I met with an engineering firm in southeast Michigan, that was in danger of imploding. Before they started using the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, they were a $4.5 million company with 40 employees. On the surface, they seemed like a successful company with a bright future. But they had a major problem that threatened to undo them, and it was only a matter of time before the company fell apart.
Big Problems for a Small Business
The company’s three partners were doing the bulk of the heavy lifting, running around constantly putting out fires. They didn’t actually know what the main problem with their business was – they just knew that there was no way to get everything done and live a more balanced life. The partners were working as hard as they could, hoping that would be enough. They were excited and energized, but they were also stressed out – and things were starting to wear on them.
They wanted to grow as a company, but they didn’t know how they could do that and still maintain this frantic pace. That’s when they reached out to me.
Introducing EOS to a Company in Chaos
The company found GPS for Small Business through a CEO peer group. I gave a talk to the group, but it wasn’t until a year later when the CEO contacted me. He had been so busy, he felt like he couldn’t make the time even to reach out. Yet he was kicking himself because of the amount of time they’d wasted when they could have gotten ahead of the curve.
The first thing I did with the partners was conduct a 90-Minute Meeting, an introductory session that introduced them to EOS. It was a stressful event for them just to meet, because they were so busy. In fact, we had to stop once or twice during the meeting because of emergency phone calls one of the partners kept getting.
Considering the difficulty they had meeting for an hour and a half, the partners couldn’t imagine how to pull off the full-day off-site session that would come next.
At the Focus Day session, I met with the three partners and four other key people we had identified to be on the leadership team. One of the first things we did was clarify roles and responsibilities, establish what the leadership team should look like, and define the right structure to take their business to the next level.
Together, we went through several intense exercises to lay a foundation for the company that would take them to the next level over the next 6 to 12 months. Among other activities, we:
- Sketched out the company’s accountability chart to gain clarity of roles and responsibilities, starting with each seat on the leadership team
- Evaluated the people in the room to see if they’re the right people for those seats.
- Got on the same page for their first set of rocks, so that all their energy was going in the same direction on the most important use of their time for the upcoming 90 days.
- Set up a weekly meeting pulse, for the first time in their company’s history, using The Level-10 Meeting™ Agenda.
It was a very painful and difficult process for them, because the EOS Process™ designs structure first and people second – and that was new for them. But now they understood their purpose and the role they each person needed to play. They were now identifying real issues at the root cause, discussing them in a healthy way – free of politicks, and solving them for the long term greater good of the organization.
It was a huge eye-opener for them.
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Gaining Traction in the Company
Before long, my client had meetings running throughout the whole company at the Level-10 Meeting cadence, which helped every employee engage at all levels – and it freed up the leadership team to run and lead the company, not just do the billable work.
One of their a-ha moments was the realization that someone needed to run the business, and they had to intentionally make the time to not be billable, so that they could dedicate themselves to leading the company to the next level.
On top of seeing the company run itself, the leadership team was now maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and they were solving issues at a much higher level without getting into the nitty-gritty details.
On Their Own with EOS
After two years in the journey, the company graduated as a client, meaning they are 80%+ strong in each of the Six Key Components of their business – which is the ultimate goal for each of my clients. At the point of graduation, the company had doubled its revenue and employed 65 people. They had continued aggressive growth plans and their three-year picture was on track.
The leadership team was also more confident, now that they had the foundation of their company figured out. There was clarity of roles and responsibilities. Managers were using the company’s core values to hire, fire, and manage their employees. They were also using core values to filter the partners and vendors that they worked with.
This company that was setting itself up to implode is now thriving in every way, thanks to their commitment of becoming their best though implementing the EOS tools. My client’s journey with EOS started with uncertainty and a lot of discomfort, but they trusted in the process and it paid off in spades.
Could EOS Be Right for You?
Does this sound like the kind of company chaos your business is going through? You don’t have to struggle to get your company to the next level – you can find out if EOS could work for your organization. Request a 90-Minute Meeting today to see how EOS would work at your company. Or check out these testimonials from real world business leaders on their journey of becoming their best through using the EOS tools.