Shannon Susko Blog

4 WAYS TO BE BETTER AT BEING WRONG AND WHY IT WILL LEAD YOU TO BEING RIGHT

Shannon SuskoJul 20, 2018

Recently, I rewatched Kathryn Schulz’s TED TALK that synopses her book, Being Wrong. It is one of my favourite business books. It is such a humbling reminder that we are all human and therefore we all make human error.

 

Kathryn states that the feeling of being right all of the time, is actually dangerous. Now, this doesn’t mean compromising any knowledge you have gained from your experiences. This means loosening the attachment we have to our own “rightness”.

 As a CEO, or just plain human being, you NEED to allow the opportunity for being wrong. Without opening the door to failure, you are compromising the likelihood of success. Unlike any other animals on this planet, humans are obsessed with figuring out how and why our world is the way it is. Without this curiosity and acceptance of not knowing everything (aka not being RIGHT all the time) we would not be the productive, creative, or innovative species we are.

 

Here are 4 ways to be better at being wrong:

 

“GUT IT OUT”

One of the most vulnerable things you can do is answer tough questions. Questions that you might have the wrong answer to. The process of “Gutting It Out” is one I have talked for over 20 years, as it is a key step in 3HAG framework. To Gut It Out, you must answer these 14 questions, regardless if you are right or wrong. Imagine each question as a “required field” on a form. You can NOT complete the form unless you answer them, so chance being wrong and gut out the answer!!

GUT IT OUT Questions 

Risking being wrong and doing the work to answer these questions WILL help you. It will make you curious.  It will help you focus.  This is what my team and I has to figure out the hard way growing our companies and now with the high growth companies that I have the opportunity to coach.

 

OPEN UP DECISIONS TO YOUR WHOLE TEAM

As CEO, I wanted to control the answers to the Gut It Out Questions.  That seems absolutely ridiculous writing this now but when you are in it, as a leader, as a human, its very normal to to want to control.  Through experience we as leaders realize that the more we can help out team see the outcomes of where we are going the more we let go of the control.    We as leaders pile up your own plate too full - if we don’t share and build the future with our team and leaders The reason we do this is fear of failure. We don’t want our companies to make the “wrong” choices so we control the final say. Having this level of control overloads our time and leaves us incapable of actually growing our companies. 

There is a reason CEO’s and executive members are part of the “Leadership” team within companies. It is because we LEAD our people, we guide them to the outcome - not control them. We must enable them to make great decisions!

Next time you have a planning or strategy meeting, create the outcomes with you team and guide them to conclusions and decisions. Sometimes they will be wrong, but more than not they will be right and will address things that you were never able to see before. One strategy I use to do this is asking one simple question is always ask team members, “What do you recommend?”

 

Give it a try when you are presented with a question or request for a decision. See what happens!

 

QUESTION THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN “RIGHT” FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME

The easiest thing to ignore something or someone who is not demanding your attention. When an team member or team is meeting expectations we are content. But what happens if they remain at that plateau of just meeting expectations and not exceeding them? Leaving them as is -  is a safe way that might seem “right” as its safe. Why does it feel so “wrong” to disrupt this peace? Being “wrong” by asking questions and deep diving into those areas of the business might actually be the right answer you are ignoring.

If you are not evolving you are not growing.

  

ACCEPT “GOOD ENOUGH” and evolve. 

In our personal lives, we don’t have the time to wait for all the evidence to make decisions and take action. So what do we do? We make conclusions and accept things as “good enough”. If we didn’t do this, we wouldn’t be able to get out of bed and go about our lives.

 So why are so many companies not accepting this process in their businesses? Companies and their leaders MUST accept “Good Enough” in order to move forward! As in life, accepting things as “Good Enough” is a feature, not a flaw. Our companies need it to survive, evolve and thrive, just as we humans do!

 

Need help letting go of perfection and accepting the a “Good Enough” – possible  WRONG answer? Read my blog on the topic.

 

 -Shannon Byrne Susko

 

 

Read More Shannon Byrne Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS, leading, teams

Is it “Good Enough” for now? The question you need to ask after “Gutting It Out”.

Shannon SuskoJul 13, 2018

In my later years as a serial CEO, and currently today in my coaching practise, I have found myself saying “GOOD ENOUGH” a lot. Like EVERYDAY! This was not always the case. As a recovering perfectionist, those words used to keep me up at night. I never thought that one day, something being “Good Enough” would actually be a key to my companies and clients success!

 

Being “Good Enough” actually meant getting over being wrong, and as a CEO, being wrong is very scary. It means you might be leading your team in the “wrong” direction, letting them down, letting their families down, or over all failure. But in order to move forward, you HAVE to not be scared of being wrong! You have to accept things when they are “Good Enough”.

I had to get used to working with my teams to “Gut Out the Answers” and ask ourselves, “ Is it GOOD ENOUGH for now?”.  

It always was.

We realized that at that point, we had more clarity than when we started and we were more curious and focused on where we were going. When building the company, we were not just going to come up with a strategy once or a plan once. We would always revisit these to adapt them and evolve them as we grew and our environments changed. We realized that in not chasing perfection, our company would gain forward momentum as it was more accepting of growth and improvement.  

Where “Good Enough” plays in building a company, is that you have evolved what you're working on far enough for today. And guess what... that is good enough! You are going to keep evolving the “strategic story” – the “plan”.

The key to answering the “Gut it Out” questions from last weeks blog is to gut it out and then ask the team involved "Is it good enough for now?".  Knowing that you as a team will come back to talk about these questions and topics on a set rhythm – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually.  You will always iterate through these questions quickly and often to keep us focused, evolving and ensuring they're GOOD ENOUGH for now to drive the company forward in the direction we want to go.

 

 Questions about gutting it out to a point of good enough? Write us! 

 

 -Shannon Byrne Susko

 

 

Read More Shannon Byrne Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS, leading, teams

So you’re setting goals, but are you “gutting it out” enough? The 14 questions you need to answer today, to reach your goals in business and life.

Shannon SuskoJul 06, 2018

We are taught at a young age that goal setting is very valuable for achieving our dreams and aspirations. We are also taught that writing down those goals increases our likelihood of achieving them. These things have not changed one bit, for anyone. But even after we write down those goals, why do some people achieve goals more successfully and efficiently than others? The burning question for both business and life.

 

Let me start by sharing some of my own experience.

When building my first company, we had big dreams! And like many new and growing companies, we also made [big] mistakes. Our first mistake was not setting goals that connected to those big dreams. Yes I know, this seems like a silly mistake seeing how we have all been told since our youth to write down our goals.  Well, hindsight is always 20-20.  

When we finally discovered this mistake, we were four years into our first company, having raised lots of venture capital and trying to survive. We were desperately looking for a framework for our company that would provide forward movement towards our goals.  Quite honestly, we were looking for a framework for our business... and our lives.

After lots of trial and error, we discovered what we were missing. We needed to put in the work and GUT IT OUT! This meant answering some of the most important questions we would ever answer about our business and ourselves as individuals.

 

Here are the 14 questions we ask ourselves, both individually for our personal lives, and as a leadership team for our company:

  1. What is our core purpose?
  2. What are our core values?
  3. What is our 10-30 year goal?
  4. Where do we want to be in 3 years time?
  5. What will be our key capabilities in 3 years?
  6. What will we be known for in 3 years?
  7. Where do we want to be at the end of this year?
  8. What is our Number 1 Priority to achieve this year?
  9. What is our critical number to measure this achievement in the next 12 months?
  10. What is our #1 goal for the next 90 days?
  11. What is our critical number to measure this achievement in the next 90 days?
  12. What are the top 3 things we need to do in the next 30 days?
  13. What the top priorities for this week?
  14. What should I do today?

 

Most companies (and people) do not want to GUT IT OUT and answer these questions.  Because they might be wrong  BIG DEAL!!  Do not be one of those people!  Take a piece of paper, your mobile phone, or computer and answer these questions today.  GUT IT OUT! Once you do, you will consider your answers, evolve them, and evolve them some more in the direction of your company and/or your life. 

These questions are the foundation of my companies success and my life, but GUTTING OUT the answers is the key to ensuring what you want to happen is achieved!  Good luck and “GUT IT OUT”.

 

Want more information to help you GUT IT OUT? Get your copy of 3HAG WAY today! It is a prescriptive guide that will assist you in GUTTING IT OUT

 

 -Shannon Byrne Susko

 

 

Read More Shannon Byrne Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS, leading, teams

My Favourite Question As A CEO and How It Led My Companies To Success - I Hope It Becomes Yours Too!

Shannon SuskoMay 11, 2018

When I was CEO of two high growth companies, I was asked questions constantly. It felt like the main responsibility of my role – being the question master. I got asked questions from practically everyone, every day, all day. One of my biggest mistake in my FIRST company was trying to answer them ALL. As leaders, we think we need to answer everyone’s questions.  But why?  Do we correlate this directly to the success of our leadership? Our company?

 

Often CEO’s and other leaders are in their role because they were/are experts in that field.  This was true in my case as CEO for my companies. As a result, I thought that if I did not answer every question fired at me I would not be viewed as the expert I was. I thought my team would lose confidence in me. I feared that if I declined to answer these questions, my team would head in the wrong direction and I would be to blame. Was I ever wrong!

 

Interestingly enough, the less time you spend answering questions, and the more time you spend guiding and creating the path to where the company is headed, the better! If we leaders can articulate and share where we are headed, the team (who are experts in their roles) can often make great decisions everyday! Our teams are composed of smart people. Smart EXPERTS in their roles. When we supply them with the framework of where we are headed, with achievable goals and long-term vision, they can make these daily decisions more independently. This is how we build confidence in the entire company.  

 

When I was CEO of my first company, my business coach observed that I was answering way too many questions. He warned me that as the company scaled, this time spent answering questions would be a huge barrier to growth.  To ensure this didn’t happen, I took my coaches advice and worked with the leadership team to ensure we were clear on our BHAG, 3HAG, 1HAG and 90 day priorities.  I also implemented one of my coaches other strategies: every time myself and my leadership team received a question, we responded with the question “What do YOU recommend?”  

 

We started doing this immediately, and WOW -  What a difference!  Not only did team members share what they recommended, but they were explaining other options and reasoning to why they were recommending particular solutions. The results were amazing.  This method of problem solving saved time, empowered the team, and opened the minds of the leaders of our company  to new [and sometimes better] answers!

 

This approach does however take discipline.   As leaders, we are wired to answer questions.   I would keep a tally at the top of my notebook each day and week.  One side was number of questions I answered and the other side was how many times I said “what do you recommend?”.  Having this in front of me at every meeting kept me in check. Keeping score was a way to understand, for myself and the rest of my leaders, if we were changing our habits.  After some time, the teams behaviour also changed. They knew not to ask questions, but instead come prepared with a recommendation and the options considered.

 

Above I mentioned that this happened in my first company, and thankfully that is where it ended. By the time I got to co-founding and leading my second company, I had trained myself and my leaders to approach team questions in this way.  This is one of the reason Subserveo was grown and sold in less that 3.5 years.  We had a clear BHAG, 3HAG, 1HAG and 90 day plans from day 1 and we spent our time as leaders ensuring there was clarity with the team so they new what to recommend to move us forward!  So simple but yet so powerful. 

I hope you can learn from my experience and take on the “WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND” challenge. As a leader, share with clarity where you are going and ask your team for recommendations on how to get there! You might be amazed at what happens as a result. 

 

 -Shannon Byrne Susko

 

 

Read More Shannon Byrne Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS, leading, teams

You can’t grow your company without growing your people. The 3 Key Systems that High Growth Companies need to WIN

Shannon SuskoApr 06, 2018

 

When I was building my first company, the words of Jim Collins, “right people, in the right seats, doing the right things” were imprinted in my brain. I was reminded daily, in everything I was reading and being told, that in order to grow my business I had to have these three human-pieces in place.  “Find the RIGHT people,  ensure they are in the RIGHT role, and are doing the RIGHT tasks” - MUCH easier said than done!

 

After learning the hard way with many “people” problems, my leadership team and I agreed that we needed to find a way to bring Collin’s mastery advice to life within our company. This was a really challenging task - not just for our business, but for every company in every industry – making it clear that until we had our “people” systems functioning optimally, our company would not grow as fast as we wanted.

We had to think differently at how we would solve this! Lots of long meetings and brain-busting later, we decided to break “people” into 3 systems.   This ensured we got the results of right people, right seat,  doing the right thing, bringing it all together in a high performing team.

 

THE SYSTEMS

 

Cultural System

The first system –the Cultural System – was founded upon the leader/CEO to ensure that the organizational Core Purpose, Core Values and 10-30 year goal was clear, known, understood and believed.  Everything we did behaviourally in our organization had to align with our Cultural System.  In order to ensure this was true, I committed to the following actions as CEO:

Picture1

 

What I was committing to was clarity of the Cultural System as well as the whole plan for the company -from the BHAG, to 3HAG, 1HAG and 90 day plan.  My commitment also lived within implementing the 2nd System – The Cohesive System

 

Cohesive System

This system was founded upon Pat Lencioni’s  Overcoming the 5 Dysfunctions framework, which outlines the root causes of politics and dysfunction on the teams where you work and the keys to overcoming them. Our team needed a high level of discipline in order to nail down this Cohesiveness, and after time, we did! How?...

By integrating Lencioni’s framework into every single meeting we held, [just like the Cultural System]!  We bought the Field Guide and started implementing it into our leadership team meetings and the rest of the company meetings.  Soon, it was a habit. We were improving our Cohesive System and growing a high performing team in every meeting we had like it was second nature.

 

Human System

The final system our team established was our Human System; a repeatable method in our organization to attract, hire, coach, keep and grow A players.  This system was founded upon Brad Smart’s Topgrading methodology; a hiring practice that delivers honesty, revealing interviews, and solid candidate verification.

We evolved Smart’s methodology into a system that not only ensured we hired A Players but guaranteed there was also a cultural fit.  We developed an ecosystem where A Players could grow into who they wanted to be!  The more A players we had on our team, the more A player that wanted to join our team.

 

house 

These three systems are the foundations every company needs to grow and win.  As you know I have been talking a lot about the 3HAG as my new book “3HAG WAY”,  gets released on April 11th! Funny thing is, is that you can develop the best strategy ever but if you do not have a high performing team that can drive your Strategy Execution System, it will all be for nothing.   Take the time to assess your whole team, the individuals on your team, and your three systems - Cultural System, Cohesive System, and Human System.  Focus on growing your people and you and your team will create a highly achievable 3HAG! 

 

 

To help you, grab a copy of my new book, 3HAG WAY. It will help guide you on this journey to Scalability and Growth!

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 12.24.23 PM

 

Pre-Order the 3HAG Book!

 


 

-Shannon Byrne Susko

 

 

Read More Shannon Byrne Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS, marketplace, disruption

12 Steps to Achieve Predictable Profit Through Disruption

Shannon SuskoMar 16, 2018

 

 Last week, I was the Keynote Speaker the Saint Mary’s University 43rd Annual Business School Dinner.  What a great honour this was!  The organizers of the event asked if I would speak about disruption in a marketplace and my experience disrupting marketplaces.  I saw this as a perfect way to help educate others through my personal trials and tribulations, so I jumped at the opportunity!


28870216_10155536888208137_4000435362246402297_n-1.jpg

 

My experience of disrupting markets first started with being an innovator.  We were solving problems in markets with innovative solutions but not immediately disrupting these markets.  It was simple to us: we solved problems!  What I soon learned, was that we were actually doing a lot more than problem solving and innovating: we were disrupting!   

 

When you disrupt you take an innovative solution and marry it with some other key differentiating activities, to position the product and company in a very relevant place. A place that disrupts the incumbents. The incumbents will first DENY that your offering will affect their position. At this point they are either trying to convince themselves of this OR deep down they know that it will, but they do not want consumers to know this!

 Soon they will VALIDATE the disruptive offering. It is then that they realize there is something very real about the offering and know consumers will see this if they do not damage control.  They will ‘compete’; meaning they will try to add some features and functions to stay relevant in the market and not be left behind.  Once they realize they cannot COMPETE they will RETREAT, trying to hang on for as long as they can while frantically trying to find a way to survive in the market. A perfect example: Blockbuster and Netflix.

 

What I learned with my team in my first company was that you must consistently ensure that you are relevant in YOUR position in the market.  For us, that meant never stop checking and analyzing our strategic position and where we were headed.  This created a framework for us to drive innovation.  However, we did understand that it was not all about innovation – it was also about deciding what key differentiating activities that we decided upon to put us in a valuable and disruptive position.  The more we stayed in-tune with remaining relevant through analyzing the current market place and agreeing on the future of it, the more we were able to continuously predict the disruption we were causing in the market we were playing in.  This predictive disruption drove our 3HAG (3 Yeah Highly Achievable Goal) and resulted in predictable profit.  And who doesn't what predictable profit, right!? 

 

Here are the steps we took to be a predictable disruption on our market place:

  1. Gut out your 3HAG! Need some help? Join the 3HAG Webinar Series
  2. Draw your company’s Key Process Flow Map
  3. Draw your company’s Market Map. (link to YouTube)
  4. Describe your Core Customer using Robert Bloom’s Inside Advantage
  5. Draw your Attribution Map
  6. Create your 3-5 Differentiating Activities – by using Michael Porter’s Activity Fit Map
  7. Create a One Phrase Strategy Make it memorable!
  8. Create Activity Fit Map Level II – this version includes a little more detail
  9. Build your 12 Quarter Swimlanes – this is where you map out the key milestones your teams need to meet over the next 12 quarters in order to achieve your 3-5 differentiating activities.
  10. As a leadership team create a 36-month rolling forecast. These forecasts will reflect the milestones and assumptions you have on your gutted out 3HAG and differentiating activities. This is where you predict profit and cash first!
  11. Create a brand promise with a guarantee that will absolutely differentiate you in the market place and ensures your Core Customer will buy at a profit.
  12. Confirm your 3HAG go back to step 2. In every one of these discussions, the leadership should be aware of protecting their secret sauce (10X advantage) and looking for the next big thing in the market that only they can solve that will evolve into their next recipe for their secret sauce.

*Do the last 3 steps feel challenging? The ShannonSusko.com team can help. Join our 3HAG webinar to get more clarity on these steps and master your 3HAG system.

 Register for 3HAG Webinar

 

 

This never ending process gives permission to your leadership team to never stop talking about the strategic execution system and ensures your company remains relevant today and in the future.  In our experience, this process is what created the immense value in both exits of my companies that I founded and lead.   It takes the whole company to disrupt a market ONE TIME, but in order to do it over and over the disruptive habits need to be ingrained in the whole team. 

 

Now go work on this with your teams! Good luck?  Who needs luck when you know the 3HAG WAY to predictable disruption! Is this blog leaving you wanting more 3HAG tips? Then pre-order my second book coming out next month, "3HAG WAY: the strategic execution system that ensures your strategy is not a wild ass guess"


 

-Shannon Byrne Susko

 

 

Read More Shannon Byrne Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS, marketplace, disruption

Is setting "wild ass" stretch goals motivating your team or impeding them from hitting their marks? Can dreaming BIG get too BIG? 5 Steps to making those dreams achievable

Shannon SuskoFeb 02, 2018

 

I work with many leadership teams, supporting and coaching the team to be clear and succinct on their company goals. In business, these goals can be classified as long term goals (10-30 years), near term goals (3HAG – The 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal) and short term goals (1 year and 90 days). When setting metrics around these goals, the biggest question and discussion we have is “should these goals be stretch or achievable?”  


I find this question (sometimes dilemma) interesting.  Before a plan is put into action, everyone is dreaming big and wants stretch goals. But once the plan is in play, they want very achievable goals.  Teams find themselves so far off their stretch goals that they becomes unmotivated and are requently replanning. This is a reactive behaviour and when you are in this state, it feels awful!

 

Where does this mindset come from?  We don’t want to set goals that we know we can easily achieve but we do want to set goals that will challenge us. We want our cake, and want to eat it too! This causes most teams to take the easy way out.  They set stretch goals, but then do not take the time to map out to see how they could actually achieve them.  Look, I am guilty of this too – we have all been guilty of this!   At the end of the day, our goals and plans are all about the “how” and having the discipline to make the time to map it out with your team – end to end – to ensure its achievable.

 

After countless hours of going through my own companies goals and my clients, I have picked up some helpful tips. Below are 5 steps to ensure your goals are achievable:

 

  1. Meet with your leadership to collaborate on what the team wants to achieve.  Its important that the team decides not the CEO.
  2. Once the goals are what I call “gutted out” – then create a plan for the leadership team to map out each step on how the goals will be achieved. The more detailed the better.
  3. Once the mapping is complete – reconvene as a leadership team to discuss if the goals are achievable based on how the team mapped out planning including all the assumptions.
  4. If the team does not agree with the approach or assumptions – have a bigger discussion around the assumptions and the end goals and look at adjusting one or the other.
  5. Once the goals are agreed upon and there is a clear road map on how to achieve – these goals become ACHIEVABLE not a wild ass Stretch goal.

 

I used this approach with the companies I lead. Mind you, I had to find my way there the hard way – after making so many unattained stretch goals in the early years of my first company I had to find a different system.  Now I ONLY use the above approach with my clients and am a big fan of setting only ACHIEVABLE goals. My second book is based on the 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal (3HAG) Framework I developed. Being released this spring, it will guide you step by step through the Strategic Execution System required to achieve all your goals. Please message my team for your early release copy!

 

Pre-Order the 3HAG Book!

 

-Shannon Susko

 

 

Read More Shannon Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS

If you registered for a marathon, you would train for it. So why are you setting 10-30year goals and not training to reach them?

Shannon SuskoJan 26, 2018

As an athlete, I have had a lot of experience in physical training and growth. In order to be successful in any game or race, disciplined training is essential. Whether you are an Olympic runner, or a casual jogger, you are only going to get better and improve if you train. A big element of any training is creating the schedule or map with daily/weekly/monthly targets and goals. In business, this is what we call forecasting. We forecast goals as a way to track our companies progress. Makes sense, right?


What if you registered for a marathon, but only tracked the amount of days you ran, and not the distance or time? You would most likely not complete your marathon and end up injured and disappointed. Relating back to business, what if you made this same mistake by creating forecasting goals that didn't align with your big end goal? 

 

As a CEO and leadership team coach, I see this all the time! I start working with companies that have a BHAG* and daily execution plans, but the two are not connected. This disconnect is usually a result of low confidence in predicting for their company. It's scary to forecast months and months ahead because it holds you, as a CEO and leadership team, that much more accountable for the result! Your ego takes less of a hit if you don't complete a marathon that you NEVER trained for, versus the idea of not completing one that you strategically trained for. Interestingly enough, we will spend more time training for a marathon than training for the most important “Business Olympic” event of our lives.

 

marathon runners.jpeg

 

But what if I told you there is a solution - that my teams and I found a strategic execution system that builds confidence and allows you to efficiently reach your 10-30 year goal? Well, we have! It's your 3HAG! Your 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal!

 

3HAG is the disciplined process of creating your strategy and forecasting it specifically to a 12-quarter milestone base and fiscal forecast that aligns and supports your BHAG*. This 36-month (12-quarter) forecasting is constantly rolling as months are passing. A key word to note here is "rolling". Your 3HAG is evolving as months pass by to ensure you are still moving forward and confidently achieving your goals.

 

Just like training for a marathon, 3HAG is not easy. It takes hard work and commitment. But if you want to ACTUALLY reach your 1HAG, 3HAG and 10-30 year goals, you need to COMMIT to the disciplined hard work and training. That's what being a CEO and a good leader is all about!

 

I have enjoyed the success of achieving 10-30 year goals and 3HAGs as a CEO. I have also helped a lot of teams develop and reach their BHAG*s, and 3HAGs as a CEO/leadership coach and I want to help a lot more!  The 3HAG provides you with the FOCUS, FUN and FREEDOM you are dreaming about. That is why we are hosting an 11-part webinar series all about 3HAG. I will personally help you each step of the way in finding your 3HAG and will put you on the confident path to achieving it.  Think of it as a coached running club. We are here to support you and encourage your success with 3HAG.

 

 

top 20 office hacks-2.png

 

So are you ready to start training with me for long term success? Of course you are! Lets do this together. Our first session begins on Feb 6th 2018 at 9am PST.  This webinar is a supportive way to identify, roll out, and grow your 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal. You will be guided by me, Shannon Susko, every step of the way and be included in a network of fellow 3HAG'ers to share and develop with. As a special offer, we will be giving you the first session FREE if you register before Feb 1st! So dont wait too late!

 

REGISTER NOW!

 

-Shannon Susko

 

 

*Jim Collins' BHAG http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/BHAG.html

 

 

Read More Shannon Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG, MGS

3 Lessons I Have Learnt as a Female Founder

Shannon SuskoJan 19, 2018

It wasn’t until the success of my the first company, where I was a co-founder and CEO, did I realize that people regarded female founders and CEOs as different.  When I co-founded my second business I realized this was very special and naturally, leveraged it!  Now having founded my third tech company I can identify these three most important lessons I have learnt that have lead all three companies to success, regardless of what other people think.

FOCUS

Staying focused on the BHAG, 3HAG and 1HAG is key. Know where you are going! Make sure you know with clarity what your core values and core purpose are, know and believe in your 10-30 year goal, your 3 year Highly Achievable Goal, know where you want to be in 1 year and know where you need to be in 90 days.  I always had a 10-30 year goal for my companies, 1 year goal for my companies, a 90 day plan BUT what really brought this all together was being absolutely laser focused on the 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal that bridge the long term with the short term and aligned it with strategic execution.

 

Belief

Believing in yourself.  With this absolute passion of the goals above – what came next was believing in myself.  Knowing where I was going – with clarity gave me confidence to execute.

 

Team

Having clarity of the path forward – believing and knowing that I was the leader who could get there allowed me to attract an A Player Global Team, 3 times over.  And at the end of the day it is lining up a team that has the same core values and beliefs as I did, with clarity of the plan wanted to achieve the same things I did. 

 

At the end of the day,  I believed in myself, I was passionate and focused about what I was doing,  and thankfully I was able to find a whole-team of like-minded people who wanted to achieve the same goals.  Looking back, it was the inherent support of my family, friends, teachers, and coaches and their belief in me too.  This is the recipe for success and we realized it in my first two companies with to successful exits. The first one was good, the second one we hit it out of the park and the 3rd one is still in play!  Stay tuned.


-Shannon Susko

 

Read More Shannon Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, MGS

As a CEO, why are you still leading sales? 6 Steps to find an accountable sales leader and be a full time CEO

Shannon SuskoJan 12, 2018

As a CEO/Leadership team coach, I work with many companies that have gross sales both above and below $10 Million. I call out the value of $10M here, as I often see a common issue with those falling below this value. In my experience, the majority of companies with a topline under $10M have a CEO that is also leading sales! I know that this is a common practice of a new and growing company due to small start-up teams and rapid growth, but why is it still so common in established companies that fall under the $10M mark? Are you a CEO in an established company that is guilty of this? If you are, it's likely the key reason you can't break a $10M topline. But whats your excuse and how can you correct it?

 

Excuses, excuses! I have heard and said them all myself. The biggest one, "HIRING A SALES LEAD IS HARD!".  When a CEO is ready to make this leap to hire a sales leader, they are often in a state of desperation. This desperate state leads to rushed hiring;  filing the sales lead position with the first person that “sells” them self in an interview, or by "promoting" the top performing sales person currently on the team. And once you have made these hiring mistakes once, the fear of "another bad hire" is sometimes enough to not hire at all. I made all these mistake as CEO in my first company.  Very costly to both the bottom line and your momentum to grow. 

 

After two times of being “unlucky” in choosing the wrong sales leader, I took a step back. I needed to make some changes to my process, and FAST! It was then that I took the following steps:

  1. Mapped out the marketing using a tool called - THE MAP - to draw how your company goes to market. Yes – create a picture for your wall!
  2. Drew our Key Process Flow Map (KPFM) to show what the key "money making" functions of our company were. (This might seem obvious but do not skip this step.    Put this on the wall next to your MAP.
  3. Draw the 3-5 key processes for the Sales Function in a Process Flow Map and put it on the wall.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 3.00.19 PM.png

Now that you can clearly see how you go to market, how sales interacts with the other key processes in your company to make money, and have an excellent understanding on how the sales process flow works, you can have a strategic discussion with your leadership team. This discussion will allow you and your team to decide what should be improved or evolved in the KPFM and the Sales Process Flow for maximum success.  Start implementing these adjustments! While this is taking place, you can take on the follow next steps: 

 

  1. Create a Scorecard – for the Sales Leader Position. Check out shannonsusko.com for a Scorecard example – which is a simple and clear way to articulate what a position in your company is accountable for and it will be measured.  A Players are attracted to this clarity.
  2. Now you are ready to share with you network and the market - who you are looking for to be accountable for converting your opportunities to Revenue.
  3. Once you start attracting and identifying candidates, I recommend using the “Topgrading for Sales” written by Bradford D. Smart Ph.D. and Greg Alexander as an approach to ensuring the candidate is an A Player Sales Leader.

This process will provide you with the clarity needed to not only identify the sales leader that will be most valuable to your organization, but it will also improve the your understanding and the whole leaderships team understanding of how the company makes money and who is accountable. 

 

#CommittoGrowth Try this out and give us your feedback! To get more CEO tips and tricks visit ShannonSusko.com

 

-Shannon Susko

 

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, MGS

GET UPDATES FROM SHANNON