Success Stories

“Those who master the world are strong. Those who master themselves are truly powerful.”
 ― Lao Tzu

See how these clients turned their vision into reality after discovering the right habits for their businesses.

Case Study 1:
Managing Priorities

SITUATION:
A successful business owner in the financial industry was seeking new ways to identify and manage priorities in her business to create the business she envisioned. In addition, she had wanted to work fewer hours, as well as move out of her home office into local office space that represented her well and offered a winning atmosphere for her small but growing team.

At the time we met, she was working 60+ hours per week and she was starting to come to a realization that in order to grow her business, she needed to shift her focus and make better decisions about her role and how she was spending her time. Unfortunately, her habits were keeping her stuck.

COURSE OF ACTION:
Key questions revealed to the owner her tendency to get involved in day-to-day details as opposed to focusing on creating the infrastructure necessary to support her vision, mission and values.

The engagement launched with a comprehensive review of business processes, bringing to light just where and how she was spending her time. Once it became clear that she was not fully utilizing the tools required to grow her business, our work focused in two areas:  1) on creating a solid infrastructure; and 2) on deeper inner work, examining her narrative about the choices she was making, and how to make different choices that would catapult her vision of herself as a business owner the business itself.

Building a solid infrastructure began by defining the company mission and vision, creating company values and refining existing processes. In addition, she began to delegate much of the daily operations which allowed her to focus her time and energy more on business growth activities that included refining her core target market, hiring additional team members and finding the perfect office space.

Gaining confidence in her decisions and guided by her values and mission allowed her the practice of saying “no” to ideas or opportunities that were not the right fit, or not offered at the right time, and “yes” to bold decisions that even a year ago seemed unfathomable. Today, she continues to build her skills as an owner and has empowered her team of top-notch employees to demonstrate their knowledge and treat each client with the utmost of care.

RESULTS:
As of today, the owner has experienced a 200% increase in her annual net operating income, a 33% decrease in hours worked per week, a stress-free two week international vacation with her family, and just this year she spent a month out of her business to reflect on her growth and plans for the future. Her new habits are supporting her in turning her business goals a reality.

Case Study 2:
Forming A Partnership

SITUATION:
Referred to two owners of complimentary businesses, this engagement focused on strengthening of the relationship between two soon-to-be business co-owners as they moved forward on establishing a joint venture. The primary issue for the engagement focused on supporting them in building a successful venture which at the same time allowed them to leverage each other’s different work styles, values and business approaches.  

COURSE OF ACTION:
We started the engagement with an encompassing questionnaire that explored every aspect of a partnership - from decision-making styles to financial approaches to how each interpreted professional attire. The owners answered the questionnaire individually and then met to share their responses with each other. Together we addressed the areas in which they saw the most challenge in working together.  

Facilitating this discussion brought the two owners closer in alignment as each fully vetted the other in the areas of most concern, while highlighting their communication and conflict styles. The next step was to clearly define roles of each partner and have them agree on how best to approach the inevitable discussions when reminders to stay in agreed upon and designated “swim lanes” came to bear. We introduced the concept of making clear and effective requests, and gaining clear agreements with each other in lieu of often silent unspoken expectations, proactively setting the stage for committed, consistent, open communication. This reduced the potential stress levels associated with the avoidance of tacking tough issues and the “I thought we were on the same page” syndrome.

“What-if” questions were posed throughout the engagement to ensure the partners were thinking of possible areas of future tension typical to business partnerships before signing a partnership agreement.  The engagement successfully concluded when the partners met with their attorney and executed a partnership agreement rooted in excitement and commitment.

RESULT:
To date, the owners have successfully won lucrative projects that delight their clients, highlight their skills and preferences, satisfy their quest to deepen their knowledge and expertise, and most importantly, remain solid business partners who successfully and effectively tackle tough business decisions together.

Case Study 3:
Making Change Happen

SITUATION:
A well-regarded firm in the building industry was referred for an engagement in which the owner wanted to examine his role pertaining to the company culture and performance of his team. With two key managers and a staff of capable albeit less experienced individuals, the owner was tired of the long days and being involved in many daily decisions, which he felt his key managers were capable of handling. The workload was tremendous, which was a byproduct of being a leader in his industry, and the owner was increasingly feeling too busy to reflect on how to make the improvements he wanted to introduce.

COURSE OF ACTION:
The owner’s desire for change made for a promising start to this engagement. We examined his motivations for change, and the result he was eager to achieve: to work fewer hours and to reduce the number of daily decisions he was involved in.  

What surfaced quickly was the lack of clarity of one of his key managers had for her role, which caused a trickle-down effect on her ability to manage her team. Her employees were often left with no guidance and sought the owner instead for answers to everyday questions that the manager should have been able to answer. This contributed to his long hours and feeling he could not concentrate on the business aspects he most enjoyed: developing his customer relationships, securing new business, and creating ways the company could add value for its clients. Feeling compressed for time, his desire to mentor his team was left to a few minutes a month in an all-hands meeting.
We examined his contribution to his key manager’s confusion, his reticence to holding her accountable and the resulting lack of consequences throughout the firm. "Too busy” was re-framed as a choice, as a decision he was making to avoid these issues. Once he realized his habit of ducking difficult conversations and letting things slip through the cracks without consequences were key tenets of his company culture, we dove into his feedback patterns and devised an action plan for ensuring clear commitments and accountability. What once were feelings of “she should know what I expect of her” became concrete actions for the manager to agree to and execute.

To address the overall culture he wanted to improve, we revised the company’s process for annual reviews to include more input from the team and inserted key questions, resulting in richer discussions and the discovery of what his team needed in order to excel. Additionally he was able to solicit agreement from his team to new actions on demands for his time, allowing him the opportunity to further develop ideas for a company culture that promoted mentorship and growth.

RESULT:
The owner faced his discomfort with having difficult discussions and now has implemented consequences for his key manager. He has solicited feedback from his team on their ideal areas for mentorship and has gained their commitment to approaching him differently with requests for his time. With these changes in place, the owner has realized the most important contribution to alleviating his stress was his open-mindedness and willingness to consider new perspectives and new ways of being. What once seemed as if there were only one way to approach a situation has been replaced with another. Developing new habits, taking one challenge at a time and celebrating small wins along the way contributed to big rewards. Today he goes home on time and doesn’t work on the weekends. Unless he chooses to, which is not too often. 


Your success story starts when you discover the right habits.

It’s time for Relevant Habits.

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