Dan Brunell is a Vistage Chair and a friend. He has been coaching me for a few months and I want to talk a little about some really good results. Here is the back story.
The life of a business owner can be a very lonely one. Not because we don’t have people around. Rather because we have no one to really challenge us. When we don’t have that person to call us out, we are not as good as we can be. As an entrepreneur, it is very easy to get on a course – the wrong course – and not see the problem until it grows big. The best two people a business owner can ever surround himself with is 1) the trusted advisor and 2) the personal assistant. Today is about the trusted advisor.
Here are the people that cannot be your trusted advisor:
- Your spouse
- Your parent, uncle or other family member
- Your employee
- Your customer
Everyone in this group has a role or position that does not lend itself to honest, challenging appraisal. There are other agenda in play.
All of us can find someone that will agree with us on almost any issue. Other than a little ego gratification, there is no value to this. In fact, it can be dangerous.
So who then is the trusted advisor?
- Board Member
- Outside Advisor
- B2B CFO® partner
Back to my story. While I do act as this trusted advisor for many of my clients, I also need this person for my own business. When Dan and I meet, we have an agenda that deal with my issues and my goals. The issues part is good because an outsider oftentimes sees things that you don’t. Problem solving becomes much more efficient.
The real value comes from discussing the goals. I am never given leave to say “I want sales to grow by 40%.” Dan’s responses are: Why do you want that growth? What is it going to mean to you? How are you going to get there? What is your action plan? What resources will this take? How much will it cost? And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
All of these questions, these challenges create focus and very specific calls to action. Dan and I agree on these specific calls to action along with a timeline. Part of every meeting is to discuss my success with the last meeting’s homework. My results have been great. Every one of my KPI’s are up, I am much more efficient and much more focused on the things I need to get done.