success

Barry Pruitt Tue, Apr 10, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

No matter who they are or what they're doing, every person and organization experiences problems, difficulties, unexpected reversals and crises that knock them off balance. We call it being blindsided, and I’ve yet to find anyone that has avoided it.

Organizations are threatened by loss of sales, new competitors and changing economic conditions. Our lives are affected by personal, financial or health crises. What differentiates us from each other is how we handle those stressful situations. How can you make sure you are on the right side of each situation - that is, reaching for predictable results?

Top 10 Business Challenges Facing Today's CEOs [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Mon, Apr 9, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

At Rhythm Systems, we specialize in helping middle market companies achieve their dreams and goals. We believe that we can make a big impact on the world by helping our clients be successful in bringing their vision to life. We do this by using our methodology, experts and tools to help clients break through barriers and remove obstacles to their success.

In order to understand those obstacles better, we collected insights from over 900 CEOs about their biggest business challenges. We wanted to know what was keeping you up at night, and we found the results fascinating.

Top 10 Business Challenges Facing Today's CEOs:

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.”

Are Your Leaders Delivering Awesome Results? [SlideShare]

Patrick Thean Thu, Mar 29, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

I am often asked about the impact of leaders on a company’s strategy execution. Sometimes we have process and execution problems. But just as often, I have found that the company may actually have done a good job with execution planning, or creating priorities and KPIs. However, the leaders and managers are having trouble driving performance and results. In these cases, weakness in team leaders can be masquerading as execution issues.

Your leaders determine the performance of their teams and the results that your company achieves. Every single customer or project rolls up to a manager/leader. Your leaders determine 100% of your company’s results and performance!

Employee KPI Examples: How to Measure What You Want to Move (Video)

Jessica Wishart Mon, Mar 12, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

It is no secret that your people are instrumental to the success of your business. In order to have a great company, you not only have to hire the right people and get them in the right seats as Jim Collins says, you also have to work to retain and engage those people once you have them.

Employee engagement is key not only to increasing productivity and lowering operational costs; higher engagement is also linked to higher customer ratings, less employee turnover and fewer safety incidents. Gallup estimates that “disengagement costs the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year.” In Rob Markey’s Harvard Business Review article “The Four Secrets to Employee Engagement,” he cites a frightening finding from Bain & Company, that "engagement levels are lowest among sales and service employees, who have the most interactions with customers.” You can see the problem when the people who have the most influence over whether you will get and keep customers essentially don’t care one way or the other.Learn how our Accountable Leaders & Teams Program can help you with leadership  development and change management.

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:

11 Books Every CEO Should Read

Jessica Wishart Thu, Mar 1, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

In their open letter to business leaders, Amy Edmondson (Harvard Business School) and Bror Saxberg (learning engineer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), ask CEOs to put a renewed focus on continuous learning. They argue that with the rise of AI and robotics, there are massive changes coming for businesses and business leaders; "We write this letter not to criticize but to make the case for why a new emphasis on lifelong learning is going to become increasingly central to your job: maximizing the value and impact of your organization. … Workers, managers, and executives need to keep up with the machines and be able to interpret their results.”  

Now’s a great time to commit to raising your leadership capability and expanding your emphasis on learning throughout your company. Where to start? I’ve asked our team of expert consultants to share their top book recommendations for CEOs. 

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.”